Working Papers in Linguistics - 2013

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    A Syntactic Approach to Lexical Variation in the Morphosyntax of Amis Transfers Verbs: A Case Study of PA-FLI ‘Give’ and PA-QACA ‘Sell’
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2013-12-01) Kuo, Cheng-Chuen (Jonathan)
    In the generative literature, ditransitive verbs have been analyzed as having either an applicative structure or a causative structure. Amis, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan, is typologically intriguing, since its verbs of transfer (e.g., ‘give’, ‘sell’, ‘lend’) always carry the “causative” morpheme, and may allow further “applicativization.” Amis also distinguishes two types of transfer verbs based on their subject (i.e., absolutive argument) selection in transitive constructions: one that prefers a goal as the subject (e.g., ‘give’), and one that always selects a theme as the subject (e.g., ‘sell’). This paper provides a syntactic approach to this lexical variation and argues that that subject selection in both types of transfer verbs is determined by their syntactic structures, which are conditioned by three major factors: (a) the nature of the root, (b) the projection of the apparent causative marking, and (c) the structural position of the apparent applicative morpheme.
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    The Nature and Underlying Representations of Long Vowels and Diphthongs in Fataluku
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2013-11-01) Heston, Tyler
    Fataluku is an underdocumented Papuan language spoken by approximately 37,000 individuals in East Ti-mor, a nation in island Southeast Asia. This paper focuses on the variety of Fataluku spoken in Lospalos, one of the main towns in the Fataluku-speaking region. After providing some background information on the phonology of Fataluku, this paper discusses the presence and phonological representations of surface long vowels and diphthongs. The evidence shows that vowel length is indeed contrastive, but both long vowels and diphthongs are represented underlyingly as sequences of vowels, rather than as true unit pho-nemes.
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    The Status of Subject and Object Pronominal Elements in Lukunosh Mortlockese
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2013-04-01) Odango, Emerson
    Subject and object pronominal elements go by a variety of names in the literature of Oceanic languages. Few authors, however, clarify the morphophonological and morphosyntactic status of such elements. This paper investigates the status of subject markers and object markers in the Lukunosh dialect of Mortlockese, a minority language spoken in the Federated States of Micronesia. Through the application of morphophonological and morphosyntactic tests established in the literature, I conclude that: (1) subject markers are proclitics that have ambiguous interpretation as either anaphoric agreement (arguments) or grammatical agreement, and (2) object markers are suffixes that show a split: (a) the third-person singular object marker behaves like a general transitivity marker when there is an overt object, and (b) both the third-person singular object marker and the other non-third-person singular object markers behave like anaphoric agreement when there is no overt object.
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    Universal 20 and Word-Order Variation in Korean
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2013-04-01) Joo, Kum-Jeong
    This study examines the acceptable internal orderings of Korean noun phrases (NPs) when there are demonstratives, numerals, adjectives, and nouns in the NP. In the current study, word-order flexibility is reanalyzed in terms of a processing efficiency account. The basic assumption for the internal structure of the NP is that the preferred phrase sounds natural and is easy to process, and it would be expected that people would rate it as having the highest acceptability and respond to it more quickly than to a less preferred phrase. To investigate this assumption, two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, an off-line acceptability judgment task with six types of NPs, participants were asked to rate the naturalness of each phrase on a five-point scale. The results indicate that there is a ranking in the naturalness of the structures. The most acceptable NP is DEM+A+N+NUM, and the least acceptable is A+DEM+NUM+N. In the follow-up self-paced reading task, Experiment 2 finds that there is a relation between ease of processing and preference for a specific pattern. The most preferred NP, DEM+A+N+NUM, shows the fastest response times, while the least preferred phrase, A+DEM+NUM+N, takes more time to respond to. Findings of the current study indicate that processing of Korean NPs is facilitated when two conditions are satisfied: domain minimization and compositionality.
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    The Effect of a Single Formant on Dialect Identification
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2013-04-01) Grama, James
    Labov (2001:167–68) makes the claim that English speech communities use F2 in vowels to establish social identity, while they use F1 chiefly for the cognitive differentiation of vowel phonemes. However, little work has been done to address whether this observation holds in perception. By using a forced-choice, matched-guise experiment, this paper investigates whether variations in a single formant can shift perceptions of a speaker’s regional origin. Results suggest that when the F1 of DRESS is low, the vowel is more reliably rated as Californian, suggesting that depending on the vowel, both formants may be important in the perception of social identity.