Tuesday Seminar Series

The Linguistics Department Tuesday Seminar is held in BioMed Building, Room T208 at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa from 12:00pm to 1:15PM every Tuesday in both Fall and Spring semesters.

Any topic related to linguistics is welcome. The seminar coordinator will be Dr. Shin Fukuda (Linguistics Department).  If you are interested in giving a talk or would like further information, please contact Shin Fukuda (fukudash@nullhawaii.edu).

December 2022

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • Lydia Eastman and Melia Gomes
  • Dannielle Farrall and Kelli McLeod
  • Lydia Eastman and Melia Gomes

    6-Dec-2022  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Biomedical Sciences Building, Biomedical Sciences, 1960 East-West Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

    Title:  Pilot Study:  A Usage-Based Approach to /s/ Voicing Assimilation in Peninsular Spanish (Eastman) and Context-Dependent Number Marking (Gomes)

    Speakers:  Lydia Eastman and Melia Gomes, MA Students
    Location:  Biomedical Sciences T208
    Zoom Link:  https://hawaii.zoom.us/j/96319201459

    Meeting ID: 963 1920 1459
    Passcode: Tuesday

    Abstract for Lydia Eastman:  In Spanish phonology it is described that /s/ in syllable coda position before a voiced consonant is realized as the voiced allophone /z/, this is known as the categorical sound change of /s/ regressive voicing assimilation (Harris, 1969; Torreblanca, 1978). However, Ernestus (2011) claims that “gradience appears to be a much more important characteristic of speech sounds than is traditionally assumed” (p. 13) and Bybee et al. (2016) found that high frequency words will show a greater effect on sound change. There is also evidence that /s/ voicing assimilation is based on variables such as features of phonological environment, location in sentence, stress, prosody, among many other sociolinguistic variables (Bradley, 2007; Cachón & Alonso, 2003; Campos-Astorkiza, 2014; Chapell, 2011; Garcia, 2015). As Brown & Alba (2017) claim that lexical frequency effects should be analyzed alongside phonological contexts for reduction, in this pilot study of Spanish /s/, I analyze tokens of word-internal /s/ that occur before a voiced consonant using interviews from the COSER corpus (Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, 2005) in Spain and examine them through the hypothesis that higher frequency words will exhibit a higher rate of /s/ voicing assimilation or other reductions than lower frequency words. The study concludes with avenues for further research on this topic.

     Abstract for Melia Gomes:  In most languages, the plural morpheme is used to indicate that a noun has at minimum one more referent than the next lowest number category within the morphological system of the language in which it appears. However, several languages additionally use the plural morpheme in order to convey the same meaning which is otherwise indicated by the dual and/or the trial morpheme, which indicate that there are exactly two or exactly three referents, respectively. This use of the plural morpheme which overlaps with usually contrasting inflectional morphemes is limited to language-specific contexts. This talk presents data from several languages which follow this pattern of number marking, and discusses ways to analyze its grammaticality. Additional questions will be raised which, if answered, may shed additional light on the topic. The relevance of this type of number marking to the fields of syntax, semantics, and cognitive science will also be discussed.

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  • Dannielle Farrall and Kelli McLeod

    9-Dec-2022  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Moore Hall, Room 155A

    Title:  Besemah Folklore: An Ethnopoetic Analysis (Farrall) and Getting the Conversation Started: Creating Children's Literature in the Nasal Language (McLeod)

    Speaker:  Dannielle Farrall and Kelli McLeod, MA Students

    Location: Moore Hall, Room 155A (limited seating, up to 25)
    Zoom Link:  https://hawaii.zoom.us/j/91386710365

    Meeting ID: 913 8671 0365
    Passcode: 606738

    Abstract for Besemah Folklore: An Ethnopoetic Analysis (Dannielle Farrall):  This presentation describes the documentation and analysis of Andai-andai, an endangered genre of folklore in Besemah, a Malayic language spoken in the highlands of southwest Sumatra, Indonesia. These folktales were collected by Bradley McDonnell and translated with the help of Hendi Feriza. Over the past few months, I, along with Cole Flottman, helped improve the documentation by editing the transcriptions and translations of Besemah Andai-andai in ELAN. Through this process , I also analyzed the narrative through an ethnopoetic lens. This method works to understand how participants interact and perceive the stories with a sensitivity towards knowing what we receive as listeners may not be as direct and straightforward as we expect, especially in regards to a narrative structure. (Dobrin, 2012). This process includes identifying structure, discourse patterns, and possible metaphors dealing with cultural and historical aspects of the narratives (Scorcia, 2016). I discuss the multifaceted goals of this project, along with the overarching themes, characters and cultural aspects found within the Andai-andai. 

    About the presenter: Dannielle Farrall, also known as Dannie Farrall, is finishing her Master’s Degree of Linguistics, in the Language Documentation and conservation stream. She earned her Bachelor degree in Film/Media and Chinese Language from the University of Rhode Island in 2018. Influenced by her experience in working with narratives and studying languages, she naturally turned towards understanding narratives important to a wide range of cultures. Her main areas of interest are language documentation, sociolinguistics, folklore and historical linguistics.


    Abstract for Getting the Conversation Started: Creating Children's Literature in the Nasal Langauge (Kelli McLeod): In this presentation, I describe a project to create the first prototypes of children’s literature in Nasal, an endangered Sumatran language spoken on the coast of southwest Sumatra. As part of an ongoing collaborative relationship between members of the Nasal language community and Bradley McDonnell and others at UH, I developed prototypes of the very first children’s books written in the Nasal language. I discuss this project from initial ideation, addressing the need for children’s literature in Nasal, the roles of non-Nasal collaborators in this project, as well as practical issues of orthography, choice of words and pictures among other considerations when creating the book. I then report on the current state of materials being shared with collaborators who are members of the Nasal community. and how our interactions are continuing to shape the development of these materials.

    About the presenter: Kelli McLeod is currently completing a Master of Linguistics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, focusing on Language Documentation and Conservation. She has previously completed her B.Ed from the University of Victoria and Diploma of Teacher-Librarianship from the University of British Columbia. She worked as a classroom teacher and teacher librarian in Canada before moving to Hawaiʻi and beginning her linguistic studies. Informed by her previous education and employment, Kelli’s research at UH has focused on the interaction of children’s literature with language revitalization.

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