Historical and Areal Linguistics

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!

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. A diachronic study of the contrast reveals a generalization about which consonant pairs are more or...


Kenneth VanBik

Advisor: James Matisoff