Working Papers in Linguistics - 2005

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    High Rising Intonation in Japanese Discourse
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2005-12-01) Ueki, Kaori
    This paper discusses high-rising terminals (HRTs) in Japanese discourse. A HRT is an upward intonation like that which occurs at the end of an interrogative phrase, yet an utterance with HRT is not an interrogative. The popular notion of HRT is that it is used by young women; I show that some people use HRT regardless of age. Instead of focusing on the speaker who produces HRTs, the study looks at the discourse environment in which it occurs. Using natural conversation data, I show that HRTs have multiple functions in Japanese discourse: to highlight repairs, to mark the boundary of a discourse topic, and to mark lists. HRT is shown to be one of many mechanisms that the speaker has at his/her disposal to contexualize the utterance.
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    LF Representation in Scope Ambiguity Between Numeral Quantifier and Negation in Korean
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2005-12-01) Lee, Sunyoung
    This paper reports on an experiment on the interpretation of scope ambiguity with data from adult Korean speakers. The particular area under investigation involves the relation between numeral quantified nouns (floated vs. determinative quantified nouns) and negation (postverbal negation). Twenty eight subjects participated in the experiment using the Truth Value Judgement Task (Crain and Thornton 1998). The main finding is that Korean-speaking adults display a strong preference for negation wide scope (Neg > Two), and that the difference between floated and determinative quantified nouns in terms of scope ambiguity is not statistically meaningful. The results are discussed cross-linguistically, and I suggest several avenues for future research.
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    Nominative Case-Marker Omission and A-Chain Deficit in Child Language Acquisition of Korean
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2005-12-01) Ko, Insung
    The present study investigates the account of the A-Chain Deficit Hypothesis (ACDH) on the omission of the NOM(inative) case marker in child Korean, which argues that children omit NOM frequently in unaccusative constructions due to the unavailability of A-movement.1 Overall, the results of this study confirm previous results on the rate of NOM omission used to support the ACDH (Borer and Wexler 1987, Miyamoto et al. 1999, Lee and Wexler 2001, Machida et al. 2004). Previous studies used a bi.nary distinction between verb categories, i.e., unaccusatives vs. the others (unergatives/transitives). Once the various subclasses of unaccusatives are considered individually (adjectival, copular, existen.tial, psych, and lexical unaccusative verbs), the unaccusativity effect is found not to hold across all un.accusative verb types. The results of detailed analyses appear not to support the ACDH in that not all verb subcategories follow the pattern among verb types suggested by the simple binary categorization.
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    Prosodic Resolution of a Syntactic Ambiguity in Korean Learners of English
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2005-12-01) Hwang, Hyekyung
    This study investigates how native Korean-speaking second language learners of English (L2ers) use prosody for syntactic disambiguation. Korean L2ers with different English-proficiency levels and na.tive English speakers participated in morpho-syntax and prosody experiments. The morpho-syntax ex.periment assessed interference of Korean morpho-syntactic features in the prosody experiment and verified the subjects’ proficiency levels. In the prosody experiment, participants heard the syntactically ambiguous beginning portion of a sentence and then chose the most likely of two visually presented continuations. The results show that (1) Korean L2ers at all levels used the relative strength of prosodic boundaries to correctly disambiguate syntactically ambiguous utterances; (2) correct continuation se.lection increased significantly as proficiency increased; and (3) late closure bias was not completely suppressed in L2.
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    A Sketch Grammar of Tindal Dusun
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2005-10-01) Robinson, Laura C.
    This article attempts to give a broad overview of the synchronic grammar of Tindal Dusun, a language spoken in Sabah, Borneo (Malaysia), with occasional reference to historical data where relevant. Phonologically, Tindal has a constraint on vowel combinations within a word, which has been discussed in other Dusunic languages as “vowel harmony” (Kroeger 1992, Hurlbut 1981, Harris and Chapple 1993, Boutin 1993), and this constraint is examined in some detail here. Moreover, the language is moving from a four-vowel system to a symmetrical five-vowel system, with the introduction of a mid-front vowel [..]. The phonological and sociological conditions for this switch are addressed. Syntactically, Tindal has the remnants of a Philippine-type focus system, and this system will be explored with numerous examples. Finally, the language is quite complex morphologically. This paper gives a brief description of every affix known to the author, with a more extensive discussion of the most common affixes.