Matt Tyler and Rikker Dockum present at BLS 43

February 3, 2017

This weekend, PhD student Matt Tyler and PhD candidate Rikker Dockum are giving talks at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society.

Matt’s talk is titled “In Choctaw, everyone’s a clitic.” Here is the abstract:

Choctaw has verbal morphology that could plausibly be analyzed as agreement or clitic doubling. I argue that all the morphemes in question are clitics, on the basis of two syntactic tests rooted in the notion that clitics should behave like pronominal arguments in A-positions. Firstly, each of the putative clitics participates in an alternation that resembles Romance clitic climbing. Secondly, the presence vs. absence, and the location, of the clitic affects the availability of the preverb ‘oklah’, which associates with plural arguments. Specifically, I argue that ‘oklah’ must be c-commanded by a plural argument, which may be a clitic.

Rikker’s talk is titled “Prosodic context in computational modeling of tone: citation tones vs. running speech.” Here is the abstract:

This paper examines how contextual variables can explain the significant gap in performance for unsupervised modeling of tones in Tai Khamti [ISO 639-3: kht] spoken in Myanmar. Two corpora were extracted from citation tones and tones in running speech in order to assess the utility and limitations of these methods. Taking native judgments as ground truth, current results show high precision on citation tones, between 0.93 and 1.0, in three of the four expected tonal categories, as well as recall 0.79-0.86 in all four. Tones in sentential contexts showed precision just 0.28-0.62, with recall between 0.21 and 0.63.

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