Linguistics thread

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mōdgethanc
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-05-25, 8:56

vijayjohn wrote:Do they produce [j] or [ʝ]?
My understanding was both <y> and <ll> are [(ɟ)ʝ] in Spanish varieties with yeísmo but now the wiki is telling me that the phoneme they transcribe /ʝ/ is an approximant except in contexts where it becomes the palatal affricate, which raises the question of why the hell they transcribe it as /ʝ/ unless it's a lazy way to distinguish it from the [j] allophone of /i/.

Myself, I don't give a fuck and don't care which one I say as long as it's not that hell-spawn of a sound /ʎ/.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2018-05-25, 14:39

vijayjohn wrote:My co-worker from Oaxaca insists he has [h] and not [x].

Interesting. What was his linguistic development like? Did he live in one place in Oaxaca up until moving to the States or was it more complicated than that?
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-05-26, 1:46

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:My co-worker from Oaxaca insists he has [h] and not [x].

Interesting. What was his linguistic development like? Did he live in one place in Oaxaca up until moving to the States or was it more complicated than that?

He's from Ixtepec; I don't think he ever left it before moving, but I'm not sure. IIRC he also claimed [h] was the normal pronunciation in Oaxaca though not in certain other parts of Mexico (I think to the north? He also says this is how people from those areas can tell he's from a different area). I think his dad is mestizo (but I also think he said his dad was white?), but his mom is Zapotec. He self-identifies as mestizo, definitely not white, and seems to regret the fact that he doesn't speak Zapotec (his mom does). He speaks some French for some reason I'm unaware of. He may have been in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at my alma mater, in which case he may also know some of the linguistics people there.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-05-29, 15:56

Is anyone here who's into generative linguistics and also want to spent their summer in Bosnia?
There are spots open: http://www.eggschool.org/
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Salajane » 2018-05-30, 8:57

md0 wrote:Is anyone here who's into generative linguistics and also want to spent their summer in Bosnia?
There are spots open: http://www.eggschool.org/

Well, I wanted. But before I learned the dates of this summer school, I had already applied here: http://www.phl.uoc.gr/confs/cssl18/
I'm returning home on 30 of July, I already have tickets, so I cannot attend both schools unfortunately.
By the way, is there anybody who is also going to Crete?
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-05-30, 9:43

I wanted to go to CreteLing, but it clashed with my summer semester courses (which finish the day I will be flying for EGG).
Do enjoy your time there :D
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Luís » 2018-06-10, 12:15

What do you guys think of Daniel Everett's claims on Pirahã? Are there any papers confirming or contradicting what he's been saying over the years? (considering he seems to be the sole authority on the language, probably not)
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-10, 14:45

There's been plenty of debate about his claims regarding Pirahã. IIRC he's not the only person who's worked among the Pirahã, so there's research arguing both for and against his claims, and I believe at least one paper contradicting some of what he's been saying.

I'm not sure I see it as being worth a lot of fuss, though. Amazonian languages just happen to have a bunch of features that most other languages don't (honestly, just like languages in any other area), and people who work on other Amazonian languages don't seem to be as taken aback by claims about Pirahã as people who don't work on them.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2018-06-10, 14:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-06-10, 14:45

From what I recall, his entire argument against generative grammar qua Pirahã hinges on his interpretation of the 'recursion' property of natural languages as 'center embedding', which is not a mainstream definition. And his analysis of Pirahã grammar is not undisputed either.

From my vantage point in a purely generativist linguistics department, better challenges to GG came from people like William O’Grady (but imho, even that ultimately fails to account for widely replicated patterns in language impairment situations -- GG is still the best model to capture the systematicity of linguistic impairments).
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Luís » 2018-06-10, 15:11

Well, it's not just the lack of recursion. He also claims the language has the smallest known phoneme inventory (and that includes [t͡ʙ̥] :shock:), the simplest kinship system in the world, no numerals or counting, no color terms, no native personal pronouns. It's as if this language is unique in every single way (even in comparison to other languages in the Amazon region)
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-10, 15:40

Aside from the [t̪ʙ̥] thing, the problem with all of those claims is that even having "the smallest known phoneme inventory, the simplest kinship system," etc. is, as I understand it, still nothing unusual for Amazonian languages, which already have very small phonemic inventories, typically few or no numerals, and few or no color terms (I have no idea about the kinship thing, sorry :P). Regarding "no native personal pronouns," I'm not sure that's even cross-linguistically unusual; for example, Swahili barely uses personal pronouns at all (and it's quite possible that most Bantu languages lack them altogether) and instead mostly uses prefixes, and Eskimo-Aleut languages IIUC also don't have any personal pronouns (at the very least, I am very certain that Cup'ik does not).

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-06-10, 15:45

Those are less near my area of interest so I haven't studied the arguments and counter-arguments to them, but none of them seems unique to Pirahã, they are just extremely rare (do-support is also rare but no-one freaks out about it).

To my knowledge though, none of the other observations goes against a universal property of natural language as predicted by GG. Only the suggested lack of recursion does.

Edit: Ninja'd again :)
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-06-10, 15:49

Japanese (and possibly Korean, not sure) is also one non-Amazonian language that barely uses personal pronouns (only 3rd Person kare/kanojo appears to be grammaticalised as a pronoun).
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-10, 16:47

Really? What about watashi, ore, anata, kimi, etc.?

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-06-10, 18:09

Japanese pronouns do a lot of things that are not typical for pronouns at the very least least.
They are an open class that very easily accepts new members, they are less likely to receive structural case, they can merge with a determiner (kono boku-ga, "this I"), and they merge with any adjective you throw at them (chiisa-na boku-ga, "small I").
There was also some semantic argument which involved "Weak Cross-Over Effects" that completely slipped out of my mind after the semester was over.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby księżycowy » 2018-06-10, 18:20

vijayjohn wrote:Aside from the [t̪ʙ̥] thing, the problem with all of those claims is that even having "the smallest known phoneme inventory, the simplest kinship system," etc. is, as I understand it, still nothing unusual for Amazonian languages, which already have very small phonemic inventories, typically few or no numerals, and few or no color terms (I have no idea about the kinship thing, sorry :P). Regarding "no native personal pronouns," I'm not sure that's even cross-linguistically unusual; for example, Swahili barely uses personal pronouns at all (and it's quite possible that most Bantu languages lack them altogether) and instead mostly uses prefixes, and Eskimo-Aleut languages IIUC also don't have any personal pronouns (at the very least, I am very certain that Cup'ik does not).

Eskimo-Aleut tends to use postfixes for pronouns. Though I believe that Aleut does have some actual personal pronouns, if I remember correctly.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-11, 23:05

I should perhaps also clarify that Amazonian languages are by no means the only ones that may have few color terms.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Salajane » 2018-06-16, 19:34

Does anybody know where I can get this cheaper?
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby md0 » 2018-06-16, 19:51

One of the bigger shadow libraries carries an ebook version of it, you can check it out for free.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Salajane » 2018-08-11, 17:15

Does anybody know how to draw syntax trees in Word?
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