Austronesian Circle: Dr. Jim Ellis (11/14)

Speaker: Dr. Jim Ellis
Title: Community Level Top-down Grammar
Date & Time: 11/14 (Tues.), 3:00-4:00PM
Location: TBA

Abstract: Most grammars, including pedagogical grammars are well out of reach for most community-level Pacific Islanders. Part of the reason is that grammars typically start right out with subject matter that is the most abstract and furthest removed from daily island life (phonemes, parts of speech, etc.). And often the level of grammar that is nearest and most meaningful to islanders is left out all together: the level of discourse.

The Saipan Carolinian grammar (an Oceanic/Chuukic language) is therefore a “top-down” grammar. It begins with a culturally-relevant narrative and moves directly to the level of speech that speakers are most conscious of, the discourse level. It moves from there to the level of the sentence, then the clause, then the phrase, and ultimately leads to what will now become culturally-relevant morpheme and phoneme levels, always moving from the already integrated to the new that needs to be integrated, and always making correlations between known relationships in everyday life and the particular linguistic feature to be learned. Additionally, the Saipan Carolinian grammar takes all examples from the narrative and also introduces island-based terms to replace abstract linguistic terms.

Austronesian Circle: Joel Bradshaw (10/20)

Our 5th Austronesian Circle meeting will be held next Friday. Dr. Joel Brashaw will give a talk on his recent research on Numbami, an Austronesian language spoken in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
 
Welcome to join us! 
 
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Speaker: Dr. Joel Brashaw
Title: Polysemy and complementarity: Core verbs and their uses in Numbami
Abstract: please click here
Date/Time: 10/20 (Friday), 3-4PM
Location: Moore 575

Austronesian Circle: Manami Sato (10/9)

Speaker: Dr. Manami Sato (Okinawa International University)

Date: 10/9 (Mon.), 4-5PM

Location: TBA

Title: Psycholinguistics goes to the field: Effects of physical actions on event apprehension and selection of voice and word order in the Truku language

Abstract: We created a novel task to manipulate sense of agency and to assess whether pull/pulled actions cognitively influence event apprehension and are linguistically reflected in a subsequent process of selecting voice (Actor/Goal) and temporal alignment of linguistic components (VOS/SVO). We discuss eye-movement and sentence production data from 30 native speakers of the verb-initial language Truku. (Read more here.) 

 

Austronesian Circle 9/29

Speaker: Christian Mortensen
Title: Voice in Long Semadoh Lun Bawang
Location: Moore 575

More information: please click here
Abstract: Lun Bawang (also called Lun Dayeh or Lundayeh) is an Austronesian language spoken principally in the highlands of Borneo, with several thousand speakers spread across Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei. Based on data collected on the dialect spoken in Long Semadoh, Sarawak, I make four claims: (1) The language’s three voices are morphologically and syntactically symmetrical. (2) Pivot selection is motivated by two principles: (a) There must be one and only one pivot per clause, and (b) as in other Austronesian languages of this type, only a pivot-marked constituent may be A’-extracted (“pivot-only constraint”). (3) In the absences of syntactic restrictions, pivot selection is motivated by discourse considerations, preliminarily explored here in terms of Kund Lambrecht’s typology of focus; the results demonstrate that the term “focus-marking” is wholly inappropriate for this type of system. (4) Among younger speakers, the language is transitioning to a morphologically asymmetrical type built on the AV form as the result of a recent reanalysis.

 

Austronesian Circle 9/8

Join us on Fri., Sept. 8, for our first Austronesian Circle meeting of Fall 2017!
Speaker: Peter Schuelke
Title: Symmetrical Voice Alternations without Verbal Voice Morphology: Evidence from Ampenan Sasak
Time: 3-4 pm
Abstract: View here
Location: Moore 575 (conference room)
See you there!

Austronesian Circle

Speaker: Dr. William O’Grady
Title: The syntax of symmetry
Time: 4/26, 3-4 pm
Location: Moore 575 (conference room)
Abstract: I’ll be exploring some ideas about the relationship between symmetrical voice and other types of alignment (i.e., accusativity and ergativity), with special attention to case and a handful of syntactic operations in Austronesian languages.
Join us for the last meeting of the semester!

Austronesian Circle

Speaker: Dr. Robert Blust
Title: Six patterns of recurrent metathesis in Austronesian languages
Most sound changes show clear evidence of phonetic motivation. However, one type of change that has long been difficult to reconcile with this view is metathesis. In this paper, I will argue that metathesis is a cover term for several quite different phenomena, and that while many metatheses may be the deceptively simple outcome of complex phonetic processes, others do seem to fit the classic definition of a one-step segmental transposition by a speaker. More problematically, many of the latter kinds of changes do not find a ready explanation within any theoretical framework that has yet been proposed. The most challenging of these changes are those that are recurrent, since here the question of motivation is more pressing than when a metathesis affects a single lexical item.