• Clitics, Scrambling and Parsing

      Lewis, William, 1938-; Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2000)
      The purpose of this paper is to devise optimal algorithms for parsing linguistic structures that contain P2 (Wackernagel) clitics. Since many languages that have P2 clitics also allow scrambling, any algorithms for parsing P2 clitics must also contain algorithms for parsing scrambled structures. Most of the energy of this paper, however, will be focused on P2 parsing. Although many languages have P2 clitics. I have focused most of my attention on Native American languages (with some exceptions). There is one major reason for this: languages of the Americas are almost entirely ignored by the computational and parsing literature, which focuses on languages of the Indo-European language family (and almost always on English, at that). By doing so, researchers deprive themselves of data and linguistic structural diversity that can help in devising more widely applicable parsing algorithms. This is a computational paper, the intention of which is to develop parsing procedures. Little attention will be paid to a specific syntactic /morphological theory, nor will much attention be paid to the form of the output. These are concerns that can be addressed in a later stage of parser design. What is an "optimal" parsing algorithm? I shall define the optimality of a given solution by the criteria in (1) below: (1) 1) The optimal solution is one which uses devices and formalisms whose generative capacity is as low as possible on the Chomsky hierarchy. 2) The optimal solution uses as few "rules" or "devices" as possible. Obviously, it will be necessary to strike a balance between these two criteria. For this reason, the issue of optimality may be somewhat lexìbìe, depending on how much weight is given to each criterion. The most optimal solutions might require the power of context -sensitive rules, but these may be used in concert with context -free or even finite-state rules.
    • A Cross-Cultural Look at Child-Stealing Witches

      Bird, Sonya; Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2000)
      One of the important figures in Lummi mythology is Ch'eni, the Giant Woman (Ts'uXaelech) who comes during the night and steals children. When I first read the story of Ch'eni, I was struck by the similarity of this story to the well-known German tale by the Grimm brothers, 'Hansel and Gretel'. In fact, the story of Ch'eni is at first glance remarkably similar to several other children's tales in various cultures across the world. The goal of this paper is to explore the more subtle similarities and differences between the Lummi story and other stories in different cultures, in terms of the content of the discourse and the structure of the discourse used in the texts. We shall see that the Lummi story is in fact quite unique in its combination of elements of discourse content and structure. This makes the apparent similarity between it and other stories from around the world even more striking. Indeed, despite the numerous differences in terms of how the basic theme of the story is developed in Lummi and other cultures, the theme comes across clearly in all of the stories. This leads the reader (or listener) to mistakenly conclude that not only the main theme, but all aspects of the different stories are the same. The structure of the paper is as follows: in section 2, I outline the Lummi story of Ch'eni. In section 3, I discuss the content of this story, comparing it to that of /q'ɬəmáiəs/ in Sooke, Mosquito in Tlingit, Ho'ok in Tohono O'odham, Baba Yaga in Russian, Hansel and Gretel in German, and Yamamba in Japanese.' Finally, in section 4, I compare the discourse structure of the Lummi story to that in the other stories mentioned above.
    • Mohave Language Planning: Where Has It Been and Where Should It Go from Here?

      Weinberg, Jessica P.; Penfield, Susan D.; Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona; Department of English, University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2000)
      The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), in Parker, Arizona, include four Native Arizonan tribes, Mohave, Chemehuevi, Navajo, and Hopi. These tribes function politically as a unit, although they are distinct in terms of language, culture, and history. While all Native American languages are endangered today, for two of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Mohave and Chemehuevi, the language situation is critical. In this paper, we will be concerned only with language planning as it relates to Mohave. As a background for the current language planning situation for Mohave, we briefly discuss the history and current circumstances of the CRIT reservation. We provide a short history of linguistic work on Mohave, we discuss current language planning efforts focused on Mohave, and finally, we make recommendations for continued language preservation and revitalization of Mohave.' We conclude that language planning on the CRIT reservation must involve efforts focused on each of the four tribal languages as well as the blending of language planning efforts for all four CRIT languages to reflect the integrated social reality of the CRIT.
    • Toward an OT Account of Yaqui Reduplication

      Haugen, Jason D.; Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2000)