News about faculty and students’ publications.
Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir published a paper entitled, “’Haf góðan dag’ Um uppkomu nýrrar kveðju út frá hugmyndum um talgjörðir” [‘Have a nice day’ The emergence of a new leave-taking term in Icelandic in the light of Speech Act Theory] in Íslenskt mál og almenn málfræði 41.-42. The paper is on the leave-taking term Hafðu góðan dag (‘Have a nice day (ACC)’), which has become prominent in Modern Icelandic but has been prescriptively deemed “improper Icelandic” due to its being influenced by English Have
Claire Bowern is an author, headed by Jayden Macklin-Cordes and Erich Round (Ling PhD 2009) of a new study on phylogenetic signal in phonotactics. The paper uses data from Pama-Nyungan (Australian) languages to track the extent to which phoneme inventory characteristics (phoneme presence/absence, unigram and bigram frequency) show phylogenetic signal. This is relevant for claims that Australian languages do not show sound change. The paper is open access and supplementary materials are available.
Jason Shaw co-authored a paper with Kevin Tang, former Yale post-doc, in Cognition. The paper entitled, “Prosody leaks into the memories of words”, demonstrates how the prosodic context in which a word is typically produced can have long-term influences on how it is produced in other contexts.
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.
Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir has published a paper on some work she has done here. The paper appears in a special issue of Nordlyd that features papers from the 34th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop (CGSW 34) that was held at the University of Konstanz in 2019.
Veneeta Dayal published a paper on “Yoruba bare nominals from a neo-Carlsonian perspective” in Urua et al (eds) African Languages in Time and Space, Zenith Books Ltd, Nigeria 2020.
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.
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.
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 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.
Veneeta Dayal has published in the latest issue of the Annual Review of Linguistics. The paper, which is joint work with Yağmur Sağ at Rutgers University, discusses the syntax and semantics of bare nouns and determiners. The abstract for the paper is available on the Annual Review of Linguistics website.
Jason Shaw published a paper with Weirong Chen of Haskins Laboratories in the Language Sciences section of Frontiers in Psychology. The paper, entitled “Spatially Conditioned Speech Timing: Evidence and Implications”, is part of the Frontiers research topic “Models and Theories of Speech Production”.
Martín Fuchs and Josh Phillips presented their research at FoDS IV (Formal Diachronic Semantics IV) in Columbus, Ohio, a conference organized by former Yale faculty member Ashwini Deo. On Friday, November 15th, Josh gave a talk entitled “Negation, reality status & the Yolnu verbal paradigm: towards a formal account of the porousness of tense and modality”.
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 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.
Seven Yale linguists presented six posters and two invited talks, highlighting their own research as well as projects from CLAY.
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.