Working Papers in Linguistics - 2008

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    Yoon. Universal Versus Language-Specific Conceptual Effects on Shifted Word-Order Production in Korean: Evidence from Bilinguals
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2008-02-01) Dennison, Heeyeon
    Yamashita and Chang (2001) claimed that the long-before-short preference found in Japanese preverbal positions is due to a universal conceptual accessibility difference between long and short phrases (i.e., semantic richness of long phrases). However, the preference could also reflect the development of processing strategies and experience-based components in grammar (Hawkins 2004). To test this, one on-line production experiment and one off-line judgment study were conducted. They examined the long-before-short preference in Korean using proficient bilinguals of Ko.rean and English as well as native speakers of Korean, while also examining the animate-before-inanimate prefer.ence considered to be universal. The results show an experience-specific effect of length on word order (i.e., varia.tion in group behaviors), while finding a universal effect of animacy (i.e., uniformed response patterns from all groups). This study proposes that the long-before-short order is beneficial for the production system to lessen diffi.culty at the verb position. Thus, this ordering preference is not a conceptual effect but a special type of word order that reflects processing strategies influenced by experiences with grammar.
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    A Comparison of Ergativity in Uma, Padoe, and Selayarese
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2008-01-01) Jackson, Jason A.J.
    Within languages that are located in Sulawesi, the use of comparative syntax has been limited primarily to subgrouping hypotheses and historical reconstruction. As a result, many interesting lines of research have not yet been explored. This paper uses comparison to investigate ergative syntactic characteristics in the grammatical systems of three widespread languages of Sulawesi—Uma, Padoe, and Selayarese. Descrip.tions of the basic syntax of clause structure for each language are provided. Overall, the comparative data suggest that ergativity and split-ergativity are reified by voice distinctions, such as active versus nonactive, and syntactic fronting.