Tuesday Seminar: Special Multi-Speaker Event

1) Speaker: Jonny Kim
Subject: The perception of words stereotypically associated with younger and older Korean speakers

Three findings demonstrate how probabilistic information in language is organized in the cognitive system together with social indices, and how this storage social information affects lexical access. First, words are better recognized when spoken by a talker whose age matches the age associated with the word. Word-stereotypes wield an additional influence on this effect above and beyond that of distribution. Second, recognizing age-associated target words is also influenced by age-neutral talkers; use of an age-related sociolinguistic marker embedded in a preceding utterance, indicating that activation of social exemplars spreads over to guide the processing of a subsequent word. Last (in progress), the effect of congruence between talker age and ‘word age’ is also observed in online processing, as evidenced by eye-tracking data.Therefore, associations are encoded at a representational level, and its effect occurs during lexical access, not as a consequence of post-access integration between acoustic signals and contextual information.

2) Speaker: Alex Smith
Subject: Radical sound change in eastern Borneo: stress shift and vowel expansion in previously undescribed languages

This presentation focuses on two groups of languages found in the East and North Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia, on the island of Borneo, where field work was undertaken during research for my dissertation. These languages exhibit several interesting features not found in most Austronesian languages of Indonesia, including strong word final stress, strikingly large vowel inventories (up to 26 vowels in one case), and interesting historical phonologies. The talk will focus on three languages, Merap, Gaai, and Kelai, but will include data from a few other languages where appropriate. Audio recordings will also be played for the audience, to give attendees a feel for the languages.

3) Speaker: Raina Heaton
Subject: A featural description of antipassive-type structures

In this talk I describe variations on antipassive-type patterns which were observed in a typological survey of 445 languages from all over the world. There were eleven features related to antipassives tracked for the survey, and their interaction describes a wide variety of structures, both antipassive and non-antipassive (at least by most definitions). I begin with a discussion of the features and why they were chosen, and give a basic working definition for antipassive. I then briefly discuss the eight common patterns of features found across the languages in the sample, and provide a series of schematics which illustrate how these features relate to each other. These findings inform our understanding of antipassive-type phenomena, and give us an idea of how frequent different patterns are across a genetically and geographically diverse sample.

4) Speaker: Amber Camp
Subject: Tone-intonation interaction in context in Thai

The acoustic realization of lexical tone is influenced by sentence-level intonation. For example, F0 measurements show that a phonologically falling tone in Thai differs in sentence-medial and sentence-final contexts. Sentence finally, when it is overlaid with a falling intonational contour, F0 falls further and begins its decline at an earlier timepoint than when in sentence-medial position. This categorical perception study, which includes identification and discrimination tasks, uses two nine-step continua of target words created with naturally produced lexical tone endpoints, presented within two different naturally produced sentence frames. These tasks investigate the perception of high and falling tones in sentence-medial and sentence-final positions in Thai to probe whether intonation on the sentence level influences perception of tones. The results shed light on the interaction of tone and intonation in the perception of natural speech, and offer insight into the mechanism with which language users process suprasegmental information.

Data Science Group for Language Researchers Meeting

The new Data Science Group for Language Researchers will have its next meeting on Tuesday 3/7/17 from 4-5pm in the Phonetics Lab (Moore 162). The topic for this meeting is data wrangling and tidy data. During the first half of the meeting we will explore the idea of tidy data and Hadley Wickham’s tidyverse R packages that are helpful in wrangling data. During the last half of the meeting we will work on wrangling some messy data in order to have some hands-on experience with the new R packages. All are welcome to attend but please bring your laptop with R and R Studio already installed.

Tuesday Seminar: Multilingualism As It Unfolds

Speaker:Dr. Emmanuel Ngué Um, Endangered Languages Project & University of Yaoundé

Subject: Multilingualism as it unfolds; on-line mapping of language repertoire in five-hour naturally occurring conversation among Bati (btc) female speakers.


More details to follow!

Da Pidgin Coup

Da Pidgin Coup is a small group, comprised mainly of faculty and graduate students from the departments of Second Language Studies, Linguistics and English, as well as community experts, who have been meeting regularly since fall 98. Our main focus is on linguistic and educational issues concerning Pidgin. The group has two main functions:

(1) to stimulate and support research on Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole)
(2) to advocate recognition of Pidgin in the university and wider communities.

Topics to cover on March 6:

  • Pushing back the Pidgin Film Festival to Fall 2017
  • Potential education workshop for Fall 2017
  • Bethany Schwartz: Pidgin and Education in Elementary Schools

The co-convenors are Kent Sakoda (sakoda@nullhawaii.edu) and Christina Higgins (cmhiggin@nullhawaii.edu).

5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

The conference program will feature two keynote talks, Talk Story roundtable discussions, and Workshops (pending final approval of funding). An optional Hilo Field Study (on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi) to visit Hawaiian language revitalization programs in action will immediately precede the conference (February 28-March 1).

The theme of the 5th ICLDC is “Vital Voices: Linking Language & Wellbeing.” Wellbeing is a state of the body and mind that encompasses the presence of positive moods and emotions, life satisfaction, fulfillment and positive functioning, and the absence of negative emotions like anxiety. Increasingly, researchers in several fields have noted a positive correlation between language maintenance and wellbeing in endangered language communities. While the nature of the connection between language and wellbeing remains the subject of much debate, the existence of a connection is not entirely unexpected, given the range of outcomes associated with wellbeing.

In addition, languages encode knowledge systems, so language loss represents not only the loss of a communicative system, but also the loss of traditional knowledge systems. Importantly, traditional knowledge systems encode cultural practices related to well-being. Understanding the connections between language and wellbeing will potentially have implications for public health and policy and beyond, but also for language researchers, since traditional knowledge systems are among the most threatened domains of endangered language. Knowledge of esoteric domains such as botanical classification and traditional medicines is forgotten well before basic vocabulary and language structure. Hence, these areas of traditional knowledge are precisely the areas which need to be prioritized by language documenters.

Exploring the connections between language and wellbeing is potentially transformational for language documentation and conservation, and thus it will be the theme for the 5th ICLDC. We aim to build on the strong momentum created by the 1st–4th ICLDCs to discuss research and revitalization approaches yielding rich records that can benefit both the field of language documentation and speech communities. We hope you will join us.