Ivano Caponigro has been awarded a UC San Diego Social Sciences Divisional Research Grant for his project “Morpho-syntax and semantics of headless relative clauses across Mesoamerican languages”.
Eva Wittenberg has been awarded a UC San Diego Social Sciences Divisional Research Grant for her project “Linguistic Anaphora to Situations And Grammatically Neuter Entities (LASAGNE)”.
TROTZKE, A. and WITTENBERG, E. (2017) ‘Expressive particle verbs and conditions on particle fronting’, Journal of Linguistics, 53(2), pp. 407–435. doi: 10.1017/S0022226716000153.
Jackendoff, Ray & Eva Wittenberg (2017). Linear grammar as a possible steppingstone in the evolution of language. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24.1, pp 219–224. OpenAccess
At this year’s West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, Adam McCollum will be giving a talk on “Non-iterative vowel harmony in Crimean Tatar” with Darya Kavitskaya from Berkeley at 9:30 on April 28th.
He will also be presenting a poster entitled “Unbounded harmony is not always myopic: Evidence from Tutrugbu” with James Essegbey from the University of Florida.
Graduate student Anne Therese Frederiksen recently published a paper on gesture form and function in Language and Cognition titled ‘Separating viewpoint from mode of representation in iconic co-speech gestures: insights from Danish narratives‘.
Abstract: During narrative retelling, speakers shift between different viewpoints to reflect how they conceptualize the events that unfolded. These viewpoints can be indicated through gestural
means as well as through verbal ones. Studies of co-speech gestures have inferred viewpoint from gesture form, i.e. how entities are mapped onto the (primarily manual) articulators, but the merits of this approach have not been discussed. The present study argues that viewpoint is more than gestural form. Despite connections between the two, many other factors may influence a gesture’s form. Assessing viewpoint from gesture form alone limits the applicability of gestural viewpoint as a window onto speakers’ event conceptualization and introduces unnecessary differences in the categorization of viewpoint across gestures types. The present study examines iconic co-speech gestures in Danish narratives, and makes explicit the means used to infer gestural viewpoint. The approach advocated here ensures that the notion of viewpoint can be applied in a principled way to all or most iconic gestures.
Congratulations to our graduate student Anne Therese Frederiksen for receiving an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant to study the ‘Interplay between Language and Cognition in American Sign Language Referential Cohesion’!
Our alumnus Dr. Ryan Lepic (Ph.D., 2015), who is currently a lecturer in our department, has just accepted a three-year post-doc in the Goldin-Meadow Laboratory at the University of Chicago. He will be contributing to the lab’s on-going research on the role of gesture in math learning. He will move to Chicago in June. Congratulations, Ryan!
Many members of our department presented at the Linguistics Society of America’s 91st Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas on January 5-8. They are listed below in bold and in alphabetical order, together with their co-authors and the titles of their presentations:
“The acquisition of Greek clitic construction prosody: an acoustic analysis”
Angeliki Athanasopoulou, Irene Vogel (University of Delaware), Hossep Dolatian (University of Delaware)
“Are the acoustic properties of canonical and non-canonical stress the same?”
“Apparent ‘sufficiently similar’ degemination in Catalan is due to coalescence”
“Designing a language and the design of language”
Meilin Zhan (MIT), Roger Levy (MIT), and Andrew Kehler
“Testing a Bayesian pronoun interpretation model with Chinese ba and bei”
“A usage-based analysis of the THEME construction in ASL”
Ryan Lepic and Corrine Occhino (University of New Mexico)
“Sign language structure: a construction-theoretic perspective”
“Non-stationarity and other critical mathematical problems for channel coding-based explanations of variation in language production”
“Formal acceptability experiments as a tool for exploring variation in constituent order”
“The President gave her inauguration speech: explicit belief and implicit expectations in language production and comprehension”
A successful syntactic theory provides insight into the creative machinery of language. However, there is an apparent fundamental divide among current syntactic theories. Mainstream Generative Grammar uses the simplest possible building blocks and provides a theory of the nature of syntactic structure, but its connection to real-time sentence processing is entirely unclear. On the contrary, “lexicalist” grammatical theories posit structurally complex building blocks and
connect well with real-time sentence processing but lack insight into the origin of these structures.
In this talk I propose an integration of these two approaches: a
Minimalist Grammar as a system of conceptual-semantic combination that generates syntactic objects, and Tree-Adjoining Grammar as a system that makes efficient use of these objects during comprehension and production. I provide evidence for this integrated framework with neuroimaging experiments that localize these systems to distinct anatomical locations of the brain. I also present neuroimaging data that support the integrated approach to an important problem for syntactic theory: island phenomena. I will discuss how the integrated approach facilitates communication among syntactic theory, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics, and potentially allows for better understanding of language acquisition and language disorders.