Historical and Areal Linguistics

Linguistics events this week (Oct 19-26, 2018)

October 18, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week: 

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Oct 19 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Susan Steele: The architecture of inflection
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Monday Oct 22 - Dwinelle 1229 - 11-12:30pm  [note special time and place!]
    Ashwini Deo (Ohio State): The emergence of split-oblique case systems: A view from the Bhili dialect continuum (Indo-Aryan)
  • Phorum - Monday Oct 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 12-1pm
    Eleanor Glewwe (UCLA): Complexity bias and substantive bias in phonotactic learning
  • Linguistics Department Colloquium- Monday Oct 22 - Dwinelle 370 - 3:10-5 pm
    Ashwini Deo (Ohio State): Marathi tense marking: A window into the lexical encoding of tense meanings
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Oct 25 - 554 Barrows Hall - 4-5:30PM [note special location!]
    Line Mikkelsen, Beth Piatote, Sean Brown, and Lou Montelongo  (UC Berkeley): The Many Lives of Indigenous Languages
  • SLUgS - Thursday Oct 25 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm
    Living catalogue: brief overview of linguistics electives for Spring 2019

Cal @ Sound Systems of Latin America

October 17, 2018

This weekend features la tercera conferencia sobre Sistemas de Sonido de Latino América (SSLA3) -- Sound Systems of Latin America III -- at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Berkeley linguistics will be represented in five presentations by students, faculty, and '08 alumni: 

  • Yuni Kim (PhD '08): “La relación entre ortografía e investigaciones fonológicas: Algunas posibilidades en amuzgo. Can phonological research contribute to Amuzgo orthography development – and vice versa?” [invited talk]
  • Myriam Lapierre and Lev Michael: “Nasal harmony in Tupí-Guaraní: A comparative synthesis”
  • Christian DiCanio (PhD '08) and Richard Hatcher: “Does Itunyoso Triqui have intonation?”
  • Gabriela Caballero (PhD '08): “Direccionalidad y localidad en el condicionamiento de alomorfos en Tarahumara Central”
  • Myriam Lapierre (University of California, Berkeley): “Word-initial [I] epenthesis in Panará: A prosodic analysis”

Congrats, all!

Deo colloquium

October 17, 2018

The 2018-2019 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, October 22, with a talk by Ashwini Deo from the Ohio State University. Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled "Marathi tense marking: A window into the lexical encoding of tense meanings", and the abstract is as follows:

Partee (1973) first observed that natural language tense expressions are analogous to pronouns in that they can be interpreted indexically, anaphorically, and like bound variables. These referential (i.e. indexical+anaphoric) and non-referential interpretations of tense marking have not been yet shown to have distinct reflexes in natural language temporal expressions – i.e. no language has been claimed to lexicalize these distinctly. I argue that Marathi [mar, 71,700,000 speakers], an Indo-Aryan language of the Southern subgroup, morphosyntactically distinguishes between referential and non-referential temporal meanings. This lexicalization pattern, observed also in several other New Indo-Aryan languages, points the way to a more nuanced understanding of distinctions with respect to temporal reference in natural languages. The second part of the talk traces the diachronic emergence of this encoding pattern in the New Indo-Aryan languages, comparing it to the systems observed in Old and Middle Indo-Aryan. I tentatively suggest that the referential—non-referential contrast in the temporal domain arises due to the emergence of new present and past tense markers (auxiliaries) in a tenseless aspectually-based system.

Hyman festscrift published

October 3, 2018

Newly published with CSLI is the long-awaited volume Revealing Structure: Papers in Honor of Larry M. Hyman (eds. Eugene Buckley, Thera Crane and Jeff Good)! The book features numerous contributions by alumni, faculty, emeriti, and former visiting scholars, including: 

  • Jeff Good (Ph.D. 2003), Eugene Buckley (Ph.D. 1992)  & Thera Crane (Ph.D. 2011): Revealing Structure in Languages and Grammar
  • Jean-Marie Hombert (PhD 1975) and Rebecca Grollemund: Phylogenetic Classification of Grassfields Languages
  • Sharon Inkelas: Overexponence and Underexponence in Morphology 
  • Joyce T. Mathangwane (Ph.D. 1996): On Tones in Chisubiya (Chiikuhane) 
  • Johanna Nichols: A Direct/Inverse Subsystem in Ingush Deictic Prefixes
  • John J. Ohala: The Aerodynamic Voicing Constraint and its Phonological Implications  
  • Imelda I. Udoh (former visiting scholar): Compounding in Leggbó 
  • Alan C. L. Yu (Ph.D. 2003):  Laryngeal Schizophrenia in Washo Resonants

Congrats, Larry, on the celebratory volume, and congrats to the editors and authors!

The evolution of subject-verb agreement in Eastern Tukanoan

Thiago Costa Chacon
Lev Michael

This article describes the evolution of past/perfective subject-verb agreement morphology in the Tukanoan family, reconstructing relevant aspects of Proto-Tukanoan verbal morphology and delineating the subsequent diachronic development of verbal subject agreement morphology in the Eastern branch of the family. We argue that suffixes that cumulatively expone past/perfective and person, number, and gender (PNG) subject agreement resulted from the fusion of post-verbal demonstratives/pronouns expressing PNG information with suffixes expressing past/perfective TAM information.

Sound change and the structure of synchronic variability: Phonetic and phonological factors in Slavic palatalization

Khalil Iskarous
Darya Kavitskaya

This article investigates the development of the palatalization contrast in Slavic from diachronic, synchronic, and phonetic perspectives. The diachrony of this contrast is an important test case for theories of the actuation of sound change, since the Slavic language family shows an impressive diversity in the realization of the original contrast, with Russian, for instance, preserving the contrast, Slovak maintaining it only for some consonants, and Slovenian showing complete merger.