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

Tuesday Seminar: Clausal constituency as a window into historical Austronesian morphosyntax

Daniel Kaufman (Endangered Language Alliance & Queens College)

In this talk, I use traditional constituency diagnostics such as coordination and adverb placement to investigate the status of the verb phase in Austronesian. Conservative Malayo-Polynesian languages are shown to treat the verb and Agent of a Non-Actor Voice clause as a constituent which excludes the Patient (in agreement with earlier analyses of languages such as Tagalog and Malagasy). This stands in strong contrast to (both accusative and ergative) languages of mainland SE Asia, most of which show relatively good evidence for a traditional Verb Phrase that includes the verb and Patient while excluding the Agent. 

Expanding on earlier work, I argue that the unusual grouping of transitive Agent with the verb is accounted for in Austronesian by the historical reanalysis of possessors as agents. Possessors naturally form a constituent with the noun phrases they modify and thus the Possessor/Agent forms a constituent with the verb after the N>V reanalysis. This leads us to an interesting prediction regarding Puyuma and Tsou under Ross’s (2009) Nuclear Austronesian hypothesis. If only the realis paradigm consisting of Patient Voice *-en, Locative Voice *-an, and Circumstantial Voice *Si-  derives historically from the reanalysis of nominalizations, we do not expect the unusual constituency of Non-Actor Voice clauses in Malayo-Polynesian languages to show up in the irrealis paradigm, which never passed through this nominal stage. 

Evidence from Puyuma and Tsou points towards the existence of just such an asymmetry. Teng (2008) strongly suggests an unmarked word order in Puyuma Non-Actor Voice clauses that is highly unusual for Formosan and Philippine languages: the pivot (or NOM argument) regularly precedes the transitive agent. The unmarked status of this order was supported by experimental elicitation in recent fieldwork. Crucially, however, the unmarked Pred GenP NomP order of NAV clauses in Nuclear Austronesian languages also emerged in Puyuma in clauses with nominal predicates. This can be interpreted to support the Nuclear An Hypothesis as it represents an additional syntactic parallelism between nominal predicates in extra-Nuclear An languages and the canonical declaratives of Nuclear An languages.  Beyond these particular arguments specific to Austronesian, I aim to address the wider relevance of word order and clausal constituency to solve historical questions.

Graduate Student News (Spring & Summer 2016)

Claire Stabile and Victoria Chen, along with Dr. Kamil Deen and Nian Liu had their paper Cross-linguistic priming of the passive in Mandarin and English bilinguals published in the proceedings of the 13th Annual Generative Approaches to Second-Language Acquisition Conference.

Ryan Henke received two grants to fund a nine-week summer pilot research trip to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. While there, he also worked at the University of Alberta’s Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI), where he taught a computer class and served as an intern for two courses.

Victoria Chen presented her paper Actor voice ≠ Antipassive: Against the syntactic ergative analysis for Formosan languages at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in January.

Victoria Chen presented her paper Pivot ≠ Absolutive: Evidence from Formosan at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society.

Victoria Chen presented her paper Philippine-type “”voice”” affixes as A’-agreement markers: Evidence from productive causatives at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistic Association.

Victoria Chen, along with Dr. Shin Fukuda, presented their paper Re-labeling “”Ergative””: Evidence from Formosan at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistic Association.

Victoria Chen’s book review To see a world in a grain of sand: Review of Voice and v: Lessons from Acehnese was published in Oceanic Linguistics.

Victoria Chen and Dr. Shin Fukuda’s paper Raising to object out of CP as embedded left dislocations: Evidence from three Formosan languages was published in Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics.

Victoria Chen and Dr. Shin Fukuda’s paper Three ways to steal an element from a CP: evidence from Formosan was published in Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association.

Victoria Chen is participating in a one-year collaborative project called Constituency in Formosan languages with Dr. Daniel Kaufman. The project is funded by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.

Colleen O’Brien presented her paper At the Crossroads of Language Death: Displacement, Language Loss, and Identity in Colombia at the Society for Applied Anthropology meeting in Vancouver in March. She received a grant from the GSO to cover her travel expenses.

Colleen O’Brien presented her paper Creating Relevant Curricula for Endangered Languages in Colombia at the Sixth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment in July.

Colleen O’Brien was awarded a Lewis and Clark Exploration Grant from the American Philosophical Society to fund her fieldwork on Kamentsa, a language isolate of Colombia.

Bryn Hauk received the Bilinski Summer Research Award. For her project, she traveled to Zemo Alvani, Georgia, met members of the Batsbi (Tsova-Tush) community, and recorded their language.  Summer 2016_BrynHAUKRaina Heaton’s article Variation and change: The case of movement verbs in Kaqchikel appeared in the International Journal of American Linguistics.

Raina Heaton, Dr. Kamil Deen, and Dr. William O’Grady’s article An investigation of relativization in Kaqchikel appeared in the journal Lingua.

Raina Heaton and Patricia Anderson’s paper When animals become human: Grammatical gender in Tunica is currently in press at the International Journal of American Linguistics.

Raina Heaton’s article Active-stative Agreement in Tunica is currently in press at Anthropological Linguistics.

Raina Heaton and Igor Xoyon’s article Assessing language acquisition in the Kaqchikel program at Nimaläj Kaqchikel Amaq’ is currently in press at Language Documentation & Conservation.

Raina Heaton was awarded a Bilinski dissertation fellowship, and also spent a month in Guatemala over the summer finishing her dissertation fieldwork. This included, among other things, four picture elicitation experiments, the results of which will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas in 2017.S16_RainaHeatonRaina Heaton presented two talks at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas. The first was titled How many ‘antipassives’ are there? Towards a functional typology of antipassive-type constructions in Kaqchikel. The second, co-presented by Dr. Judith Maxwell (Tulane University), was titled A re-evaulation of the perfect in Kaqchikel. Raina also presented a poster at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America on her work with the Kaqchikel immersion school in Guatemala.

Raina Heaton presented at the Societas Linguistica Europeae in Naples, Italy. Her presentation was based on work from her dissertation, where she developed a typology of languages with multiple antipassive constructions.

Anna Belew received funding from the Bilinski Educational Foundation to conduct summer research in Cameroon; her study investigated language attitudes and language shift in Iyasa, an endangered Bantu language.S16_AnnaBelewJonny Kim received a Bilinski dissertation fellowship, and has successfully collected data in Korea and Hawaii, including three versions of lexical decision experiments and one eye-tracking experiment.

Jonny Kim presented his poster at the 15th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Cornell University, and received a LabPhon15 conference travel award.S16_JonnyKimKevin Bätscher presented his mapping project Ing Pámitalátalúkì ding danuman Kapampángan (The map of Kapampangan waterways) along with his collaborators Michael R. Pangilinan (language activist, Kapampangan nation) and JC Gaillard (geographer, University of Auckland) at the 26th Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society in Manila.S16_KevinBaetscherKevin Bätscher received a Jacobs Research Fund for the project Hul’q’umi’num’ Voices: The Language of Music, for which he interviews Coast Salish elders on Vancouver Island about cultural teachings and the linguistic encoding of the wide range of musical traditions in the area. This is a collaborative project with Sewit (Thomas Jones) of the Snuneymuxw FIrst Nation.

Working Papers Vol. 44

  • 44 (1)
    Aragon, Carolina
    Phonetic Realization of Medial Stop Consonants in Akuntsu
    [PDF without audio files]
    [PDF with audio files]-open with Adobe Reader
    January 2013
  • 44 (2)
    Joo, Kum-Jeong
    Universal 20 and Word-Order Variation in Korean [PDF]
    April 2013
  • 44 (3)
    Grama, James
    The Effect of a Single Formant on Dialect Identification [PDF]
    April 2013
  • 44 (4)
    Odango, Emerson
    The Status of Subject and Object Pronominal Elements in Lukunosh Mortlockese [PDF]
    April 2013