Graduate student Tory Sampson will present a poster and a SIGNopsis video at the 14th International Conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR 14) in Osaka, Japan. Her research concerns the semantic and syntactic features of copular expressions with the copular SELF in American Sign Language.
Faculty members Andy Kehler, Sharon Rose, and Michelle Yuan are presenting at the 40th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 40), which is organized by the Linguistics Department at Stanford University and takes place virtually on May 13-15.
Andrew Kehler, In defense of referential theories of VP-ellipsis
Himidan Hassen (Independent scholar), Peter Jenks (University of California, Berkeley), Sharon Rose, A’-satisfaction with φ-interaction in Tira
Michelle Yuan, A pseudo-relative in Inuit
Graduate student Tory Sampson will be attending the Institute of the Inclusive Assessment of Multimodal Multilinguals (IAM3), a two-week program taking place this upcoming June at Stockholm University in Sweden, The program consists of daily seminars about issues related to translanguaging in deaf people as well as training workshops of online methodologies including eye tracking, ERP, and fMRI.
Graduate student Nese Demir has a new publication titled “Laz Turkish: A case study in language contact and language change”. The paper is published in a special collection in Linguistics Vanguard devoted to sound change in endangered and small speech communities.
Alumna Nina Feygl Semushina (postdoc, Goldin-Meadow Laboratory, University of Chicago) and faculty member Rachel Mayberry have a new open-access paper in Language Learning and Development, titled “Number Stroop Effects in Arabic Digits and ASL Number Signs: The Impact of Age and Setting of Language Acquisition.”
Multiple studies have reported mathematics underachievement for students who are deaf, but the onset, scope, and causes of this phenomenon remain understudied. Early language deprivation might be one factor influencing the acquisition of numbers. In this study, we investigated a basic and fundamental mathematical skill, automatic magnitude processing, in two formats (Arabic digits and American Sign Language number signs) and the influence of age of first language exposure on both formats by using two versions of the Number Stroop Test. We compared the performance of individuals born deaf who experienced early language deprivation to that of individuals born deaf who experienced sign language in early life and hearing second language learners of ASL. In both formats of magnitude representation, late first language learners demonstrated overall slower reaction times. They were also less accurate on incongruent trials but performed no differently from early signers and second language learners on other trials. When magnitude was represented by Arabic digits, late first language learners exhibited robust Number Stroop Effects, suggesting automatic magnitude processing, but they also demonstrated a large speed difference between size and number judgments not observed in the other groups. In a task with ASL number signs, the Number Stroop Effect was not found in any group, suggesting that magnitude representation might be format-specific, in line with the results from several other languages. Late first language learners also demonstrate unusual patterns of slower reaction time for neutral rather than incongruent stimuli. Together, the results show that early language deprivation affects the ability to automatically judge quantities expressed both linguistically and by Arabic digits, but that it can be acquired later in life when language is available. Contrary to previous studies that find differences in speed of number processing between deaf and hearing participants, we find that when language is acquired early in life, deaf signers perform identically to hearing participants.
Graduate student Anthony Struthers-Young has a new article in Frontiers in Communication, titled “A Preliminary Account of the Northern Toussian Balafon Surrogate Language.”
This paper documents the Northern Toussian musical surrogate language, which is a way of encoding speech with musical instruments.
Graduate student Yuan Chai has a new paper (with Shihong Ye) in a special issue of Languages devoted to exploring the interaction between phonation and prosody.
Chai, Y., & Ye, S. (2022). Checked syllables, checked tones, and tone sandhi in Xiapu Min. Languages 7(1): 47. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7010047
A “checked” syllable usually refers to one with a short vowel and an oral or glottal coda, which results impressionistically in a “short” and “abrupt” quality. Although common in languages of the world, it is unclear how to characterize checked syllables phonetically. In this study, we investigated the acoustic features of checked syllables in citation and sandhi forms in Xiapu Min, an under-documented language from China. We conducted a production experiment and analyzed the F0, phonatory quality, vowel duration, and vowel quality in checked syllables. The results show that, in citation tones, checked syllables are realized with distinct F0 contours from unchecked syllables, along with glottalization in the end and a shorter duration overall. In sandhi tones, checked syllables lose their distinct F0 contours and become less glottalized. However, the shorter duration of checked syllables is retained in sandhi forms. This study lays out the acoustic properties that tend to be associated with checked syllables and can be used when testing checked syllables in other language varieties. The fact that in Xiapu Min sandhi checked tones become less glottalized but preserve their shorter duration suggests that, when checked syllables become unchecked diachronically, glottalization might be lost prior to duration lengthening.
Graduate student Yaqian Huang, a PhD candidate in our department, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (Ling-DDRI, with Prof. Marc Garellek) for the project “Phonetics of period doubling.” The goal of the project is to study the production and perception of period doubling, an irregular voice quality with more than one pitch. Yaqian will characterize the articulatory and acoustic properties of period doubling, and determine how it affects pitch and tone perception.