Working Papers in Linguistics - 2007

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    Conceptual Priming In Sentence Production: Effects Of Concrete Pictures On Metaphorical Language
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2007-11-01) Sato, Manami
    A major challenge in language production research is understanding how messages are linguistically encoded, especially for abstract concepts. Using picture priming in a sentence production task, I demon.strate that activating a cognitive domain can trigger the use of domain-related (metaphorical) language for abstract concepts in sentences otherwise unrelated to the primes. The results show that specific concrete domains, activated by picture perception, frame the use of language for the abstract concepts. Control analyses argue against lexical or syntactic priming explanations for the effect. The findings indicate distinct and measurable effects of cross-domain priming due to domain activation, suggesting that conceptual metaphors are a cognitively real component of the language production mechanism. The results further suggest that concepts that are not part of the intended message but are accessible in a speaker’s current cognitive state can influence sentence formulation.
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    A Comprehensive Study Of Mwo, Mo, Mye, Mey, Po, Pye, And Pey Syllables In The Eastern Old Japanese Dialects
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2007-11-01) Kupchik, John
    This paper presents the first comprehensive linguistic study of all phonographically attested examples of mwo, mö, mey, mye, po, pye, and pey syllables in the Eastern Old Japanese (EOJ) dialects. I analyze each EOJ province separately, and in doing so I present evidence for a variety of phonemic mergers in specific provinces, including *m.>/mo/, *m.y>*m.>/mo/, *p.y>*p.>/po/, *m.y>/me/ and *p.y>/pe/. Importantly, I offer a solution to the puzzle presented by the data from the Suruga and T.t.mi provinces. I also show how this study is the first step towards a clear understanding of the shared innovations that will help to give us a more accurate picture of the taxonomy of the eastern linguistic area of eighth century Japan.
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    The Biological Endowment for Language and Arguments from the Poverty of the Stimulus
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2007-10-01) Hatfield, Hunter
    There is widespread agreement among linguists of almost all theoretical leanings that our biology con-strains the types of languages that can be acquired, but the content of that biological endowment has been the source of continual and fierce debate for many years, a debate usually framed as a choice be-tween nativism and non-nativism. This paper attempts to find a way through this debate by exploring the methodologies available to researchers for answering the biological question. In particular, it as-sesses whether or not Poverty of the Stimulus Arguments (Poverty Arguments) are particularly useful for this endeavor. It is argued that the nature of the biological endowment for language is significantly underdetermined by the evidence from Poverty Arguments. This is demonstrated both as a philosophi-cal point and with a critique of two recent Poverty Arguments. However, we can make significant pro-gress in the future by looking for causal explanations of language knowledge, and not just structural descriptions of that knowledge.
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    Basay Nominal Constructions
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2007-08-01) Liu, Dorinda Tsai-Hsiu
    This paper examines the distributional and syntactic facts of various kinds of nominal constituents in Basay, an extinct East Formosan language, and identifies two suspicious "nominalized" verbal elements the verbs of the nominalized clauses and the headless relative clauses. Following Chomsky 1970, we adopt two binary category features, [±N] and [±V] and establish the morphosyntactic criteria for features [+N] and [+V] in Basay. The established criteria then help us identify the morphosyntactic properties of the derived nouns, verbs in the nominalized clauses and verbs in the headless clauses. Our study shows that the derived nouns are lexicalized nominals with [+N, -V] values, while the verbs of the nominalized clauses and headless relative clauses carry verbal properties only, being identified as [-N, +V].
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    Language Bending In Micronesia
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2007-06-01) Ellis, S. James
    Clause chaining, a phenomenon identified in Papuan languages as involving strings of medial verbs with limited inflection followed by a final verb with full inflectional possibilities, is as common as it is var.ied in the Papuan languages of New Guinea. This paper details aspects of the clause chaining system in Kamano Kafe, a language of the Eastern Highlands group, in which medial verbs not only show morpho.logical alternations for same vs. different subject between clauses in a clause chain – common in many clause chaining systems – but they also feature a paradigm of preview subject agreement (PSA) markers which inflect for person and number of the subject of a following clause in the clause chain. The interac.tion between TAM morphology and PSA is explored here in order to make claims about the syntactic struc.ture of clause chains in Kamano Kafe, primarily to argue for a subordination relationship of medial clauses to final verb clauses, and for the functional use of these syntactic structures in establishing complexmacro.events.