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Events for the week :
April 21, 2013 - April 27, 2013
Sunday
April 21
Monday
April 22
  • Korean plural marker 'tul'

    Time: 01:00pm - 01:30pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 208

     

    Juyeon Chung

    (LING-L643 Graduate Student Presentation)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Which 'que' is which?: Reduplicative 'que' complementizers in Iberian Spanish embedded clauses

    Time: 01:30pm - 02:00pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 208

     

    Jordan Garrett

    (LING-L643 Graduate Student Presentation)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Topicalization in Korean

    Time: 02:30pm - 02:55pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 305

     

    Yeon Joo Jung

    (LING-L590 Graduate Student Presentation)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Comparison of Japanese no and Chinese de

    Time: 02:55pm - 03:20pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 305

     

    Wen Li

    (LING-L590 Graduate Student Presentation)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • A chiastic CCG account of compound predicates: causatives, passives, and te-compounds

    Time: 03:20pm - 03:45pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 305

     

    Wren Thornton

    (LING-L590 Graduate Student Presentation)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Language as Shaped by the Brain

    Time: 04:00pm - 05:00pm 

    Place: Psychology 101

     

    Morten Christiansen (Cornell University and the Santa Fe Institute)

    Why is language the way it is, and how did it come to be that way? In this talk, I argue that traditional notions of universal grammar as a biological endowment of abstract linguistic constraints can be ruled out on evolutionary grounds. Instead, the fit between the mechanisms employed for language and the way in which language is acquired and used can be explained by processes of cultural evolution shaped by the human brain. On this account, language evolved by 'piggy-backing' on pre-existing neural mechanisms, constrained by socio-pragmatic considerations, the nature of our thought processes, perceptuo-motor factors, and cognitive limitations on learning, memory and processing. Using computational, behavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging methods, I then explore how one of these constraints – the ability to learn and process sequentially presented information – may have played an important role in shaping language through cultural evolution. I conclude by drawing out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

Tuesday
April 23
  • A CMD [Computer-Mediated Discourse] and Contrastive Pragmatics Approach to the Study of Personals Ads from Mexico City and London

    Time: 11:05am - 11:20am 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Sara Zahler

    The current study combines a contrastive pragmatics approach with a computer-mediated discourse analysis approach (CMDA) to the study of online personals ads from Mexico City and London with regard to two levels of pragmatic analysis. The first constitutes a pragmalinguistic variable at the actional level by examining the different verbs employed in directive statements expressing the poster’s desired attributes in his/her potential partner. The second level of analysis, the study of the sequence of speech events present in personal ads, is at the interactional level. A sociolinguistic and CMDA perspective is employed throughout the analysis by considering the variation across several social factors: gender, sexual orientation, age and type of relationship desired. Specifically, gender and orientation will be considered together, resulting in four groups of speakers: men looking for men, men looking for women, women looking for women and women looking for men. Results are subsequently compared across languages and are analyzed in terms of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic differences between Mexico City Spanish and London English.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Prosodic Variation in Question/Response Sequences

    Time: 11:20am - 11:35am 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Joe Ducey

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Directives in YouTube: An Investigation on the Commentary of a Language Instructional Video

    Time: 11:35am - 11:50am 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Monica Mills

    The objective of this study is to investigate the use of requests, suggestions and questions, also known as directives, in YouTube commentary. Specifically, commentary from three different genres of videos will be analyzed at the actional of pragmatic analysis according to the types of requests, suggestions and questions that are found on the YouTube channel 123 Inglés, a channel for native Spanish speakers to learn English. Although the YouTube community presents problems when investigating social factors, several linguistic factors may be investigated in regards to what influences the realization of the directives. The factors studied are the language used by the commentator (English or Spanish), as well as the topic of commentary that is mentioned. In addition, the commentator’s open approval or disapproval of the mentioned topic is investigated to determine whether or not politeness factors are affected. These politeness factors include various strategies proposed by Searle 1976, as well as mitigation factors, alerters, as well as internal and external modifications to the request, suggestion or question.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • The Use of Personal Deixis to Respond to Face-Threatening Acts in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Debates

    Time: 11:50am - 12:05pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Matt Fuss

    The current study builds on research in impoliteness and personal deixis in face-to-face political debates by analyzing the strategic use of personal deixis employed by President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential debates. Specifically, this study analyzes the candidates’ use of the pronominal system to address face-threatening acts (FTAs). The analysis identifies the triggering FTAs and the candidates’ subsequent response types. For each response, the candidates’ use of first person singular and plural pronouns and adjectives is noted. The notion of discourse space is used to identify the reference of the personal pronouns. Discourse space refers to the temporal-spatial coordinates of the speech event and the actual and potential participants roles involves. By comparing the various discourse spaces the candidates invoke with their response strategies, this study shows how candidates use personal deixis to index their ideological stance and group memberships when responding to FTAs.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Impoliteness in the Speech of College-Aged Bonaerenses

    Time: 12:05pm - 12:20pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Mark Hoff

    This study builds upon previous work on impoliteness to provided perspectives on the unique ways in which a specific Argentine speech community interacts and negotiates linguistically. This study operates at the actional level of variational pragmatics, employing an elicitation questionnaire to gather experimental data on impolite vocative use in the language of college-aged young people in the province of Buenos Aires. Novel perspectives on the macro-social variable of gender as it relates to impoliteness are offered. In this discussion, gender roles, treated as complex, elastic, and socially-conditioned constructs existing in a continuum, are examined in terms of the ways in which they condition and constrain the impolite vocatives young Bonairenses use in a variety of social contexts. An analysis of the variable severity of certain vocatives commonly used in Buenos Aires is also provided here, with emphasis on the role of speaker and interlocutor gender relations in the determination of a form’s severity.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • [Apologies in Russian and Spanish: A contrastive pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic study]

    Time: 12:20pm - 12:35pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Disculpas en ruso y español: Un estudio contrastivo pragmalingüístico y sociopragmático
    [Apologies in Russian and Spanish: A contrastive pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic study]

    Valentyna Filimonova

    El presente estudio ofrece un análisis contrastivo pragmalingüístico y sociopragmático de las disculpas en dos culturas de la misma orientación a la cortesía positiva y hacia el oyente. Los participantes son hablantes nativos del español de México y hablantes nativos del ruso de Ucrania, todos de edad universitaria y de clase social media. Los datos provienen de una tarea de completar el discurso (DCT) compuesta por 8 situaciones controladas con respecto a los factores contextuales poder, distancia y severidad de ofensa (Brown y Levinson, 1987) y el factor social sexo del interlocutor. El análisis pragmalingüístico provee la descripción y distribución de las diferentes estrategias y componentes de las disculpas, mientras que el análisis sociopragmático revela patrones en el uso de las variables lingüísticas según el sexo de los participantes y sus interlocutores. Los análisis individuales por idioma se comparan al final, resaltando y explicando las diferencias en términos del grado de la cortesía positiva y la orientación hacia el oyente o hablante. Las diferencias principales se encuentran en la percepción de la severidad de ofensa con sus repercusiones al nivel lingüístico.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

Wednesday
April 24
Thursday
April 25
  • [Acceptance of impoliteness in "Why don't you shut up?"]

    Time: 11:05am - 11:20am 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Aceptación de la descortesía en "¿Por qué no te callas?"
    [Acceptance of impoliteness in "Why don't you shut up?"]

    Rosa Maria Piqueres

    El presente estudio examina la intervención del monarca español Juan Carlos II en la XVII Cumbre Iberoamericana de Jefes de Estado, analizando si su producción se concibe como un acto de habla descortés aceptable o inaceptable por una comunidad multimedia. De este modo, se parte de la base que la actuación del rey fue descortés debido a encontrarse en conflicto con la visión de otros interlocutores (Culpeper, 2010), enmarcándose así como descortesía desreguladora de tipo 1 (Terkourafi, 2011). Para ello, se extraen los primeros 500 comentarios del vídeo que reproduce este acontecimiento en YouTube y se clasifican en función de su posición respecto a la actuación del rey, siguiendo de esta forma la metodología de Garcés-Conejos Blitvich (2010). Asimismo, se miden las constantes de género y nacionalidad, así como las intervenciones literales de los protagonistas en la intervención, realizando un análisis global de las razones y percepciones que califican un acto de habla como descortés y de su impacto en esta comunidad de habla particular.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Rudeness in Spanish Classes: Learners' Pragmatic Awareness

    Time: 11:20am - 11:35am 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Amanda Feuerstein

    This study proposes investigate the pragmatic awareness of learners of Spanish as a foreign language in relation to rudeness. Building upon the previous work of Beebe (1995) and Beebe and Waring (2005), this study adapts their rudeness survey to the foreign language context at the students’ current university. The analysis will utilize the rudeness framework developed in the former to determine what kinds of strategies learners use to respond to rudeness: aggressing strategies, persisting strategies, and acquiescing strategies. These results will be compared to native Spanish speakers’ results to see if learners develop pragmatic awareness without explicit instruction.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • ¿Puedo usar…? or ¿Me podrías prestar…? Spanish L2 Learners’ Communication in Context: A Study of U.S. High School Study Abroad Students’ Request Pragmatics

    Time: 11:35am - 11:50am 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Patrick Moore

    The present study investigates requests that intermediate L2 high school learners of Spanish will produce in response to a contextualized discourse completion task (DCT), and how these will change upon repeating the DCT after a short, but intense, study abroad experience. The study abroad students’ data will be compared with DCT responces from University level intermediate L2 learners of Spanish and from native speakers of Spanish. It is anticipated that the study abroad participants will tend to produce requests similar to those of intermediate level university students, and will make non native-like requests, but will manifest noticeable change in their requests in the direction of being more native-like after study abroad. Coding will follow CCSARP Coding Manual (Blum-Kulka, House, & Kasper, 1989); study abroad participants’ intensity of interaction and immersion (Bardovi-Harlig & Bastos, 2011) will also be analyzed as independent variables.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Spanish on Twitter: Pragmatic Variation by Gender in the Diminutive

    Time: 11:50am - 12:05pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Meg Cychosz

    The study at hand analyzes the use of the diminutive as a mitigating device by gender on the social media network Twitter. Although prevalent in languages such as English (Holmes 1997; Mills 2003; Tannen 1991), we still lack empirical analyses of pragmatic variation by gender in the Spanish language (García Mouton 2000; Nissen 2001; Roca 2005). This work proposes a variationist analysis of the diminutive, at the formal level of pragmatic variation, utilizing Computer-Mediated Discourse (CMD) theory and methodology. Utilizing a corpus of more than 1,000 Twitter users, the investigator has elicited tweets on the networking site to measure the diminutive as it varies by gender across speech act type and function. More specifically, individual users in interaction will be analyzed (ie. with men, women, or groups). Results will either prove or disprove the common stereotype that the diminutive is characteristic of female speech and written discourse in Spanish CMD.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • [Variation in the Chilean 'voseo', 'tuteo', and 'ustedeo': Beyond social distribution]

    Time: 12:05pm - 12:20pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Variación en el voseo, tuteo y ustedeo chileno: más allá de la distribución social
    [Variation in the Chilean 'voseo', 'tuteo', and 'ustedeo': Beyond social distribution]

    Morris Gevirtz

    Since the work of Brown and Gilman 1960, the socio-pragmatic factors affecting the choice of personal deixis markers have been studied thoroughly. However, this research can be characterized as the study of forms of address in alternation- that is one term of address for each speaker in a given discursive situation. In this study we analyze the possible discursive motivations speakers have in choosing to use two or more of these forms in reference to the same interlocutor(s). The study is part of a growing body of research on pragmatic variation of person deixis. While our research shows the voseo forms are used among intimates as prior sociological research shows, the data suggest that the voseo is used in relation with irrealis statements, as a mitigator of face threatening acts, marks solidarity in invariant discourse markers such as cachái English: “you know.”

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • [Questions and answers in 'Al Punto': An exploration of variation in TV political interview]

    Time: 12:20pm - 12:35pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 204

     

    Preguntas y respuestas 'Al Punto': Una exploración de variación en la entrevista política televisiva
    [Questions and answers in 'Al Punto': An exploration of variation in TV political interview]

    Ian Michalski

    El presente estudio utiliza la metodológica de Análisis de Conversación para explorar la variación discursiva de preguntas y respuestas en la entrevista política. Desde una perspectiva de la pragmática variacional se puede abordar la noción de la variación dentro de hacer preguntas y dar respuestas (Terkourafi, 2011). El estado actual del formato de la entrevista política, que se ha llegado a ser mucho más adversaria, especialmente inciertos programas, lo cual ofrece métodos nuevos de hacer preguntas que no se parecen al formato típico e histórico de la entrevista política (Clayman, 2001). Los datos analizados en este estudio provienen de una entrevista publicada en YouTube por el programa de entrevista política, Al Punto Con Jorge Ramos, entre el Senador Republican Marco Rubio y Jorge Ramos el anfitrión del programa. Dado la naturaliza controversial y no imparcial del programa las estrategias discursivas de pregunta/respuesta demuestran variación y representan una nueva evolución dentro de la entrevista política.

    Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

Friday
April 26
  • What are the units over which language learning operates?

    Time: 01:30pm - 02:30pm 

    Place: Psychology 128 (Conference room)

     

    Jon Willits

    Statistical learning mechanisms are important for many aspects of language acquisition. But what are the units over which statistical learning operates? Phonemes? Syllables? Morphemes? Words? Phrases? Claims about the sufficiency of statistical learning mechanisms rest on which units are being used. In this talk, I'll discuss this issue using three examples: (1) infants identification of nouns and verbs in fluent speech, (2) the learning grammatical categories, and (3) child vocabulary development. All three cases will be used to make the point that identifying what units children are attending to is crucial for understanding and evaluating what is easy and what is difficult in language acquisition and use.

     

    In category: Child language acquisition

     

Saturday
April 27



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