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Events for
2013
January, 2013
  • Word prosody in loanword phonology: Focus on Japanese borrowings into Taiwanese Southern Min

    Time: Thursday, January 10, 2013 01:00pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 004

     

    Jung-Yueh Tu

    Ph.D. dissertation defense

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • The effect of syllable structure constraints on second language perception and production

    Time: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 04:00pm - 05:30pm

    Place: Oak Room (Tree Suites, Indiana Memorial Union)

     

    Amanda Huensch (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

    The acquisition of native-like phonology appears to be one of the most difficult hurdles for late second language (L2) learners to overcome. A central question in the acquisition of L2 phonology relates to the relationship between speech perception and production and the potential benefits of high-variability phonetic training (i.e., training on multiple exemplars of words uttered by multiple speakers) on both. In this talk, I first report on work that explores the acquisition of final palatals (e.g., judge) and onset clusters (e.g., plight) by Korean-speaking L2 learners of English in order to gain a better understanding of the influence of speech perception on production in relation to syllable structure. Second, I discuss preliminary results of a study which uses a pretest/perceptual training/post-test experimental paradigm to investigate training conditions that enable L2 learners to develop sensitivity to sounds and sound structures not in their native language. Ultimately, I aim to show that syllable structure in the native language plays an important role in the perception of the target language and that training provides a promising means of improving sensitivity to sound structures not previously investigated.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • ¿Quieres otro u ocho? A sociophonetic look at /tr/ in Chile

    Time: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 12:15pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine 004

     

    Tanya Flores

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Language and perceptual control

    Time: Friday, January 18, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (Conference room)

     

    Beth Casserly

    Speech perception is a difficult problem; pervasive variability from co-articulation to sociolinguistic markers and everything in between causes signals to be highly relational and ambiguous, rather than symbolic and sequential. Language production is similarly complex: many parallel streams of information, from word order to prosodic affect to articulatory movements must be juggled and combined seamlessly into fluent, rapid speech. Yet the two processes are also inherently linked, with speakers simultaneously producing language and perceptually monitoring their own performance. This tight coupling between perception and production is typically robust and effective, but perturbations or manipulations of the feedback loop can shed critical light on the mechanisms underlying both processes. In this talk, I present research using a new methodology to examine the links between perception and production in speech: a portable, real-time vocoder that continuously degrades the acoustic information received by speakers. Under this real-time degradation of feedback, subjects show significant declines in fluency, producing speech that is slow and largely devoid of affect, with monotone delivery. These effects, I argue, stem from an increase in cognitive load caused by the difficulty of coping with the feedback perturbation. These results and others like them help us understand how language and other cognitive faculties intersect, and work together in real-world communication.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Teaching Ukrainian as a ridna mova ‘mother tongue’: (Re)Imagined communities in and out of the classroom

    Time: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 04:00pm - 05:30pm

    Place: President’s Room (Faculty Club, Indiana Memorial Union)

     

    Debra Friedman

    A growing trend in applied linguistic research has been to investigate learners’ real or desired membership in imagined communities, defined as “groups of people, not immediately tangible and accessible, with whom we connect through the power of the imagination” (Kanno & Norton, 2003, p. 241) as a factor in their investment in language learning, their learning trajectories, and learning outcomes (Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009; Norton & McKinney, 2010; Pavlenko & Norton, 2007). In this paper I draw upon data collected in two fifth grade Ukrainian classrooms and interviews with the children conducted four years later to explore the language classroom as a site for socializing learners into an imagined community. I will further outline how insights gained through this study will inform my future research into the relationships between language teaching, learner identity, and learner investment in ESL and foreign language learning contexts.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Computational principles and neural measures of speech processing

    Time: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm

    Place: Speech and Hearing Center, Room C141

     

    Joseph Toscano (University of Illinois-Champaign)

    Research on speech perception has long sought to identify the acoustic-phonetic cues that listeners use to distinguish speech sounds. This is a particularly challenging problem since there are a number of non-phonological factors that have effects on both the cues themselves (e.g., variability between talker's voices) and listeners' ability to recognize certain cues (e.g., effects of hearing loss). A number of models have proposed that listeners recognize speech by relying on specialized mechanisms that discard information in the speech signal that does not indicate a phonological contrast. Here, I argue instead that domain-general computational principles can account for listeners' behavior. Crucially, these principles can be implemented in models as relatively simple combinations of continuous acoustic cues, allowing listeners to integrate multiple sources of information and factor out predictable variation. I present evidence for this using several approaches, including (1) event-related potential (ERP) experiments that examine cortical responses to differences in speech sounds, (2) computational work that examines how statistical learning can be used to acquire speech sound categories over development and adapt those categories in adulthood, and (3) acoustic-phonetic analyses that allow us to determine which acoustic cues are most informative for a given phonological distinction. Together, the results of these studies suggest that general mechanisms of statistical learning and cue-integration can provide useful models for understanding how listeners recognize speech in a variety of contexts.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Exploring possible non-auditory influences on second language phonological acquisition

    Time: Friday, January 25, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (conference room)

     

    Jeff Holliday

    In studying how second language (L2) learners acquire a particular L2 perceptual contrast, we typically begin our research with the observation that L2 learners have difficulty accurately perceiving the contrast. We might then take a look at how naïve listeners perceive the contrast, and then compare how novice and advanced L2 learners perceive the contrast. One assumption that underlies this methodology is the existence of some sort of perceptual continuity between naïve listeners and novice learners. That is, the starting point for L2 acquisition is the naïve listener: as L2 instruction begins, anything the naïve listener was already doing “right” should remain the same, and anything the naïve listener was doing “wrong” should eventually be corrected and gravitate towards a native benchmark. In other words, beginning to explicitly learn an L2 should not “mess things up”. By looking at data from L1 Mandarin and L1 Japanese learners of L2 Korean, I would like to examine whether L1 Mandarin listeners’ perception of Korean fricatives is constrained by metalinguistic knowledge acquired through learning to read. In this work-in-progress talk, I will give an overview of my dissertation findings, and then kick around my ideas for some experiments planned for this summer. Your feedback is most welcome.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Representation and acquisition of word-level prosody

    Time: Friday, January 25, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 215

     

    Öner Özçelik

     

    This paper investigates the representation and acquisition of word-level stress, with emphasis on English-speaking learners of Turkish. Two general proposals are made in the paper, one related to formal phonology, the other about second language (L2) acquisition of word-level prosody. The first proposes that the presence/absence of the Foot is parametric; that is, contra much previous research (see e.g. Selkirk 1995, Vogel 2009), it is argued in this paper that the Foot is not a universal constituent of the Prosodic Hierarchy; rather, some languages, such as Turkish and French, are footless. Several types of evidence are presented in support of this proposal, from both Turkish and French, with a focus on the former language. A comparison of regular (word-final) and exceptional stress in this language reveals, for example, that regular "stress" is intonational prominence falling on the last syllable of prosodic words in the absence of foot structure. Exceptional stress, on the other hand, is argued to be the result of certain morphemes coming into the computation already footed in the lexicon, and being footed on the surface, too, because of faithfulness to this information. The grammar, then, assigns the other properties of this foot, such as Binarity and Foot-Type, which are vacuously satisfied for regular morphemes, as they are not footed, and as the grammar has no mechanism that assigns feet or stress. The result is a unified analysis of regular and exceptional stress in Turkish.

     

    Second, the paper proposes a path for the L2 acquisition of prosody, the Prosodic Acquisition Path Hypothesis (PAPH). The PAPH predicts different levels of difficulty and paths to be followed by L2 learners based on the typological properties of their first language (L1) and the L2 they are learning, and also on the basis of a hierarchical tree representation of the relationships proposed to hold between prosodic parameters. Most foot-related parameters are incorporated in the proposal, as well as the new parameter proposed here about the presence/absence of the Foot. The PAPH predicts that once the Foot is projected in an L1, learners of a footless L2 will not be able to expunge it from their grammar, but will, instead, be restricted to changing the values of foot-related parameters. Not every one of these parameters is, however, hypothesized to be equally easy to reset; depending on a variety of factors such as their location on the parameter tree and markedness, certain parameters, such as Foot-Type, are hypothesized to be easier to reset than others, such as Iterativity.

     

    The predictions as concerns the learning path are tested through an experiment, which examines productions of English- and French-speaking learners of L2 Turkish. The results of the experiment largely confirm the predictions of the PAPH. None of the English-speaking learners of Turkish were able to rid their grammar of the Foot, though they were able to make various Universal Grammar (UG)-constrained changes to their grammar, such as resetting Extrametricality from Yes to No, and at later stages, Foot- Type from Trochaic to Iambic, thereby having increasingly more word types with final stress. French-speaking learners, on the other hand, produced target-like footless outputs, with word-final prominence, from the initial stages of acquisition. At no stage did any of the learners have UG-unconstrained representations such as weight-insensitive iambs, which are not permitted by the inventory of feet provided by UG.

     

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Development, variation and transfer in child L2 phonology

    Time: Friday, January 25, 2013 03:30pm - 05:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 245

     

    Anne-Michelle Tessier (University of Alberta)

    This talk is about the nature of early child L2 phonology acquisition: specifically focused on children ages 5-7 years old who have less than a year's exposure to their second language. What is the nature of early L2 phonological grammars, including their overall accuracy and error patterns, and their progression towards L2 mastery? How similar is child L2 development to both child L1 and adult L2 learning, and how can we capture these similarities or differences? In this talk, I discuss the early L2 English phonology of 10 children from L1 Chinese and Hindi/Panjabi backgrounds. I illustrate ways in which their phonologies are hybrids of both child L1 English and adult L2 English, and I demonstrate how the 'Dual Route' learner of Becker and Tessier (2011) can simulate development that accords with these child L2 learners. I also will describe current research in progress, which will use early L2 data to tease apart competing explanations — grammatical, perceptual and lexical — for error patterns in child speech.

     

    In category: Child language acquisition

     

February, 2013
  • Text Analysis Tools for Basic Exploration

    Time: Friday, February 01, 2013 01:00pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Wells Library Information Commons Cluster 1

     

    Markus Dickinson

    This workshop on basic text analysis will discuss getting a handle on patterns in text/corpus data by examining some freely-available tools on concordancing and word frequency counting, as well as making use of online search tools. These often form a platform for more complex analysis later on. If time permits, we may also discuss tools for textual annotation. The workshop will be run as a tutorial, so feel free to bring your own (plain) text data.

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Phonological structure, non-native phoneme discrimination, working memory, and word learning

    Time: Friday, February 01, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: PSY 128 (conference room)

     

    Noah H. Silbert

    It is well known that perception of non-native speech sounds is influenced by experience and the mapping between non-native and native phonological categories. However, very little is known about the relationships between phonological structure, individual differences in non-native phoneme discrimination ability, and non-native word learning. These relationships are important in the design of tests for personnel selection for second language training. Two experiments were conducted to probe (a) the generality of phoneme discrimination ability and (b) the role of phonological structure and discrimination ability in word learning. In one experiment, 169 participants completed an 'oddball' discrimination task with non-native contrasts from nine languages – three voicing/laryngeal contrasts, three place contrasts, and three tone/intonation contrasts. Confirmatory factor analysis model comparisons show that correlations between discrimination accuracies across contrasts are driven by low-level phonological structure (featural and segmental/super-segmental properties). In a second experiment, phonological working memory and voicing, place, and tone discrimination were measured for 167 participants and used to predict learning of pairs of non-native words differing in voicing, place, and tone. Consistent with the results from the first experiment, discrimination ability predicts accuracy in word learning above and beyond the ability of phonological working memory and according to feature-specific differences.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Exploring possible non-auditory influences on second language phonological acquisition

    Time: Friday, February 01, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 215

     

    Jeff Holliday

    In studying how second language (L2) learners acquire a particular L2 perceptual contrast, we typically begin our research with the observation that L2 learners have difficulty accurately perceiving the contrast. We might then take a look at how naïve listeners perceive the contrast, and then compare how novice and advanced L2 learners perceive the contrast. One assumption that underlies this methodology is the existence of some sort of perceptual continuity between naïve listeners and novice learners. That is, the starting point for L2 acquisition is the naïve listener: as L2 instruction begins, anything the naïve listener was already doing "right" should remain the same, and anything the naïve listener was doing "wrong" should eventually be corrected and gravitate towards a native benchmark. In other words, beginning to explicitly learn an L2 should not "mess things up". By looking at data from L1 Mandarin and L1 Japanese learners of L2 Korean, I would like to examine whether L1 Mandarin listeners' perception of Korean fricatives is constrained by metalinguistic knowledge acquired through learning to read. In this work-in-progress talk, I will give an overview of my dissertation findings, and then kick around my ideas for some experiments planned for this summer. Your feedback is most welcome.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • From language models to distributional semantics

    Time: Monday, February 04, 2013 01:00pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Memorial Hall 401

     

    Chung-chieh Shan

    Distributional semantics represents what an expression means as a vector that summarizes the contexts where it occurs. This approach has successfully extracted semantic relations such as similarity and entailment from large corpora. However, it remains unclear how to take advantage of syntactic structure, pragmatic context, and multiple information sources to overcome data sparsity. These issues also confront language models used for statistical parsing, machine translation, and text compression.

    Thus, we seek guidance by converting language models into distributional semantics. We propose to convert any probability distribution over expressions into a denotational semantics in which each phrase denotes a distribution over contexts. Exploratory data analysis led us to hypothesize that the more accurate the expression distribution is, the more accurate the distributional semantics tends to be. We tested this hypothesis on two expression distributions that can be estimated using a tiny corpus: a bag-of-words model, and a lexicalized probabilistic context-free grammar a la Collins.

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • First and second-language patterns of variation: Acquisition and use of simple present and present progressive forms in Spanish and English

    Time: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 12:15pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 004

     

    Stephen Fafulas

    This investigation addresses the acquisition of the present progressive, and the variation of this form with the simple present, by English-speaking learners of Spanish in the US. Empirical research on the variation of these forms by native speakers (NS) of English and Spanish, and in particular the acquisition of the present progressive by nonnative speakers (NNS) of Spanish, is scarce. While seeking to fill this void in the literature, a second major contribution of this project is the extension of the analysis to the progressive constructions: seguir, venir, ir, and andar + V-ndo, which have received considerably less attention than the more frequent estar + V-ndo form, especially in the second-language (L2) variationist literature.

    Relatively little is known about how English-speaking learners of Spanish deal with the differences between the uses of the simple present and present progressive forms in these two languages. At what level of proficiency do they begin to employ both forms in similar contexts as NS of Spanish? Do they acquire the full range of progressive constructions, and sensitivity to the same linguistic predictors of use, found in NS grammars? The current study will empirically answer these questions through the use of film narrations, written contextualized questionnaires, and surveys of language-learning experiences from 115 participants.

    Results indicate that as learners of Spanish gain proficiency they move toward a second-language grammar which permits variation between the simple present and present progressive forms, as is found in native speaker grammars. However, while learners at the highest levels acquire the linguistic constraints guiding native speaker selection of the simple present and present progressive estar + V-ndo form, they do not acquire the full range of lexical forms used to express progressive aspect found in monolingual Spanish. These findings have implications for current contact-induced and interlanguage theories on Spanish-English grammatical development.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Old Occitan as a verb-second language: The state of the argument

    Time: Friday, February 08, 2013 02:30pm - 03:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 242

     

    Barbara Vance

    One of the most far-reaching discoveries of late 19th-century Romance philology was the recognition that Old French (OFr), like Modern German, had a word-order constraint placing the finite verb in the second position of the clause. In the late 20th century, theoretical tools became available to explain this constraint in terms of verb-movement and, consequently, to account for the asymmetry between main clauses, which demonstrate the verb-second (V2) effect, and subordinate clauses, where the effect is largely blocked. It has traditionally been assumed that Old Occitan (OOc) is also a verb-second language because it shares many word-order patterns with Old French. However, demonstrating theoretically the V2 effect for Old Occitan is considerably more difficult than for Old French, for several reasons (e.g. OOc has a larger number of main-clause types that do not, strictly speaking, observe V2 order, and OOc lacks the atonic subject pronouns that mark the boundary between the basic (TP) and expanded (CP) areas of the clause in OFr).

    In this talk I present two aspects of OOc syntax that lend support to a verb-second analysis of the language, despite some recent attempts to dissociate OOc, and in some cases Old French as well, from the V2 type instantiated by German. We will look at (a) the complex alternation between tonic and null subject pronouns, which makes sense only as a reflex of a V2 system and (b) the postposition of object pronouns, a phenomenon that not only suggests the presence of an asymmetric verb-movement rule similar to that of (V to C in) Old French but also declines during the 13th and 14th centuries in tandem with the decline of verb movement in French. These characteristics point to the value of continuing research on verb-second syntax as an areal phenomenon in western Europe, while also encouraging attention to the wide range of variation found among the languages at issue (Germanic as well as Romance).

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Unresolved issues in category-specific research

    Time: Monday, February 18, 2013 01:30pm - 02:30pm

    Place: Psychology 128

     

    Panel discussion with Marlene Behrmann (Carnegie Mellon University)

    To give you a flavor of what will be covered, below are the three main areas that will be discussed:

    A. Face, word & object processing: Why are wholes greater than the sum of parts? Are parts combined to make wholes? How does timing of processing affect these considerations?

    B. Is there such a thing as category-specificity in the brain? [Evidence for and against] If so, how does it arise? [Developmental: innate specification; Mature system: effects of expertise]

    C. Are category-specific brain areas separate and independent? If not, how do regions interact given that the brain is a highly interconnected network of different regions?

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Distributed neural circuits, not circumscribed centers, mediate both face and word recognition

    Time: Monday, February 18, 2013 04:00pm - 05:00pm

    Place: Psychology 101

     

    Marlene Behrmann (Carnegie Mellon University)

    In contrast with the claim that there are domain-specific neural correlates underlying face recognition and underlying word recognition, I will propose that these two seemingly unrelated domains are subserved by a common, distributed circuit. This circuit becomes tuned, over the course of development, to be optimized, in the left hemisphere, for orthographic inputs, and, in the right hemisphere, for faces. Corresponding behavioral and neural evidence obtained from normal children, adolescents and adults, revealing the developmental trajectory of this behavior/brain system, as well as from adults with neuropsychological impairments (prosopagnosia and pure alexia) will be presented. I will place specific emphasis on the relative contribution of the nodes of this network as revealed by functional and structural connectivity as well as by resting state studies. The emergence of this distributed network will also be explored in the context of a computational model in which three specific principles (distributed representation and knowledge; representational cooperation and competition; and topography, proximity, and hemispheric organization) are instantiated and I will argue that the integrated application of these principles leads to common consequences for cortical organization and behavior in two seemingly unrelated domains.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • The Serbi-Mongolic Language Family: Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, Old Mandarin, and Old Tibetan Records on the Hsien-pei (Xianbei) Languages and their Relationship to Mongolic, with Notes on Chinese Phonology

    Time: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:00am - 12:00pm

    Place: Indiana Memorial Union, Distinguished Alumni Room

     

    Andrew E. Shimunek

    Although most scholars now generally agree that the Serbi (Xianbei) languages, including Kitan (Qidan) and Taghbach (Tuoba), are divergently related to Mongolic, up until now their Mongolic affinity has only been hinted at – no rigorous, systematic attempt has been made to present a precise, testable, and potentially falsifiable theory based on the standard historical-comparative linguistic criteria for language classification. I demonstrate in this dissertation that Kitan, Taghbach, and ‘Azha – the best-attested Serbi languages – are related to Mongolic, but descend not from Proto-Mongolic, but from Proto-Serbi, and that both Proto-Mongolic and Proto-Serbi descend from a common ancestor, Proto-Serbi-Mongolic.

    For early languages which have been extensively studied by historical linguists, general grammatical sketches are usually not a prerequisite to a historical-comparative linguistic study involving data from such languages, but very few general linguists have studied the Serbi languages. To date, with few exceptions, Taghbach, Kitan, and ‘Azha have mostly been studied by philologists and historians who have not been particularly interested in describing their lexicons, phonologies, and grammatical structures in such a way as to compare them with other languages at both synchronic and diachronic levels. This preliminary work is necessary before demonstrating their divergent relationship with Mongolic. This dissertation thus presents brief sketches of as much as can be gleaned of the linguistic structures of Taghbach, ‘Azha, and Kitan. Since most of these languages arc primarily known from Chinese and Old Tibetan transcriptions, I first provide phonological accounts of the transcriptional languages – frontier varieties of Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, Old Mandarin, and Old Tibetan. The linguistic approach to Serbi data in this dissertation has also allowed for a preliminary reconstruction of Proto-Serbi-Mongolic, identification of ethnolinguistic contacts in the formative early history and prehistory of the Serbi-Mongolic language family, and a revised analysis of Kitan Assembled Script orthography.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Semantic space models, they’re not just for language anymore, or reading between the lines

    Time: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:10pm - 01:10pm

    Place: Psychology conference room (PY 128)

     

    Brent Kievit-Kylar

    In this talk we will explore how multi-sensory or multi-domain information can be used in cross-modal learning using semantic space models. Domains of interest will include the Semantic Pictionary project (in which visual, geon based representations are generated and validated by subjects), inter-language learning and semantic space comparisons, the CHILDES corpus (learning object label references) and prediction across different sensory modalities (smell and taste). We will also discuss novel search interaction tools that have evolved out of the results of these experiments.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Talker-Specific Models of Speech Production (and what they are good for)

    Time: Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm

    Place: Speech and Hearing Center, Room C141

     

    Steven Lulich

    In many applications, knowledge about a talker can be extremely useful. For instance, in automatic speech recognition, a model of the talker based on acoustic analysis can be deployed to improve performance in the face of significant talker-to-talker variability, especially when child talkers are involved. Generic finite-element models of vocal fold vibration can be merged with talker-specific data gleaned from high speech endoscopic video in order to evaluate vocal fold tissue properties of individuals peri-operatively. In this talk, a framework for thinking about and developing talker-specific models of speech production will be outlined, together with several examples of potential applications. Progress toward these ends will be presented, with particular focus on the estimation of lung and subglottis geometry, and tracheal soft tissue and vocal fold mechanical properties.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • The investigation of form-function mappings: Referential expressions and encoding of referential status in L2 narrative discourse by L1-English learners of Japanese

    Time: Friday, February 22, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205

     

    Miyuki Takeuchi

    The acquisition of referential expressions, including particles, is one of the most challenging tasks that learners of Japanese face. The goal of the present study is to find what the referential systems of learners at each developmental stage are, how the systems undergo change with increased input and instruction, and whether and how leaners attain the target norms. To investigate these, L1-English learners of Japanese at five different proficiency levels (N=75) are recruited, and they do two kinds of narrative tasks. The use of nominative referential forms in the narratives, NP-ga (nominative marker), NP-wa (topic marker), and null anaphora are analyzed with respect to the discourse functions that these forms serve, i.e., encoding of referential (information) status. The pilot study found (a) relatively early acquisition of null anaphora, (b) overuse of NP-wa at the early stage, (c) delayed emergence of NP-ga, and (d) residual indeterminancy of the distinctive use of NP-ga and NP- wa. The present study attempts to build on these findings to reveal more comprehensive processes of the acquisition and causes of the challenges that learners may be facing. In addition to the investigation of learners' narratives, the textbooks used in the institution where the informants were recruited are analyzed as to how much and in what functions NP-ga, NP-wa, and null anaphora are introduced in the texts. This serves as a data base for the discussion of possible relations between class input and learners' performance. Based on the findings, pedagogy will be developed for more effective instruction of Japanese referential expressions.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Poeticizing the economy: Market forces, heteroglossic performances and language on the French island of Corsica

    Time: Friday, February 22, 2013 06:00pm - 07:00pm

    Place: Glenn A Black Laboratory of Archaeology Room 101 (423 N Fess Avenue)

     

    Alexandra Jaffe (California State University, Long Beach)

    (Keynote for the 7th Annual Anthropological Graduate Student Association Symposium)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Hispanic Linguistics I

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 08:15am - 09:10am

    Place: IMU Maple Room

     

    Language contact and variable grammatical gender agreement: A comparison of Paraguayan and Mexican Spanish
    Elizabeth Herring (Indiana University)

    The innovative use of estar in Spanish-Quechua bilinguals of Peru: A change motivated by internal factors
    Margaret Cychosz (Indiana University)

    Formas de tratamiento y segundas personas de plural en “La Argentina manuscrita” [Forms of treatment and second-person plural in “La Argentina manuscrita”]
    César Gutiérrez (Purdue University)

    (Part of the Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Research Conference)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Hispanic Linguistic II

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:00am - 10:35am

    Place: IMU Maple Room

     

    Variación de le/les en diferentes zonas hispanoparlantes: México, Colombia y España [Variation of le/les in different Spanish-speaking areas: Mexico, Colombia and Spain]
    Andrea Mojedano (Indiana University)

    Topic Continuity in Caviteño
    Sheryl Bernardo-Hinesley (University of Massachusetts)

    A variationist approach to analyzing change in contact situations: VOT duration in U.S. English-Spanish bilinguals of Colombian Heritage
    Sara Zahler (Indiana University)

    (Part of the Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Research Conference)

     

    In category: Unclassified

     

  • Evidence of a common neural substrate for stone toolmaking and language syntax: An activation likelihood estimate meta-analysis

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:45am - 11:00am

    Place: Glenn A Black Laboratory of Archaeology Room 101 (423 N Fess Avenue)

     

    Robert Mahaney and Katherine Babcock

    (Part of the 7th Annual Anthropological Graduate Student Association Symposium)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Vernacularization, Globalization, and Contact Variants: A Case Study

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 01:00pm - 02:15pm

    Place: IMU Redbud Room

     

    Dr. Anna Maria Escobar (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign)

    (Keynote address for the Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Research Conference)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Lost in translation? An analysis of Gothic gender

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 01:15pm - 01:45pm

    Place: State Room East, Indiana Memorial Union

     

    Roslyn Burns (University of California-Berkeley)

    (Part of the Ninth Biennial Graduate Student Conference, Department of Germanic Studies)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Oblique adverbs: They once were real in the Germanic languages

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 01:45pm - 02:15pm

    Place: State Room East, Indiana Memorial Union

     

    Elliot Evans (Indiana University)

    (Part of the Ninth Biennial Graduate Student Conference, Department of Germanic Studies)


     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Hispanic Linguistics III

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 02:15pm - 02:40pm

    Place: IMU Maple Room

     

    On L1 interaction in a CLT [communicative language teaching] environment: Exploring the function
    Rebecca Clay (Indiana University)

    Use of the English Subjunctive by L1 English/L2 Spanish Bilinguals
    Melissa Whatley (Indiana University)

    (Part of the Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Research Conference)

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Semantic Distribution of U.S. College Nicknames

    Time: Saturday, February 23, 2013 05:30pm - 05:45pm

    Place: Glenn A Black Laboratory of Archaeology Room 101 (423 N Fess Avenue)

     

    Elena Doludenko

    (Part of the 7th Annual Anthropological Graduate Student Association Symposium)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Acoustic cues for nasal category variability in Buenos Aires Spanish

    Time: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:15pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine 004

     

    Silvina Bongionanni

     

    Spanish has three nasal phonemes that contrast by place of articulation: the bilabial nasal, the alveolar nasal, and the palatal nasal. These phonemes contrast only in syllable-initial position, as in ca[m]a ‘bed’, ca[n]a ‘white hair’ and ca[ɲ]a ‘sugar cane’. In the syllable coda, however, they undergo neutralization. Several authors (Colantoni & Kochetov, 2011; Malmberg, 1950; Quilis, 1993; Shosted & Hualde, 2010; Tiscornia, 1930) have reported a tendency in Buenos Aires Spanish to merge the palatal nasal /ɲ/ and the sequence alveolar nasal plus palatal glide, /n+j/, such that uranio ‘uranium’ and huraño ‘unsociable’ are neutralized. However, previous research has yet to provide an empirical analysis of this phenomenon. This study represents a first step to resolving the claims of merger of the palatal nasal, /ɲ/, and the sequence alveolar nasal plus palatal glide, /n+j/, in Buenos Aires Spanish. This is a preliminary investigation in that only four phonetic cues are studied: duration of the nasal segment, duration of the following segment, duration of the syllable, and formant trajectories.

     

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • 27th Annual Arabic Linguistics Symposium

    Time: Thursday, February 28, 2013 07:30am - 07:30pm

    Place: IMU Georgian Room

     

    Phonology I
    Phonology II
    Keynote Address: Explorations at the syntax-phonology interface in Arabic
    Syntax I
    Semantics
    Keynote Address: Arabic verbal and nominal plurals and the syntax-morphology interface

    For more information see http://www.indiana.edu/~csme/als2013.shtml

     

    In category: Unclassified

     

  • La negación en la frontera domínico-haitiana: Variantes y usos (socio)lingüísticos

    Time: Thursday, February 28, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 235

     

    La negación en la frontera domínico-haitiana: Variantes y usos (socio)lingüísticos [Negation on the Dominican-Haitian border: Variants and (socio)linguistic uses]

    Luis Ortiz López (University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Linguistic variation in Caribbean Spanish

    Time: Thursday, February 28, 2013 03:00pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 006

     

    Luis Ortiz López (University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus)

    Professor Luis Ortiz will showcase instances of linguistic variation that characterize Spanish spoken in the Caribbean region. Variation such as deletion and aspiration of /s/, lateralization of /r/, position of subjects in interrogatives, double negation, markers of plurality, and much more. This is a hands-on workshop for undergraduate students in Hispanic linguistics.

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

March, 2013
  • 27th Annual Arabic Linguistics Symposium

    Time: Friday, March 01, 2013 08:30am - 07:00pm

    Place: IMU Georgian Room

     

    Syntax II
    Discourse/Corpus Analysis
    Keynote Address: Modeling sociopragmatic language use in social media in Arabic and English: A comparative computational perspective
    Sociolinguistics and Variation
    Keynote Address: The Maghreb-Mashreq language ideology and the politics of identity in a globalized Arab world
    Historical Linguistics

    For more information see http://www.indiana.edu/~csme/als2013.shtml

     

    In category: Unclassified

     

  • Formulaic Expressions Project

    Time: Friday, March 01, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (conference room)

     

    C. Sophia Rammell

    Previous studies have suggested that formulaic expressions are stored as single, unanalyzed units, instead of as individual elements like literal sentences (e.g., VanLancker, Canter, Terbeek, 1981). To test this theory, we presented 140 sentences in random order to naïve listeners. Half of the sentences are idioms, and the other half are novel sentences matched for length and phonetic inventory. The first part of the experiment was a transcription task. All sentences in the first part were degraded using 8-channel Cochlear Implant simulated speech. In the second part of the experiment, subjects heard all 140 sentences, again in random order, in the clear. This time, subjects responded with how often they said the sentence on a 3-point scale. Pilot data from 22 undergraduates were analyzed. Pilot data suggest that subjects correctly identify formulaic expressions more often than novel expressions under degradation. Also, subjects identify expressions they report to use more often with higher accuracy than those they report to use less often. Future studies, including new ways of measuring familiarity and using the task with non-native speakers of English, will be discussed.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • The effect of instruction on pragmatic routines in academic discussion

    Time: Friday, March 01, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205

     

    Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig and Sabrina Mossman

    This study investigates the effect of instruction on the acquisition of pragmatic routines used in academic discussion, specifically expressions of agreement, disagreement, and clarification. Thirty-seven learners, including an instructed group of 26 students and a control group of 11 students, participated in the study. Five intact classes received instruction across four 50-minute lessons. Input consisted of authentic language samples extracted from the MICASE corpus; instruction included noticing and production activities. Evaluation in the form of a pretest/posttest was administered through a computer-delivered oral-production test, which allowed for free production in a researcher-controlled context. The task included 30 items, including 10 agreement, 10 disagreement, and 10 clarification scenarios. Two-tailed paired-sample t-tests revealed that production of both speech acts and targeted expressions increased significantly in the experimental condition, whereas the control group did not show significant change. The results show that instruction has a significant positive effect on the use of expressions as measured by oral production in conversation simulations. We attribute this positive outcome to two components, instruction and means of evaluation.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • The Effect of Video Materials on Motivation and Performance of Advanced EFL Learners

    Time: Friday, March 01, 2013 03:00pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Wright Education Building - Balcony

     

    Ahmed Lachheb

    Bruce and Hogan (1998) argue that technologies are embedded in everyday discourse and activity which make them slip into the background of our lives. Regarding the presence of information technology in English language classrooms, remarkable changes occur in the expectations about the abilities students have to acquire in order to be successful EL users(Bruce&Hogan,1998).The integration of information technology into EFL classrooms has been always under investigation from educational technologists and language learning theorists' perspectives(Kuang-wu,2000).The question of motivational effect and the quest to truly discover the effect of videos as instructional materials seem to differ from one context to another, and thus done through many ways. This study aims to investigate the effect of video instruction on motivation and academic performance of advanced EFL learners, using the ARCS Model developed by Keller, and an unpaired T-test Analysis of pre-and post- tests. The experiment was done on a group of 36 Tunisian students majoring in English studies at a Tunisian university. 

    Part of the poster session of the Instructional Systems Technology Conference 2013

    For details see: http://portal.education.indiana.edu/istconference/ConferenceSchedule2013.aspx

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Linguistics Panel I: Codeswitching and Bilingualism

    Time: Friday, March 01, 2013 03:30pm - 04:10pm

    Place: Swain East 105

     

    The Phonology of Codeswitching: Slips of the Tongue and Grammar Interaction (Michael Dow, Indiana University)

    Nou oblije pale mo-to: Negotiating boundaries between closely related varieties (Jason Siegel, Indiana University)

    (Part of the French and Italian Graduate Student Organization Conference)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Languages in contact - Spanish and Haitian Creole: Acquisition of interface phenomena among bilinguals

    Time: Friday, March 01, 2013 04:00pm - 05:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 103

     

    Luis Ortiz López (University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus)

    (Talk will be delivered in Spanish. Questions will be entertained in English or Spanish)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • 27th Annual Arabic Linguistics Symposium

    Time: Saturday, March 02, 2013 08:30am - 02:15pm

    Place: IMU Georgian Room

     

    Acquisition
    Experimental and Interlanguage Studies
    Special Session: Arabic in Computer-Mediated Communication

    For more information see http://www.indiana.edu/~csme/als2013.shtml

     

    In category: Unclassified

     

  • Linguistics Panel II

    Time: Saturday, March 02, 2013 02:45pm - 03:45pm

    Place: Swain East 105

     

    Negotiating 'gender' in French (Kelly Biers, Indiana University)

    Negotiating animacy: A contrastive study of animation in the translations of French and English verb phrases (Amber Panwitz, Indiana University)

    Constrained Negotiations: The Liquid Consonants in French and Picard (Ryan Hendrickson, Indiana University)

    (Part of the French and Italian Graduate Student Organization Conference)

     

    In category: Unclassified

     

  • What did you say? Locating Word Boundaries in French as a Second/Foreign Language

    Time: Saturday, March 02, 2013 04:00pm - 05:15pm

    Place: Swain East 105

     

    Annie Tremblay (University of Kansas)

    Recognizing words in continuous speech, a seemingly effortless task in the native language (L1), becomes strikingly difficult in a second/foreign language (L2), because different information signals the beginning and end of words in the L1 and in the L2. What type of linguistic cues do adult L2 learners use to recognize words in continuous speech? Does their use of these cues change as their proficiency in the L2 increases? Can high-proficiency L2 learners recognize words as efficiently as native speakers do? I will present two eye-tracking listening studies that examine how adult native speakers of English at different proficiencies in French use linguistic cues to locate word boundaries in French. I will focus specifically on liaison consonants as a distributional cue to word-initial boundaries and on pitch prominence as a prosodic cue to word-final boundaries in French. The results show an important asymmetry in L2 learners’ ability to use these two types of linguistic cues for locating word boundaries in French speech. I will discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of both the nature of the linguistic information that the adult brain can learn to use and the pedagogical interventions needed in French classrooms.

    Keynote address of the French and Italian Graduate Student Organization Conference

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Understanding Ambiguous Sentences and the Winograd Schema Challenge

    Time: Monday, March 04, 2013 04:00pm - 05:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128

     

    David Bender

    The last eight years have seen several challenges put forward in the domain of "commonsense reasoning" -- a term mostly used by AI researchers interested in how people understand everyday situations and solve common problems. Recognizing Textual Entailment (RTE), which ran from 2005 to 2011, was followed by Choice of Plausible Alternatives (COPA). Recently, in 2011, Levesque, Davis and Morgenstern proposed the Winograd Schema Challenge (WSC), and while similar in some ways to RTE and COPA, it has a different focus. The Winograd Schema Challenge concerns sentences that contain ambiguous pronoun references. Here's an example:

    Lilly interrupted Donna, breaking her concentration. Whose concentration was broken?
    Lilly interrupted Donna, breaking her silence. Whose silence was broken?

    Average English speakers understand sentences like this seemingly without effort. And yet the task appears to be extremely difficult to model computationally, for several reasons: it draws on immense amounts of contextual knowledge, simple cues that often resolve pronoun ambiguity (e.g. gender disagreement) are forbidden, and the form is designed to resist techniques that aggregate statistics over large corpora to approximate word meaning.

    I'll talk about how humans perform on Winograd Schema sentences, how a state of the art co-reference resolver performs, and I'll discuss one attempt at a computational model for solving them (this from NLP researchers). I'd like to discuss the types of approaches people have generally taken in trying to make progress in the domain of commonsense reasoning, including various systems of logic, attempts at building comprehensive knowledge bases (like Cyc), statistical models, etc. Finally, Levesque et al. intended the Winograd Schema Challenge to replace the Turing Test. Depending on the interests of those present, I'd like to discuss some methodological issues, originally raised against the Turing Test, that are relevant.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Circumlocution, Oral Proficiency, and Pedagogical Application

    Time: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 04:30pm - 06:00pm

    Place: IMU Persimmon Room

     

    Yea-Fen Chen (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

    Circumlocution, a component of strategic competence, is a very important strategy for second/foreign language learners. Circumlocution can be a critical skill when students are trying to express themselves but lack the exact vocabulary, especially when in the target culture. Training in this particular strategy will help students build up their confidence and encourage them to make creative use of the L2 knowledge they have acquired. Hence, it will also help students develop their language fluency and obtain more input appropriate for their current proficiency.

    Although it has been mentioned repeatedly in the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Guidelines, circumlocution is seldom taught and even more rarely mastered in a foreign language classroom. This talk will begin with a review of prior studies on circumlocution to set up a framework for circumlocution strategy training. Then suggestions will be made for instruction about and practice in the use of circumlocution in Chinese language classes.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Learner perception and use of task-based interactional feedback in face-to-face and computer-mediated communication

    Time: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 12:15pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine 004

     

    Laura Gurzynski-Weiss and Melissa Baralt (Florida International University)

    Theoretical claims about the benefits of corrective feedback have been largely premised on learners' noticing of feedback (e.g., Gass & Mackey, 2006; Long, 1996; Schmidt, 1990, 1995; Swain, 1995), and findings have demonstrated that both the feedback target (Mackey, Gass, & McDonough, 2000) and the mode of provision (Lai & Zhao, 2006) can affect learners' accurate perception of feedback. The current study extended this research by investigating learners' perception and use of feedback provided in task-based interaction in both computer-mediated synchronous chat (CMC) and face-to-face (FTF) modes. Utilizing stimulated recall, the study examined if 26 intermediate-level learners of Spanish as a foreign language accurately noticed feedback as feedback, if they noticed the feedback target, and if the environment in which they interacted (CMC versus FTF) made a difference in their accuracy. The study also investigated if modality affected opportunities for modified output immediately following feedback and if learners used those opportunities differently according to mode. Results demonstrate that overall learners did notice feedback as feedback in both modes. Contrary to expectations, there were no statistical differences between modes in feedback perception accuracy. Significant differences were found, however, in learners' opportunity for and use of feedback depending on the interaction environment and the type of error being addressed.


     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • The distribution of preverbal en in (West) Flemish: Syntactic and interpretive properties

    Time: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 01:00pm - 02:15pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 003

     

    Liliane Haegeman (Ghent University)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • An intervention account for the distribution of Main Clause Phenomena

    Time: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 05:30pm - 06:30pm

    Place: Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

     

    Liliane Haegeman (Ghent University)

    It is well known that certain fronting phenomena in English are by and large restricted to main clause domains. For instance, object fronting is by and large excluded from temporal adverbial clauses:

    (i) *When this news I heard, I was very upset

    Hooper and Thompson (1973) and many accounts inspired by them (Bianchi and Frascarelli 2010) offer a mainly semantic/pragmatic account, claiming that Main Clause Phenomena (MCP) depend on ‘assertion’. They also challenge any attempts to provide a syntactic analysis for the ungrammaticality of (i).

    In my presentation I will argue that a syntactic account for the distribution of (a subset of) MCP is possible, and I will explore two syntactic accounts for the distribution of Main Clause Phenomena. The ‘truncation’ accounts explore H&T’s own intuition that adverbial clauses – and other clauses that resist MCP - are structurally ‘reduced’ and display a deficient left periphery in which the landing site for the argument fronting is missing. Such accounts postulate a specialized landing site for CLLD which survives truncation in Romance. An alternative approach is to interpret the unavailability of MCP as the result of locality restrictions on movement. According to these accounts, adverbial when-clauses, for instance, are derived by operator movement (Geis 1970). Assuming a movement derivation of an adverbial when-clause, the unavailability of argument fronting is like the unavailability of argument fronting in interrogative when-clauses. Likewise, the availability of CLLD in Romance adverbial clauses is parallel to that in wh-clauses. The movement account can be extended to clauses embedded under factive verbs which are also incompatible with MCP.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Natural Language Toolkit

    Time: Friday, March 08, 2013 09:00am - 11:00am

    Place: Wells Library Information Commons Cluster 1

     

    Markus Dickinson

    This workshop will cover the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK), a Python-based platform for natural language processing (NLP) tools (http://nltk.org/). NLTK is useful because it's a "one stop shop" for a variety of applications: storing data, searching data, applying part-of-speech taggers, applying syntactic parsers, classifying documents, and so forth. It does, however, require some understanding of the Python programming language (http://www.python.org), which we'll go over the basics of during the workshop. For those unfamiliar with programming, it may seem like a lot of initial cost to learn some Python, but your efforts will be rewarded by being able to do so many different things.

    In this workshop, we'll cover the basics of text & corpus handling in NLTK, as well as a little bit on POS tagging (time permitting). The goal is to give people enough familiarity with NLTK to bootstrap themselves into more NLTK knowledge.

    If you want to follow along during the tutorial on your own laptop, you are strongly encouraged to install NLTK ahead of time: http://nltk.org/install.html (After that, it won't hurt to install the NLTK data: http://nltk.org/data.html) If you do not have Python on your computer, you will need that, too: http://www.python.org/download/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Perceptual category structure of nonnative speech

    Time: Friday, March 08, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (conference room)

     

    Eriko Atagi

    Listeners encode representations of talker-specific features, which facilitate speech processing (e.g., Samuel & Kraljic, 2009). For nonnative speech, such facilitative representations could include talkers’ native language backgrounds. Bradlow and Bent (2008) demonstrated that perceptual adaptation to one nonnative accent generalizes to novel talkers with the same accent, but not to talkers with a novel accent (cf. Baese-Berk, Bradlow, & Wright, 2013). This accent-dependent adaptation suggests that listeners may be creating native language categories as they encounter nonnative speech. To directly investigate the perceptual category structure of nonnative speech and its relationship to intelligibility, 50 native listeners completed a six-alternative forced-choice native language categorization task and a transcription task. The stimuli consisted of English sentences produced by 24 talkers from six native language backgrounds (French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish). Listeners were above chance, but not highly accurate, at categorizing the talkers into language background categories (28% mean accuracy). Additionally, no correlation was found between listeners’ categorization and transcription abilities. Data were also modeled using the Similarity Choice Model (Luce, 1963; Shepard, 1957) and additive clustering (Sattath & Tversky, 1977) to examine biases and perceptual similarities. These models showed that the three Asian language backgrounds were perceptually highly similar to each other and very distinct from the other three language backgrounds. Furthermore, when biases were calculated for each language background by talker gender, the direction of biases differed by gender, such that there were higher biases for the female Asian categories and the male non-Asian categories. These results suggest that listeners may not have categorical representations of talkers’ native languages, but are sensitive to talker gender and sociolinguistic similarities of the native languages.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Non-canonical agreement in English-Arabic Interlanguage Development

    Time: Friday, March 08, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205

     

    Boshra El-Ghazoly and Rex A. Sprouse

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • CLingDing - The IU Computational Linguistics Discussion Group

    Time: Monday, March 18, 2013 01:00pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Memorial Hall 401

     

    Alex Rudnick

    Paraguay has a unique position in the Americas in that Paraguayans are typically bilingual in Spanish and Guarani, the largest indigenous language from the region. Guarani is at a significant disadvantage, however, in public life. Politics, science, etc., are conducted almost entirely in Spanish, even though Guarani is co-official.

    We just got back from a week in Paraguay, meeting local language activists and planning our computer-assisted translation tool. I'll talk about Paraguay, Guarani, the tool we plan to build, and about our cunning plan to help bilingual Paraguayans help us collect enough bitext to train a good MT/CAT system for their local language pair.

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Interpretation and reinterpretation of phonological cues in psycholinguistic research: Assessing distractor neutrality

    Time: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:15pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine 004

     

    Wallace Salkauski

    Experimental research employs several techniques designed to control for confounding variables during testing, e.g. distractors. Of these, the neutral distractor has become controversial. While a primary purpose of the neutral (unrelated) distractor is to serve as a base for comparison, recent research suggests that, while the neutral distractor has been assumed to be impartial and unbiased, this may not be the case. Several questions arise regarding the actual effect of neutral elements and the role they play in experimental research. Within this, the type or mode of distractor also has a significant impact on the outcome of a study. In particular, the use of phonological elements may have an unforeseen consequence on experimental tasks. Therefore, my study provides empirical evidence regarding the lack of partiality of the phonological neutral distractor. Specifically, the distractor in the neutral condition resulted in significant inhibitory effects on L1 and L2 production rather than serving as an impartial variable as intended.

    In a study on language environment and cue interpretation, L2 learners of varying levels of Spanish proficiency (N=57) performed a picture naming and a translation task (in both English and Spanish). During each task, participants were aurally presented with phonological distractors (initial segments of target language stimuli, e.g. participants heard [wu] for woman or [mu] for mujer). The distractors were presented simultaneously with target stimuli and were of three conditions: the related condition (i.e., English onset when speaking English), the unrelated condition (English onset when speaking in Spanish), or a neutral condition, with segments from Arabic (i.e. [fi], for the Arabic elephant). A goal was to examine how participants interpreted various phonological cues in English and Spanish language environments. Results suggest that we need to reevaluate the function of ‘neutral’ distractors and question whether unambiguous neutrality is obtainable. In this presentation, I assess and discuss distractor neutrality and consider its implications for models of bilingual production, I propose ways to avoid such methodological pitfalls, and argue that psycholinguistic research consider phonologically-based theories of processing in addition to conventional models.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • An overview of the development and results obtained with CDT’s Speech Perception Assessment and Training System (SPATS) with ESL Learners, Cochlear-Implant Users, Hearing-Aid Users, and Aphasics

    Time: Friday, March 22, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (conference room)

     

    James Miller, Charles Watson, and Roy Sillings (Communication Disorders Technology, Inc.)

    A study of over 200 ESL learners with basic English literacy leads to following conclusions:
    1) All have serious deficiencies in the identification of the syllable constituents of English and the identification of words in sentences especially in the presence of background multi-talker babble.
    2) After 15 to 25 hours of distributed practice with the SPATS-ESL program, almost all ESL learners achieve near-native or native-like accuracy in the identification of syllable constituents and of words in sentences presented in multi-talker babble.
    3) Most ESL learners studied are best at onset identification, worst at nucleus identification, and find codas to be of intermediate difficulty.
    4) Subjective ratings of the trainees indicated that they believe program was useful.

    Studies of 8 cochlear-implant users and 32 hearing-aid users with 12 to 30 hours of SPATS-HI training leads to the following conclusions:
    1) SPATS-Hi Training leads to improvements in the users’ abilities to identify syllable constituents in and to identify words in sentences in quiet and noise. However, it is only the identification of syllable nuclei that approaches the performance of normally hearing young adults.
    2) Statistically significant, but modest, improvements on non-SPATS measures of speech perception such as the QuickSIN, W22, CST tests have been observed. The magnitude of the improvements may be related to cognitive and the efficiency of the hearing aids and implants as fitted to individual clients.
    3) Typical trainees value SPATS training and think that SPATS training may help them in everyday situations and almost all believe that it helps them understand the nature of their hearing problem.
    4) The evaluation of SPATS-HI with hearing aid users is a continuing effort and improvements in the training curricula are being examined.

    Preliminary Observations with Mild to Moderate Aphasics:
    We are engaged in a study of feasibility of SPATS-like training for clients with mild-to-moderate aphasia. To date observations have been made with only three such clients: One suffered traumatic brain injury in an auto accident; another suffered injury from a stroke, while the third suffered damage from encephalitis. All three believe that SPATS-like training “is what I need.” All three have difficulty in recognizing syllable constituents and holding them in short-term memory. All three have difficulty in segmenting the sounds of naturally spoken sentences into syllable and words. All show improvement in these skills with practice. Interesting anecdotal observations will be reported that are suggestive of the problems these clients encounter.

    References will be available. Several related papers and documents can be found at References at www.comdistec.com/new/HI.html and www.comdistec.com/new/ESL.html.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Cross-Lingual Word Sense Disambiguation

    Time: Monday, March 25, 2013 01:00pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Memorial Hall 401

     

    Can Liu and Alex Rudnick

    Ambiguity is a nature of human languages, and Word Sense Disambiguation is important for many applications such as information retrieval, question answering and speech synthesis. Because of its moderate performance, WSD hasn't been widely integrated into these applications yet. However, machine translation is an exception, WSD has been used to pick the appropriate target language word.

    In this talk, we will present our systems that participated in the SemEval 2013 competition. Here English is translated into five target languages: French, Italian, Spanish, German and Dutch. One of our systems made use of only source language features, and the other two included translations of four other languages as well, the most interesting one uses a Markov Network. We will present the three models, preprocessing steps, training/testing, and discuss the results.

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Auditory perceptual learning: Factors that drive and prevent perceptual learning

    Time: Friday, March 29, 2013 01:30pm - 03:00pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (Conference room)

     

    Beverly Wright (Northwestern University)

    Performance on many perceptual tasks improves with practice even in adults, indicating that our sensory systems are not rigid but rather can be changed through experience. My coworkers and I have been investigating the factors that drive and prevent perceptual learning on auditory skills, including how those factors change with age and are affected by sensory and cognitive disorders. Conclusions drawn from learning on fine-grained auditory discrimination tasks have held for visual and speech learning, suggesting that common principles are at play across multiple domains. Knowledge of these issues will lead to more effective training strategies to help restore perceptual abilities in people with perceptual disorders as well as to enhance those skills in people with normal perception.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Acquisition of /l/ in the L2 Spanish of native English learners

    Time: Friday, March 29, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205

     

    Megan Solon

    The voiced alveolar lateral phoneme /l/ has two main realizations in American English: a “light” variant that occurs in prevocalic positions, and a “dark” or “velarized” variant that occurs in postvocalic positions (Olive, Greenwood, & Coleman, 1993: p. 24). The phonetic inventory for /l/ of Spanish only contains a “light” variant (Hualde, 2005). Given this difference, and the frequent claim by Spanish pronunciation manuals that interference of the dark [ɫ] in learner Spanish contributes to the percept of foreign accentedness (e.g., Schwegler, Kempff, & Ameal-Guerra 2010), the present study investigates how English-speaking learners of Spanish as a second language (L2) produce the phoneme /l/ in Spanish, and how the phonetic features typically associated with the dark [ɫ] are modified as proficiency (i.e., class level) increases.
    The participants were 30 learners of Spanish, 10 from each of three levels of study (beginning, low-intermediate, and high-intermediate), and 10 native speakers of Spanish. Each participant completed a 25-question multiple choice proficiency test, a background questionnaire, and a word list and sentence creation task designed to elicit samples of /l/ in a variety of contexts in both semi-spontaneous and reading styles. Measures of the second formant (F2), related to tongue position, were extracted, analyzed with Praat, and normalized. The dependent variable was the F2 value which indicates realization of /l/ along a continuum of velarization (cf. Recasens, 2004). The five independent variables were i) position of /l/ in the syllable, ii) position of stress, iii) place of articulation of the following segment, iv) preceding vowel quality, and v) existence or not of a cognate in English. Tokens of /l/ in similar contexts were elicited from English word lists to allow for a comparison between the formants values in the L1 and L2 of each participant.
    This talk will discuss preliminary findings for /l/ production in L2 Spanish as well as plans for the expansion and refinement of this project that are currently underway.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

April, 2013
  • Inter-annotator agreement for dependency annotation of learner language

    Time: Monday, April 01, 2013 01:00pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Memorial Hall 401

     

    Marwa Ragheb and Markus Dickinson

    We report on a study of inter-annotator agreement (IAA) for a dependency annotation scheme designed for learner English. Reliably annotated learner corpora are a necessary step for the development of POS tagging and parsing of learner language. In our study, three student annotators marked several layers of annotation over different levels of learner texts, and they are able to obtain generally high agreement, especially after discussing the disagreements among themselves, without researcher intervention, illustrating the feasibility of the scheme. We pinpoint some of the problems in obtaining full agreement, including annotation scheme inclarities for learner innovations, interface design issues, and difficult syntactic constructions. In the process, we also develop ways to calculate agreements for sets of dependencies.

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Discourse uses of subjects in Spanish: an account of VSO and SVO structures

    Time: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 02:15pm - 03:15pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 004

     

    Chris Davidson (dissertation defense)

    Spanish is commonly characterized as a Subject, Verb, Object (SVO) language yet it also allows for variation of the placement of the subject in VSO and VOS structures. The SVO and VSO structures are controversial because there is not a consensus on what the communicational demands of the subject are when in the preverbal or postverbal positions. Alexiadou and Anagnotopoulou (1998), Ordóñez (2000), and Zubizarreta (1999) propose that VSO sentences are pragmatically neutral allowing the sentence to be used in broad focus contexts while SVO sentences are similar to CLLD structures and are constrained to those contexts where the subject can be interpreted as a topic. Contreras (1991), López (2009), and Suñer (1982) argue that the use of VSO sentences is restricted in specific contexts and cannot be used in broad focus contexts. Belletti (2004) further argues that while it is true that preverbal subjects in Spanish can be used to communicate topicality, they can also be used to communicate informational focus which suggests that SVO sentences are not constrained to a particular context.

    López (2009) proposes a system to account for CLLD, CLRD, Focus Fronting, and Rheme sentences using the features [+a]naphoric and [+c]ontrastive. These features are assigned at the phases proposed by Chomsky (2001) with [+a] being assigned to constituents moved to Spec,vP and [+c] being assigned to constituents moved to Spec,FinP. Using López’s system as a point of departure, this research will look at how SVO and VSO sentences are used in mini dialogues that have been designed to elicit constituents that communicate the features [±a] and [±c]. The assumption being that VSO sentences will be due to subjects being marked [+a] forcing the subject to remain in a postverbal position because of the communicational demands of the discourse.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • The Interaction of Information Structure and Syntactic Representation in Chinese

    Time: Friday, April 05, 2013 01:15pm - 03:15pm

    Place: Memorial Hall Room 317A

     

    Yuyin Hsu (Dissertation defense)

    This dissertation concerns the interaction of syntax and information structure in Mandarin Chinese and puts the theoretical assumption of parallelism between clauses and noun phrases to the test. It examines and validates the information structural status of the object phrases preposed to clause-internal positions. I argue that Rizzi’s (1997) “fine structure of the left periphery” proposed for Indo-European languages can be extended from the analysis of phrases that appear at the clause periphery to the analysis of phrases appearing in the sentence-internal domain in Chinese. This proposal is attested through the examination of the interaction between the preposed objects and other constructions, such as wh-questions, the ba-construction, modals, and the cleft-construction. Moreover, I argue that the so-called verb-copying structure and the fixed ordering of Topic and Focus elements in Chinese are better accounted for under the proposed analysis.

    The study also attempts to clarify the internal syntactic structure and its semantic effects of nominal expressions in Mandarin Chinese comparing them with those in other languages (Giusti 1996 and Aboh 2004). It is argued that the occurrence of measure words in Chinese represents the notion of “unit” that defines and quantifies over the noun phrase, independent of projections of demonstratives and nouns. Finally, I argue that nominals in Chinese are parallel to clauses in encoding the information structural properties to the elements appearing at the left periphery and the internal domain. This proposal accounts for the non-canonical distribution of adjectives, ellipses of various sizes of nominal phrases, and the phenomenon of internal reordering of words within nominal expressions. The dissertation introduces a wide range of new data which makes it possible to reevaluate previous proposals, and to propose a new perspective to examine the parallelisms between clauses and noun phrases in regard to the interaction between syntax and information structure.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Challenges to designing morphological transducers for Turkic languages

    Time: Saturday, April 06, 2013 08:30am - 10:20am

    Place: Woodburn Hall 106

     

    Jonathan Washington

    Morphological transducers are computational tools that map linguistic forms to morphological analyses. They have a variety of uses, ranging from their use as spell-checkers to the integral role they play in rule-based machine translation systems. This paper introduces a general academic audience to morphological transducers – how they work, how they are used, and how they are developed. More crucially, it presents some of the challenges faced in the development of morphological transducers for Turkic languages. Solutions to problems I have encountered in the development of a number of Turkic-language transducers are covered. Specifically, the talk covers the implementation of various issues related to the morphology, phonology, and orthography of these languages. While solutions to these problems are approached through knowledge of (and hence reflect in many ways) the linguistic systems employed in the languages, a functioning implementation is rarely as straightforward as what might be presented by a descriptive grammar of the language. Because of how explicit the solutions must be, a morphological transducer can be thought of as the ultimate description of a language’s morphotactics and morphophonology.

    Part of the 20th Annual Association of Central Eurasian Students Conference.
    For further details, see http://www.iub.edu/~aces/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Queer slang and demographic change in Early Republican Istanbul

    Time: Saturday, April 06, 2013 10:30am - 12:20pm

    Place: Woodburn Hall 106

     

    Nicholas Kontovas

    This presentation will examine the variety of Turkish slang known as Lubunca, used primarily among gay men and trans women in Istanbul. By analyzing Lubunca in terms of both its vocabulary and its structure, I will demonstrate that it contains a large number elements derived from languages spoken by non-Muslim populations who lived in certain areas of Istanbul during the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the early years of the Turkish Republic. By comparing the current state of Lubunca to earlier forms of slang employed by proto-Queer populations in the same spaces, I show how the sharp division characterized by the use of non-Muslim language-derived elements in Lubunca coincides with a major shift in the social capital of non-Muslims within Ottoman and (later) Turkish society. With the rise of Islamo-nationalism and Turkish ethno-nationalism beginning on the eve of the twentieth century, economic opportunities for non-Muslims in Istanbul declined sharply. These ideological trends – combined with restrictions founded in Ottoman Islamic law – produced a market for sex work wherein there were over ten times the number of registered non-Muslim brothels during the Imperial Period than there were registered Muslim brothels. As laws intended on discouraging Turks from mixing with non-Turks developed, all of the registered non-Muslim brothels gradually shut down; however, Turkish society had come to fetishize the non-Muslim woman prostitute, and though the supply decreased the demand remained high. Often times in order to fill this gap, Christian and Jewish women were tracked from other parts of the Empire and surrounding territories. It is in their capacity as unregistered sex workers that these women seem to have come into contact with the gay male and trans female population of the city, who have never been legally capable of engaging in registered prostitution in either the Ottoman Empire or Turkey. By breaking down loanwords from non-Muslim languages in Lubunca into semantic categories, I conclude that it was in this environment that the most defining aspects of Lubunca develop. I also explore the possible social mechanisms whereby the Istanbulite Queer population would find it socially advantageous to adopt and perpetuate the use of Lubunca, as well as those social mechanisms which may have led to a recent decline it the use of Lubunca among younger generations of Turkish Queers.

    Part of the 20th Annual Association of Central Eurasian Students Conference.
    For further details, see http://www.iub.edu/~aces/

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Native Language Identification for L2 Writers of English

    Time: Monday, April 08, 2013 01:00pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Memorial Hall 401

     

    Charese Smiley

    Authorship profiling is a growing field where researchers aim to determine certain characteristics of an author based on features in his or her writing. Researchers have tried to learn characteristics such as sex, age, personality type, and education level based on patterns in a person’s language use (Argamon et al. 2009). For example, frequency and distribution of words types such as articles, pronouns, and other parts-of-speech as well as use of specific lexical items can be used to distinguish one writer from another (Koppel et al. 2005a; Koppel et al. 2005b; Tsur & Rappoport 2007).

    With the emergence of English as a global language and its prolific use on the internet, it may be useful to automatically determine the language background of the writer of a given text. This study focuses on automatic native language identification using writings from English learners. We know from research in second language acquisition that learners of a language are influenced by their native language (L1) and those influences can be seen in the way they speak or write the language they are learning (L2) (Odlin 1989). These patterns in the way learners use their L2 can be exploited in order to make predictions about their L1. This study uses machine learning to study the effect of language closeness on NLI.

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • White matter correlates of the development of mathematical and phonological ability

    Time: Monday, April 08, 2013 01:30pm - 02:30pm

    Place: Psychology 128

     

    Bethany Sussman

    Mathematical and phonological ability have been hypothesized to share a common involvement of the angular gyrus. Differences in reading ability and mathematical ability have both been associated with fractional anisotropy (FA) differences of left temporoparietal white matter areas and activity in left temporoparietal cortex. One theory for this relationship is that both processes require phonological based code due to arithmetic using such codes to retrieve information from long-term memory. This talk will discuss the relationship between and the white matter FA correlates of phonological and arithmetic ability in children ages 5 -12. Additional implications of finger sense and counting will also be discussed.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Gender and Politeness Strategies in U.S. Cafe Service Encounters: An Investigation of Produced Request Forms

    Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:15pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine 004

     

    Lisa Fink

    The goal of the present study was to determine the polite request forms and modifications used during U.S. café service encounters, as well as the effect of gender on production of these strategies and their politeness levels. The present study also asked how U.S. request and modification strategies compare to those used in the Spanish-speaking world. To answer these questions, two hundred and seventy request sequences (135 from male clients and 135 from female clients) produced in a Midwest U.S. café were recorded according to the “field notes” methodology used by Beebe (1995). The form of each request was first determined according to the classification system in Félix-Brasdefer (2012), which is based on the work of Blum-Kulka (1989) and includes forms such as indirect conventional requests, elliptical requests, and imperatives. Each request sequence was then assigned a level of politeness based on its form and the presence of internal and/or external modifications, such as “please”, greetings, or personal questions; the rapport management politeness model of Spencer-Oatey (2000) guided this analysis. The form and the level of politeness of each request were then analyzed by the gender of the client and by the gender of the clerk in order to determine possible differences between male and female clients in service encounters. Finally, these results were compared to studies on service encounters in the Spanish-speaking world in order to understand how gender and culture can affect service encounters around the world. To conclude, the current investigation examines the social norms of politeness in a U.S. café community of practice; it provides examples of good behavior in the context of service encounters. However, a question remains as to whether the request strategies found in this study constitute examples of genuine politeness or rather appropriate, politic behavior.

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Linguistic Annotation

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 10:00am - 01:00pm

    Place: Wells Library Information Commons Cluster 1

     

    Sandra Kuebler

    Independent of which research area we work in, most of us often have to search in texts. Sometimes, just searching for individual words, or sequences of them, is insufficient because the search results cover too many phenomena that are not interesting to us. This workshop will introduce more powerful methods for searching in text. One such method will be the use of regular expressions. This allows us to search for more general sequences, for example "as ... as". This type of search can be used in a wide variety of text processing applications.

    However, we will also look at linguistic annotations, such as part-of-speech tags, syntax, and discourse annotation (in the form of frame annotation). Such annotations can help if we want to search for specific linguistic patterns. For example, if we want to search for occurrences of "as soon as", "as long as", etc., we can make the search more general and search for "as ADJ as". However, this means, we need information about the parts of speech of words.

    In the workshop, we will discuss which resources are available, how such annotations can be performed automatically, how we can search in such texts with linguistic annotations, what types of errors we have to expect from the automatic annotations, and what consequences this has for searching in the data.

    No linguistic or programming experience necessary.

    All that is required is registration at
    http://www.indiana.edu/~catapult/workshops.shtml

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • The ‘Other’ Dimension of Words

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm

    Place: Speech and Hearing Building, Room C141

     

    Mike Jones

    Meaning is simultaneously the most obvious feature of language (we can all compute it rapidly and automatically), and the most mysterious aspect to study. In comparison to many areas of cognition, relatively little is known about how the mind computes meaning from experience. We can reasonably measure and model the characteristics of words based on their physical properties, such as frequency, orthography, phonology, etc. But lexical semantics is often seen as a mysterious ‘other’ dimension and is approximated with subjective ratings, hand-coded norms, or surface-level count algorithms. In this talk, I plan to do a tutorial on some recent advances in cognitive and statistical models of lexical semantic representation. These models attempt to learn rich semantic representations for words from statistical redundancies in text corpora. Time permitting, I will also cover some recent work on integrating perceptual and linguistic information in semantic models, compositional semantics, and some work from my lab applying the models to better understand cognitive processing in linguistic tasks from clinical populations.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Low-Resource Semantic Analysis of Learner Sentences

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 11:00am - 11:30am

    Place: Ballantine Hall 228

     

    Levi King (with Markus Dickinson)

    While there is much current work on analyzing learner language, it usually focuses on grammatical error detection and correction and less on semantic analysis. At the same time, there is a tradition of developing Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) and Intelligent Language Tutoring (ILT) systems, but these too tend to focus more on grammatical feedback. Our current work is undertaken in an attempt to move such tools closer to contemporary theory and research in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and best practices in second language instruction, which emphasize limited grammar instruction in favor of communication and task-based learning. For our purposes, this means shifting the primary task of the ICALL application from analyzing grammar to evaluating semantic appropriateness or accuracy. We begin by collecting data from a task which models some aspects of interaction, namely a picture description task (PDT). As stimuli, we use relatively simple images that portray transitive events in an attempt to constrain the range of expected forms and contents. We parse these responses into dependency graphs with an off-the-shelf parser, then use a decision tree to classify sentences into syntactic types based on the features of these parses, giving us relatively easy access to the subject, verb and object by following consistent mappings between syntactic sentence types and their semantic elements. The specific goal in this paper is to examine the challenges involved in extracting these semantic representations from interactive learner sentences.

    Part of the 7th Annual Indiana University Linguistics Club Graduate Student Conference
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iulc/conference/2013

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Code-switching between closely related varieties: Creoles and their lexifier in French Guiana

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 11:30am - 12:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 228

     

    Jason Siegel

    The distinction between ‘language’ and ‘dialect’ is always a troublesome one for linguists. The usual explanation that they are differentiated principally by their relative power is at once inapplicable to the situation of French-based Atlantic creoles (usually considered languages despite their overwhelming overlap in grammar and lexicon) as well as unhelpful for those looking to examine contact between closely related varieties. Yet many claims of code-switching crucially depend on being able to distinguish between two languages. In this study, I present a case of contact between two French-based creoles (Haitian and Guianese) and their lexifier. I show the difficulties of establishing linguistic boundaries in situation of code-switching, specifically looking at how to determine whether a particular word or sequence represents a switch between languages or a use of a variant available to monolinguals. In other words, I will explore the problems of telling whether a word or sequence is a code-switch into French or Guianese from Haitian or whether it is a word from a Frenchified variety of Haitian. I will present examples from fieldwork conducted in Cayenne, French Guiana, that pose particular difficulty to theories of code-switching. I conclude by suggesting future areas of research to examine whether we can in fact distinguish dialects from languages linguistically.

    Part of the 7th Annual Indiana University Linguistics Club Graduate Student Conference
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iulc/conference/2013

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Acquisition of /l/ in the L2 Spanish of native English learners

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 12:00pm - 01:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 006

     

    Megan Solon (Dissertation proposal defense)

    The proposed research project aims to explore the acquisition by adult second language (L2) learners of a segment that exists in the learners’ first language (L1) and L2, but that differs in its phonetic realization and allophonic distribution in the two languages. Specifically, the proposed study aims to track, using a cross-sectional sample, the development of the realization of the alveolar lateral /l/ in the L2 Spanish of native English speakers. The study will (a) offer an acoustic-phonetic description of the L2 Spanish lateral, (b) explore in a quantitative fashion the realization of laterals in L2 speech in terms of their relative frontness-backness (as measured by the second formant [F2] and duration), and (c) examine the influence of various linguistic and extralinguistic factors on the production of /l/ in L2 Spanish (e.g., position of /l/ in the syllable, vocalic context, cognate status of word, and speech style as well as learners' phonetic proficiency, years studying Spanish, study abroad experience, L1 English dialect, awareness of /l/ differences, attitude toward pronunciation accuracy, and familiarity with target Spanish words, among others). These productions of /l/ will then be compared both to laterals in native Spanish and to laterals in the learners’ L1 English to explore whether the L2 Spanish productions are distinct from the learners' native English laterals and, if so, how the L2 Spanish lateral productions compare to native Spanish laterals.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Are Opaque Patterns Generalizable? Wug-Testing Vowel Alternations in Bangla Present-Tense Verbs

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 12:15pm - 12:45pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 228

     

    Traci Nagle

    Low-mid (æ, ɔ) and high-mid (e, o) vowels in monosyllabic Bangla verb stems alternate in height with their high-mid (e, o) and high (i,u) counterparts, respectively, in a pattern that has been described as a vowel-harmony chain shift (e.g., Nagle 2008; see also, e.g., Lahiri 2000, Mahanta 2007). This single-step raising of stem vowels is triggered when a tense, aspect, or person morpheme containing a high vowel (i or u) is suffixed to a monosyllabic verb stem containing a low-mid or high-mid vowel. [...]

    The chain-shift pattern exhibited by these verb forms is opaque, in that speakers must form a generalization that is not surface-true (a.k.a. a counterfeeding pattern, in earlier theoretical descriptions). For instance, the generalization necessary to produce the first-person forms [...] — that [u] is preferred to [o] preceding a high vowel later in the word—does not hold in the case of the first person form […], where [o] is preferred to [ɔ], but does not raise to [u] before a high affix vowel. Such non-surface-true (opaque) patterns present a challenge to surface-evaluative phonological theories, such as Optimality Theory (OT).

    This chain shift alternation in monosyllabic Bangla verb stems was explored via an Experigen (Becker and Levine 2010) web-based wug test administered to twelve native Bangla speakers. Each participant was presented with either a first-person form (with the high-affix trigger) or a second-person form (without the high-affix trigger) of 12 nonce verbs (4 of each of the e/i, ɔ/o, and o/u alternations) and asked to identify the corresponding form when the chain-shift trigger (the high affix vowel) was added or removed. Because this pattern is exceptionless for monosyllabic verbs in Bangla, participants were expected to prefer forms that adhered to this alternating pattern. Yet participants chose the expected form (implementing the attested raising or lowering pattern) only 50-60% of the time. Possible explanations for this unexpected result, as well as future directions for this line of research, will be discussed.

    Part of the 7th Annual Indiana University Linguistics Club Graduate Student Conference
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iulc/conference/2013

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Ubiquitous variability in the phonological form of loanwords: Tracing early borrowings into Japanese over five centuries of contact

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 12:45pm - 01:15pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 228

     

    Aaron Albin

    Within the field of Loanword Phonology, the issue of variation and diachronic change has only recently begun to be addressed. Paradis & LaCharité (2008) demonstrate how variability in adaptation pattern can decrease over time, thus making the cross-linguistic correspondences increasingly categorical. Kang (2010) describes this as a process of conventionalization, whereby a speech community communally ‘agrees upon’ how foreign structures should be adapted. However, since most studies in this vein examine a fixed set of sounds and deal with only a single pair of languages, it is still unclear the extent to which historical loanword forms can vary across different sound-types and different source-languages.

    To address these issues, in the present study, all Western loanwords into Japanese in a 130-year old Japanese dictionary (Yamada 1892-1893) were located, serving as a representative sample of the historically earliest loanwords within the language. Next, these words were located in two modern synchronic dictionaries – Matsumura (1998) and Matsumura (2006). By analyzing which dictionary articles redirect where, a single form could be identified as ‘dominant’ for each time point (the 1890s and the modern day). Finally, first-attestation dates (i.e. the years when forms were first attested in primary-source historical documents) were then ascertained using historical data from Nihon Daijiten Kankōkai (2000-2001).

    Results indicate that the extent of variation in loanword phonology has been grossly underestimated. As many as 70% of the loanwords in the database have more than one variant form; indeed, several words have had over a dozen. Moreover, comparison of Portuguese, Dutch, German, French, and English loans (each arising from wildly different contact situations) suggests that more intense and long-standing contact leads to a greater number of variant forms. It is concluded that a richer understanding of loanword phonology is only possible if this ‘pool of variation’ is given due attention.

    Part of the 7th Annual Indiana University Linguistics Club Graduate Student Conference
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iulc/conference/2013

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Wolof discourse: Telling stories among friends

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 01:30pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 228

     

    Fabienne Ngóone Diouf

    Whenever people talk about storytelling or oral narratives, Africa comes into mind for several reasons. One of the reasons is that African society in general is based on oral way transmitting knowledge which is also a tangible way to educate the society. The Wolof culture cannot escape from this rule set in many African societies. However, this study of Wolof discourse with focus on stories told in a conversation among friends looked at the textual structure of stories in Wolof and the interaction of language and talk in context. The stories studied revealed that Labovian structural schema e.g. abstract, orientation, complicating clauses, evaluation, and resolution though drawn from English oral narratives applied in Wolof as well. Storytelling is part of the repertoire of Senegalese forms of entertainment so that it is a communication channel. Furthermore, the stories revealed different aspects of Wolof culture and society.

    This work will discuss the linguistic structure of the stories told during the conversation, the way stories have been shaped by academic environment and different things that were happening in Senegal. In addition, it will tell how the content of the stories have been influenced by the Senegalese culture, why the stories have been told and how some aspects of the interactants’ personality are revealed through storytelling.

    Part of the 7th Annual Indiana University Linguistics Club Graduate Student Conference
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iulc/conference/2013

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • American English Vowels of Native Speakers of East-Asian Languages: Acoustic and Perceptual Aspects of Accentedness

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 01:30pm - 02:30pm

    Place: Psychology 128 (Conference Room)

     

    Emily Garl

    A growing field of research into foreign accented speech has demonstrated the significant effects of first language (L1) on production of a second language (L2). Non-native speakers' productions are affected systematically and predictably based on a talker's first language, often resulting in a mixture of the L1 and L2 phonological systems. Despite this, listeners have been shown to be able to rapidly adapt to foreign accents in order to understand accented speech. The current study focused on both the production and perceptual aspects of American English vowel utterances by native speakers of East Asian languages. In Experiment 1, we examined English vowel productions by native speakers of four East Asian languages-Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese. Although each first language has a distinctive phonology and phonetic inventory, they are highly confusable to naïve listeners. In Experiment 2, we used an accentedness rating task and a vowel identification task to investigate the perception of the vowel productions from Experiment 1. Preliminary results showed that, as expected, native speakers of East Asian languages differ significantly from native speakers of American English with respect to both production and perceptual aspects. Analysis of vowel production showed differences in vowel spacing, duration, and F1/F2 values for non-native speakers. Perception results revealed relationships between accent ratings, vowel identification, and native language identification. Together, the two experiments will allow us to better understand relationships among and contributions of acoustic characteristics, linguistic properties, and indexical properties in the perception of foreign-accented speech. Results will be interpreted and discussed in further detail. Feedback is welcome.

     

    In category: Second language acquisition

     

  • Courtroom Discourse as Verbal Performance: Describing the Unique Sociolinguistic Situation of the American Trial Courtroom

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 02:00pm - 02:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 228

     

    Seth Wood

    Individual events within courtroom discourse, such as lawyer-witness interactions have been studied extensively, particularly within a framework of powerful vs. powerless language (Adelsward, 1987; Archer, 2006; Bogoch, 2000; Eades, 2010; Fuller, 1993; Gnisci & Bakeman, 2007; Hobbs, 2007; Keating, 2009; Penman, 1990; Philips, 1984; Roberts, 1990). However, this thesis will show that courtroom discourse is sufficiently unique to warrant a distinct framework. It will also explore the explanatory power of a Courtroom Discourse Verbal Performance framework influenced by Verbal Art as Performance (Bauman, 1977). In particular this work will create a framework (Courtroom Discourse Verbal Performance) that explains the sociolinguistic situation of the entire courtroom trial instead of simply one small part (i.e. questioning a witness, entering a plea, etc.). This framework allows for the inclusion of the whole courtroom discourse event into a single unifying idea of courtroom discourse as performance. The peculiar sociolinguistic interactions of various people within courtroom discourse are explained as restrictions on the interactions of roles within the performance. Courtroom discourse data gathered from the Provo Fourth District Court is presented and analyzed as supporting evidence.

    Part of the 7th Annual Indiana University Linguistics Club Graduate Student Conference
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iulc/conference/2013

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Non-native phoneme discrimination, working memory, and word learning

    Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 02:30pm - 03:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205

     

    Noah Silbert

    It is well known that perception of non-native speech sounds is influenced by experience and the mapping between non-native and native phonetic categories. However, much less is known about the relationships between phonetic features, non-native perceptual ability, and foreign language proficiency. These relationships are important in the design of tests for personnel selection for second language training. Two experiments were conducted to probe (a) the role of phonetic features in the measurement of non-native perceptual ability and (b) the predictive utility of perceptual abilities and phonological memory in word learning. In one experiment, 169 participants completed an 'oddball' discrimination task with non-native contrasts from nine languages – three voicing contrasts, three place contrasts, and three tone contrasts. Confirmatory factor analysis model comparisons indicate that individual differences in perceptual abilities reflect phonetic feature structure. In a second experiment, phonological memory and voicing, place, and tone discrimination were measured for 167 participants and used to predict learning accuracy for sets of non-native words differing (in part) with respect to voicing, place, and tone. Consistent with the results from the first experiment, both discrimination and phonological memory predict word learning accuracy, and discrimination predicts word learning accuracy in a (mostly) feature-specific manner. The implications of these results will be discussed, and extensions and generalizations of this work will be outlined.

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Artificial Intelligence and the "Barrier of Meaning"

    Time: Sunday, April 14, 2013 01:00pm - 02:00pm

    Place: IMU University Club Faculty Room

     

    Melanie Mitchell (Portland State University)

    I wonder whether or when AI will ever crash the barrier of meaning. So wrote the mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota in 1985. Nearly three decades later, crashing this barrier remains AI’s supreme unmet challenge. To what extent do our most impressive AI programs understand and use concepts that are imbued with genuine meaning, as opposed to being empty syntactic shells? With recent advances such as IBM’s Watson, affective robots, and the possibility of whole brain emulation, is AI any closer to overcoming this ultimate hurdle?

    My talk will elucidate the barrier of meaning, speculate on what AI will need in order to cross it, and explain why we are still far from this goal. My discussion will touch on the surprising role of analogy and metaphor in human construction of meaning, and on my work to create programs that perceive meaning by making their own analogies.

    Keynote for the 5th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Cognitive Science Conference
    http://mucsc.info/schedule.php

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • The Role of Language in Codifying and Perpetuating Gender Norms

    Time: Sunday, April 14, 2013 04:30pm - 05:30pm

    Place: Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

     

    Megan Harsh

    In this study, we investigated the adjectives that are consistently used to describe men and women using data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). After drawing up a list of the 125 most frequent adjectives for each gender, we asked thirty independent raters to judge how much control a person has over exhibiting each trait, on a scale from fixed (no control) to highly mutable (complete control; see Bandura, 1989). We found that the adjectives used to describe each gender differed significantly along this dimension. Specifically, our results suggested that men are significantly more likely than women to be characterized in mutable terms. Past research indicates that our ability to effect change within our situations and environments – in other words, our self‐efficacy – is tightly coupled with whether or not we believe that our personal traits, such as intelligence and morality, are qualities that we have the power to change (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Dweck, Chiu & Hong, 1995). That we characterize men, but not women, in this way, may subtly influence our underlying perceptions of each gender

    Poster during the Poster Session of the 5th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Cognitive Science Conference
    http://mucsc.info/schedule.php

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Distal prosody facilitates word segmentation in an artificial language

    Time: Sunday, April 14, 2013 04:30pm - 05:30pm

    Place: Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

     

    Patrycja Zdziarska
    (with Ashley Elliston, Brian Chivers, Mitchell Reddan, Katherine Jones, Tuuli Morrill, Devin McAuley, Laura Dilley and Lisa Sanders)

    When learning a spoken language, listeners track distributions of speech sounds, and use transitional probabilities between syllables to identify word boundaries. Listeners also use local prosodic cues such as word-initial stress and phrase-final pauses to aid in word segmentation. Recent studies have shown that for a known language, listeners can use pitch and timing patterns occurring at the beginning of utterances (“distal prosodic cues”) to segment speech material occurring later on in the utterance. The present study investigated whether distal prosodic cues can facilitate the learning of words in a novel language. To test this possibility, we implemented an artificial language-learning paradigm that manipulated distal prosodic cues while holding transitional probabilities between syllables constant. Listeners were exposed to 288 sequences of 9-10 syllables each where the 6th-9th syllables constituted disyllabic target words. For each syllable sequence, distal prosodic cues were either congruent or incongruent with the word boundaries of target words. After exposure, listeners heard 24 test items; half of these were target words heard during exposure and half were non-words. Of the target words, half had been heard with a congruent distal prosody and half with an incongruent distal prosody. For each test item, listeners judged whether the item was a word or a non-word in the artificial language using a 6-point confidence rating scale. If transitional probabilities alone were used to segment words during exposure, there should be no difference in the learning of congruent and incongruent words. However, if distal prosodic cues guided segmentation and facilitated word learning, listeners should better identify congruent items as words in the language than incongruent items. Consistent with a role for distal prosody in word learning, congruent words were learned better than incongruent words. Implications for understanding the relationship between music and language processing will be discussed.

    Poster during the Poster Session of the 5th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Cognitive Science Conference
    http://mucsc.info/schedule.php

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Body parts, visuability and directionality judgments on 88 verbs

    Time: Sunday, April 14, 2013 04:30pm - 05:30pm

    Place: Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

     

    Meghan Nesheim and Trista Witherspoon

    Growing evidence suggests a strong link between verb meaning and the neural processes that underlie body movement and perception (e.g., kicking is about LEG). Following this, we wondered whether body part associations with verbs would correlate with directionality judgments and visuability judgments on the same verbs. Accordingly, we analyzed the 88 verbs common to two lines of research: 1) 50 adult English speakers’ verb-body part associations from Maouene, Hidaka & Smith (2008) and 2) 35 directionality judgments as well 35 visuability judgments on the same verbs from Spivey & Richardson (2008) and Toskos, Hanania & Hockema (2004). The present results indicate that there is a strong relation between directionality and visuability with regard to the afore mentioned body regions, ARM: r(49)=.77, p<.000; HEAD: r(20)=.81, p<.000; LEG: r(17)=.78, p<.0001. In addition, a 2x3 factorial analysis yields a main effect between body regions and visuability but no main effect between body regions and visuability. Further a series of simple effects indicate that: verbs associated with the LEG region are significantly more visual (M=76.7) and directional (M=85.2) than verbs associated with the ARM or HEAD regions. Verbs associated with the ARM regions are significantly more visual (M= 64.7) than verb associated with the HEAD region (M=54). Finally, verbs associated with the ARM and HEAD regions have comparable directionality judgments (M= 69.9). The results suggest that although the two types of judgments correlate quite strongly, the relation between visuability and directionality may tap into different meanings: concreteness and abstractness of verbs versus action types.

    Poster during the Poster Session of the 5th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Cognitive Science Conference
    http://mucsc.info/schedule.php

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Sex, Drugs, and Sushi Rolls: The Secret Language of Food

    Time: Thursday, April 18, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: IMU Persimmon Room

     

    Dan Jurafsky (Stanford University)

    I summarize a number of studies from our lab showing how the language of food reflects economic, social, and behavioral variables. Using corpora including thousands of menus and millions of reviews, we show that the descriptions of dishes (and even the words on the back of potato chip packages) demonstrate popular attitudes toward class and society, including appeals to the aspirational middle class and to a notion of "pastoral authenticity". Food reviews show both a positivity bias in lexical sentiment frequency (the Pollyanna principle) and a negativity bias in lexical types (the negative differentiation principle), and reveal distinct metaphors for expensive food (as sensual or sexual pleasure) and cheap food (as drug addiction). Linguistic variables can even predict the price of a dish on a menu; we show Gricean effects like the association of 'linguistic fillers' like "tasty", "fresh", or "generous" with lower prices, and the higher prices of dishes described as "exotic".

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?

    Time: Thursday, April 18, 2013 04:00pm - 06:30pm

    Place: IQ Wall, East Tower, Wells library

     

    [1] Workshop Welcome
    [2] Introduction of Invited Speakers
    [3] Challenges and Opportunities

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • La cohabitation du français et du créole dans le système éducatif haïtien: Enjeux, défis et perspectives pour bilinguisme équilibré

    Time: Thursday, April 18, 2013 05:30pm - 06:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 332

     

    [Coexistence of French and Creole in Haiti's education system: Issues, challenges and prospects for balanced bilingualism]

    Rogéda Dorcé Dorcil (University of Haiti)

    Depuis l’Indépendance, le français a toujours demeuré, de facto, la langue officielle de la République d’Haïti. Langue de l’école, langue de l’administration, le français a toujours été perçu comme langue de la « classe dominante », langue de la « bourgeoisie intellectuelle », de « l’élite sociale ». Ainsi, est-il resté pendant longtemps une langue à grande attraction pour la grande majorité analphabète qui, créolophone unilingue, se sent obligée de consentir des efforts considérables pour pouvoir le faire apprendre à ses enfants pour leur assurer une promotion sociale. Cette situation a perduré de l’indépendance jusqu’à pratiquement 1979-1980, date de l’implantation d’une réforme éducative baptisée Réforme Bernard. Le créole, langue nationale, est toléré et même enseigné à l’école à la fois comme langue objet et langue d’enseignement, du moins en théorie. Cette décision a été des plus controversées même par les parents créolophones unilingues. Pour eux l’introduction du créole à l’école ne sera qu’une arme à double tranchant. Estimant leurs enfants être privés de l’accès au français, ils voient l’introduction du créole comme un « refus de la civilisation, de cette promotion sociale tant recherchée » à leur progéniture. La Réforme Bernard a donc été alimentée par toute une série de perceptions négatives qui vont l’empêcher d’atteindre son objectif : aboutir à un bilinguisme équilibré, français-créole malgré la consécration par la Constitution de 1987 du créole comme langue officielle à côté du français.

    Cette conférence examinera le rôle que doivent jouer les institutions de la République d’Haïti, en particulier la Faculté de Linguistique de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti, dans l’établissement, le développement et le maintien de ce bilinguisme équilibré désiré. Certains défis doivent impérativement être relevés pour parvenir à ce bilinguisme équilibré, en particulier:

    1-Réévaluation de la Réforme Bernard en ce qui a trait à l’enseignement et la pratique des langues en présence ;

    2-Conception et élaboration de manuels scolaires et de guides pour les maitres ;

    3- Formation des futurs maîtres et des maîtres en exercice.

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Session 1 of "What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?"

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 09:35am - 11:10am

    Place: Geology, Room 126

     

    [1] How we learn what not to say: Corpus and experimental investigations (Adele Goldberg)
    [2] Language acquisition is learning to process: Theoretical considerations and computational modeling (Morten Christiansen)
    [3] Panel Discussion with Tom Schoenemann & Mike Jones

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Session 2 of "What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?"

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 11:25am - 01:00pm

    Place: Geology, Room 126

     

    [1] Corpus linguistics and the myth of cognitive decline (Michael Ramscar)
    [2] When too much is simply too much: An eye-tracking study of the relation between corpus size and learnability (Harald Baayen)
    [3] Panel Discussion with Amy Cook & Victor Kuperman

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Acquisition of Conventional Expressions in L2 Pragmatics: the Impact of Acculturation and Intensity of Interaction during Study Abroad Programs

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 01:30pm - 02:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 347

     

    Ariadna Sanchez (University of Jaume)

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • Session 3 of "What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?"

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 02:15pm - 03:50pm

    Place: Geology, Room 126

     

    [1] Representing rats: Some interesting things rats have taught me over the years (Aaron Blaisdell)
    [2] Thought without language: Locked in no more! (Ed Wasserman)
    [3] Panel Discussion with Rob Goldstone & Jonathon Crystal

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Prepositional Phrases in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 02:30pm - 04:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205

     

    Phil Lesourd

    This talk presents an analysis of the prepositional phrases of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, an Algonquian language spoken in New Brunswick and Maine. It establishes that these phrases may function as constituents, even though they are frequently discontinuously expressed, demonstrates that they are headed by the particles that characterize them, and explores their internal structure. This structure is shown to be parallel to that of noun phrases in the language. It includes an optional determiner that is sister to a subconstituent formed by the preposition and its object, if it takes one, together with optional modifiers. These conclusions are of interest, since it has been claimed that Algonquian languages, which are widely seen as nonconfigurational, lack hierarchically organized constituent structure.

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Session 4 of "What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?"

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 04:05pm - 06:20pm

    Place: Geology, Room 126

     

    [1] The origins and progress of terascale linguistics (Mark Liberman)
    [2] Computational social science with lots of words: The linguistics of dating, food and innovation (Dan Jurafsky)
    [3] Panel Discussion with Sandra Kuebler, Markus Dickinson & Peter Todd
    [4] Advanced analysis of Google Books n-grams data with an improved architecture and interface (Mark Davies)

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Substance and Style in Online Apologies for a Political Event

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 04:30pm - 05:30pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 214

     

    Elizabeth Riddle and Mai Kuha (Ball State University)

    Research on apologies has focused on two main types: personal apologies for social infractions by individuals (e.g. Olshtain 1989, Holmes 1990, Meier 1998, Mojica 2004), and institutional or governmental apologies for particular policies or incidents (e.g. Abadi 1990, Zhang 2003). Recently, a new type has emerged, apologies posted on the internet by large numbers of individuals for a single event or policy brought about by a nation of voters or government. An example is sorryeverybody.com, a website where thousands of Americans apologized for George W. Bush’s win in the 2004 presidential election, eliciting responses to those apologies from around the world. We have examined the forms of over two thousand naturally occurring apologies on this website, all on the same topic, and with rich demographic information on the posters. In this presentation, we: 1. argue that the posting of the apologies and the forms used are conditioned in large part by apparently conflicting senses of personal and social identity; 2. discuss the styles used in a subset of the apologies and responses to them framed (at least partially) as messages to friends, although the addressees are actually complete strangers; 3. discuss the use of humor, irony and rudeness to accomplish face work.

     

    In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics

     

  • On the Status of Rule Inversion: Evidence from Bavarian German

    Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 05:00pm - 07:00pm

    Place: College Arts and Humanities Institute (1211 E Atwater Ave)

     

    Tracy Alan Hall

    A mechanism of linguistic change discussed at length in the literature on historical linguistics is referred to as ‘rule inversion’. Stated simply, rule inversion involves the change from a (synchronic) rule A → B (in a certain context) at one point in time (Stage I) to a (synchronic) rule at a later point (Stage II), in which the input and output are reversed, i.e. B → A (in the inverse context). The first rule (attested at Stage I) is therefore replaced with the second (at Stage II). In an influential article, McCarthy (1991) argues that there are no clear-cut cases involving rule inversion. Instead, he shows that even the most famous cases involve the retention of the first rule and the addition of the second rule, but not the replacement of the first rule with the second rule. Thus, in McCarthy’s view Stage II is not simply B → A, but B → A and A → B. In the present talk I discuss first the notion of rule inversion and then I introduce material from Bavarian German which sheds light on the debate. It will ultimately be argued that the German data illustrate an unambiguous case of rule inversion.

    Part of the Germanic Studies Faculty-Student Colloquium

     

    In category: Phonetics and phonology

     

  • Demo previews for "What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?"

    Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013 09:00am - 10:00am

    Place: IQ Wall, East Tower, Wells library

     

    [1] Networks of topics, texts, and words (Scott Weingart)
    [2] The NDL package: a tool for building highly scalable learning models (Cyrus Shaoul)
    [3] Word 2 Word: Understanding through visualizing semantic spaces (Brent Kievit-Kylar)
    [4] One corpus, many models: Tools for exploring the Hathi Trust collection (Colin Allen)

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Breakout Sessions for "What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?"

    Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013 10:00am - 10:45am

    Place: IQ Wall, East Tower, Wells library

     

    Naive Discriminative Learning (NDL) Package (Cyrus Shaoul)
    Visualizing Semantic Spaces (Brent Kievit-Kylar)
    Exploring the Hathi Trust Collection (Colin Allen)

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • What Can We Do With 500 Billion Words?

    Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013 11:00am - 12:30pm

    Place: IQ Wall, East Tower, Wells library

     

    [1] Who Would Like to Collaborate With Whom on What?
    [2] Future Directions & Opportunities

    For details, see http://mypage.iu.edu/~meldye/workshop/

     

    In category: Computational linguistics

     

  • Korean plural marker 'tul'

    Time: Monday, April 22, 2013 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: Monday, April 22, 2013 01:30pm - 02:00pm

    Place: Ballantine Hall 208

     

    Jordan Garrett

    (LING-L643 Graduate Student Presentation)

     

    In category: Morphosyntax and semantics

     

  • Topicalization in Korean

    Time: Monday, April 22, 2013 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: Monday, April 22, 2013 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: Monday, April 22, 2013 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: Monday, April 22, 2013 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

     


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