Michelle Yuan has a new paper in Linguistic Inquiry

Faculty member Michelle Yuan has a new paper in Linguistic Inquiry, titled “Case as an Anaphor Agreement Effect: Evidence from Inuktitut”.

Here is the abstract:

The Anaphor Agreement Effect (AAE) is the cross-linguistic inability for anaphors to co-vary with Φ-agreement (Rizzi 1990; Woolford 1999), with languages making use of a variety of strategies that conspire to circumvent this effect. In this short paper, I identify and confirm a prediction arising from two previous observations by Woolford (1999) concerning the scope of the AAE, based on new evidence from Inuktitut (Eastern Canadian Inuit). I propose that anaphors in Inuktitut are lexically specified as projecting additional syntactic structure, spelled out as oblique case morphology; because Φ-Agree in Inuktitut may only target ERG and ABS arguments, encountering an anaphor inevitably leads to failed Agree in the sense of Preminger (2011, 2014). I moreover argue that this exact AAE pattern is previously unattested, yet is predicted to arise given the range of existing strategies. Finally, this paper provides evidence against previous detransitivization-based approaches to reflexivity in Inuktitut (e.g. Bok-Bennema 1991).

Nina Semushina defends her dissertation and becomes a post-doc at the University of Chicago

Nina Semushina successfully defended her dissertation “The linguistic representation of number: Cross-linguistic and cross-modal perspectives” on August 20, 2021. She started a post-doc at the University of Chicago with Susan Goldin-Meadow and R. Breckie Church, investigating the effectiveness of teaching methods that incorporate gesture or spatial highlighting tools for math learning in hearing and deaf children and adults.

Eva Wittenberg publishes new paper on experimental design

Former UCSD undergrad Suhas Arehalli and his advisor Eva Wittenberg published a new article in Linguistics Vanguard, titled “Experimental filler design influences error correction rates in a word restoration paradigm”.

Abstract: Including fillers or distractors in psycholinguistic experiments has been standard for decades; yet, relatively little is known how the design of these items interacts with critical manipulations. In this paper, we ask about the role that contextual statistical information in filler items plays in determining if and how to correct a given error, and how grammatical expectations interact with context. We first replicate a speech restoration experiment conducted by Mack et al. (2012), measuring usage preferences of null-subject constructions. Then we report two additional experiments in which we manipulated only the filler items, either having noise appear uniformly at random, or with a particular bias. Our results (1) demonstrate that listeners are sensitive to statistical patterns in the distribution of noise within the experiment, and (2) suggest that this paradigm can be used to investigate interaction between the mechanisms that govern grammatical preferences, and those that govern error correction processes.

The paper is available here (Open Access).

SDLP Issue 10 has been published

Issue 10 of San Diego Linguistics Papers, our open-access online working papers series, has just been published and available here.

The current issue has been edited by Yuan Chai, Neşe Demir, Duk-Ho Jung, and Nina Hagen Kaldhol. This issue includes one manuscript on Gua phonology written by our recent graduate Dr. Michael Obiri-Yeboah: “Tone melody and tense, mood, aspect marking in Gua”

Joshua Wampler has a new paper in Glossa

Graduate student Joshua Wampler has a new paper out in Glossa.

Wampler, J. (2021). Do thus: an investigation into anaphoric event reference. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics6(1), 78. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.1297

Work on anaphoric event reference has focused on do so, do it, do this, and do that. This paper reports on an analysis of a heretofore unstudied form of event reference, do thus. Using a corpus of naturally occurring examples, I present evidence that do thus occupies the final slot in a hitherto incomplete paradigm for English event anaphora. Syntactically and semantically, do thus is similar to do so; but at the discourse level it patterns more like do this and do that. The data point to thus as an adverbial demonstrative on par with nominal this and that, which, when paired with do, can be used for complex event reference.

Language Comprehension Lab is presenting 3 talks at AMLaP 2021

Graduate students in the Language Comprehension Lab and the lab director faculty member Eva Wittenberg will present one full talk and two short talks at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP) 2021, which will be held in person and virtually in Paris on September 2-4, 2021:

  • Full talk: Joshua Wampler & Eva Wittenberg: Discourse structure affects reference resolution to events
  • Short talk: Ebru Evcen & Eva Wittenberg: The consideration of alternatives during incremental comprehension of counterfactuals
  • Short talk: Carson Miller Rigoli, Mickaël Pruvost, Annie Colin & Eva Wittenberg: PASCAL: Pressure Analysis for Studying Cognition, Autonomic Function, and Language