Tuesday Seminar: Dr. Chris Davis

Speaker: Dr. Chris Davis (University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa)
Title: Pragmatic competition and evidentiality in Okinawan

Abstract: Okinawan exhibits a three-way evidential contrast with verbs describing past events, as illustrated by the examples in (1), adapted from data in Shinzato (1991):

(1) a. {wanne=e / ‘yaa=ya / are=e} hanahichi=nu kusui  nu-da-n

1s=top / 2s=top / 3s=top  cold=gen  medicine drink-pst-ind

“I took the medicine.”
b. {wanne=e / ‘yaa=ya / are=e} hanahichi=nu kusui  {num-u-ta-n / nu-dee-n}

1s=top / 2s=top / 3s=top  cold=gen  medicine   drink-wit-pst-ind / drink-inf.pst-ind

“He/You took the medicine.” (I saw it happen / It seems)

The simple past (1a) contains no evidential morphology, and is generally restricted to rst-person subjects. The witnessed past and inferential past, by contrast, contain overt evidential morphemes, and are typically incompatible with rst-person subjects, as seen in (1b). I argue that the restriction against simple past tense with second and third person subjects (1a) follows from competition with the two competing evidential past tense forms (1b), which contribute evidential presuppositions (cf. Izvorski 1997, Matthewson et al. 2007, i.a.). With non- rst-person subjects, these two competing evidential-marked forms exhaust the space of su cient evidential grounds for assertion, and the principle of Maximize Presupposition (Heim 1991, Sauerland et al. 2005) in combination with the Gricean Maxim of Quality requires that at least one of them be used. Sentences with rst-person subjects, following Garrett (2001), are typically grounded in ego evidentiality, which includes knowledge of one’s own actions, and does not depend on perception or inference. This licenses the simple past with rst-person subjects, and in combination with the Evidential Hierarchy (Willett) blocks rst-person subjects with evidentially marked forms.

Dr. William O’Grady and Ph.D candidate Sejung Yang help in publication of Jejueo language textbook

Dr. William O’Grady and Ph.D candidate Sejung Yang, along with Dr. Changyong Yang from Jeju National University, have seen the first volume of their Jejueo textbook published on July 5, 2017. The textbook, written for Korean speakers, is the first of its kind for Jejueo, recognized by several international groups (including UNESCO, Endangered Language Group, and Ethnologue) as an independent language rather than a dialect of Korean.

The textbook is the first in a projected four-volume series. You can purchase the textbook from Kyobo (website in Korean).

For more information, including small previews of the book, please read the Center for Korean Studies article.

Carl Polley accepts Tenure Track position

Carl Polley, 2012 PhD graduate, has accepted a tenure track position at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) to teach Chinese language and culture. Carl has been a lecturer at KCC since 2009 teaching various Chinese language, culture, and literature classes. You can also follow this link to read his dissertation, “Metaphors for Happiness in English and Mandarin Chinese.”

Congratulations, Carl!

MA Student Daniel Lin earns Huayu Enrichment Scholarship

Kudos and congratulations to 1st-year MA student Daniel Lin, who has won the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, a nine-month fellowship to study and conduct field research in Taiwan during the 2017-18 academic year.

The mission of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship is:

To encourage international students and individuals to undertake Mandarin Chinese language study in Taiwan, the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) established the Ministry Of Education Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES) Program in 2005. While providing language study opportunities for Mandarin Chinese and to learn about Taiwan’s culture at certified university or college-affiliated Mandarin training centers.

Good work Dan!

Victoria Chen wins 2017 Award for Excellence in Doctoral Dissertation Research from the UHM College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature

Department of Linguistics PhD candidate Victoria Chen has been awarded the 2017 Award for Excellence in Doctoral Dissertation Research from the UHM College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, for her dissertation, “A reexamination of the Philippine-type voice system and its implications for Austronesian primary-level subgrouping.” Her dissertation investigates the comparative grammar of indigenous languages spoken in Taiwan, which provides new evidence for the classification of higher-order Austronesian languages. Congratulations, Victoria!


Original LLL news article

PDF with other awardees

Spring 2017 Pre-Defense Dissertations

Pre-defense dissertations are submitted to our department two weeks prior to each defense. Upcoming dissertations for Spring 2017 include:

We will be adding to this list as the semester continues. You can also check the Dissertations page for updates on other pre-defense dissertations for the current semester, or final dissertations from previous semesters.

Post Doc Position for Dr. Elaine Lau

Dr. Elaine Lau,  2016 alumna,  has just accepted a postdoctoral position at the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre (CBRC) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She will be developing psycholinguistic research on multilingual and heritage child language acquisition, as well as infant language development.

Nala Lee’s New Tenure-Track Position at National University of Singapore

Nala Lee has just been appointed assistant professor at National University of Singapore in the Department of English Language and Literature. Nala completed her Ph.D. in 2015, writing a dissertation entitled ‘A Grammar of Baba Malay with Sociophonetic Considerations’ (supervisor: Lyle Campbell). Congratulations to Nala!