Stavros Skopeteas

Stavros Skopeteas
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen | GAUG · Sprachwissenschaftliches Seminar

PhD

About

53
Publications
11,368
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509
Citations
Citations since 2016
9 Research Items
269 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - present
Bielefeld University
September 2003 - March 2009
Universität Potsdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (53)
Article
Full-text available
Linguistic variation in space reflects patterns of social interaction. Gravity models have been successfully used to capture the role of urban centers in the dissemination of innovations in the speech community along with the diffusion of variants in space. Crucially, the effects of the factors of a gravity model (distance and population size) depe...
Article
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A challenging issue of cross-linguistic variation is that the same syntactic construction may appear in different arrays of contexts depending on language. For instance, cleft constructions appear with contrastive focus in English, but in a larger array of contexts in French. A part of the cross-linguistic variation may be due to prosodic differenc...
Article
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Languages differ in whether or not they allow discontinuous noun phrases. If they do, they further vary in the ways the nominal projections interact with the available syntactic operations. Yucatec Maya has two left-peripheral configurations that differ syntactically: a preverbal position for foci or wh-elements that is filled in by movement, and t...
Article
Full-text available
Thematic-role assignment is influenced by several classes of cues during sentence comprehension, ranging from morphological exponents of syntactic relation such as case and agreement to probabilistic cues like prosody. The effect of these cues cross-linguistically varies, presumably reflecting their language-specific robustness in signaling themati...
Article
This article outlines the strategies for expressing focus in Northern Amis (Formosan). Three types of focus constructions are examined: cleft constructions, focus markers and emphatic lengthening. Focus by clefting is subject to the well-known nominative-only constraint on extraction and relativization found in Formosan and Philippine type language...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter deals with the prosodic and syntactic reflexes of information structure in Modern Greek. The relevant properties of this language are: (a) word order flexibility reflecting the information structural domains; (b) flexibility in the placement of the nuclear stress depending on the focus domain; and (c) clitic doubling of DP arguments th...
Article
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Urum people identify themselves as Turkish-speaking Pontic Greeks who left Anatolia at the beginning of the 19th century. A major group emigrated to the highlands of K’vemo K’art’li, where they still live today. They conserved the variety of Turkish that their ancestors were speaking in the time before emigration, enriched by influences from the la...
Article
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An important challenge in the study of focus constructions is teasing out the properties of the layers of linguistic structure that are involved, in particular identifying which interpretational properties are associated with the syntactic operation at issue, which properties arise through inferential processes, and which properties can be deduced...
Article
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It has been claimed – at least for some languages – that focus is phonologically implemented through prosodic prominence. This article presents an account of the prosodic realization of Georgian utterances that shows that focus does not have a 1-to-1 relationship with prosodic prominence. Georgian displays a number of prosodic events reflecting pro...
Article
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This article discusses the pros and contras of investigating hypotheses about the mapping of prosodic phrases to syntactic structures in unscripted speech data. This data is known to contain immense variability due to uncontrolled factors related to spontaneous speech production, such as segmental effects, intra-speaker variation, etc. Nevertheless...
Chapter
Griechisch (elini'ka) gehört zu den indoeuropäischen Sprachen, ist aber mit keiner der anderen indoeuropäischen Sprachen enger verwandt. Es wird dem „Balkansprachbund“ zugerechnet, einer Sprachgruppe, die einige gemeinsame sprachliche Merkmale herausgebildet hat und zu der neben Griechisch verschiedene südslawische Sprachen, Rumänisch und Albanisch...
Article
That speakers take turns in interaction is a fundamental fact across languages and speaker communities. How this taking of turns is organised is less clearly established. We have looked at interactions recorded in the field using the same task, in a set of three genetically and regionally diverse languages: Georgian, Cabécar, and Fongbe. As in prev...
Chapter
Information structure, or the way the information in a sentence is 'divided' into categories such as topic, focus, comment, background, and old versus new information, is one of the most widely debated topics in linguistics. This volume incorporates exciting work on the relationship between syntax and information structure. The contributors are uni...
Article
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Constituents in the left periphery are often assumed to bear information structural functions such as topic and focus. Yucatec Maya provides the empirical basis for a challenging case study in this respect, since it provides a distinction between a sentence-initial position that is characterized by a series of enclitics and is labeled 'topic positi...
Article
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The claim that focus evokes a set of alternatives is a central issue in several accounts of the effects of focus on interpretation. This article presents two empirical studies that examine whether this property of focus is independent of contextual conditions. The syntactic operation at issue is object-fronting in German, Spanish, Greek, and Hungar...
Article
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Classical Latin is a free word order language, i.e., the order of the constituents is determined by information structure rather than by syntactic rules. This article presents a corpus study on the word order of locative constructions and shows that the choice between a Theme-first and a Locative-first order is influenced by the discourse status of...
Article
This article presents a cross-linguistic study of semi-spontaneous data obtained from an experiment conducted uniformly for six languages. It examines how native speakers communicate the changing spatial layouts of toy animals. The analysis of the data focuses on the universal preference for expressing a given constituent before a new one. In terms...
Article
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Nuclear accents have two interesting properties. First, they have a projective property, i.e., they may refer to a focus domain that encompasses a higher syntactic projection. Second, at least for some languages, nuclear accents may have an interpretational property, i.e., they may have alternative realizations that reveal particular interpretation...
Article
It has been argued that the use of inverse voice in languages with pragmatic inversion depends on the discourse status of the referents: this voice occurs when the patient outranks the agent in topicality. In our article, we present empirical evidence from Teribe, a Chibchan language of Panama and Costa Rica and we examine the interaction between i...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the impact of contrastive focus in Georgian syntax. In a semi-naturalistic production study, we elicited spontaneous answers to questions which have shown that contexts involving contrastive focus induce placement of the focused constituent at the immediately preverbal position more frequently than other contexts. Based on this...
Article
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1. Word order and givenness 1 Clark & Clark (1977) and Clark & Haviland (1977) have proposed that constituent order is influenced by a principle requiring that given information precede new information in a sentence (GfN-principle) (see also Hörnig and Weskott, this volume). The importance of this principle for linearization in the world's language...
Chapter
The preference for given information to precede new has already been identified in the earliest studies on information structure within the framework of the Prague School linguistics. In chapter 12 'Effects of givenness and constraints on free word order', Stavros Skopeteas and Gisbert Fanselow present production data from ten different languages s...
Article
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This article deals with the syntactic and pragmatic properties of left dislocated constituents in Yucatec Maya. It has been argued that these constituents are topics, which implies that a particular structural configuration, namely left dislocation displays a 1:1 correspondence to a particular discourse function. We present evidence that the discou...
Article
Georgian is famous for its word order flexibility: all permutations of constituent order are possible and the choice among them is primarily determined by information structure. In this paper, we show that word order is not the only means to encode information structure in this language, but it is used in combination with sentence prosody. After a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper sheds light on the internal structure and semantic properties of the <N1, N2> phrasal compounds in Modern Greek. The crucial question is whether phrasal compounds form transparent syntactic structures or show symptoms of lexicalization. In order to check the empirical evidence, we conducted a speech production experiment and an experimen...
Article
Full-text available
The relation between the locatum and the relatum of a spatial expression is asymmetric in two respects. The first asymmetry concerns the contextual properties of the two entities: it is assumed that the location of the locatum is less likely than the location of the relatum to be part of the common ground. The second asymmetry pertains to inherent...
Article
The guidelines for semantics comprise a number of layers related to quantificational structures as well as some crucial semantic properties of NPs with respect to information structure: definiteness, countability, and animacy.
Article
The guidelines for syntactic annotation contain the layers that are especially relevant for queries related to the interaction of information structure with syntax. The layers of this level are constituent structure, grammatical functions, and semantic roles.
Article
The guidelines for Information Structure include instructions for the annotation of Information Status (or ‘givenness’), Topic, and Focus, building upon a basic syntactic annotation of nominal phrases and sentences. A procedure for the annotation of these features is proposed.
Article
The annotation guidelines introduced in this chapter present an attempt to create a unique infrastructure for the encoding of data from very different languages. The ultimate target of these annotations is to allow for data retrieval for the study of information structure, and since information structure interacts with all levels of grammar, the pr...
Article
The guidelines for morphological annotation contain the layers that are necessary for understanding the structure of the words in the object language: morphological segmentation, glossing, and annotation of part-of-speech.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to outline the means for encoding information structure in Yucatec Maya. Yucatec Maya is a tone language, displaying a three-fold opposition in the tonal realization of syllables. From the morpho-syntactic point of view, the grammar of Yucatec Maya contains morphological (topic affixes, morphological marking of out-of-focus...
Article
While motion verbs in some languages display selectional restrictions for their spatial complements, motion verbs in other languages freely combine with any type of spatial complement. In the course of Greek history, two inter-related typological transitions take place: In Classical Greek, selectional restrictions emerge in the subcategorization fr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is about the tonal realization of contrastive focus in Yucatec Maya. Examining sentences with in situ focused adjectives (postverbally) we observe neither durational dif- ferences as compared to non-contrastive sentences nor any differences in F0 except for a higher non- contrastive high tone. Yucatec Maya, being a tone language, seems t...
Article
Full-text available
1. A typological questionnaire on information structure In this paper we present the results of a cross-linguistic production study bearing on the answers to single and double wh-questions, called 'single answers' and 'pairing answers' in the following. This study is part of a large experimental set-up designed to create a cross-linguistic spoken d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
in collaboration with project D2 "Typology of Information Structure") 1. Object language Modern Greek is spoken by a population of 11 million speakers in Greece and Cyprus, as well as by smaller communities in further 35 countries. Standard Modern Greek is based on the southern varieties of Greek (spoken in Peloponnese and on the islands of the Ion...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research on the tone system of Yucatec Maya provides contradictory accounts which this paper intends to do away with, disentangling tonal and intonational effects. The first part presents the mere realisation of lexical high and low tones, the only tonal distinction we identify for Yucatec Maya. Second, we claim that in Yucatec Maya no int...
Article
Full-text available
Design of the questionnaire In the first part of the talk, we will present the questionnaire (QUIS) we have elaborated for the query of linguistic correlates of information structure, in the framework of project D2 1 of the SFB 632 in Potsdam. The questionnaire leans on a rich tradition of systematic queries on typological and dialectal differences...
Article
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Contents: Chapter 1. Introduction 1 Information Structure 2 Grammatical Correlates of Information Structure 3 Structure of the Questionnaire 4 Experimental Tasks 5 Technicalities 6 Archiving 7 Acknowledgments Chapter 2. General Questions 1 General Information 2 Phonology 3 Morphology and Syntax Chapter 3. Experimental tasks 1 Changes (Given/New in...
Conference Paper
The present paper presents the structure of a cross-linguistic database of production data. The database contains annotated texts collected from a sample of fifteen different languages by means of identical data gathering methods, which are designed to enable studies on typology and universals of information structure. The special property of this...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents experimental data on postverbal argument order in Yucatec Maya. Yucatec Maya is a verb initial language which according to previous analyses displays verb-agent-patient as its canonical order. The data presented in this paper were obtained in an experiment on interpreting ambiguous sentences. The experiment evaluated hypotheses...
Chapter
Full-text available
The morphological and syntactic facts from Georgian create a unique puzzle for the study of sentence processing. The word order is characterized by considerable freedom and case marking is not uni-directionally associated with θ-roles. This article presents a grammatical account of Georgian case marking and a study on incremental sentences processi...
Article
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The underdetermination of theory by empirical data is an inherent property of scientific research, also beyond the study of language. For instance, it was widely held at the time of Copernicus that his theory and Ptolemaic theory do not necessarily make different predictions concerning the available astronomical data at that time (see Newton-Smith...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the prosodic correlates of focus in Georgian declarative sentences, based on speech production data. Georgian is an intonation language with flexible word order, and it is sensitive to information structure. It is shown in the paper that focus has an impact on duration but does not systematically change the tonal realization o...

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Projects (2)
Project
Glottothèque at: https://spw.uni-goettingen.de/projects/aig/ introduces to the Ancient Indo-European grammars: experts on Early Vedic, Tocharian, Hittite, Old Albanian, Ancient Greek, Early Latin, Classical Armenian, Gothic, Early Latin, Old Lithuanian, Old Irish, Old Church Slavonic offer courses on phonology, morphology and syntax.