January 22, 2016

Announcements | Newly published | Talks and events

Welcome to the 2016 spring semester! Please send information and news of departmental interest to Andrew Garrett.


Two awesome opportunities are now available:

  • A new reading group on cross-linguistic pragmatics and anthropological linguistics is being formed: "Grammar and Interaction", with plans to meet on Wednesdays 2:30–4. Please write to Amalia Skilton if you're interested in participating!
  • The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, will be holding its first Spring School on Quantitative Methods from May 13-18. There are 14 scholarships for students; all on-site accommodation and economy travel will be fully funded! Students interested in linguistic phylogenetics are strongly encouraged to apply.

Newly published

Amy Rose Deal, "Plural exponence in the Nez Perce DP: a DM analysis", Morphology

  • This paper analyzes two patterns of number marking in the DP in Nez Perce (Sahaptian) within the framework of Distributed Morphology. The first involves under-realization of plural on nouns. Number has classically been understood as a feature inherent to nouns, rather than to adjectives that modify them. In Nez Perce, however, only a small set of nouns show number morphology, whereas number morphology is highly productive on adjectival modifiers. Adjectives in fact may realize the plural more than once per word—an instance of multiple exponence. I show that the puzzle of under-realization for nouns can be solved through conditioned allomorphy, providing new evidence for the presence of gender features on n (Lowenstamm 2007; Kramer 2014). The puzzle of multiple exponence (over-realization) for adjectives can be solved through Local Dislocation (Embick and Noyer 2001) combined with very late insertion of reduplicative content (Haugen 2008, 2011), demonstrating one way the DM architecture may produce multiple exponence without recourse to dedicated mechanisms.

Susanne Gahl and Julia F. Strand, "Many neighborhoods: Phonological and perceptual neighborhood density in lexical production and perception", Journal of Memory and Language (doi:10.1016/j.jml.2015.12.006)

  • We examine the relationship of lexical representations, pronunciation variation, and word recognition, by investigating effects of two lexical variables: Phonological Neighborhood Density (the number of words that can be formed by a single phoneme substitution, addition, or deletion from the target word), as well as a measure of the perceptual similarity of a target word to other words in the lexicon. We show that perceptual similarity to other words affects recognition, but not production. Phonological Neighborhood Density, on the other hand, affects both word durations and recognition accuracy (words with many neighbors shorten and are difficult recognition targets). We interpret our results as indicating that effects of Phonological Neighborhood Density on pronunciation are not generally due to perceptual similarity of the target to other words. Our results are consistent with a more general line of research demonstrating effects of 'central' processes on 'peripheral' processes such as articulation, as well as effects of modality-specific properties, such as auditory similarity and motor movements, on measures thought to tap central processes.

Lev Michael, Natalia Chousou-Polydouri, Keith Bartolomei, Erin Donnelly, Vivian Wauters, Sérgio Meira and Zachary O'Hagan, "A Bayesian Phylogenetic Classification of Tupí-Guaraní", LIAMES 15 (2015) 193-221

  • This paper presents an internal classification of Tupí-Guaraní based on lexical data from 30 Tupí-Guaraní languages and 2 non-Tupí-Guaraní Tupian languages, Awetí and Mawé. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis using a generalized binary cognate gain and loss model was carried out on a character table based on the binary coding of cognate sets, which were formed with attention to semantic shift. The classification shows greater internal structure than previous ones, but is congruent with them in several ways.

Phonology Lab Annual Report 2015!

Talks and events