Issue 2012/11/16

Rojas-Esponda Today for P&P

Sam Bowman writes:

Hi soundies,

Today we’ll be hearing from our own Tania Rojas-Esponda on possible OCP effects in Sundanese allomorphy. Come on by!

Same time*, same place*,

*460-126 at 12:15p.

Sundanese possesses two plural allomorphs, ar and al. They are particularly important as they can be used to pluralize adjectives, nouns and also verbs. Cohn, Holton and McCarthy present analyses for the ar/al alternation, starting from ar as the assumed underlying form. Roughly, they claim that the r in the plural affix ar dissimilates to l if there is another r in the word, except when the other r is directly neighboring (separated from the affixal r only by a vowel). McCarthy deals with this exception by introducing the markedness constraints *lVrV and *rVlV. These two constraints are natural enough given the OCP, which says that similar but distinct consonants (such as l and r) should not occur close to each other. However, McCarthy also claims there is a crucial asymmetrical treatment of the two sequences lVrV and rVlV when they occur underlyingly. I will talk about whether the data support this claim.

The analyses of Cohn, Holton and McCarthy are based on the same, and rather limited, set of examples. In my talk I use a larger set of data extracted from a Sundanese version of the bible that has on the order of a million words as well as data from an online Sundanese dictionary to test some of the generalizations made by these authors.

Shan on Metadiscourse Today

For all who are semantically inclined: Ken Shan is speaking in Psychology Frisem today, 3:15-4:30 pm, room 050 (basement of Jordan Hall). The abstract is below.

Metadiscourse as unquotation
Chung-chieh Shan

In 2009, I attended two talks at Rutgers University given by Herbert Clark. In the first talk, he discussed depiction as a method of communication and singled out quotation as an instance of depiction (Clark and Gerrig 1990). In the second talk, he argued that disfluencies in spontaneous speech, such as uh and um, are conventional signals that bounded-rational speakers use to coordinate their performance (Clark 2004, Clark and Fox Tree 2002). Of course, these two topics are thematically related — for example, they are both aspects of communication that linguists tend to neglect — but I claim that they are related more deeply.
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Social at 4

Once again, come to the Kitchen at 4pm for food, drink, and good cheer, hosted by your favorite first years!