Linguistics

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Online ISSN: 1613-396X
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Article
Warao sentences as well as noun phrases are typologically examined. Based on data gathered in northeastern Venezuela in summer 1981, the author claims that Warao is an OSV language. This syntactic order is found in major sentence types such as transitive, transitive plus indirect object, transitive plus oblique object, reflextive, quotative, etc.The author also discusses the ‘exclusively SOV order’ exhibited by stative sentences in the language.Further, variation from the OSV order, either of syntactic or stylistic nature, is reviewed. The author points out that SUBJECT FRONTING is a major device for questioning and highlighting in Warao; therefore, SOV order in sentences other than statives are considered ‘marked’. Evidence in support of the author's claim about the markedness of SOV order (in sentences other than statives) is presented.Also, the phenomenon of ‘staging’ (Grimes (1975)) associated with ‘focusing’, which is very common in the language, is explained and exemplified.Evidence in favor of OSV order and against SOV order (Osborn (1962)) is offered. This is a particularly important issue from a typological perspective because in recent classifications of world languages Warao appears erroneously listed as an SOV language given Osborn's data.Finally, observations about the order of adjective and noun within the noun phrase, genitive noun and head noun in possessive phrases and relative position of topic and standard of comparison in comparative constructions are made.In summary, Warao brings support to Derbyshire's (1977) claim on the basis of Hixkaryana that Greenberg's Universal 1 (object initial linearization in basic order is not permitted) must be abandoned.
 
Chapter
This article presents an account of temporal understanding in Mandarin Chinese. Aspectual, lexical, and adverbial information and pragmatic principles all contribute to the interpretation of temporal location. Aspectual viewpoint and situation type give information in the absence of explicit temporal forms. The main, default pattern of interpretation is deictic. The pragmatic principles are the bounded event constraint, the simplicity principle of interpretation, and the temporal schema principle. Lexical and adverbial information can lead to non-default interpretations. Two other temporal patterns — narrative dynamism and anaphora — appear in text passages that realize the “discourse modes” of narrative and description. We state the semantic meaning of grammatical forms and explain the deictic pattern. Three times are needed to explain temporal interpretation, following Reichenbach (1947). Mandarin forms code the relation between a designated perspective time, or reference time, and situation time. These are typically marked redundantly in written texts. Relation to speech time is not coded linguistically, but conveyed by context.
 
Article
This paper investigates the claim that the native grammar of the learners is the initial state of second language acquisition, as far as the acquisition of Universal Grammar parameters is concerned. Two opposing views on L1 transfer are discussed: the first hypothesis maintains that learners start out with the L1 parameter value (Schwartz and Sprouse's 1994, 1996 Full Transfer/Full Access Hypothesis) while the second hypothesis argues that L1 transfer plays a minimal role in the acquisition process (Epstein, Flynn and Martohardjono 1996's No Transfer/Full Access Hypothesis). The parameter under investigation is the Aspect Parameter, postulating two different ways in which languages mark telicity in the verbal phrase. In order to distinguish between the two views of transfer with experimental means, the study examines the competence of two groups of low intermediate learners of English, native speakers of Spanish, a language sharing the same parameter value with English, and...
 
Article
Against the background of recent typological studies postulating crosslinguistically valid hierarchies for the modifiers within the DP (cf. Scott 1998, 2002a, 2002b; Chao et al. 2001; Laenzlinger 2000), the present article argues that both types of modification available in Mandarin Chinese have to be taken into account: that where the subordinator de intervenes between the adjective and the head noun - 'A de N' - and the case of simple juxtaposition of the adjective and the noun 'A N. ' Extensive evidence is provided against the widespread idea that attributive adjectives in Mandarin Chinese can be analyzed as relative clauses and that 'A N' de-less modification structures are compounds (cf. Sproat and Shih 1988, 1991; Duanmu 1998; Simpson 2001). As a consequence, adjectives cannot be conflated with intransitive stative verbs, but have to be recognized as a separate part of speech in Mandarin Chinese.
 
Article
This is the first of a series of papers that, taken together, will give an essentially complete account of inflection in standard German. In this paper we present that part of the account that covers adjectives, determiners and third person pronouns, one that captures all the regularities, subregularities and irregularities that are involved. The forms are defined in terms of their syllable structure, as proposed in Cahill (1990a, 1990b, 1993). The morphological treatment is based on ideas originally set out by Zwicky (1985). The analysis is formulated as a DATR theory -- a set of lexical axioms -- from which all the relevant facts follow as theorems. DATR is a widely used formal lexical knowledge representation language developed for use in computational linguistics. 1 Introduction Inflectional paradigms in a given language typically resemble each other in all but a few characteristics. What is needed is a natural way of saying "this paradigm is just like this paradigm except for thi...
 
Article
In this article we (re) consider how animacy, a conceptual property of referents, affects word order. It is commonly assumed that animacy effects arise during conceptualization, taken broadly to include processing at a mental model level. The order in which referents are conceptualized can directly affect word order. That is, animates tend to surface in the initial position in sentences, regardless whether or not it is a subject position. There is, however, some indication that animacy and thematic role interact under certain task conditions (e.g. Ferreira 1994). We suggest that such interactions occur when speakers change the time course of referent processing to reduce the processing workload during the upcoming utterance. When they compact preutterance planning sufficiently, for example, by overlapping processing of referents, they can cram in more processing with minimal lengthening of planning time. But this overlap facilitates an interaction of referent information that does not occur with more sequential planning. We present data from three German picture description experiments that, taken together, support this account. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
In this paper, a formal semantic account of the simple past tense in text is offered. The contributions to the interpretation of text made by the text's syntactic structure, semantic content, aspectual classification, world knowledge of the causal relations between events, and Gricean pragmatic maxims are all represented within a single logical framework. This feature of the theory gives rise to solutions to several puzzles concerning the relation between the descriptive order of events in text and their temporal relations in interpretation. 1 The Problem If John hits Max, causing Max to turn round (to face John), then text (1) reflects this while (2) distorts it: (1) John hit Max. Max turned round. (2) Max turned round. John hit him. At least, (2) distorts it in the `null' context in which I've represented it. So the order in which such clauses appear is crucial. It gives rise to an Ordering Question: given a particular order in which events are described, what are the constrain...
 
Article
Discusses the visual nature of the Mayan language Tzeltal and considers the relationship between visual understanding and language. The use of human body part (HBP) names to describe inanimate objects is examined. Of the 80 primary HBP terms, approximately 20 are used to describe nonhuman objects. The process of applying HBP terms is seen as object segmentation: finding the main axis of the object; determining the directedness of the main axis and applying terms to the 2 ends of the main axis; locating secondary projections and naming them; and naming surface features. Tzeltal HBP descriptions are not metaphorical but are applied to objects simply in terms of their internal geometry. Tzeltal is seen as an object-centered, 3-dimensional system, employing many internal axes and specific shape contours. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
In this paper, I argue that Tohono O'odham secondary stress patterns motivate the MORPHEME-TO-STRESS PRINCIPLE, which requires that morphemes be stressed. The argument comes from the asymmetrical distribution of final secondary stresses. Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) assigns primary stress to the first syllable in content words (Hale 1959, Saxton 1963, Hill and Zepeda 1992, Fitzgerald 1997a). Fieldwork by the author on Tohono O'odham shows that a word-final secondary stress is disallowed in monomorphemic words, but is allowed in polymorphemic words. This descriptive generalization holds regardless of the morphological composition or the derivational history of the word. The proposal made here, the MORPHEME-TOSTRESS PRINCIPLE, is confirmed by the distribution of final secondary stresses in Tohono O'odham. * 0 Introduction. Primary stress in Tohono O'odham regularly falls on the initial syllable of the word 1 , while secondary stress is determined by the morphological complexity...
 
Article
This paper bears on the properties and on the historical derivation of the multifunctional lexical item táa in Saramaccan, an English and Portuguese based Creole of Surinam. Táa fulfills several functions : it may be used as a verb, a complementiser, a quotative marker, and as a marker conveying similarity or manner. Táa is thus a multifunctional lexical item. Its functions parallel in a remarkable way those of the semantically closest substrate languages lexical entries. Furthermore, a review of the early sources reveals that táa was already a multifunctional item in early SA. This constitutes a major drawback for a grammaticalisation account of the relationship between táki and táa. The properties of táa are argued to have been derived through the process of relexification. This process consists in assigning a new label to an existing lexical entry; relexification thus reduces to relabelling. Finally, the parameters of relexification/relabelling are shown to be compatible with a monosemic account of multifunctionality, and to not be compatible with a polysemic account of the phenomenon.
 
The additive elicitation task picture series Add. Picture no. Topic time Topic entity State of affairs Particle
Number of topic-related additive words per groups of speakers Group Speakers Topic-related additive words
Types of topic to which the additive words were applied [TT ] [TE]
Article
The article compares the integration of topic-related additive words at different stages of untutored L2 acquisition. Data stem from an ‘‘additive-elicitation task’’ that was designed in order to capture topic-related additive words in a context that is at the same time controlled for the underlying information structure and nondeviant from other kinds of narrative discourse. We relate the distinction between stressed and nonstressed forms of the German scope particles and adverbials auch ‘also’, noch ‘another’, wieder ‘again’, and immer noch ‘still’ to a uniform, information-structure-based principle: the stressed variants have scope over the topic information of the relevant utterances. It is then the common function of these additive words to express the additive link between the topic of the present utterance and some previous topic for which the same state of affairs is claimed to hold. This phenomenon has often been referred to as ‘‘contrastive topic,’’ but contrary to what this term suggests, these topic elements are by no means deviant from the default in coherent discourse. In the underlying information structure, the validity of some given state of affairs for the present topic must be under discussion. Topic-related additive words then express that the state of affairs indeed applies to this topic, their function therefore coming close to the function of assertion marking. While this functional correspondence goes along with the formal organization of the basic stages of untutored second-language acquisition, its expression brings linguistic constraints into conflict when the acquisition of finiteness pushes learners to reorganize their utterances according to target-language syntax.
 
Article
Some morphologists have proposed the separation of form and meaning in morphology because of the lack of a one-to-one correspondence between them. In this paper it is shown that this position is ill-advised since it impedes a deeper insight into the systematics of the interpretation of complex words. This is demonstrated by a detailed study of one affix, the déverbal suffix -er in Dutch, which creates subject names. The apparent polysemy of this suffix appears to follow from independent, nonlinguistic principles.
 
Article
A tentative classification of internal departments of psycholinguistics is suggested and a list of applied fields is presented. Applied psycholinguistics is not seen here to have a right to scientific independence. (SCC)
 
Article
Typescript. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1952. Vita. Includes bibliography (leaves 166-168) and index.
 
Article
A survey of the current language situation in India from a historical perspective, and an analysis of assumptions concerning language development. It is concluded that present government policies are ambivalent, giving lip-service to narrow definitions of mother tongues while directing resources toward the development of more broadly defined languages. (AMH)
 
Typical productions of /g/ (dash-dot), /k'/ (solid line) and /k h / (dashed) in /a_a/ context. /g/ is produced significantly further back than the other stops. Closure onset (o), burst (+) and velocity peaks (*) are marked. There is no burst for /g/.
Article
In this article we propose that there are two universal properties for phonological stop assibilations, namely (i) assibilations cannot be triggered by /i / unless they are also triggered by /j/, and (ii) voiced stops cannot undergo assibilations unless voiceless ones do. The article presents typological evidence from assibilations in 45 languages supporting both (i) and (ii). It is argued that assibilations are to be captured in the Optimality Theoretic framework by ranking markedness constraints grounded in perception which penalize sequences like [ti] ahead of a faith constraint which militates against the change from /t / to some sibilant sound. The occurring language types predicted by (i) and (ii) will be shown to involve permutations of the rankings between several different markedness constraints and the one faith constraint. The article demonstrates that there exist several logically possible assibilation types which are ruled out because they would involve illicit rankings. 1
 
Article
In this paper it is shown that the behavior of neutral vowels in Hungarian, i.e. vowels that do not undergo vowel harmony, can he readily accounted for in an autosegmental analysis of vowel harmony. This analysis also allows for an insightful account of lexical exceptions to Hungarian vowel harmony (a much debated issue) without making use of absolute neutralization and ad hoc word-internal grammatical boundaries.
 
Article
At least since Georg von der Gabelentz’s (1901) famous passage (cf.Haspelmath 1999: 1051), grammaticalization processes have been con-ceived of as cyclic: a grammatical marker that expresses a certain functiongets reduced, fuses with a content item, and is replaced (‘‘renewed’’) bya new periphrastic construction. This can be illustrated by the history ofthe dative marker from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) to colloquialPortuguese, where we can observe or infer three cycles of this process.Each time, an allative or benefactive adposition becomes a dative marker.In pre-Proto-Indo-European, there must have been a postposition similarto *
 
Article
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics. Thesis. 1971. Ph. D. Bibliography: leaf 40.
 
Overtly marked structural coding constructions for parts of speech (Croft 2001: Table 2.3)
3) 
Article
Much recent work has argued that the major lexical categories can be distinguished in terms of pragmatic functions (e.g., Baker 2003; Bhat 1994; Croft 2001; Hengeveld 1992). Typically, such pragmatic accounts argue that nouns distinguish themselves by referring, verbs distinguish themselves by predicating and adjectives distinguish themselves by modifying. The current article argues that such accounts are prone to two distinct sets of problems. The first set of problems arise from the definitions of the pragmatic functions that are employed in these accounts. Thus, the definitions of predication and modification that feature in such accounts are typically so similar they render attempts to distinguish verbs and adjectives in terms of them vacuous. Moreover, the definitions of all three pragmatic functions are often so vague and general that they apply with equal ease to words of all three major lexical categories. When more specific definitions are given, however, they typically exclude words from their intended category while continuing to include words from other categories. The second set of problems arise from the lack of direct evidence for the pragmatic functions. Such an absence of evidence gives rise to disputes over issues as basic as whether a given lexical category performs a given pragmatic function or not, whether there are two, three or more pragmatic functions and whether pragmatic functions are performed by words, phrases or different units altogether. It is argued that in the absence of direct evidence such basic disputes cannot be satisfactorily resolved. It is concluded that these problems are as serious as those which afflict semantic and morphosyntactic approaches to lexical categories and thus that the prospects for a coherent explanation of lexical categories remain as remote as ever.
 
Article
Takes the view that psycholinguistics must consider the interaction of language and social structure to explain the emergence and choice of alternative linguistic forms, and discusses cases of up- and down-grading of concepts and the change of a morphological rule. These cases are considered linguistic indices of changing social attitudes. (Author/RM)
 
Article
Finiteness is a property of the functional-category system in Dutch. In this article, it will be claimed that in early child Dutch finiteness is not yet part of the children's productive grammatical system. In utterances in which adults would use a finite verb, children regularly produce infinitives. Examples from a corpus of diary data collected from the present author's two children are oppe nek zitte 'on the neck sit' (Jasmijn 1;10), poes bal hebbe 'kitty ball have' (Jasmijn 1;11), papa uitdoen 'daddy outdo' (Andrea 2;0) apie dá zitte 'monkey there sit' (Andrea 2;1). Finiteness, so it is claimed, is a grammatical property of the target language that has to be achieved through processes of acquisition. The acquisition of finiteness is a developmental process. At the initial stage of acquisition, it seems that properties of finiteness are expressed through the use of a few modal operators. These modal operators occur "holistically," that is, they have scope over the topic-predicate structure as a whole. The holistic use of clausal operators is most prominently present with nee 'no' meaning 'I don't want'. As positive alternatives to nee Dutch children make use of elements such as ulle or unne, which are based on the target verb form wil(len) 'want', or mag-ikke 'may I', which serves as an unanalyzed phrase. The holistic use of modal operators expressing "volition" is characteristic of the initial stage of acquisition. Examples are utterances such as nee Cynthia afpakke 'no C snatch away' (Jasmijn 1;9), ulle ik sijfe 'want I write' (Jasmijn 1;9), pop pot nee 'doll broken no' (Andrea 1;10), mag-ikke fomme, ja? 'may-I swing, yes?' (Andrea 2;0). After the "holistic stage," a major development occurs with the acquisition of a closed class of modal phrases, which consists not only of the previously used expressions nee 'no', ulle 'want', mag-ikke 'may-I', but also of the elements kanniet 'cannot', kanwel 'can-indeed', magniet 'may-not', mag(wel) 'may-indeed', hoe(f)niet 'has-to-not', moettie 'has-to', niet 'not', doemaar 'do-please', kommes 'come-just' and doetie 'does-he'. These modal phrases appear to constitute a category of protofunctional elements. It is claimed that they are used to express illocutionary force, that is, "volition": nee, ulle, mag-ikke: "ability": kanniet, kanwel; "possibility": magniet, magwel; "obligation": hoefnie, moettie, niet, doemaar, kommes, and "assertion": niet, doetie. At the relevant stage, utterances basically consist of three structural positions each for entities with particular discourse-functional properties. Topic information occurs in first position, modal phrases expressing illocutionary force occur in second position, and information referring to a particular state of affairs occurs in final position. Examples are dit nee afdoen 'this no off-do' (Jasmijn 1;10), poes il mij vinger happe 'kitty want my finger bite' (Jasmijn 1:11), Jaja mag dop opdoen 'J may lid on-do' (Andrea 2:0), da kanniet zitte 'there cannot sit' (Andrea 2;1). The three constituents whose positioning is motivated by their pragmatic function are syntactically related by adjunction. Since ordering seems to be determined by principles of information structuring, this stage of acquisition is termed the "conceptual-ordering stage." Reinterpretation of the protofunctional category of illocutionary phrases occurs as a result of the acquisition of the auxiliary verbs heb/heeft 'have/has' and ben/is 'am/is'. In the context of lexical past-participle forms, these auxiliaries constitute a category AUX, which has the grammatical function of a head constituent. It is argued that the presence of AUX initiates major developments in the acquisition of the target use of finiteness. Evidence shows that, at the relevant stage, the closed class of modal phrases used to express illocutionary force is reanalyzed in terms of the target-functional category AUX, expressing both aspect and illocutionary force simultaneously. Furthermore, auxiliary verbs cooccur with pronominal elements referring to the external argument. Analysis of these elements as constituents establishes a relation of morphological agreement between the auxiliary verbs heb/heeft 'have, has' or ben/is 'am, is' and the external argument. Since grammaticalization of the illocutionary phrase establishes a relation between elements occurring in topic position and elements referring to a particular state of affairs, this developmental stage is termed the "finite-linking stage.".
 
Article
This article explores how the pragmatic notion of identfiability is encoded in Chinese. It presents a detailed analysis of the distinctive linguistic devices, including lexical, morphological, and position in sentence, which are employed in Chinese to indicate the interpretation of referents in respect of identifiability. Of the major determiners in Chinese, demonstratives are developing uses of a definite article, and yi 'one' + classier has developed uses of an indefinite article, although morphologically and in some cases also functionally they have not yet been fully grammaticalized. What makes Chinese further different from languages like English is the interpretation in this regard of what are called indeterminate lexical encodings, which include bare NPs and cardinality expressions. They by themselves are neutral in respect of the interpretation of identifiability. For indeterminate expressions, there is a strong but seldom absolute correlation between the interpretation of identiability or nonidentfiability and their occurrence in different positions in a sentence. Unlike the cases with several other languages without articles like Czech, Hindi, and Indonesian, the features of definiteness and indefiniteness cannot be obligatorily and uniquely specified for nominal expressions in Chinese. The findings in this article lead to the conclusion that definiteness as a grammatical category defined in the narrow sense has not been fully developed in Chinese.
 
Article
This article presents a psycholinguistically inspired approach to the syntax of clause-level coordination and coordinate ellipsis. It departs from the assumption that coordinations are structurally similar to so-called appropriateness repairs — an important type of self-repairs in spontaneous speech. Coordinate structures and appropriateness repairs can both be viewed as “update” constructions. Updating is defined as a special sentence production mode that efficiently revises or augments existing sentential structure in response to modifications in the speaker's communicative intention. This perspective is shown to offer an empirically satisfactory and theoretically parsimonious account of two prominent types of coordinate ellipsis, in particular “forward conjunction reduction” (FCR) and “gapping” (including “long-distance gapping” and “subgapping”). They are analyzed as different manifestations of “incremental updating” — efficient updating of only part of the existing sentential structure. Based on empirical data from Dutch and German, novel treatments are proposed for both types of clausal coordinate ellipsis.
 
Article
A field study of the color lexicon of Setswana, a Bantu language spoken in Botswana in Southern Africa, was designed to establish what the “basic” terms of Setswana are, in order to further test Berlin and Kay’s (1969) theory of color universals. Our informants were monolingual rural adults, tested in their villages. The study was in two stages; in stage one we elicited color terms using a list procedure and tried to establish their range and focus in color space. The 11 most frequently offered terms that also had unrestricted range of reference (for example, excluding terms only used to describe cattle) were used in the second stage, a color-mapping procedure. A combination of perceptual and linguistic measures converged to suggest that Setswana probably has six basic terms, which may be glossed as ‘white’, ‘black’, ‘red’, ‘grue’ (blue and green), ‘brown’, and ‘yellow’. In addition, there is a rich vocabulary of restricted terms that mainly describe cattle. The basic terms established are consistent with the Berlin and Kay hierarchy, except that there is no suggestion of separate blue and green terms, even though ‘brown’ is definitely present.
 
Hierarchy of verbal categories
Tableau 4 . Retuara: hierarchy violation in a di¤erent subject construction
Article
The present article deals with constraints on transcategorial processes such as nominalization. In particular, it addresses the issue whether one can predict the order in which verbal categories are lost and nominal categories are acquired in nominalization. It is argued that the disruption/acquisition of categories in transcategorial processes is determined by functionally based hierarchies of nominal and verbal categories, as suggested in the functional-typological literature. The hierarchy constraints in turn are shown to arise from the interaction of FUNCFAITH constraints forcing decategorization/recategorization and LEXFAITH hedging these processes. Structural factors such as morpheme order and category cumulation can also interfere with the hierarchy constraints. These structural factors can be derived from conditions on output-output correspondences (OOCs) between the morphological structure of nominalizations with that of finite verbs, on the one hand, and nonderived nouns, on the other. Thus the outcome of nominalization processes is determined by an interaction of the function-based hierarchy constraints and OOC-related structural constraints.
 
Article
Engineering and Applied Sciences Abstract: In the natural-language-processing research community, the usefulness of computer tools for testing linguistic analyses is often taken for granted. Linguists, on the other hand, have generally been unaware of or ambivalent about such devices. We discuss several aspects of computer use that are preeminent in establishing the utility for linguistic research of computer tools and describe several factors that must be considered in designing such computer tools to aid in testing linguistic analyses of grammatical phenomena. A series of design alternatives, some theoretically and some practically motivated, is then based on the resultant criteria. We present one way of pinning down these choices which culminates in a description of a particular grammar formalism for use in computer linguistic tools. The PATR-II formalism this serves to exemplify our general perspective.
 
Article
Report (M.A.)--University of Texas at Austin, 1967. Vita. Bibliography: leaves 39-41.
 
Article
One of the ways in which discourse coheres is by means of repeated reference to entities. Theoretical accounts of referential coherence propose heuristics for the interpretation of referential expressions, which are especially important when there is more than one potential antecedent. One of the most explicit accounts is provided by Centering Theory (Grosz et al. 1995). Using features such as grammatical status, expression type, and the referential relation with sentences still further back in the discourse, it produces a ranking of discourse referents in terms of forward prominence. We present two corpus studies of how these features, in combination with discourse topichood, help to predict referential continuations in actual discourse. In Study 1, we analyzed newspaper fragments in which he is preceded by a sentence presenting two male singular participants. The factors Grammatical Role (being a Subject), Backward Center Status and Discourse Topichood appear to increase the chance that a referent is the intended one for a potentially ambiguous pronoun, while Expression Type (noun or pronoun) makes no difference. In Study 2, the continuations for sentences with two referents differing on the same four factors were compared, assuming that the most prominent referent will reappear in the next sentence. The study reveals that Grammatical Role only affects the form of continuation: subject referents do not reappear more often, but when reappearing they are more often realized as pronouns. Backward Center Status increases the chance of subsequent references to a referent, and also decreases the chances for its competitor of being referred to again. Discourse Topichood has the same double effect. In conclusion, both global and local factors affect referential prominence, but in different ways.
 
Article
This paper focuses on a number of mora-related phenomena, mainly in various German dialects (OHG, Bavarian, Alemannic). It is argued that the rhythmic makeup of these varieties can be described in a satisfactory way only if a mora tier is added to multilayered phonological representations. It is shown that the CV tier of CV phonology is not suited for this purpose. Differences in the way in which the languages and varieties in question compensate on the mora level are analyzed with reference to the traditional principles known as Prokosch's Law and Streitberg's Law.
 
Article
This article discusses the decline of the genitive in Dutch and its relation to current genitive-like constructions in DP, such as the -s-construction, the z'n-construction, and the van-construction. Phonological processes alone cannot be held responsible for the loss of case morphology. An independent theory of hierarchically ordered case explains why cases disappear in a particular order. As the accusative and dative were reduced, this eliminated the very roots of the case system, and language learners were subsequently unable to develop the genitive. The genitive was succeeded by two constructions that are essentially different, namely the van-construction and the -s-construction, A syntactic analysis of each of these constructions is presented and compared to another possessive structure, the z'n-construction. The van-construction arises because a noun, as opposed to a verb, does not allow its functional complement to be unspecified The birth of the prenominal-s-construction is related to the arrival of a determiner system. The last section discusses remnants of morphological genitives in noun phrases. These forms ave acquired at a relatively later stage in life, much like a second language, and are therefore not part of core grammar.
 
Article
This paper analyzes a case of Italian word-formation, in which the semantics of the derived words appears to contain mutually exclusive ambiguities. Italian productively derives verbs of removal from nouns. These verbs have the general semantic form A removes X from Y. However, there are two subtypes that differ in whether the nominal base of the derived verb is taken to be the FIGURE or the GROUND: scremare ‘to skim’; (crema ‘cream’) is a FIGURE-verb, and stanare ‘to make come out of the burrow’ (tana ‘burrow’) is a GROUND-verb. Traditional approaches are at a loss to give a uniform account for the semantics of derivational processes of these two kinds. In this paper, a uniform analysis is proposed. It is based upon the model of lexical semantics known as two-level semantics. Two-level semantics makes a distinction between a layer of meaning which is defined by grammar, and a level of interpretation, which is based upon conceptual knowledge. We propose that the derivation of Italian denominal verbs of removal of both types starts from a single underspecified representation, which is then specified at the conceptual level; depending on the concept type of the base, the denominal verb is either a FIGURE-verb or a GROUND-verb. In general, this paper argues that the two-level approach to semantics can be fruitfully improved by combining it with the notion of underspecification. And on a more general level, it is an example of how language specific semantics may be embedded in cognitive structure.
 
Article
Utilizing the classification of formal relations in causative-inchoative verb pairs developed by Haspelmath (1993), this article examines two further ramifications. First, the 30 verbs in his list are divided into two groups of fifteen, one where crosslinguistically a causative pairing is most likely and the other where the anticausative pairing is most likely. Individual languages are then tested to see whether their verbs conform to this ordering, with overall very positive results. Second, the diachronic stability of languages with predominance of one or other of the individual types within the classification, in particular of the causative and anticausative types, is examined, with some results suggesting stability at least over millennia. Thus, Classical Arabic and Maltese have very similar profiles, even down to individual lexical concepts (even where the two languages have noncognate lexical items). Uralic languages, despite their close proximity to Indo-European languages with predominance of the anticausative type, still show predominance either of the causative type (Finnish, Udmurt), or of the equipollent type (Hungarian), the latter perhaps reflecting a compromise between the putative predominance of the causative type in Proto-Uralic and contact with Indo-European.
 
Article
Most research on the acquisition of verbs has focused on acquiring the syntactic category "verb" and on the verb's argument structure. It is assumed that due to their specific syntactic nature verbs are acquired in a different fashion than nouns, and that due to their specific semantic nature verbs do not simply denote activities or situations, but rather package meaning components in a (language-) specific way. This paper refines the problem of acquiring verbs by paying attention to differences in the internal constituency of the verb lexicon in three closely related West Germanic languages - German, Dutch, and English. It is argued that the verb lexicon is not a uniform class but consists of various semantically or morphologically defined subsets, most notably simplex verbs like cover and complex verbs like uncover or cover up. It is shown that while complex verbs do not form an acquisition problem per se, not all (groups of) verbs are acquired in the same fashion and with the same ease. In particular, differences in the acquisition of particle and prefix verbs are discussed as well as differences in the lexical diversity of the verbal subsets in the three languages under investigation.
 
Article
The focus of this paper is the notion "incorporation" as it has been used and discussed in recent literature on the morphology/syntax interface. We first give a brief survey of the main issues in the theoretical discussion, and we point out that the dichotomy "lexical or syntactic" doesn't seem to do justice to the facts. We then exemplify our claim by a comparative analysis in some detail of incorporation-like phenomena in two unrelated languages: object-verb constructions in Iraqw, a Cushitic language spoken in Tanzania, and so-called "separable noun-verb compounds" in Modern Standard Dutch.
 
Article
Locative expressions encode the spatial relationship between two (or more) entities. In this paper, we focus on locative expressions in signed language, which use the visual-spatial modality for linguistic expression, specifically in Turkish Sign Language ( Türk İşaret Dili, henceforth TİD). We show that TİD uses various strategies in discourse to encode the relation between a Ground entity (i.e., a bigger and/or backgrounded entity) and a Figure entity (i.e., a smaller entity, which is in the focus of attention). Some of these strategies exploit affordances of the visual modality for analogue representation and support evidence for modality-specific effects on locative expressions in sign languages. However, other modality-specific strategies, e.g., the simultaneous expression of Figure and Ground, which have been reported for many other sign languages, occurs only sparsely in TİD. Furthermore, TİD uses categorical as well as analogical structures in locative expressions. On the basis of these findings, we discuss differences and similarities between signed and spoken languages to broaden our understanding of the range of structures used in natural language (i.e., in both the visual-spatial or oral-aural modalities) to encode locative relations. A general linguistic theory of spatial relations, and specifically of locative expressions, must take all structures that might arise in both modalities into account before it can generalize over the human language faculty.
 
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Grammaticalization, the change by which lexical categories become func- tional categories, is overwhelmingly irreversible. Prototypical functional categories never become prototypical lexical categories, and less radical changes against the general directionality of grammaticalization are extremely rare. Although the pervasiveness of grammaticalization has long been known, the question of why this change is irreversible has not been asked until fairly recently. However, no satisfactory explanation has been proposed so far. Irreversibility cannot be attributed to the lack of predict- ability, to the interplay of the motivating factors of economy and clarity, or to a preference for simple structures in language acquisition. I propose an explanation that follows the general structure of Keller's (1994) invisible-hand theory: language change is shown to result from the cumulation of countless individual actions of speakers, which are not intended to change language, but whose side eVect is change in a particular direction. Grammaticalization is a side eVect of the maxim of extravagance, that is, speakers' use of unusually explicit formulations in order to attract attention. As these are adopted more widely in the speech community, they become more frequent and are reduced phonologically. I propose that degrammaticalization is by and large impossible because there is no counteracting maxim of ''anti-extravagance,'' and because speakers have no conscious access to grammaticalized expressions and thus cannot use them in place of less grammaticalized ones. This is thus a usage-based explanation, in which the notion of imperfect language acquisition as the locus of change plays no role.
 
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Reports on an experiment designed to study the role of letter stems in the identification of printed words. The stemmed letters b,d,g,h,l,p and t were used. Results showed that the suppression of the letter's body has more detrimental effects on identification than the suppression of the stem. (Author/RM)
 
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“Radical” templatic phonology is a template-based approach to segmental phonological representation. The central hypothesis is that the segmental phonological structure of words is represented as language-specific phonotactic templates, in the sense used in the developmental literature. Template-based organization of the early lexicon has been identified in children acquiring several different languages. It is the result of a usage-based abstracting or “induction” process based on both babbling practice (phonetic production) and input experience with specific adult phonological patterns. The resulting templates thus constitute patterns that reconcile (or “adapt”) the model provided by target words with the child's own phonetic repertoire of syllables or word shapes — typically extending or building on the forms initially “selected” for first word production, in which adult and child forms show a close match. In adult phonology segment categories — natural classes, or features — are best defined in terms of their occurrence in positions in the templates in individual languages, not as independent universal categories. After reviewing the status of segment categories and their phonetic basis in contemporary phonological theory we present crosslinguistic evidence of pervasive variation in both phonetic realization and phonological distribution patterns, evidence that supports the template construct.
 
Top-cited authors
Shana Poplack
  • University of Ottawa
Elisabet Engdahl
  • University of Gothenburg
David Sankoff
  • University of California, Berkeley
Jen Hay
  • University of Canterbury
Harald Baayen
  • University of Tuebingen