SDLP Issue 8 has been published

Issue 8 of San Diego Linguistics Papers, our online working papers series, has just been published and is freely available. It was edited by Yuan Chai, Neşe Demir, Duk-Ho Jung, and Nina Hagen Kaldho, and includes five papers by our graduate students, encompassing theoretical and empirical work on phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax,semantics, pragmatics, and fieldwork:

  • Yuan Chai, “The source of creak in Mandarin”
  • Yaqian Huang, “A mixed height and ATR system of vowels in Rere”
  • Seoyeon Jang, “A compositional semantic analysis of echo questions in Korean”
  • Nina Hagen Kaldhol, “Grammatical gender agreement with nominal compounds in Somali”
  • Maxine Van Doren, “Intrinsic fundamental frequency of Amharic vowels”

Cheng and Mayberry have a new paper in Developmental Science

Alumna Qi Cheng (Ph.D. 2020), currently assistant professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Washington, and faculty Rachel Mayberry have recently published a research paper finding that late first-language learners of ASL use event structure rather than word order to comprehend basic sentence structure.

Cheng Q. & Mayberry, R. I. 2020. “When event knowledge overrides word order in sentence comprehension: Learning a first language after childhood.” Developmental Science.


Scott Seyfarth and Marc Garellek have a new paper in LabPhon

Scott Seyfarth (Ph.D. 2016) and Marc Garellek published an article in LabPhon entitled “Physical and phonological causes of coda /t/ glottalization in the mainstream American English of central Ohio.”

In this paper, Scott and Marc claim that voiceless stops in American English involve glottal constriction to produce voicelessness in coda position. The distribution of glottalized coda /t/ in the Buckeye Corpus can be explained by phonetic conditions which either favor reduction of the oral closure, or else reinforce the irregular voicing associated with the glottal constriction gesture. However, they find evidence that glottalization is also phonologically planned, especially before sonorants.

Seyfarth, S., & Garellek, M. (2020). Physical and phonological causes of coda /t/ glottalization in the mainstream American English of central Ohio. Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology11(1), 24. DOI:

Adam McCollum, Eric Bakovic, Anna Mai, and Eric Meinhardt have a paper in Phonology

Adam G. McCollum (2019 PhD), faculty member Eric Bakovic, graduate student Anna Mai, and Eric Meinhardt (2020 PhD) have just published a new paper in the journal Phonology, “Unbounded circumambient patterns in segmental phonology.” The authors present an empirical challenge to a recent assertion that only tonal spreading patterns can be unbounded circumambient, meaning that the determination of a phonological value may depend on information that is an unbounded distance away on both sides. They focus on a demonstration that the ATR harmony pattern found in Tutrugbu is unbounded circumambient, and they also cite several other segmental spreading processes with the same general character. They discuss implications for the complexity of phonology and for the relationship between the explanation of typology and the evaluation of phonological theories.

Eva Wittenberg pubblished a book chapter on cross-linguistic linear orders of constituents

In German comes the verb not always last (or even second)!

Faculty member Eva Wittenberg and her co-authors just published a book chapter exploring linguistic serialization options, specifically, topics, frame-setter expressions, and verbs in German, English, and Turkish!

Wiese, Heike, Oncu, Mehmet Tahir, Muller, Hans G., Eva Wittenberg (2020). Verb Third in spoken German: A natural order of information, in: Woolfe et al. (eds). Rethinking Verb Second, ch. 29, pp.682-699. Oxford University Press.

Nina Feygl Semushina and Rachel Mayberry have a new paper on numeral incorporation in Russian Sign Language

Graduate student Nina Feygl Semushina and faculty member Rachel Mayberry published a paper Numeral Incorporation in Russian Sign Language: Phonological Constraints on Simultaneous Morphology in Sign Language Studies, vol. 20 no. 1.

Abstract. Numeral incorporation is the simultaneous combination of a numeral and a base sign into one sign. Incorporating forms typically use the numerical handshape combined simultaneously with the movement, location, and orientation of the base lexical sign: for example, “3 months” will be expressed through an incorporating form 3_MONTH. Analyses of Russian Sign Language (RSL) data collected through fieldwork in Russia, show that there is no general linguistic rule for numeral incorporation in RSL (unlike in ASL which has a one-handed numeral system). Instead, because of phonological constraints that govern the distribution of two-handed signs, incorporation of two-handed numerals in RSL depends upon the place of articulation and the hand orientation of the particular lexical sign.