Tuesday Seminar Series

The Linguistics Department Tuesday Seminar is held in St. John 11 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 is Amy Schafer.  If you are interested in giving a talk or would like further information, please contact Amy Schafer.

April 2018

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • Dr. Shigeo Tonoike
  • Hawaiian Knowledge Dept.
  • Bryn Hauk (PhD Candidate, Ling Dept.)
  • Dr. 'Ōiwi Parker-Jones
  • Dr. Shigeo Tonoike

    3-Apr-2018  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Saint John Plant Science Lab, St John Plant Science Lab, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

    "On Ellipsis: Parallelism as an Explanandum (rather than an Explanans)"

    [St. John 011]

    Three problems face the treatment of ellipsis in thecurrent framework of minimalism.

    First, the two approaches to ellipsis that have beenproposed, namely the PF deletion approach (by deletion in the Phonetic Formcomponent) and the LF copying approach (by covert copying/ movement), arevirtually notational variants of each other, and hence it is next to impossibleto choose one over the other, but retaining both would create unjustifiableredundancy.  This situation isillustrated with VP deletion in (1) and (2).

    (1)    You cancome with us if you want to come with us -->PF deletion

            You cancome with us if you want to come with us

    (2)    You cancome with us if you want to [      ]-->LF copying

             You cancome with us if you want to [come with us]

    If (1) is correct, (2) becomes unnecessary, and if (2)is correct (1) becomes unnecessary.

    Second, neither operations fully satisfy the"conceptual necessity" requirement: the fact that they are virtuallynotational variants of each other attests to the lack of conceptual necessityof each. This is in stark contrast with the operation Merge with clearconceptual necessity (no language can be conceived of without a structurebuilding operation of Merge). While deletion of small units in phonology isclearly needed (he is-->he's), it is not clear that deletion of largeconstituents that is involved in ellipsis is a phonological process. LF(covert) operations are widely used, but if grammar does not contain covertoperations as Kayne (2005) and others including myself propose, then LF copyingis not an option.

    Third, both approaches appeal to some notion ofParallelism to capture the fact that the "antecedent" and the"elided element" are "identical" in some sense: the problemis especially acute in the deletion approach in which Parallelism plays acrucial role (cf. deletion under identity).

    In view of these problems, the optimal move is toeliminate PF deletion, LF copying and Parallelism altogether and replace themwith something else with clear conceptual necessity. In this talk I propose toreplace them by Merge, the operation that has clear conceptual necessity. Morespecifically I propose that ellipsis involves a constituent XP, with onephonetic form /XP/ and (at least) two copies of its meaning {XP}2,where the sound and meaning pair undergoes Sideward Movement, leaving a meaningcopy {XP} behind, as illustrated schematically below. (In other words, Ipropose that a syntactic object comes with one phonetic form and any number ofcopies of its meaning.)

    (3)         ...    /XP/      ...                                                   ...    /XP/    ....

                        {XP}2             --(Sideward) Movement-->           {XP}            {XP}

    This creates two syntactic objects, one with aphonetic shape /XP/ and the meaning {XP}, and the other without a phoneticshape only consisting of the meaning {XP}.  The two copies of {XP} are identical sincethey are copies. The VP deletion example in (1)(2) will be derived in thefollowing fashion (minor details are ignored here for ease of exposition)

    (4)             can      ...        if you want to /come with us/     ---Sideward Movement

                                                                  {come with us}2

                    can /come with us/       ...       if you want to

                          {come with us}                                        {come with us}

    The modal canin (4) is in need of a v*P, which can be supplied by applying Sideward Movementto the sound /come with us/ and one copy of its meaning {come with us}, leavinga copy of its meaning behind.

    This eliminates both PF deletion and LF copying and deriveParallelism as an explanandum: it falls out as an automatic consequence of thewhole mechanism.

    I will demonstrate that this simple mechanism (withsome modifications in the way derivation proceeds) accounts for the full rangeof ellipsis including "subject ellipsis" (5a), verb ellipsis (5b) akagapping, and "object ellipsis" (5c) aka Right Node raising), as wellas more complex cases as Sluicing (5d), Antecedent-Contained deletion (5e).

    (5) a. John will talk to Mary and John will askher to help him. (VP Deletion)

         b. Johnordered beer and Mary ordered wine. (Gapping)

         c. Johnloves Donald and hates Donald. (right Node Raising)

         d. They want to hire somebody who speaks aBalkan language, but I don't remember they want  to hire somebody who speaks which Balkanlanguage. (Sluicing)

         e. Somebody will read every book that Mary does [         ]. (Antecedent-Contained Deletion)

    Time permitting, I will also discuss how this approachdeals with ellipsis in East Asian languages, with special attention to theapparent lack of VP deletion. 

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  • Hawaiian Knowledge Dept.

    10-Apr-2018  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


    C. M. Kaliko Baker, PhD, Linguistics

    Ha‘alilio Solomon, MA Candidate, Linguistics

    Kamakakaulani Gramberg, JD, William S. Richardson School of Law, MA Candidate, Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language

    The Hawaiian language is a severely endangered language. There remain but sporadic communities of native speakers throughout the archipelago, the largest, most dense of which is located on the island of Ni‘ihau and on the west side of its adjacent island, Kaua‘i. Beyond this geographical pocket, native speakers of Hawaiian have declined to less than 1,000. Since the 1970s, however, Hawaiian mobilization began to accelerate, spurring the emergence of thousands of second language learners and/or neo-Hawaiian speakers (Nesmith 2002), reclaiming Hawaiian identity in response to the ongoing hegemony of American imperialism.

    To illustrate the reclamation of Hawaiian identity and, by extension, Hawaiian language, we explore the historical, legal, and individual landscapes that both support and impede language shift. Dr. C. M. Kaliko Baker will present on the establishment of Hawaiian medium newspapers as early 1834. This medium facilitated a national dialogue encompassing pedagogical practices, cultural regulation, political consciousness, proselytization, among po‘e aloha ʻāina, stewards upon the land. Kamakakaulani Gramberg advocates a paradigm shift in Hawaiʻi’s policy and judicial implementation that regulate language rights. This would endorse moving away from tolerance-oriented toward promotion-oriented legislation. Ha‘alilio Solomon will discuss social attitudes that underpin tensions thwarting the Hawaiian language revitalization movement, underscoring the subjective impacts this bears on individual second language learners and heritage speakers. Our conclusion reports on the current efforts in progress to revitalize Hawaiian language in light of these setbacks.

    Our presentation may be classified under a few specific conference research strands. For example, the establishment of Hawaiian medium newspapers, legal status of Hawaiian, and issues in heritage language learning, will bring to light issues related to the social psychology of language communities. This frames our discussion on language attitudes held by Kānaka Maoli in terms of reclaiming and reviving our ancestral tongue. An overarching theme of our presentation engages language shift and revitalization not as a means to save a relic of who we were, but rather as an indication of Hawaiian language vitality and our collective resolve to pass it on to future generations.

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  • Bryn Hauk (PhD Candidate, Ling Dept.)

    17-Apr-2018  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Saint John Plant Science Lab, St John Plant Science Lab, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

    Tsova-Tush "intensive" consonants

    Tsova-Tush [ISO 639-3: bbl] is a Northeast Caucasian language spoken in Zemo
    Alvani, Georgia. Tsova-Tush stops exhibit a phonemic three-way contrast between
    aspirated, ejective, and voiced, an areal feature among Caucasian languages. However,
    an additional feature (represented here orthographically by <ː>) distinguishes stops at

    two places of articulation (alveolar /thː, t'ː/, uvular /qhː, q'ː/) word-medially and word-
    finally, as shown by these minimal pairs: /qhethar/ ' to get up' vs. /qhethːar/ 'to know';

    /it'/ 'run' vs. /it'ː/ 'ten'; /eqhar/ 'these' vs. /eqhːar/ 'to jump'; /daq'dar/ 'to dry' vs.
    /daq'ːdar/ 'to try, test.'
    Previous accounts label this distinguishing feature "intensive," but provide no
    articulatory or acoustic description of "intensity" while rejecting the possibility that
    these are geminates (Č’relašvili 2007; Holisky & Gagua 1994; Dešeriev 1953). This
    raises the following question, the focus of the present study: what are the acoustic
    properties of the so-called "intensive" stops in Tsova-Tush and their non-intensive
    This study characterizes the properties of Tsova-Tush intensives through the
    analysis of high-quality audio recordings of three adult fluent speakers of Tsova-Tush
    (one female, two males) performing a list of 62 target words in a carrier sentence,
    resulting in 186 recorded utterances containing one or more target consonants. The
    target words are analyzed in Praat (Boersma & Weenink 2017) for both durational and
    spectral properties. Results show that the category of intensives can be distinguished
    from non-intensives by durational measures (specifically closure duration), rather than
    by voice quality or F0 of the following vowel, indicating that the term "geminate" could
    be used in place of "intensive." The measurements taken in this study give the most
    complete phonetic portrait of geminate ejectives in the linguistic literature to date. This
    study also contributes to a more complete description of the phoneme inventory of
    Tsova-Tush, now identified as a language with geminate stops.
    Boersma, Paul & David Weenink. 2017. Praat: doing phonetics by computer [Computer
    program]. Version 6.0.33, http://www.praat.org/.
    Č’relašvili, Kot'e. 2007. Cova-tušinskij (bacbijskij) jazyk [Tsova-Tush (Batsbi) language].
    Moscow: Nauka.
    Dešeriev, Ju.D. 1953. Bacbijskij jazyk [Batsbi language]. Moscow: Akademija.
    Holisky, Dee Ann & Rusudan Gagua. 1994. Tsova-Tush (Batsbi). In Rieks Smeets (ed.),
    The indigenous languages of the Caucasus. Volume 4: The North East Caucasian
    languages. 147-212. Delmar, New York: Caravan Books.

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  • Dr. 'Ōiwi Parker-Jones

    24-Apr-2018  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Saint John Plant Science Lab, St John Plant Science Lab, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

    Hawaiian phonology and morphology: computational models and experimental ideas

    St. John 011

    We present three problems in Hawaiian phonology and morphology that have eluded general solutions: "word stress", "reduplication", and "the passive". In each case, we present a solution to the problem in the form of a computational model, and discuss specific predictions that these models make, but which have yet to be tested experimentally.

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