I haven’t been posting regularly about recent talks and publications, so here are a few more highlights from the second part of 2022:
- Colleagues and I published a paper on training RRG parsers on low resource languages, including Daakaka data.
- I gave a talk at the awesome linguistics department in Cologne, with a few more thoughts about wordhood in Daakaka.
- I was also invited to the phenomenal UT Texas (which curiously expands to University of Texas at Austin) department of linguistics, which combines two of my favourite subjects, linguistic fieldwork and formal semantics. This gave me a chance to get back to some of my ideas about modal semantics.
My paper with Ana Krajinović and Manfred Krifka on the role of irrealis in TAM systems is now online and free of charge. We use the tripartite model of branching time I developed in this other paper to account for the meanings of realis and irrealis markers in a variety of languages and delineate their role in human language, with a focus on Oceanic.
We can often choose between more basic, highly grammaticalized, ways to express a given meaning, and more verbose ways of doing so. Thus, in English, we may say “Brenda can catch the train” or “it is possible that Brenda will catch the train”, with quite similar interpretations. In my article with Anna Margetts, we argue that expressions of possibility in Daakaka and Saliba-Logea correspond to it is possible that in terms of their syntactic complexity, but to can in terms of their paradigmatic properties, frequencies and meaning. Look at the publication here or download the preprint.
There was an expert-only workshop in Cologne in 2016 on Open Access and Open Data, which had the goal to produce a white paper with recommendations on best practices for publishing Data from language documentation. This paper has now been published in Language Documentation and Conservation and is freely available here.
Our paper on how to map the modal-temporal semantics of TAM markers in Oceanic languages empirically is now out in the proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 20.
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.
The proceedings for Sinn und Bedeutung 21 is out now and available from here. Check out my article on how to derive the discontinuity implicature of past markers in Daakaka and elsewhere!
In many languages of the world, emotions and medical conditions are not attributed to an individual, but to a certain body part. For example, instead of saying “I am sad”, you may have to say something along the lines of “my heart is heavy” in many languages. In these cases, the meaning of “being sad” does not reside in a single word. “Heart” alone does not express sadness, and neither does “heavy”. Only the combination of the two can express this concept. The question is then how such languages form expressions that refer to an abstract emotion such as “sadness” . And the answer is that there are different strategies. One strategy is to say something like “the heaviness of the heart”. The Oceanic language Daakaka, however, uses a different strategy. Here, an emotion concept is expressed by a structure such as “the heavy heart”. This paper investigates these differences and their implications. Get it here or ask me for the preprint.
There are two indefinite articles in the Oceanic language Daakaka, TUSWA and SWA. Like weak NPIs or unspecific indefinites in many other languages, TUSWA is excluded from positive assertions about the episodic past or present. In this paper, I try to locate them within the cross-linguistic space of indefinites and NPIs and sketch out an approach to account for their differences.
Read the full paper here.