News about faculty and students’ publications.

Jason Shaw publishes in Language

Jason Shaw co-authored a paper published in Language. The paper, entitled “Phonological contrast and phonetic variation: The case of velars in Iwaidja”, presents a field-based ultrasound and acoustic study of Iwaidja, an endanged Australian Aboriginal language. This study reveals how lenition that is both phonetically gradient and variable across speakers and words can give the illusion of a contextually restricted phonemic contrast.

Jason Shaw published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Jason Shaw co-authored a paper in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America entitled “Effects of vowel coproduction on the timecourse of tone recognition”. The paper uses eye-tracking to assess whether vowel quality influences the perception of lexical tone in Mandarin Chinese. Although vowels and tones had been thought to be largely independent, recent work shows that tones have a small but consistent effect on the production of vowels (Shaw et al. 2016). This paper shows the perceptual relevance of that variation.

Claire Bowern and former students publish paper on Pama-Nyungan kinship

Former Pama-Nyungan lab member Catherine Sheard (lead author), department PhD alum Rikker Dockum, Claire Bowern, and Bristol Anthropology Professor Fiona Jordan, recently published a paper in the journal Evolutionary Human Sciences using phylogenetic methods to study the ways that different kinship systems change across the Pama-Nyungan family.

Martín Fuchs and María Piñango publish a book chapter in Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Recent PhD graduate Martín Fuchs, and professor María Piñango published a chapter, together with Ashwini Deo (The Ohio State University), in the latest volume of John Benjamins’ Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics series “Hispanic Linguistics: current issues and new directions”.

Larry Horn and Martín Fuchs publish chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Negation

Professor Emeritus Larry Horn published two chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Negation (link to online version). In “Negation and Opposition: Contradiction and contrariety in logic and language”, he addresses the complications that arise from equating Aristotle’s semantic category of contradictory opposition with the syntactic category of sentence (vs. constituent) negation.

Matt Tyler and Jim Wood publish in Linguistic Variation

Matthew Tyler and Jim Wood have published an article in the most recent issue of Linguistic Variation. The article is entitled “Microvariation in the ‘have yet to’ construction”, and reports on results from the research of the Yale Grammatical Diversity project. The ‘have yet to’ construction refers to sentences like ‘I have yet to visit my grandmother’, meaning ‘I have not visited my grandmother yet’.

Veneeta Dayal publishes in NLLT

Veneeta Dayal has published a paper in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. The paper, which is entitled “Polar question particles: Hindi-Urdu kya:“ (link to paper), represents joint work with Rajesh Bhatt (UMass Amherst). After drawing a distinction between different kinds of question particles, the paper focuses on the properties of the so-called polar question particles, and describe and analyze the Hindi-Urdu particle kya: as an example of this category.

Luke Lindemann publishes paper in Journal of Linguistic Geography

Recent alumnus Luke Lindemann has published a paper entitled “When Wurst comes to Wurscht: Variation and koiné formation in Texas German.” Luke’s paper was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Linguistic Geography. It discusses dialect emergence and leveling, and focuses on the variation between [s] and [ʃ] (sh) sounds in certain contexts in Texas German.

Veneeta Dayal has a chapter on specific indefinites

Veneeta Dayal has published a chapter entitled “Singleton Indefinites and the Privacy Principle: Certain Puzzles” in the 2019 book “The Semantics of Plurals, Focus, Degrees, and Times: Essays in Honor of Roger Schwarzschild” (D. Altshuler and J. Rett eds., Springer). The chapter discusses definiteness and specificity by examining bare nominals in multiple languages, as well as markers of specificity such as the word certain in a certain puzzle.

Rikker Dockum and Claire Bowern publish paper in Language Documentation and Description

Rikker Dockum and Claire Bowern have a new paper in the open access journal Language Documentation and Description, entitled “Swadesh lists are not long enough: Drawing phonological generalizations from limited data.” They look at the amount of data (e.g. number of words in a wordlist) required to accurately recover phonological inventory distributional generalizations and show that the typical 100-word or 200-word Swadesh lists frequently used by linguists are not usually sufficient.

Matt Tyler publishes paper in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

The most recent issue of Natural Language & Linguistic Theory includes an in-depth article on Choctaw by PhD candidate Matthew Tyler. The paper is entitled “Absolutive Promotion and the Condition on Clitic Hosts in Choctaw.” This paper originated as his second Qualifying Paper, and has been extensively developed and revised since then, in part in connection with his dissertation work,  which draws on original fieldwork he has been conducting in Mississippi on Choctaw.

Matt Tyler publishes paper on Choctaw in Studia Linguistica

The most recent issue of Studia Linguistica includes an article by PhD candidate Matthew Tyler. The paper is entitled “Choctaw as a Window into the Clitic/Agreement Split”. In this paper he draws on original fieldwork he has been conducting in Mississippi on Choctaw in connection with his dissertation work. He develops a series of tests, some specific to Choctaw, to argue that most “agreement” morphemes on the Choctaw verb are really clitics (essentially pronouns like I/you/we/etc. that are attached to the verb).

Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir publishes paper in Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax

The most recent volume of Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax has published a paper by PhD student Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir, entitled “Syntax and Discourse - Case(s) of V3 orders in Icelandic with temporal adjuncts.” This paper discusses the results of some research she has been conducting as part of her PhD coursework (and was also recently presented at the 34th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop in Konstanz).

Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir contributes chapter to a book on diachronic stability

Graduate student Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir and her collaborator Thórhallur Eythórsson have contributed a chapter in the recent book The Determinants of Diachronic Stability, on stability and change in the history of Icelandic weather verbs. The paper was originally presented at the pre-conference workshop of DiGS 18 (19th Diachronic Generative Syntax conference) in Ghent, 2016. The abstract for this chapter is given below:

Martín Fuchs and María Piñango publish paper on the cognitive forces underpinning grammaticalization paths

PhD candidate Martín Fuchs and Professor María Piñango recently published a paper in the proceedings of the last Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Their paper provides an account of the synchronic variation between the use of the Simple Present marker and the Present Progressive marker in the expression of the habitual reading in Modern Spanish.

Pama-Nyungan lab members publish paper on forced alignment

Members of the Pama-Nyungan lab recently published a write-up of their results on forced alignment algorithms. Their paper on “A Robin Hood approach to forced alignment: English-trained algorithms and their use on Australian languages” was recently published in the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. They show that for some purposes, English-trained models can be used without crucial loss of accuracy.

Claire Bowern publishes paper on linguistic fieldwork

2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of the article by Nikolaus Himmelmann, which introduced the distinction between “language documentation” and “language description” (or analysis). In this Open Access special publication in the journal Language Documentation and Conservation, linguists reflect on the changes to the field, to fieldwork practices, and to the state of language records and endangerment across the world.

Sarah Babinski and Claire Bowern publish paper in Linguistics Vanguard

Graduate Student Sarah Babinski and Professor Claire Bowern recently published a paper on mergers and contextual probability in sound change in the journal Linguistics Vanguard. The journal special issue – on predictability in shaping sound patterns in human language – was co-edited by linguistics department faculty member Jason Shaw and Shigeto Kawahara.

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