Faculty

Claire Bowern publishes in Diachronica

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 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.

Claire Bowern presents at American Philosophical Society

Claire Bowern presented work at the American Philosophical Society’s 2020 Native American Scholars Initiative conference: Relationships, Reciprocity, and Responsibilities: Indigenous Studies in Archives and Beyond. Co-presenting with Australian colleagues George Hayden, Denise Smith-Ali and Sue Hanson, they discussed the Yale grammar bootcamps and ways of making long-distance collaborations work to augment community-based local language reclamation efforts.

Several Yale linguists present at AMP 2020

Several phonologists are presenting at the Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP) 2020.

Jason Shaw is presenting a paper co-authored with Sejin Oh (Yale-affiliated, at Haskins), Alexei Kochetov & Karthik Durvasula: “Distinguishing complex segments from consonant clusters using gestural coordination

There are also three posters:

Sarah Babinski: “Intrinsic f0 and sound change: Evidence from Australian languages”,

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.

Language and computation article collection with Maria Piñango

A new article collection has been launched in Frontiers, co-edited by Maria Piñango, Anastasia Smirnova, Petra Schumacher (‘04) and Ray Jackendoff. This article collection is for high-level, data-grounded work in linguistics seeking to bridge linguistic, cognitive and computational approaches to linguistic structure and the architecture that supports it.

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.

Natalie Weber presented at the Canadian Linguistic Association annual meeting

Natalie Weber presented a paper titled “The case for NonInitiality” at the annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, which was virtual this year. A recording of the talk will be available for a limited time on the conference website. The handouts or slides for most other talks are also publicly available, so check them out!

Claire Bowern participates in panel on fieldwork

Claire Bowern was a panelist recently discussing remote fieldwork, community support, and ethics, as part of the University of Melbourne’s “Linguistics in the Pub” series. Approximately 100 participants from all over the world got together to listen to reflections about Covid-19 based changes to field practices, what linguists can do to most effectively support the communities they work with, and the additional ethical challenges that arise when working remotely. The panelists discussed a range of field situations.

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”.

Claire Bowern talks language change on morphology podcast

Linguistics faculty member Claire Bowern recently appeared on the linguistics podcast “Distributed Morphs.” The podcast is aimed at linguistics undergraduate and graduate students and discusses different aspects of morphology. Claire talked about morphology and language change, along with rapid (and not so rapid) change in the verb morphology of Bardi, an Indigenous Australian language from northern Australia. 

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.

Larry to present at two workshops in Germany

During the week of the March 2 Open House, Larry will be in Germany participating as an invited speaker at two workshops related to pragmatics. The first is a workshop (“Arbeitsgruppe”) on diversity in pragmatic inferences that’s part of the DGfS (the annual conference of the German version of the LSA) meeting in Hamburg. The second is a workshop at ZAS in Berlin on degree expressions and polarity.

Linguists collaborate with the Yale Latino Networking Group

The Yale Latino Networking Group organized a panel to discuss why speaking a language other than English at work can engender negative reactions (poster for the event). Claire Bowern and Raffaella Zanuttini were part of the panel and offered the linguists’ perspective on the issue. The event generated a fruitful exchange of ideas and provided the opportunity to share experiences and discuss how to react to negative attitudes toward speaking languages other than English.  

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’.

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