Student Showcase

**A special student showcase featuring four of our current Ph.D. candidates!**

The perception of words stereotypically associated with younger and older Korean speakers

Jonny Kim (Linguistics, UH Mānoa)

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.


 

Topological relations in Pohnpeian

BRADLEY RENTZ (Linguistics, UH Mānoa)

In this talk I present a more nuanced understanding of topological relations in the Pohnpeian language. The data were collected via the BowPed toolkit with five Pohnpeian L1 speakers. The data were then categorized with the help of evolutionary classification tree modeling. The results show that the two prepositions in Pohnpeian, nan and ni should be redefined in terms of topological relations as ‘containment’ and ‘attachment’ respectively. Likewise the meaning of some prepositional nouns are further revised.


 

A featural description of antipassive-type structures

Raina Heaton (Linguistics, UH Mānoa)

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.


 

Tone-intonation interaction in context in Thai

Amber Camp (Linguistics, UH Mānoa)

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.