• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Javanese Applicative Construction

      Nurhayani, Ika; Cornell University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2012)
      Javanese has an applicative suffix –ake, which serves to license a benefactive, instrumental or theme suffix as a core object. Each of them has a thematic paraphrase in which the applicative argument is contained in a PP. The multiplicity of –ake poses problems for Marantz (1993) with his single applicative head. First, the uses of the applicative morpheme –ake must be lumped together in a single applicative head. Second, there is no attempt at all to account for the relation between the applicative constructions and their thematic paraphrases. I argue that Bowers’s (2010) framework can solve the problems with multiple argument heads merged in accordance with a fixed Universal Order of Merge (UOM). There are three primary argument-types, Ag(ent), Th(eme) and Aff(ectee) and secondary argument-types of various kinds, including Instr(ument), Ben(eficiary), Source, Goal, and others. Any head can potentially host an applicative morpheme. In Javanese, the morpheme -ake can be associated with an Aff-head, an Inst-head or a Th-head. Furthermore, in each case, applicative construction and its thematic paraphrase are derived from virtually identical structures because the argument head may have more than one selectional possibility for a DP with unvalued case feature or a PP.
    • Implicatures in Agreement

      Ivlieva, Natalia; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      The paper accounts for a puzzling agreement behavior of disjunctions, namely the fact that in certain environments plural agreement with a subject-disjunction is possible, even though both disjuncts are singular. I argue that such behavior is driven by the theory of implicatures. In particular, I argue that disjunction is a predicate and it can have plural feature, which closes the predicate under sum formation; second, this plural feature triggers a multiplicity implicature along the lines of Zweig 2009. When this implicature is in conflict with an exclusivity implicature generated by the scalar item or, the plural feature is blocked, hence no possibility of plural agreement. In environments where such conflict does not arise, plural agreement is possible.
    • The Causative/Inchoative Alternation, and the Decomposition of Little v

      Key, Greg; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2012)
      Morphological evidence in causative/inchoative pairs in Turkish is analyzed to determine the derivational relationship between the transitive and intransitive members of the pairs. Three patterns are found: 1. The transitive member is derived from the intransitive; 2. The intransitive is derived from the transitive; 3. Both members are independently derived from a common base. For a complete explanation of the data, it is proposed that the verbalizing head little v decomposes into a verbalizer (little v proper) and a discrete ‘flavor’ morpheme (CAUSE, BECOME, etc.).
    • Evaluating Prospectivity in a Neo-Reichenbachian Aspectual System

      Reed, Sylvia L.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2012)
      This paper pursues an analysis of prospective aspect and its similarity to the perfect. I adopt the term ‘prospective’ for any aspect whose semantics orders RT prior to ET, and propose a set of diagnostics for prospectivity. Then I discuss properties of perfects which might be shared by this aspect and propose tests for these properties within the prospective. Finally, I show that "going to" and "about to" in English, and "a’ dol do" and "gu" in Scottish Gaelic, pass tests for prospectivity and perfect-hood with varying degrees of success.
    • The Syntax of the Person Case Constraint Drives Morphological Impoverishment of Clitics

      Walkow, Martin; University of Massachusetts at Amherst (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
      Several varieties of Catalan show restrictions on the morphological expression of person and number in combinations of direct and indirect object clitics. When both direct and indirect objects are third person, there is only one morphological marker for third person (3-3-Effects). When both direct and indirect object are third person and plural, only one of them surfaces with plural marking. I call this latter restriction Unique Plural Exponence (UPE). Dialects differ wrt which argument, DO or IO, surfaces with features, but it is consistently the linearly leftmost one that surfaces with person/number features. This is consistent across dialects with different orders of direct and indirect objects, alternations of clitic order within one dialect and under historical change. I develop a syntactic account of these restrictions that relates them to the Person Case Constraint. The absence of morphological realization is attributed to the failure of person/number licensing in the syntax. An analysis is given for the restrictions on person and number in two dialects that differ in the order of direct and indirect objects and accordingly which argument surfaces without person/number features. The consistent lefthand position of the person marked clitic is derived from the syntactic structure.