Thom van Hugte
Pasquale Giuseppe Mandara
Giel van Butselaar
Jamie BaileyUniversity of Cambridge
Friday 17 April, 11:30 - 11:50 | LUMC J1-116 / ROUTE 554
Narrative Structures in Colloquial EnglishThesis: MA / graduate
This study aims to examine three seemingly related, dialectally variable structures found in colloquial English, which I term narrative structures (NSs). They seem to form a coherent group in terms of their presentational discourse function, despite being somewhat syntactically divergent. The three are exemplified below:
(i) There’s a man has gone past the window. (subject contact relative, SCR)
(ii) There’s a man gone past the window. (past participle reduced relative, PaPRR)
(iii) There’s been a man go past the window. (narrative bare infinitival clause, NBIC)
Although the SCR has received a fairly generous amount of previous attention in the literature (most recently Doherty 1993, 1994, 2000; Henry 1995; den Dikken 2005; Haegeman et al. 2015; Haegeman 2015), the PaPPR and NBIC remain largely undiscussed. Notably, they all commonly appear after the existential expletive there’s, although other contexts are possible.
I present the theoretical background concerning these structures, before discussing preliminary results of an online sentence judgement dialect survey designed to shed light on the syntactic nature and interaction of the three structures. It is predicted that if the structures are in principle available for all speakers, but unfamiliar for some (cf. Barbiers’ 2005 discussion of three-verb clusters in Dutch dialects), then acceptability ratings will increase both as the respondent nears completion of the survey and with simpler example structures (i.e. limited aspectual content). However, if the structures are outright banned from certain speakers’ grammars, neither order of presentation nor aspectual complexity should have any effect. The conclusion drawn could improve our understanding of the interaction between core grammar and actual usage. If observed, effects such as implicational hierarchies, variant coincidence and propagation patterns could also present revealing insights. To conclude, I discuss the possibility of a syntactic unification of these structures to account for their similarities, presentationally and otherwise.
Magdalena LewandowskaJagiellonian University
Friday 17 April, 11:30 - 11:50 | LUMC J1-128 / ROUTE 554
A Curious Grammar of Tohono O'odhamThesis: MA / graduate
My research focuses on the interesting case of Tohono O’odham – a language spoken by approximately 15 000 native speakers from southern Arizona and northern Sonora. Although it’s part of one of the most famous language family in both Americas, there are little to none works concerning its grammar. And yet it’s quite intriguing language by the European standards – it’s nothing like the Indo-European languages (or even Basque language for that matter). For example, it has relatively free order with which almost any combination is possible. It also isn’t tense-orientated, preferring aspects when concerned with past, present or future. Have You ever wonder how it is like to have different “and” as a connector? Don’t worry! This language does that too. With Tohono O’odham You can wish in the simplest manner possible since it’s desiderative only needs one letter to be add to the verb. And that’s only a tip of the iceberg.My presentation aims to introduce the most interesting elements of Tohono O’odham grammar to the wider audience based on my research as well as my own experience since I was able to learn its basics through a native speaker.
Laura DeesLeiden University
Friday 17 April, 14:00 - 14:20 | LUMC J1-116 / ROUTE 554
Proto-Indo-European and the Caucasian Substrate HypothesisPaper (MA)
In this presentation, the question will be addressed whether Proto-Indo-European (PIE) could have been in contact with North East and/or North West Caucasian. Some scholars claim that there was intensive language contact between PIE and North Caucasian, based partly on lexical parallels and partly on areal-typological (i.e. structural) parallels. The value of the supposed lexical parallels is debatable, however, and others have come to the opposite conclusion that there is no secure evidence in the lexicon at all that would point to contact. In this presentation, we will discuss the lexical evidence with a focus on animal names, as well as the supposed structural parallels. Finally, the implications that the conclusions drawn here have for our theories on the type of contact between PIE and North Caucasian will be discussed.
Thom van HugteLeiden University
Friday 17 April, 14:00 - 14:20 | LUMC J1-128 / ROUTE 554
The representation of tone within Element TheoryPaper (MA)
In this talk, a proposal is made for the representation of tone in Element Theory (Backley 2011), a framework of phonology that concerns itself with the internal structure of segments. Unlike classic Feature Theory that uses features such as [+nasal] and [-sonorant] etc., Element Theory uses buildings blocks called elements. Each element corresponds to an archetypical acoustic pattern in human speech, e.g. |ʔ|, a sudden drop in acoustic energy such as in plosives. There are 6 of such elements, and they can combine in various ways to form all speech sounds in all languages. For example, /k/ can be represented using three elements |UHʔ|. Within Element Theory, the elements |H| (high-frequency energy) and |L| (low-frequency energy) respectively express voicelessness and voicing in onset position. Voiced sounds inherently induce a lower pitch in the following vowel than voiceless sounds, and this secondary cue on the vowel sometimes develops into a full-fledged tonal distinction (Hyman 1976). This is a common form of tonogenesis where vowels bear high tone after voiceless sounds and low tone after voiced sounds (Kingston 2011). For this reason, Element Theory phonologists have posited a link between them. This link is formalised by having |H| express high tone and |L| express low tone in nucleus position. Although the above is generally accepted among Element Theory phonologists, none have actually proposed concrete representations of segments with tone. Perhaps this is due to the problems one runs into with contour tones and generating enough contrast to account for large tonal inventories. In a term paper I have written, I solve these problems by extending the structure of Element Theory. This is not a contrived solution, since the innovations follow logically from assumptions that the theory already makes. It potentially also solves additional issues such as representing secondary articulation and syllabic resonants.
Matthijs VerzijdenLeiden University
Friday 17 April, 14:25 - 14:45 | LUMC J1-116 / ROUTE 554
Kejia possessive pronounsThesis: BA / undergraduate
While in many Chinese languages possessive pronouns do not exist, in Kejia they do, and this talk will delve into them. I will first look at their distribution and variation throughout the Kejia dialects. Then I will explain three theories concerning the possible origin of these possessive pronouns. The latter part of the talk will cover their function and usage in possessive constructions, which feature interesting differences between dialects.
Pasquale Giuseppe MandaraUniversity of Glasgow
Friday 17 April, 14:25 - 14:45 | LUMC J1-128 / ROUTE 554
Geminate attrition in Italian-English bilinguals residing in Glasgow: an acoustic studyBA / summer project
What happens to one’s first language after migrating to a foreign country and getting lost in the sounds of a new language? The present study aims to answer this question by investigating first language attrition, namely the idea that extensive L2 exposure can affect one’s L1 proficiency negatively (Schmid 2011). This topic is addressed in the context of a phonological category available in Italian but not English: consonant gemination. The demographic that might be undergoing attrition is Italian-English sequential bilinguals in Glasgow, Scotland.This study predicted that the bilinguals' geminate productions would differ from those of Italian monolinguals owing to exposure to an L2 that lacks consonant gemination (i.e. English). Italian monolinguals were predicted to differentiate their geminate and singleton productions clearly: Pickett (1999) shows that in Italian the ratio between the consonant and preceding vowel durations (C/V ratio) is 1 or above for geminates and below 1 for singletons. Furthermore, Italians are reported to accompany their geminate voiceless stops with increased post-aspiration (i.e. increased VOT duration) and pre-aspiration (i.e. period of voicelessness preceding consonant closure) (Stevens 2010). Conversely, bilinguals were expected to produce their geminates with lower C/V ratio values and to post-aspirate and pre-aspirate their geminate voiceless stops far less than Italian monolinguals. Methodologically, the study comprises of a reading task at spontaneous speech rate. 7 Bilinguals, 7 Italian and 5 Scottish English monolinguals were asked to read out various sentences containing target minimal pairs differing only for being spelt either with a single or double consonant (e.g. 'fato' vs 'fatto' or 'finish' vs 'Finnish'). Bilinguals performed in both their languages. Various parameters were analysed acoustically: the C/V ratio for various consonants and any evidence for increased post-aspiration and pre-aspiration for the geminate voiceless stops.The findings show that the bilinguals' and Italian monolinguals' performances do not differ significantly with regards to the C/V ratio (i.e. the main acoustic cue to consonant gemination in Italian) which suggests that the bilinguals are unlikely to be undergoing complete attrition. Italian monolinguals pattern as predicted with regards to post-aspiration and pre-aspiration. A different picture emerges however for the bilinguals: bilinguals fail to use increased post-aspiration when producing their Italian geminates (i.e. ‘fato’ and ‘fatto’ have similar VOT durations) but they do use it when producing English words with double consonants (i.e. ‘mettle’ has a longer VOT than ‘metal’). English monolinguals fail to display such VOT distinction in their speech. Bilinguals also tend to pre-aspirate their geminate voiceless stops far more frequently than Italian monolinguals do.
Salome GongadzeTbilisi State University
Friday 17 April, 15:05 - 15:25 | LUMC J1-116 / ROUTE 554
The phraseology of the Fear, Shame and Sadness in GeorgianThesis: BA / undergraduate
Idiom is a group of words, which exists with obtainable form in the language and is a sustainable linguistic form. Idiomatical units are referred to as idiomatic lexical units in linguistic literature. They are an integral part of the language and has the most important role in the enrichment of its vocabulary. The paper aims to investigate the structural-semantic features of Georgian Idiomatical units. Comparing worldviews of the Georgian people with the structure and nature of the Idiomatical units. The objectives of the topic are to identify and quantify the Idiomatical units within the lexical nest of fear, shame and sadness in the Georgian language, to determine and to group typological similarities. Idioms are founded in the Georgian Language Explanatory Dictionary In the electronic portal (“GLED”), in Tedo Sakhokia's Dictionary of Georgian Idioms, and in Alexander Onian's Dictionary of Georgian Idioms. The novelty of the paper is in discussing the psychological, emotional aspects of the Idiomatical units, classifying them into groups, based on the r. Amirejibi’s theoretical framework.The result of Research. In the recent paper there are analyzed, grouped and interpreted the phraseological expressions which contain semantics of "fear" (98 unites), "shame" (52 unites) and "grief" (58 unites). The research reveals, which semantic field or vocabulary unit is most commonly used. The most spread examples contain meaning of public shaming and punishment which are predominated among the idiomatical units of shame semantics belonged to the nation's historical past and traditions. The vocabulary units of fear are largely related to its physiological (idiom containing body parts) and psychological characteristics. Idiomatical units containing the word "heart" predominate in Georgian among the lexical units of grief. Moreover, the paper presents etymological information of emotion names, lexical-semantic nests and the diversity of lexical units united in the nest.
Kambiz NasseriLeiden University
Friday 17 April, 15:05 - 15:25 | LUMC J1-128 / ROUTE 554
Bilinguals seem to think in only one language at a timePaper (BA)
A previous experiment that used a covert picture naming task indicated that unbalanced bilinguals (L1: Dutch, L2: English) can have both of their languages simultaneously activated for (covert) speech production (which points to the non-selective account of bilingual speech production). I, among others, replicated this experiment, but found a completely different result, so I was lost (in language).
Abel WarriesLeiden University
Friday 17 April, 15:30 - 15:50 | LUMC J1-116 / ROUTE 554
Signs of prehistoric language contact? Uralic influence on the Tocharian agglutinative case systemThesis: MA / graduate
Tocharian nominal inflection is characterized by partial agglutination, a feature that sets it apart from the generally more fusional nominal inflection of other Indo-European languages. It is mostly thought that the Tocharian situation constitutes an innovation, with agglutinative case marking having come about secondarily. As a potential cause for the rise of this Tocharian agglutination, some scholars have suggested contact with Uralic, a typically agglutinating language family (Krause 1951, Schmidt 1990). This suggestion had not been explored in great detail, however. By itself, agglutinative nominal inflection does not point specifically to Uralic influence, as agglutination is found commonly in the other language groups of the same area as well. However, some phonological features of Tocharian might also point to Uralic influence, such as the lack of distinct manners of stop articulation in Tocharian (Kallio 2001), and the structure of the pre-Proto-Tocharian vowel system as close to that of pre-Proto-Samoyedic (Peyrot 2019). The latter suggests contact with the Samoyedic branch of Uralic in particular, and some loanwords may also have passed between early Tocharian and early Samoyedic (Janhunen 1983; Kallio 2004).These findings render Tocharian-Samoyedic contacts at least plausible, and as such I will investigate whether the Tocharian agglutinative case system can be explained as the result of influence from early Samoyedic. Taking into account what is known and theorized about the prehistories of the Tocharian and Samoyedic case systems, I will compare the two as regards (i) the overall structure of the case systems, (ii) the functions of the individual cases, and (iii) the way in which the case systems developed through time. Following Thomason’s (2001) criteria for determining whether contact-induced change has occurred, I will then evaluate the likelihood that contact with pre-Samoyedic (and thus early Uralic) has indeed induced pre-Tocharian to innovate its agglutinative case system.
Giel van ButselaarLeiden University
Friday 17 April, 15:30 - 15:50 | LUMC J1-128 / ROUTE 554
Nominal tone in KîîtharakaPaper (BA)
The Kîîtharaka language is among one of the more understudied Bantu languages. Previous research on Kîîtharaka is mainly concerned with the morphology and syntax of the language. Even though Kîîtharaka is a tonal language, tone has not been marked in the existing literature. In this paper I will therefore present an analysis of tone in the nominal domain of Kîîtharaka. First, I will discuss what tonal patterns can be found on noun roots. Then, I will classify these tonal patterns into several tone classes on the basis of tonal alternations we can find on infinitive verbs, which is a type of noun (noun class 15) in Kîîtharaka. Finally, I will discuss some features of tone on the surface level of nominal modifiers.