Tuesday Seminar: Elliott, Stabile, Hauk (11/28)

Speakers: John Elliott; Claire Stabile; and Bryn Hauk

Date and Time: 11/28 (Tues.), 12PM

Location: AGSCI 220

Abstract 1: Semantic alignment in Enxet Sur (Elliott)

This presentation is a fieldwork report from recent fieldwork on Enxet Sur, an Enlhet-Enenlhet language of the Paraguayan Chaco. Enxet Sur, like many languages of the Chaco and larger Lowland South America, has a type of semantic alignment system (also referred to as active-stative or split-S) in which intransitive verbs have two pronominal prefix paradigms dependent upon a lexicalized distinction between ‘active’ and ‘stative’ verbs. This presentation will describe the formal qualities of the split and discuss the degree to which the set of stative verbs in Enxet Sur constitute a discrete semantic category based on the notion of control.

Abstract 2: Research update: investigating associations between quotative verbs and language varieties in Hawai`i (Stabile)

This talk provides an update on data collection and analysis from a perception experiment investigating Hawai`i locals’ associations between quotative verbs (like and tell) and two language varieties (Pidgin and Hawai`i English) found in Hawai`i.

Abstract 3: lamuħ xiɬen yexeni ‘Have you been to the mountains?’: Fieldwork with the Tsova-Tush language, 2017

In this talk I report on my second field trip to the Tsova-Tush-speaking community of Zemo Alvani, Georgia. The goals of this field report are twofold. First, I contribute to the broader discussion happening in our department about the diversity of fieldwork situations and experiences; specifically, I discuss issues of language names, a linguist’s status as an outsider, and the types and amount of recording that can reasonably be collected for a given field site. Second, I briefly share some interesting data involving discourse referent tracking that I plan to explore further in future trips.

Tuesday Seminar: Timothy Vance (11/21)

Speaker: Dr. Timothy Vance (East Asian Languages & Literature)
Date & Time: Nov. 21 (Tues.), 12PM
Location: AGSCI 220

Title: Japanese Spelling Pronunciations

The Japanese writing system is routinely described as the most complicated system still in use in the modern world, and this complexity allows orthography and phonology to influence each other in a variety of different ways, some of which have no obvious analogs in cases involving alphabetic systems. This presentation will consider the notion of spelling pronunciation by examining several putative examples of orthography–phonology interaction in Japanese. Unless these examples can somehow be explained away, a complete spelling pronunciation typology presumably has to be flexible enough to accommodate all of them.


Tuesday Seminar: Maggie Sood (11/14)

Speaker: Maggie Sood
In partnership with Ashleigh Smith, Kevin Baetscher, Andrea Berez-Kroeker, Claire Stabile, Brad Rentz, Gavin Lamb, Christina Higgins & Victoria Anderson

Title: Introducing HI-SKILLS: Hawai’i School Kids Investigating Language in Life + Society

Date & Time: 11/14 (Tues.), 12:00PM
Abstract: In this seminar we introduce HI-SKILLS, a linguistics-based after-school program that started last spring at Voyager Public Charter School. We present the ongoing development of HI-SKILLS as a community-based extension of the LDTC, and discuss our philosophical viewpoint that kids are experts about the language they hear around them every day. We also present the activities and materials we developed during the HI-SKILLS session last spring, and look to the future. HI-SKILLS is an outreach project of the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Second Language Studies, and is sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Linguistics Association and the Charlene Junko Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole, and Dialect Studies.

Tuesday Seminar: Camp, Yarbrough, Henke (11/7)

Speakers: Amber Camp, Danielle Yarbrough, Ryan Henke
Date and Time: Nov. 7 (Tues.), 12:00PM – 1:15PM
Location: AGSCI 220
1) Amber Camp
Title: An investigation of tones and intonation in Thai: Progress report from summer fieldwork
Abstract: This talk is a report on my progress towards collecting controlled-yet-naturalistic sentence recordings in Thai. These recordings will be analyzed descriptively, looking primarily at pitch in regards to Thai tone and intonation, and the interaction of the two. Selections from the recordings will also be used as stimuli in an eyetracking study, designed as a follow-up to a previous offline categorical perception study in which the categorical boundary between a minimal tone pair shifted depending on the surrounding sentence context. This suggests that intonation affects lexical processing. An online eyetracking study will provide additional information on the real-time processing of Thai sentences as the signal unfolds, allowing for a closer examination of this phenomenon. In this presentation, I will share my goals and challenges on my progress to date.
2) Danielle Yarbrough
Language Documentation and Playful Pedagogy with Nitsipuwahsin at the Aamsskáápipikuni Nation

This presentation will cover my preliminary fieldwork with the Nitsipuwahsin (Real Speak, Blackfoot) language at Aamsskáápipikuni (Southern Piegan, Blackfeet) Nation in Montana. I will present my experiences working with Aamsskáápipikuni speakers, networking with teachers at Nitsipuwahsin (Cuts Wood Immersion School) and the Piegan Institute, and collaborating on the development of a linguistically-informed pedagogical game in Nitsipuwahsin at Native Teaching Aids. I will conclude with a discussion of future goals and potential collaborative projects with the community for future fieldwork.
3) Ryan Henke
Title: The creation of Igtumi, the digital collection of Nakota-language resources
Abstract: This presentation describes the summer 2017 creation of Igtumi, the digital collection of Nakota-language resources for Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation (ANSN). Igtumi holds more than 230 hours of digital audio and video files created by community members at ANSN. In addition to serving as a repository for recordings, Igtumi also provides a SayMore-based platform to allow user-friendly annotation and transcription of such files. This facilitates not only language documentation but also the creation of pedagogical tools such as vocabulary lists and subtitled videos.

Check our Website for more information about the speaker and for this semester’s schedule: http://www.ling.hawaii.edu/tuesday-seminar-series

Amy Schafer (aschafer@nullhawaii.edu) & Gyu-Ho Shin (ghshin@nullhawaii.edu)
Tuesday Seminar Coordinator & Tuesday Seminar Graduate Assistant

Tuesday Seminar: Nayoung Kwon (10/31)

Speaker: Dr. Nayoung Kwon (Department of English, Konkuk University)

Date & Time: 10/31 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM

Place: AGSCI 220

Title: What makes Korean a discourse-oriented language?: Universal vs. Language-specific processing mechanisms

Abstract: One of the underlying assumptions in the studies of language processing is that cross-linguistic parsing mechanisms can be investigated. That is, given that language processing should be constrained by human’s general cognitive processing, by examining the way that various languages are processed, we should be able to uncover universal parsing mechanisms. In this talk, I will also rely on this assumption, presenting experimental results from studies of Korean compatible to those of English. The focus of the talk, however, will be placed on variations across languages despite apparent cross-linguistic similarities.

In Part 1, I will present studies investigating pro (null argument) resolution in Korean. I will show that i) pro resolution elicits the LAN effect similarly to an overt pronoun resolution in English, and ii) pro is assigned an antecedent without any delay similarly to an overt pronoun in English. However, I will also show that pro in Korean is more sensitive to discourse cues than to morpho-syntactic cues unlike an overt pronoun in English.

In Part 2, I will present studies investigating subject-verb honorific agreement in Korean. I will show that i) subject-verb honorific agreement violation in Korean elicits the P600 effect similarly to number/person agreement violation in English and ii) subject-verb honorific agreement in Korean is prone to attraction effects similarly to number/person agreement in English. I will also show, however, that despite these similarities, subject-verb honorific agreement in Korean seems more prone to semantic interference effects than number/person agreement in English.

Based on these results, I argue that while similar parsing mechanisms might indeed underlie the processing of various languages, human language processing is also critically constrained by different grammatical features of individual languages. For example, in the case of Korean, Korean might in general place more emphasis on discourse context than English or Spanish with more obvious morpho-syntactic cues, and this could have led to slightly different processing patterns in these languages. Accordingly, in studies of language processing, it would be important to distinguish between universal vs. language-specific processing mechanisms, and this will be better achieved by cross-linguistic studies.

Tuesday Seminar: Ono, Rentz (10/24)

Speakers: Christianne Ono, Bradley Rentz
Date & Time: 10/24 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM
Place: AGSCI 220

Title 1: Preliminary Fieldwork in the Ikema-jima and Nishihara Ikema Miyakoan Communities

Abstract: Ikema is a variety of Miyako, which in turn is a “Definitely Endangered” Southern Ryukyuan language (UNESCO, 2010). It is spoken in three communities on three separate islands: the original Ikema-jima community on Ikema Island, the Nishihara community on Miyako Island, and the Sarahama community on Irabu Island. This talk presents the researcher’s experiences conducting fieldwork the Ikema-jima and Nishihara communities, reflecting particularly on the observed differences in relative linguistic vitality and community members’ attitudes towards the local Ikema variety. Additionally, some of the programs and events related to language and culture preservation and revitalization will be introduced. To conclude, this talk will consider areas for future research and possibilities for increased community involvement based on the results from this preliminary fieldwork.

Title 2: Pohnpei sohte ehu: Quantitative methods for finding emergent heteroglossic patterns in language attitudes

Abstract: In this presentation, I present novel quantitative methods for analyzing language attitudes using data from 1.3% of the adult population on Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. Previous methods for language attitudes analyses typically utilized pre-defined essentialized categories that are heavily influenced by non-localized contexts. To counter this method, I propose new quantitative analyses that allow groups and categories to emerge from the data. I present results both from analyses that utilize pre-defined categories and those that do not to demonstrate the benefits of the new analyses. The results show how the new analyses allow for voices in the data to be see that would otherwise have been ignored.

Tuesday Seminar: Leah Pappas, Katherine Strong, Thomas Kettig

Speakers: Leah Pappas; Katherine Strong; Thomas Kettig
Date: 10/10 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM

Leah Pappas
Title: New Caledonia Preliminary Fieldwork
Abstract: New Caledonia is a French Overseas Territory and home to 28 Austronesian languages. Although many of these languages are dying as a result of French influence, the Kanak culture is still strong. This talk outlines the steps that must be taken by an outsider to be able to work with the Kanak people. It discusses the cultural and linguistic programs that exist in the province and the cultural practices that one must adhere to while making connections. Furthermore, this talk will share preliminary data on topological relations in four New Caledonian languages: Drehu, Cèmuhî, Paicî, and Nyelâyu.
Katherine Strong
Title: Serau Tet Kanowit: Language Documentation in Kampung Bedil
Abstract: This presentation reports on the preliminary stage of the Serau Tet Kanowit Documentation Project. Serau Kanowit, or the Kanowit language, is an endangered and under-described language spoken in Central Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. I will introduce the primary partners involved in the project, provide language and geographical background, and discuss concrete goals, outcomes, and next steps for the project. Further discussion will center around sociolinguistics and the multi-glossic environment in which serau Kanowit is spoken. To conclude, I will briefly share my experience with mental health while in the field, in an effort to shed light on the challenges many field linguists face.
Thomas Kettig
Title: The social evaluation of TRAP-backing in Montreal
Abstract: The backness of TRAP has been demonstrated to vary by speaker age and gender in many parts of the United States and Canada, including California (Kennedy & Grama 2012), Montreal (Kettig & Winter 2017), and Hawaiʻi (Drager et al. 2013). In each of these places, younger people and women lead in the ongoing retraction of TRAP from [æ] toward [a] (reduced F2). While work in California has indicated that TRAP-backing may be indexed with casual ‘Valley Girl’ and formal professional personae (D’Onofrio 2015), its social meanings in other locales remain little-investigated.
In this matched-guise experiment, L1 English speaking young adults from Montreal, Hawaiʻi, and California (1M, 1F per region) were recorded reading a sentence; vowel resynthesis in the word map produced a retracted and an unretracted guise from the same recording from each speaker, differing by 200 Hz in F2. Forty-six young adult L1 English participants in Montreal (11 male) completed a task rating speakers’ perceived physical and social attributes.
Bayesian linear hierarchical modeling indicates that female listeners judge retracted stimuli as more authoritative in women’s voices, while men judge male speakers’ unretracted guises as more authoritative. Overall, female unretracted and male retracted guises are rated as friendlier. Female listeners identify retracted male, but not female, guises as younger-sounding.
Though we are still in the initial stages of data analysis, we can identify some tentative initial results. While men’s shiftedness may be judged as reliably indicating age, women seem to associate TRAP-backing with authoritative, less-friendly characteristics in other women. In the course of a female-led sound shift, speakers – especially women – may be more attuned to women’s style shifting, and may diverge from men in their social evaluations.
D’Onofrio, A. 2015. Perceiving personae: Effects of social information on perceptions of TRAP-backing. UPenn Working Papers in Linguistics 21(2):31–39.
Drager, K, M. J. Kirtley, J. Grama & S. Simpson. 2013. Language variation and change in Hawai‘i English: KIT, DRESS, and TRAP. UPenn Working Papers in Linguistics 19(2):41–50.
 Kennedy, R & J. Grama. 2012. Chain shifting and centralization in California vowels: An acoustic analysis. American Speech 87(1):39–56.
Kettig, T. & B. Winter. 2017. Producing and perceiving the Canadian Vowel Shift: Evidence from a Montreal community. Language Variation & Change 29:79–100.

Tuesday Seminar: Chien-Jer Charles Lin (10/17)

Speaker: Chien-Jer Charles Lin, (Associate Professor of Chinese Linguistics, East Asian Languages and Culture, Indiana University)

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Title: Processing Prenominal Relative Clauses in Mandarin Chinese: Forms and Functions

Time: 12:00 – 1:15 PM

Place: AGSCI 220
The last 15 years of research on Chinese relative clause processing have indicated both promising directions as well as puzzles. This talk reviews the landscape of these findings and how this line of research sheds light on the processing of head-final structures. Among the many questions regarding the forms and functions of prenominal relative clauses in Mandarin, I will discuss the following three from a sentence processing perspective: 1) What is the discourse function of prenominal relative clauses in terms of restrictiveness and contrastiveness?, 2) What do comparisons between different types of relative clauses in Chinese illuminate?, and 3) What is the role of working memory in processing prenominal relative clauses?


Check our Website for more information about the speaker and for this semester’s schedule: http://www.ling.hawaii.edu/tuesday-seminar-series

Amy Schafer (aschafer@nullhawaii.edu) & Gyu-Ho Shin (ghshin@nullhawaii.edu)
Tuesday Seminar Coordinator & Tuesday Seminar Graduate Assistant

Tuesday Seminar: Christian Mortensen, Andrew Pick

Speaker: Christian Mortensen; Andrew Pick
Date: 9/26 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM
Title: The Lun Bawang Language of Long Semadoh, Lawas, Sarawak; Classifying the Croisilles languages
Abstract 1: Lun Bawang (also called Lun Dayeh or Lundayeh) is an Austronesian language belonging to the North Sarawak subgroup on Borneo, most closely related to Kelabit and Sa’ban, and spoken primarily in the north of Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan, with smaller numbers of speakers in Sabah and Brunei. This talk draws on two months of work on the dialect spoken in Long Semadoh, a string of seven villages located along the headwaters of the Trusan River in Sarawak and consists essentially in three parts: (1) an introduction to the location and its residents, (2) a cursory glance at the synchronic phonology of the Long Semadoh dialect, and (3) diachronically-oriented cross-dialectal phonological comparisons.

Abstract 2:

The linguistic ecology of Papua New Guinea, characterized by prevalent multilingualism and an extremely high density of languages in long-standing close contact, has resulted in a situation where languages freely borrow features that have been said to be resistant to borrowing, such as basic vocabulary and pronouns (Foley 2000).  Distinguishing between directly inherited and borrowed material can be especially challenging, presenting an interesting test case for the application of the comparative method.  

This talk concerns a group of around fifty languages in Madang province that Ross (2005) terms the Croisilles linkage.  Using primary data from my own fieldwork, as well as previously published wordlists and dictionaries, I propose a new internal structure for the group based off of shared phonological innovations, and compare this to previous classifications arrived at by other methods.


Foley, W. A. (2000).  The Languages of New Guinea.  Annual Review of Anthropology, 29, 357-404.
Ross, M. (2005). Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages. Papuan pasts: Cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples, 15-65.

Check our website for more information about the speaker and for this semester’s schedule. Contacts: Coordinator, Amy Schafer (aschafer@nullhawaii.edu) & Graduate Assistant, Gyu-Ho Shin (ghshin@nullhawaii.edu).

Tuesday Seminar: A.L. Blake, Peter Schuelke

Speaker: A.L. Blake, Peter Schuelke
Date: 9/19 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM
Title: Botanical knowledge of the Abui: a field report; Roviana fieldwork in the Solomon Islands
Abstract 1: When language- and culture- shift is underway, ecological domains of knowledge are in particular danger of being lost (Si 2011). This talk reports on progress in documenting the botanical knowledge of the Abui people of Alor Island, Eastern Indonesia, encoded in the languages of Abui (a threatened non-Austronesian language of the Timor-Alor-Pantar language family), and Alor Malay (an underdescribed Malay-based creole). Topics discussed include interdisciplinary methods of documentation and analysis, nomenclature and ethnotaxonomies, and creation of a community resource.
Abstract 2: Fieldwork in the Solomon Islands is important for both documentary and theoretical reasons. This talk will discuss Solomon Islands fieldwork and then briefly introduce some of its scientific findings. The Solomon Islands is a country with great linguistic diversity, but unfortunately there is very little active documentation of these languages. Documentation of Roviana is a first step. Some of the typological highlights of Roviana include a marked-absolutive case-marking system, exclusive object agreement, symmetrical voice alternations without verbal voice morphology, and novel reflexive binding patterns. This fieldwork likely represents the first formal diagnostics for a Western Solomon language. Perhaps further fieldwork in the Solomon Islands would reveal that there are other languages with patterns similar to those of Roviana.

Check our website for more information about the speaker and for this semester’s schedule. Contacts: Coordinator, Amy Schafer (aschafer@nullhawaii.edu) & Graduate Assistant, Gyu-Ho Shin (ghshin@nullhawaii.edu).