My article on counterfactuality and past is out now, and it’s free to access. In 2011, while I was working on the Daakaka grammar, I looked at the system of TAM markers and asked myself how hard it would be to figure out their meanings. Manfred Krifka suggested I start working with branching time to account for the realis/irrealis distinction, which I did. Except that the distinction we find in the Daakaka system isn’t binary, but tripartite.Continue reading “Out now: Counterfactuality and Past”
Our project was represented with two papers in this year’s Language and Technology Conference in Poznań. Ana Krajinović presented joined work with colleagues from Vanuatu and Melbourne on community-led language documentation. She won the award for the best student presentation.
Annika Tjuka, in a joined paper with Lena Weißmann and me, presented our tag set for the MelaTAMP corpora with a focus on tagging habitual aspect: the fact that habituality or genericity can be a property of stretches of discourse larger than a sentence makes clause-wise tagging complicated.
I’m currently in Cologne at the small Vielfaltslinguistik Conference (Diversity linguistics). It’s great to see so much new and interesting work on lesser described languages. My own talk, on joined work with Manfred Krifka and Ana Krajinović, focuses on empirical methods in our MelaTAMP project. Our slides can be downloaded here: Vielfaltslinguistik.
Our article (with Ana Krajinović, Anna Margetts, Nick Thieberger and Valérie Guérin) is out now and currently available for free here. In this article, we talk about habitual aspect in four Oceanic languages and demonstrate how it is (or isn’t) typically expressed. Reduplication and imperfective aspect play a particularly prominent role, sometimes in combination with each other.
Last week, I had the privilege of giving two talks in Konstanz. In the colloquium of the linguistics department, I talked about our latest research on counterfactual futures in Oceanic and what they tell us about tense and mood in our subject languages. Download the slides here: Mapping Irreality in Konstanz. Read the paper here: PrinceEtAlProceedingsLE2018.pdf.
I went to Göttingen last week to talk about modality, which is turning into a pleasant tradition. In my talk, I outlined the typological debate on the irrealis distinction, introduced the tripartite branching-time model that I think will help us the relevant cross-linguistic variation, and discussed how the same approach also sheds new light on some long-standing questions about the nature of modality, counterfactuality and epistemic necessity. You can find the slides here.
There was an interesting small workshop in Torun in April on Measuring Linguistic Complexity. When the call came out, I had just finished a preliminary overview on the previous literature on the topic and was ready to get cracking, so I got together with Vera Demberg to test our hypothesis that focussing on POS tags rather than the token-level annotations would give us more reliable results on syntactic flexibility. Our results are in the proceedings.
My work in the Collaborative Research Unit on information density (ID) in Saarbrücken has made me think about the relation between grammaticalisation and ID. In an invited talk to Saarbrücken in April, I explored some of my ideas on this topic. You can find the slides here.