• Pragmatic repair driven by indexicality

      Kim, Hyuna B.; UNM, CE (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013-03-04)
      This paper aims to account for Double Accessibility effects found in Korean. Clearing out confusions in the previous discussion on the phenomenon, it claims that Korean does not have a Double Access reading in a semantic sense, unlike English, but Double Accessibility effects arise as a result of pragmatic repair which is employed in order to interpret a focused indexical element causing a conflict in the interpretation process. The advantages of the pragmatic analysis defended in this paper over the movement analyses proposed in the literature will be shown in details.
    • On Semantic Agreement with Quantified Subjects in Russian

      Glushan, Zhanna A.; University of Connecticut (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013-03-04)
      Quantified numeral subjects in Russian may famously trigger plural or singular verb agreement. Generative accounts (Pesetsky (1982), Franks (1995), Bošković (2006)) tie the variation to Case and the DP/QP distinction. Corpus-based accounts (Revzin (1978), Corbett (2000), Robblee (1993)), in addition to precedence and definiteness/specificity, note a strong correlation between agreement choice and the animacy of a QNP subject. In this paper, I attempt to reconcile the original generalizations in both linguistic traditions by proposing an account whereby (i) the animacy condition on agreement is an argument structure effect (ii) the connection between Nom case and agreement with QNP subjects is captured by Case as accessibility condition for agreement (Marantz (1991), Bobaljik (2008), Baker (2010) Baker and Vinokurova (2011) but contra Chomsky (2000), (2001)) (iii) definiteness/specificity effects with agreement follow from Diesing’s (1992) Mapping Hypothesis and a locality condition on semantic agreement.
    • Situational Demonstratives in Blackfoot

      Schupbach, S. Scott (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      Previous analyses of Blackfoot’s demonstrative system by Uhlenbeck (1938), Taylor (1969), and Frantz (1971, 2009) share the same tendency to conflate the meanings of different functions of demonstratives into one overly broad meaning. I address this problem by analyzing only the situational uses of demonstratives in 25 stories from Uhlenbeck (1912) and additional data from Uhlenbeck (1938). My solution is built upon the framework outlined in Imai’s (2003) cross-linguistic study of spatial deixis and informed by the typological demonstrative studies of Dixon (2003) and Diessel (1999). I argue that Blackfoot’s demonstrative system encodes features of Imai’s four parameters: anchor, spatial demarcation, referent/region configuration and function.
    • Good Times, Bad Times: A keyword analysis of letters to shareholders of two Fortune 500 Banking Institutions

      Poole, Robert E.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      This corpus-based keyword analysis study investigated the letters to the shareholders from two commercial banks, Bank of America and Citigroup, over a three-year period from 2008, 2009, and 2010. The letters were compiled to facilitate a diachronic assessment of profit/loss reporting from two prominent institutions over a time period in which the recession commenced, peaked, and concluded. To conduct the analysis on the node texts, two sets of reference corpora were compiled. The first reference corpus set consisted of the letters to shareholders from eight consistently high-performing corporations not within the commercial banking industry for each of the three years; the second reference corpus set consisted of the letters from the 10 banking institutions that also appeared in the Fortune 500 listings for the three period. The corpus-based analysis revealed that in years of low performance companies create messages that assert a vision and forward a strategy for ensuring future success while also deflecting responsibility for past failure. In contrast, when companies perform well, the keyword lists display a clear tendency of the company and the author to accept praise and responsibility for high performance.
    • Can Idioms Be Passivized?: Evidence from Online Processing

      Stone, Megan Schildmier; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      This paper presents the results of an experiment designed to access native speakers’ underlying grammatical knowledge concerning the passivizability of English Verb-Object (VO) idioms. Although it has long been noted that some VO idioms retain their idiomatic meaning in the passive while others do not (Katz & Postal 1964, et seq.), the source of this variation is unclear, and native speaker intuitions on a large number of idioms are not as clear cut as previous accounts might suggest. Taking as a starting point Folli and Harley’s (2007) hypothesis that there is a structural distinction between passivizable and nonpassivizable idioms, the current study tests one prediction of this hypothesis, namely that there should be a categorical distinction between the two types of idioms in the grammars of native speakers. The experimental results contradict this hypothesis, as evidenced by a normal distribution of response times to passive idioms. However, it is hypothesized that this online task is not appropriate to access the fine-tuned syntactico-semantic judgments underlying native speaker intuitions of idiom passivizability, due to the fact that the methodology employed here—a self-paced reading task—does not yield the expected results even for canonically passivizable and nonpassivizable idioms.
    • Gender variation in writing: Analyzing online dating ads

      Schultz, Patrick; University of Texas at Austin (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      In the present study, a corpus of more than 18,000 online dating ads (downloaded from Craigslist.com, ~ 1.4 million words) is used to investigate differences in language use between men and women in the online dating context. Few studies have investigated gender differences in written texts, Newman, Groom et al. (2008), Mulac and Lundell (1994) and Koppel, Argamon et al. (2002) being the notable exceptions. These papers, however, differ remarkably in methodology and results. In the dataset studied here, regression analysis reveals marked differences the use of linguistic features such as emoticons or abbreviations. Writer gender and addressee gender emerge as predictors of variation.
    • Ki-clauses in Turkish: A paratactic analysis

      Kesici, Esra; Cornell University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      This paper proposes a unified treatment for Turkish embedded clauses headed by the complementizer 'ki,' an element known to be borrowed from Persian. Embedded ki-clauses are generally thought of as just another case of subordination, albeit with an 'Indo-European' pattern. However, arguments are provided that ki-clauses are'paratactic assertions,' that is, paratactic clauses with their own assertoric illocutionary force. The puzzling root-clause character of these clauses, as well as their characteristic syntactic/semantic behavior with respect to word order, NPI-licensing, WH-questions, binding, and focusing adverbs are explained by virtue of this paratactic-assertoric analysis. The presented account of ki-clauses is derivational, capturing the relationship that the ki-clause has with a position inside the matrix clause through an adaptation of Torrego and Uriagereka's (2002) analysis of parataxis used forcomo-clauses in Spanish, and Yoon's (2011) paratactic analysis of Korean subjunctive and evaluative negation constructions.
    • Preposition Stranding in Heritage Speakers of Spanish

      Depiante, Marcela; Thompson, Ellen; University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire; Florida International University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      In this research, we explore the linguistic structure of the Spanish of Heritage Speakers, those who have acquired Spanish as the home language in a minority language context (Iverson, 2010). We contribute to the discussion of the properties of Heritage Languages here by examining Preposition Stranding in Heritage Speakers versus native monolingual speakers of Spanish. We claim that the distinct behavior of Heritage Speakers of Spanish supports the claim that Heritage Languages may differ from native monolingual language in the narrow syntax, affecting uninterpretable features of the grammar.
    • Frequency and acoustic reduction in English -ment derivatives

      Sung, Jae-Hyun; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      This study investigates the influence of frequency on the production of bimorphemic words, and considers which frequency measure is most apt to explain the differences. Previous studies have reported that frequent words are produced faster and more casually than infrequent ones, and that medial segments will have shorter durations. The present study examines the relation between frequency and the duration of medial segments in English derived words by conducting a production experiment with 6 native speakers of American English using 74 English '-ment' derivatives, and pits word frequency, base frequency, and relative frequency (wordfreq/basefreq) against one another as predictors. The results show that models incorporating any of the three frequency measures strongly predict medial segment duration (R-squared = 0.56, with the differences in R-squared between them on the order of 1%. Among the three frequency measures, whole word frequency explained the most variance, across all consonant types. The duration of segments in highly frequent words tends to be shorter than that in relatively infrequent words. Overall, this study confirms that speakers are sensitive to the extralinguistic information associated with the words such as frequency, and in this case, traditional frequency measures (whole word and base frequencies) are better predictors than relative frequency.
    • On the meaning(s) of 'after' in varieties of Scottish English

      Reed, Sylvia L.; Wheaton College (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      Basic spatial and temporal meanings of the preposition after in Standard American English and Highland Scottish English are accounted for in this proposed semantics of the preposition. In addition, two seemingly aberrant meanings in Highland Scottish English and Lowlands Scots/ Lowlands Scottish English are discussed; the proposed semantics accounts for these meanings as well. The meaning of after is related to the meanings of first and subsequent, which are given definitions in terms of points of reference.
    • Aspect in Cherokee Nominals

      Stone, Megan Schildmier; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2012)
      In this paper I present evidence from Cherokee (Iroquoian, Southern Iroquoian) which refutes accounts of the distinction between process and result nominals based on the presence or absence of AspectP in the nominal’s functional structure. I argue that Cherokee has result nominals which contain aspect morphology, directly contradicting the proposal of Alexiadou (2001) that such nominals must lack an AspectP, and suggest that some other mechanism must be at play to account for the syntactic and semantic differences between result and process nominals.
    • Stress and Suffixation in Isbukun Bunun

      Ouyang, Iris Chuoying; University of Southern California (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      Isbukun, a major dialect of Bunun, is one of the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan. According to the Taiwan government statistics in 2009, Bunun had a population of 51,447, around half of which were registered as Isbukun. As Mandarin and Southern Min are the predominant languages, the Austronesian languages in Taiwan including Bunun are endangered. This study investigates word stress in Isbukun Bunun from the perspective of Optimality Theory. In particular, the stress patterns of monomorphemic and compound words, derivational and inflectional suffixed words, and words with clitics are explored. In Isbukun Bunun, a single quantity-sensitive trochee formed at the right edge of a word. Consequently, prefixation is generally irrelevant to footing, whereas suffixation closely interacts with stress placement. This paper presents two types of extrametricality along with quantitative adjustment that are found in suffixed words. Morphological extrametricality prevents inflectional suffixes and clitics from being footed and thereby prosodically distinguishes derivation and compounds from inflection and clitics. Positional extrametricality avoids forming a foot at the left edge of a root, which only emerges in derivational words, because inflectional words are required to fulfill morphological extrametricality first. In addition, since feet are constructed at the end of a word and derivational suffixes are allowed to be footed, quantitative changes take place in derivational suffixation: adjacent vowels with the same quality merge into one when two vowels come from different morphemes (i.e. the final segment of the stem and the initial segment of the suffix), and moras are deleted if otherwise the number of syllables in a word would increase. To account for the morphological extrametricality, a pair of output-output faithfulness constraints are used: a higher ranked OO-IDENT(stress)INF with an index referring to inflectional suffixes and clitics, and a lower ranked clone OO-IDENT(stress) without an index. The constraint ranking OO-IDENT(stress)INF >> ALL-FT-R >> OO-IDENT(stress) generates inflectional words with stress on the same syllable as in their stems, while derivational words follow general footing principles. As for the positional extrametricality, an anti-alignment constraint *ALIGN-L(Root, FT) is proposed, which concerns positions of feet only with respect to the root, rather than the stem that may be polymorphemic. The constraint ranking OO-IDENT(stress)INF, DEP-μ >> *ALIGN-L(Root, FT) >> *STRUC-σ confines the emergence of non-initiality in derivational words with roots not smaller than two moras.
    • Case and Phi Features as Probes

      Ussery, Cherlon; Carleton College (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      This paper uses case and agreement patterns to argue for a reformulation of Agree (Chomsky 1995, 2000, 2001). Throughout syntactic literature, various proposals that account for the assignment of case and agreement have been made. Chomsky (1991) proposes that different projections are responsible for the two types of features. Case is assigned in Spec,TP, while agreement is established in Spec,AgrP. By contrast, Agree divorces feature checking from movement (Bobaljik and Wurmbrand 2005, Wurmbrand 2006). Case and agreement are assigned under c-command via the same Agree operation. A head, T, checks the case of a DP with a matching case feature and, in turn, that DP checks the agreement features on T. The prediction, therefore, is that case and agreement should necessarily pattern together: verbs should agree with DPs that are in a case relationship with T. I provide evidence not only that case and agreement features may pattern differently, but also that individual agreement features may pattern differently. As such, I argue that features on heads – not heads themselves – are probes. While I argue that case and phi features are not an indivisible bundle, I maintain the proposal that feature-checking need not force movement to a specifier, thus eliminating the need for independent agreement projections. Additionally, I illustrate probing is not restricted to c-command. I redefine Agree so as to allow a probe-goal relation to be established either under c-command or in a spec-head configuration.
    • The Syntax of MEAN

      Taguchi, Shigeki; Shinshu University/University of Connecticut (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      In this paper, I examine the hitherto unnoticed issue of what syntactic categories mean may take as complements, analyzing the syntactic structure of sentences like What do you mean that I’m a liar? from the minimalist perspective. On the basis of the intuition that what starts out as the object of mean, I consider the mechanism of Case-licensing of wh-arguments. Noticing that under the current minimalist framework, object shift to SpecvP and vP-adjunction result in exactly the same configuration with respect to chain length, I consider how Case-licensing of wh-arguments in the complement clause of mean circumvent improper movement characterized in terms of the traditional A/A-distinction. I also discuss the Doubly Filled COMP Filter and the Superiority Condition in relation to the syntax of mean, both of which are shown to be consistent with the proposed analysis.
    • External Argument Focus and the Syntax of Reflexivity

      Ahn, Byron; University of California, Los Angeles (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      It is unexpected under previous accounts that, in a subclass of sentences that contain reflexive anaphors, focus on a reflexive anaphor can be felicitously interpreted as a response to a subject-question (e.g. "Johnny burned HIMSELF" as a response to "Who burned Johnny?"). This focus phenomenon can only be accounted for under existing theories of focus and syntax-prosody mapping if the syntactic representation of reflexivity is amended, as is pursued in this paper. A revised model of reflexivity such as the one presented in this paper is not only able to account for this focus data, but is generally more empirically robust: able to better account for the distribution of phrasal stress in clauses with reflexive anaphors, as well as the realization of reflexivity of other languages.
    • Hixkaryana: The Syntax of Object Verb Subject Word Order

      Kalin, Laura; University of California, Los Angeles (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      In this paper I propose and motivate a syntactic analysis of Hixkaryana (a Carib language spoken in the Amazon in Brazil), drawing on the extensive, linguistically-informed fieldwork of Desmond C. Derbyshire (1979, 1985, inter alia). Hixkaryana displays basic/unmarked Object Verb Subject (OVS) word order, which is found in very few languages of the world (Dryer 2008). There are three main components to the proposal presented here. I argue that the syntax of Hixkaryana involves (i) a marked hierarchy of agreement projections, AgrO over AgrS; (ii) movement of the subject to a high topic position; and (iii) fronting of the rest of the clause over the subject. This analysis accounts for a constellation of properties in Hixkaryana, including the surface order of constituents (OVSX, where X is an adjunct PP or AP), surface constituency (the object and verb form a constituent exclusive of the subject), verbal morphology (agreement is a prefix while all other inflectional affixes are suffixes), structural relations (the subject c-commands the object and obliques/adjuncts), the position of particles (which are either in second position or invariantly post-verbal), and exceptional OSV word order (triggered by the first person exclusive pronoun amna). OVS languages, like Hixkaryana, are important for syntactic theory because they likely have special insights to contribute, given how rare they are; however, OVS languages receive very little attention in the literature. This paper aims to call attention to OVS word order as a real linguistic phenomenon that must be accounted for in mainstream linguistic theory.
    • Strong Resultatives as a Bounded PathPP Construction: PathPP Structure and Parametrized Path Head Movement

      Suzuki, Takeru; Tokyo Gakugei University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      This paper examines the Strong Resultative construction by comparing it with several path related constructions. It advances an analysis in which they all have a bounded path P. Its covert variant underlies some of the path related constructions and the Strong Resultative construction. We will see that the semantic property and the properties related with the phonetic emptiness of a bounded path P derive various characteristics of both of the constructions. I discuss implications and questions about the present analysis, one of which concerns the dual source of apparently the same meaning.
    • Syntactic Positions of Turkish Bare NPs The View from Aspect and Prosody

      Nagai, Miho; Öner Özçelik; CUNY Graduate Center; Indiana University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      The goal of this paper is to show that internal arguments of verbs in Turkish do not uniformly occur in the complement position of the verb (contra e.g. Perlmutter 1978, 1989). We examine syntactic positions of bare arguments in Turkish on the basis of aspectual (Aktionsart) properties of VPs (e.g. Vendler 1967) and prosodic structure. Looking at where low adverbs appear, we propose that there are (at least) two different positions where bare internal arguments can occur in syntax – bare internal arguments of Turkish achievements occur in SpecVP while those of accomplishments occur in the complement position of V. This proposal is also supported by prosodic evidence.
    • Predicate which-appositives

      LaCara, Nicholas; University of Massachusetts Amherst (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      Predicate which-appositives (PWAs) are a class of nonrestrictive, parenthetical relative clauses that take as their antecedents predicate-denoting material in the spine of a clause. PWAs contain a gap, and it is difficult to tell whether this gap is derived by a deletion operation like verb phrase ellipsis or by wh-movement. Indeed, diagnostics meant to distinguish these two possibilities provide evidence that both are correct. In order to remedy the apparent conundrum, I draw on recent work on Danish verbal anaphora. I argue that the VP itself undergoes A'-movement and that the relative operator which is inserted post-syntactically in place of the VP, replacing its phonological material. This post-syntactic operation explains why there appears to be phonological deletion involved in the derivation of PWAs while still allowing the A'-movement properties of the construction to be explained.
    • The Crosslinguistic Defaultness of BE

      Bjorkman, Bronwyn; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      This paper presents a formalization of view that auxiliary verbs such as be are in some sense default verbs. On the basis of languages in which auxiliaries arise only in certain combinations of inflectional categories (Latin, Kinande), it is argued that auxiliary be is not present in the syntax, but is instead a morphological strategy for realizing “stranded” inflectional features. A model of verbal inflection that implements this approach to auxiliaries is developed, providing a unified analysis of the auxiliary pattern found in languages of the Latin/Kinande type with the more familiar pattern of languages such as English.