Synopsis: Contact linguistics is the overarching term for a highly diversified field with branches that connect to such widely divergent areas as historical linguistics, typology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and grammatical theory. Because of this diversification, there is a risk of fragmentation and lack of interaction between the different subbranches of contact linguistics. Nevertheless, the different approaches share the general goal of accounting for the results of interacting linguistic systems. This common goal opens up possibilities for active communication, cooperation, and coordination between the different branches of contact linguistics. This book, therefore, explores the extent to which contact linguistics can be viewed as a coherent field, and whether the advances achieved in a particular subfield can be translated to others. In this way our aim is to encourage a boundary-free discussion between different types of specialists of contact linguistics, and to stimulate cross-pollination between them.View less
Synopsis: This landmark publication brings together 28 papers on reflexive constructions in languages from all continents, representing very diverse language types. While reflexive constructions have been discussed in the past from a variety of angles, this is the first edited volume of its kind. All the chapters are based on original data, and they are broadly comparable through a common terminological framework. The volume opens with two introductory chapters by the editors that set the stage and lay out the main comparative concepts, and it concludes with a chapter presenting generalizations on the basis of the studies of individual languages.View less
Synopsis: This volume brings together contributions by researchers focusing on personal pronouns in Ibero-Romance languages, going beyond the well-established variable of expressed vs. non-expressed subjects. While factors such as agreement morphology, topic shift and contrast or emphasis have been argued to account for variable subject expression, several corpus studies on Ibero-Romance languages have shown that the expression of subject pronouns goes beyond these traditionally established factors and is also subject to considerable dialectal variation. One of the factors affecting choice and expression of personal pronouns or other referential devices is whether the construction is used personally or impersonally. The use and emergence of new impersonal constructions, eventually also new (im)personal pronouns, as well as the variation found in the expression of human impersonality in different Ibero-Romance language varieties is another interesting research area that has gained ground in the recent years. In addition to variable subject expression, similar methods and theoretical approaches have been applied to study the expression of objects. Finally, the reference to the addressee(s) using different address pronouns and other address forms is an important field of study that is closely connected to the variable expression of pronouns. The present book sheds light on all these aspects of reference to discourse participants. The volume contains contributions with a strong empirical background and various methods and both written and spoken corpus data from Ibero-Romance languages. The focus on discourse participants highlights the special properties of first and second person referents and the factors affecting them that are often different from the anaphoric third person. The chapters are organized into three thematic sections: (i) Variable expression of subjects and objects, (ii) Between personal and impersonal, and (iii) Reference to the addressee.View less
Synopsis: This book is a grammatical description of Ulwa, a Papuan language spoken by about 600 people living in four villages in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Ulwa belongs to the Keram language family. This grammatical description is based on a corpus of recorded texts and elicited sentences that were collected during a total of about twelve months of research carried out between 2015 and 2018. The book aims to detail as many aspects of Ulwa grammar as possible, including matters of phonology, morphology, and syntax. It also contains a lexicon with over 1,400 entries and three fully glossed and translated texts. The book was written with a typologically oriented audience in mind, and should be of interest to Papuan specialists as well as to general linguists. It may be useful to those working on the history or classification of Papuan languages as well as those conducting typological research on any number of grammatical features.View less
Synopsis: It is well-known that derivational affixes can be highly polysemous, producing a range of different, often related, meanings. For example, English deverbal nouns with the suffix -er can denote instruments (opener), agents (writer), locations (diner), or patients (loaner). It is commonly assumed that this polysemy arises through a compositional process in which the affix interacts with the semantics of the base. Yet, despite intensive research in recent years, a workable model for this interaction is still under debate.
In order to study and model the semantic contributions of the base and of the affix, a framework is needed in which meanings can be composed and decomposed. In this book, I formalize the semantic input and output of derivation by means of frames, that is, recursive attribute-value structures that serve to model mental representations of concepts. In my approach, the input frame offers an array of semantic elements from which an affix may select to construct the derivative's meaning. The relationship between base and derivative is made explicit by integrating their respective frame-semantic representations into lexical rules and inheritance hierarchies.
I apply this approach to a qualitative corpus study of the productive relationship between the English nominalizing suffix -ment and a semantically delimited set of verbal bases. My data set consists of 40 neologisms with base verbs from two semantic classes, namely change-of-state verbs and verbs of psychological state. I analyze 369 attestations which were elicited from various corpora with a purposeful sampling approach, and which were hand-coded using common semantic categories such as event, state, patient and stimulus.
My results show that -ment can target a systematically restricted set of elements in the frame of a given base verb. It thereby produces a range of possible readings in each derivative, which becomes ultimately interpretable only within a specific context. The derivational process is governed by an interaction of the semantic elements provided by the base on the one hand, with properties of the affix (e.g. -ment's aversion to [+animate] readings) on the other. For instance, a shift from the verb annoy to a result-state reading in annoyment is possible because the input frame of verbs of psychological state offers a RESULT-STATE attribute, which, as is fixed in the inheritance hierarchy, is compatible with -ment. Meanwhile, a shift from annoy to an experiencer reading in annoyment fails because the value range of the attribute EXPERIENER is fixed to [+animate] entities, so that -ment's animacy constraint blocks the inheritance mechanism.
Furthermore, a quantitative exploration of my data set reveals a likely blocking effect for some -ment readings. Thus, while I have found most expected combinations of nominalization and reading attested, there are pronounced gaps for readings like instrument or stimulus. Such readings are likely to be produced by standardly subject-denoting suffixes such as -er or -ant, which may reduce the probability for -ment derivation. The quantitative analysis furthermore shows that, within the subset of attested combinations, ambiguity is widespread, with 43% of all combinations of nominalization and reading being only attested ambiguously.
This book shows how a derivational process acts on the semantics of a given verbal base by reporting on an in-depth qualitative study of the semantic contributions of both the base and the affix. Furthermore, it demonstrates that an explicit semantic decomposition of the base is essential for the analysis of the resulting derivative's semantics.View less
Synopsis: In spoken language comprehension, the hearer is faced with a more or less continuous stream of auditory information. Prosodic cues, such as pitch movement, pre-boundary lengthening, and pauses, incrementally help to organize the incoming stream of information into prosodic phrases, which often coincide with syntactic units. Prosody is hence central to spoken language comprehension and some models assume that the speaker produces prosody in a consistent and hierarchical fashion. While there is manifold empirical evidence that prosodic boundary cues are reliably and robustly produced and effectively guide spoken sentence comprehension across different populations and languages, the underlying mechanisms and the nature of the prosody-syntax interface still have not been identified sufficiently. This is also reflected in the fact that most models on sentence processing completely lack prosodic information.
This edited book volume is grounded in a workshop that was held in 2021 at the annual conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS). The five chapters cover selected topics on the production and comprehension of prosodic cues in various populations and languages, all focusing in particular on processing of prosody at structurally relevant prosodic boundaries. Specifically, the book comprises cross-linguistic evidence as well as evidence from non-native listeners, infants, adults, and elderly speakers, highlighting the important role of prosody in both language production and comprehension.View less
Synopsis: Sonority is a central notion in phonetics and phonology and it is essential for generalizations related to syllabic organization. However, to date there is no clear consensus on the phonetic basis of sonority, neither in perception nor in production. The widely used Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP) represents the speech signal as a sequence of discrete units, where phonological processes are modeled as symbol manipulating rules that lack a temporal dimension and are devoid of inherent links to perceptual, motoric or cognitive processes. The current work aims to change this by outlining a novel approach for the extraction of continuous entities from acoustic space in order to model dynamic aspects of phonological perception. It is used here to advance a functional understanding of sonority as a universal aspect of prosody that requires pitch-bearing syllables as the building blocks of speech.
This book argues that sonority is best understood as a measurement of pitch intelligibility in perception, which is closely linked to periodic energy in acoustics. It presents a novel principle for sonority-based determinations of well-formedness – the Nucleus Attraction Principle (NAP). Two complementary NAP models independently account for symbolic and continuous representations and they mostly outperform SSP-based models, demonstrated here with experimental perception studies and with a corpus study of Modern Hebrew nouns.
This work also includes a description of ProPer (Prosodic Analysis with Periodic Energy). The ProPer toolbox further exploits the proposal that periodic energy reflects sonority in order to cover major topics in prosodic research, such as prominence, intonation and speech rate. The book is finally concluded with brief discussions on selected topics: (i) the phonotactic division of labor with respect to /s/-stop clusters; (ii) the debate about the universality of sonority; and (iii) the fate of the classic phonetics–phonology dichotomy as it relates to continuity and dynamics in phonology.View less
This book is about reconstructing the grammar of Proto-Bantu, the ancestral language at the origin of current-day Bantu languages. While Bantu is a low-level branch of Niger-Congo, the world’s biggest phylum, it is still Africa’s biggest language family. This edited volume attempts to retrieve the phonology, morphology and syntax used by the earliest Bantu speakers to communicate with each other, discusses methods to do so, and looks at issues raised by these academic endeavours. It is a collective effort involving a fine mix of junior and senior scholars representing several generations of expert historical-comparative Bantu research. It is the first systematic approach to Proto-Bantu grammar since Meeussen’s Bantu Grammatical Reconstructions (1967). Based on new bodies of evidence from the last five decades, most notably from northwestern Bantu languages, this book considerably transforms our understanding of Proto-Bantu grammar and offers new methodological approaches to Bantu grammatical reconstruction.View less
This book is an introduction to the syntactic structures that can be found in the Germanic languages. The analyses are couched in the framework of HPSG light, which is a simplified version of HPSG that uses trees to depict analyses rather than complicated attribute value matrices.
The book is written for students with basic knowledge about case, constituent tests, and simple phrase structure grammars (advanced BA or MA level) and for researchers with an interest in the Germanic languages and/or an interest in Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar/Sign-Based Construction Grammar without having the time to deal with all the details of these theories.View less
The present volume presents a selection of the revised and peer-reviewed proceedings articles of the 50th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL 50) which was hosted virtually by the faculty and students from the University of Texas at Austin. With contributions from rising and senior scholars from Europe and the Americas, the volume demonstrates the breadth of research in contemporary Romance linguistics with articles that apply corpus-based and laboratory methods, as well as theory, to explore the structure, use, and development of the Romance languages. The articles cover a wide range of fields including morphosyntax, semantics, language variation and change, sociophonetics, historical linguistics, language acquisition, and computational linguistics. In an introductory article, the editors document the sudden transition of LSRL 50 to a virtual format and acknowledge those who helped them to ensure the continuity of this annual scholarly meeting.View less
Diathesis ("valency alternation") is a sentence structure that reshapes the roles of a verb. The prototypical example of such a diathesis is the well-known passive. However, there are very many other such role-remappings, like antipassives, applicatives, causatives, etc.
This book presents an encyclopaedic survey of diathesis in German. The objective is to catalogue all diatheses that exist in this language. Currently almost 250 different German diatheses are described in this book, some highly productive, some only attested for a handful of verbs. The main goal of this book is to present this wealth of grammatical possibility in a unified manner, while at the same time attempting to classify and organise this diversity. A summary of the about 80 most prominent diatheses is also provided, including many newly-minted German names, because most these diatheses did not have a German name yet.
It might come as a surprise that there are so many different diatheses in German, but my impression is that in this respect German is no exception among the world's languages. I expect that all languages have a similar abundance of different ways in which to construe a sentence around a lexical predicate. In a sense, a diathesis allows for the expression of a distinct perspective on the event described, something that is arguably a common desire of any language user.
Except for diathesis this book also aims to completely catalogue its counterpart: epithesis. An epithesis is a derived sentence structure in which the marking of the verb roles remains constant. Basically, these are the grammaticalised constructions expressing tense-aspect-mood-evidentiality in German. The list of major epitheses is also quite long (about 40 constructions), but it is quite a bit smaller than the list of major diatheses (about 80 constructions). This indicates that from a purely grammatical perspective, diathesis ("grammatical voice") is about a two-times more elaborate topic than epithesis ("tense-aspect-mood marking") in German.View less
This book provides a new perspective on prosodically marked declaratives, wh-exclamatives, and discourse particles in the Madrid variety of Spanish. It argues that some marked forms differ from unmarked forms in that they encode modal evaluations of the at-issue meaning. Two epistemic evaluations that can be shown to be encoded by intonation in Spanish are linguistically encoded surprise, or mirativity, and obviousness. An empirical investigation via an audio-enhanced production experiment finds that mirativity and obviousness are associated with distinct intonational features under constant focus scope, with stances of (dis)agreement showing an impact on obvious declaratives. Wh-exclamatives are found not to differ significantly in intonational marking from neutral declaratives, showing that they need not be miratives. Moreover, we find that intonational marking on different discourse particles in natural dialogue correlates with their meaning contribution without being fully determined by it. In part, these findings quantitatively confirm previous qualitative findings on the meaning of intonational configurations in Madrid Spanish. But they also add new insights on the role intonation plays in the negotiation of commitments and expectations between interlocutors.View less
Synopsis: Technological advancement is reshaping the ways in which language interpreters operate. This poses existential challenges to the profession but also offers new opportunities. This books moves from the design of the computer-assisted interpreting tool SmarTerp as a case study of impact-driven interpreting technology research. It demonstrates how usability testing was used to achieve an interpreter-centred design. By contextualising the case study within the past and current developments of translation and interpreting technology research, this book seeks to inform and inspire a redefinition of the conceptualisation of interpreting technology research—not just as a tool to understand change but to drive it into a sustainable and human direction.View less
Synopsis: In 1991, William Croft suggested that negative existentials (typically lexical expressions that mean ‘not exist, not have’) are one possible source for negation markers and gave his hypothesis the name Negative Existential Cycle (NEC). It is a variationist model based on cross-linguistic data. For a good twenty years following its formulation, it was cited at face-value without ever having been tested by (historical)-comparative data. Over the last decade, Ljuba Veselinova has worked on testing the model in a comparative perspective, and this edited volume further expands on her work.
The collection presented here features detailed studies of several language families such as Bantu, Chadic and Indo-European. A number of articles focus on the micro-variation and attested historical developments within smaller groups and clusters such as Arabic, Mandarin and Cantonese, and Nanaic. Finally, variation and historical developments in specific languages are discussed for Ancient Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Moksha-Mordvin (Uralic), Bashkir (Turkic), Kalmyk (Mongolic), three Pama-Nyungan languages, O’dam (Southern Uto-Aztecan) and Tacana (Takanan, Amazonian Bolivia). The book is concluded by two chapters devoted to modeling cyclical processes in language change from different theoretical perspectives.
Key notions discussed throughout the book include affirmative and negative existential constructions, the expansion of the latter into verbal negation, and subsequently from more specific to more general markers of negation. Nominalizations as well as the uses of negative existentials as standalone negative answers figure among the most frequent pathways whereby negative existentials evolve as general negation markers. The operation of the Negative Existential Cycle appears partly genealogically conditioned, as the cycle is found to iterate regularly within some families but never starts in others, as is the case in Bantu. In addition, other special negation markers such as nominal negators are found to undergo similar processes, i.e. they expand into the verbal domain and thereby develop into more general negation markers.
The book provides rich information on a specific path of the evolution of negation, on cyclical processes in language change, and it show-cases the historical-comparative method in a modern setting.View less
Synopsis: The complexities of speech production, perception, and comprehension are enormous. Theoretical approaches of these complexities most recently face the challenge of accounting for findings on subphonemic differences. The aim of the present dissertation is to establish a robust foundation of findings on such subphonemic differences.
One rather popular case for differences in subphonemic detail is word-final /s/ and /z/ in English (henceforth S) as it constitutes a number of morphological functions. Using word-final S, three general issues are investigated. First, are there subphonemic durational differences between different types of word-final S? If there are such differences, how can they be accounted for? Second, can such subphonemic durational differences be perceived? Third, do such subphonemic durational differences influence the comprehension of S?
These questions are investigated by five highly controlled studies: a production task, an implementation of Linear Discriminative Learning, a same-different task, and two number-decision tasks. Using not only real words but also pseudowords as target items, potentially confounding effects of lexical storage are controlled for.
Concerning the first issue, the results show that there are indeed durational differences between different types of word-final S. Non-morphemic S is longest in duration, clitic S is shortest in duration, and plural S duration is in-between non-morphemic S and clitic S durations. It appears that the durational differences are connected to a word’s semantic activation diversity and its phonological certainty. Regarding the second issue, subphonemic durational differences in word-final S can be perceived, with higher levels of perceptibility for differences of 35 ms and higher. In regard to the third issue, subphonemic durational differences are found not to influence the speed of comprehension, but show a significant effect on the process of comprehension. The overall results give raise to a revision of various extant models of speech production, perception, and comprehension.View less
Synopsis: This book provides the first comprehensive grammatical description of Choguita Rarámuri, a Uto-Aztecan language spoken in the Sierra Tarahumara, a mountainous range in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua belonging to the Sierra Madre Occidental. A documentary corpus developed between 2003 and 2018 with Choguita Rarámuri language experts informs the analysis and is the source of the examples presented in this grammar. The documentary corpus, which consists of over 200 hours of recordings of elicited data, narratives, conversations, interviews, and other speech genres, is available in two archival collections housed at the Endangered Languages Archive and at UC Berkeley’s Survey of California and Other Indian Languages.
Choguita Rarámuri is a highly synthetic, agglutinating language with a complex morphological system. It displays many of the recurrent structural features documented across Uto-Aztecan, including a predominance of suffixation, head-marking, and patterns of noun-incorporation and compounding (Sapir 1921; Whorf 1935; Haugen 2008b). Other features of typological and theoretical interest include a complex word prosodic system, a wide range of morphologically conditioned phonological processes, and patterns of variable affix order and multiple exponence. Choguita Rarámuri is also of great comparative/historical importance: while several analytical works of Uto-Aztecan languages of Northern Mexico have been produced in the last years (Guerrero Valenzuela 2006, García Salido 2014, Reyes Taboada 2014, Morales Moreno 2016, Villalpando Quiñonez 2019, inter alia), many varieties still lack comprehensive linguistic description and documentation.View less
Synopsis: This volume provides a collection of research reports on multilingualism and language contact ranging from Romance, to Germanic, Greco and Slavic languages in situations of contact and diaspora. Most of the contributions are empirically-oriented studies presenting first-hand data based on original fieldwork, and a few focus directly on the methodological issues in such research. Owing to the multifaceted nature of contact and diaspora phenomena (e.g. the intrinsic transnational essence of contact and diaspora, and the associated interplay between majority and minoritized languages and multilingual practices in different contact settings, contact-induced language change, and issues relating to convergence) the disciplinary scope is broad, and includes ethnography, qualitative and quantitative sociolinguistics, formal linguistics, descriptive linguistics, contact linguistics, historical linguistics, and language acquisition. Case studies are drawn from Italo-Romance varieties in the Americas, Spanish-Nahuatl contact, Castellano Andino, Greko/Griko in Southern Italy, Yiddish in Anglophone communities, Frisian in the Netherlands, Wymysiöryś in Poland, Sorbian in Germany, and Pomeranian and Zeelandic Flemish in Brazil.View less
Sinopse: A Linguística Clínica reúne profissionais, investigadores e estudantes de diferentes graus académicos cujo foco de trabalho é a exploração da ponte entre a Linguística e a Fonoaudiologia (na tradição brasileira) ou a Terapia da Fala (na tradição portuguesa). Tem como objetivos centrais a construção de conhecimento sobre a natureza dos desempenhos linguísticos atípicos e a preocupação constante em tornar os processos de avaliação e de intervenção em contexto clínico cada vez mais rigorosos e eficazes.
O presente volume destina-se a quem estuda ou investiga aspetos relacionados com desempenhos linguísticos atípicos em países lusófonos, nomeadamente a estudantes e docentes de cursos de graduação e pós-graduação nas áreas da Terapia da Fala/ Fonoaudiologia, da Linguística, da Psicologia e da Educação.
Os capítulos que integram a presente publicação estão organizados em quatro blocos temáticos. O bloco inicial tem como objetivo central fornecer uma perspetiva histórica dos estudos em Fonologia Clínica e em Sintaxe Clínica. O segundo centra-se em aspetos fonológicos e sua relação com a dimensão fonética da língua. O terceiro bloco integra capítulos que exploram o módulo gramatical da sintaxe, a interface gramática-pragmática e o discurso. O último bloco reúne um conjunto de investigações sobre populações específicas.View less
Synopsis: Velar Fronting (VF) is the name for any synchronic or diachronic phonological process shifting the velar place of articulation to the palatal region of the vocal tract. A well-known case of VF in Standard German is the rule specifying that the fricative [x] assimilates to [ç] after front segments. VF also refers to the change from velar sounds like [ɣ k g ŋ] to palatals ([ʝ c ɟ ɲ]). The book provides a thorough investigation of VF in German dialects: Data are drawn from over 300 original sources for varieties that are (or were) spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other countries.
VF differs geographically along three parameters: (A) triggers, (B) targets, and (C) outputs. VF triggers (=A) are typically defined according to vowel height: In some systems VF is induced only by high front vowels, in others by high and mid front vowels, and in yet others by high, mid, and low front vowels. Some varieties treat consonants ([r l n]) as triggers, while others do not. VF can be nonassimilatory, in which case the rule applies even in the context of back segments. In many varieties of German, VF targets (=B) consist of the two fricatives [x ɣ], but in other dialects the targets comprise [x] but not [ɣ]. In some places, VF affects not only [x ɣ], but also velar stops and the velar nasal. The output of VF (=C) is typically palatal [ç] (given the input [x]), but in many other places it is the alveolopalatal [ɕ].
A major theme is the way in which VF interacts with synchronic and diachronic changes creating or eliminating structures which can potentially undergo it or trigger it. In many dialects the relationship between velars ([x]) and palatals ([ҫ]) is transparent because velars only occur in the back vowel context and palatals only when adjacent to front sounds. In that type of system, independent processes can either feed VF (by creating additional structures which the latter can undergo), or they can bleed it (by eliminating potential structures to which VF could apply).
In other dialects, VF is opaque. In one opaque system, both velars ([x]) and palatals ([ҫ]) surface in the context of front segments. Thus, in addition to expected front vowel plus palatal sequences ([…iç…]), there are also unexpected ones consisting of front vowel plus velar ([…ix…]). In a second type of opaque system, velars and palatals are found in the context of back segments; hence, expected sequences such as […iç…] occur in addition to unexpected ones like […ɑç…].View less
Synopsis: In most grammatical models, hierarchical structuring and dependencies are considered as central features of grammatical structures, an idea which is usually captured by the notion of “head” or “headedness”. While in most models, this notion is more or less taken for granted, there is still much disagreement as to the precise properties of grammatical heads and the theoretical implications that arise of these properties. Moreover, there are quite a few linguistic structures that pose considerable challenges to the notion of “headedness”. Linking to the seminal discussions led in Zwicky (1985) and Corbett, Fraser, & Mc-Glashan (1993), this volume intends to look more closely upon phenomena that are considered problematic for an analysis in terms of grammatical heads. The aim of this book is to approach the concept of “headedness” from its margins. Thus, central questions of the volume relate to the nature of heads and the distinction between headed and non-headed structures, to the process of gaining and losing head status, and to the thought-provoking question as to whether grammar theory could do without heads at all. The contributions in this volume provide new empirical findings bearing on phenomena that challenge the conception of grammatical heads and/or discuss the notion of head/headedness and its consequences for grammatical theory in a more abstract way. The collected papers view the topic from diverse theoretical perspectives (among others HPSG, Generative Syntax, Optimality Theory) and different empirical angles, covering typological and corpus-linguistic accounts, with a focus on data from German.View less