January 29, 2016

Awesomeness | Annual Meetings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society | Newly published | Talks and events

Please send information and news of departmental interest to Andrew Garrett.

Awesomeness

Berkeley Linguistics alumnus Jeff Good (PhD 2003) has been elected as the next President of the Association for Linguistic Typology, succeeding Berkeley faculty member and Linguistics alumna Johanna Nichols (PhD 1973) in that august position. With Larry M. Hyman as Vice President and next President of the Linguistic Society of America, Cal Lx has a lock on the international linguistics establishment — congratulations Jeff (and Larry, and Johanna)!

Annual Meetings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society will be held in Dwinelle Hall next weekend, February 5-7. The following luminaries are invited speakers:

Countless good talks are scheduled, on topics from Austronesian to syntax and everything in between, as well as abundantly delightful social events. Register! Attend! Support the brave second-year graduate cohort and their generous helpers.

Newly published

Amy Rose Deal, "Syntactic Ergativity: Analysis and Identification", Annual Review of Linguistics 2 (2016) 165-185

  • Some languages showing morphological ergativity in case and/or agreement also show ergative patterns in core syntactic domains — syntactic ergativity. The most-studied type of syntactic ergativity is a ban on the A-bar movement of ergative subjects; an additional type concerns the distribution of absolutives in nonfinite clauses. This article first presents the standard view of syntactic ergativity, which is closely connected to the treatment of ergative as an inherent case. Evidence from Shipibo suggests that a ban on ergative A-bar extraction does not require inherent ergative. This points to a view of syntactic ergativity centered around morphological case discrimination. One consequence is that pure head-marking languages cannot feature a true ban on ergative extraction, because ergative morphological case is not in use. This conclusion highlights the challenging tasks of diagnosing extraction restrictions in pure head-marking languages, as in the Mayan and Salish families, and of distinguishing extraction restrictions from instances where extraction merely interacts with agreement. A variety of crosslinguistic evidence suggests that agreement/extraction interactions are fully possible in morphologically ergative languages, and not only for ergative arguments. Special morphology in the context of transitive subject extraction is therefore not necessarily evidence of syntactic ergativity.

Shinae Kang, Keith Johnson, Gregory Finley, "Effects of native language on compensation for coarticulation", Speech Communication 77 (2016) 84-100 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2015.12.005). Highlights:

  • We tested compensation for vowel coarticulation on a continuum from "s" to "sh".
  • French listeners showed compensation for both round vowels /u/ and /y/.
  • American English listeners showed compensation for only the native phoneme /u/.
  • The American English pattern remained unchanged even with videos of the talker.
  • Listeners' native language affects the degree of compensation for coarticulation.

Talks and events