Veneeta Dayal will give a colloquium talk on "Puzzles from the Interrogative Left Periphery" at CUNY Graduate Center on March 11, 2021

The talk presents several inter-related puzzles:
Puzzle 1: Why does declarative syntax plus rising intonation lead to a biased question in some languages (English) but is ambiguous between a neutral and a biased interpretation in others (Hindi-Urdu)?
Puzzle 2: Why can polar questions be mono-clausal as matrix questions in every(?) language but not in at least some embedded positions in some languages (Hindi-Urdu)?

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.

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