Seven Yale linguists presented six posters and two invited talks, highlighting their own research as well as projects from CLAY.
News about faculty and students’ publications.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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:
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.
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.
Prof. Raffaella Zanuttini and her co-authors Paul Portner (Georgetown) and Miok Pak (GWU) have a paper in the most recent issue of Language, “The Speaker-Addressee relation at the syntax-semantics interface”.
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.
Graduate student Samuel Andersson has published a paper in Glossa titled “(*)ABA in Germanic verbs”.
Ph.D. candidate Matthew Tyler has recently published two journal articles concerning his work on clitics in Choctaw (Muskogean). One, published in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, is titled “Absolutive Promotion and the Condition on Clitic Hosts in Choctaw”; this article proposes a morphosyntactic analysis of Choctaw clitics.
Jason has published an article in the Association for Laboratory Phonology’s journal and presented a talk at its annual meeting.
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.
The translations make available some of the earliest writings on the theory of word formation.
Based on field research and a translation of the Bible, Joshua’s paper investigates the difference between the first-person pronouns ai and mi.
Chris Geissler and Kevin Zhang joined nine collaborators from Yale and other institutions to study a gene that may influence the way we perceive consonants.
The paper investigates the effect of predictability on vowel duration in Japanese.
The article investigates the articulation of devoiced /u/ in Japanese.
The article reflects on Larry’s career by recounting stories of the words he has coined.
Results on TAG parsing and finite-state Optimality Theory were presented at TAG+, FSMNLP, and EMNLP.
Assistant Professor Jim Wood published a paper in the journal Syntax and co-authored a chapter in the book Syntactic Variation in Insular Scandinavian.
Two papers by Assistant Professor Jim Wood appear in the latest edition of Linguistic Inquiry.