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mar. 06/11/2018 Phonological emergence through language contact: Relating perception and production in externally-driven sound change
ISH, salle Yseult Saulnier
Conférence de :
  • Alexander MARTIN (Centre for Language Evolution, University of Edinburgh )

dans le cadre HELAN2

The Dutch stop inventory contrasts prevoiced from voiceless stops both initially and medially, but not at all places of articulation. Indeed historically, Dutch has lacked the phoneme /ɡ/. Recently, however, many words have been borrowed from neighboring languages, including over 1,300 from English, and this heretofore foreign sound has been creeping its way into the language, to the extent that now even a minimal pair between native /k/ and emerging /ɡ/ exists: /koːl/, cabbage ~ /ɡoːl/, goal. We examined the extent of this change first by exploiting the Corpus Gesproken Nederlands and found a significant correlation between the population density of a region and the proportion of use of the new phoneme there. We then tested 51 native speakers of Dutch from all over the Low Countries and replicated this effect at the level of speakers’ hometowns. We further found a negative correlation between speakers’ VOTs of this new segment and their proportion of use of it in production, indicating a link between individual phonetics and phonology (i.e., speakers with a stronger phonetic contrast between native /k/ and emerging /ɡ/ were more likely to use /ɡ/ in loanwords). We also tested the same speakers on their perception of the new /k/~/ɡ/ contrast compared to native /p/~/b/ and found that speakers who are better at perceiving the new contrast also tend to use it more in production. Overall, our results indicate that the adoption of the new sound is relatively advanced in the young population we tested, but is still modulated by an array of individual-level factors including region of origin and ability to perceive the emerging contrast. We will discuss potential social and linguistic factors that might contribute to the evolution of this change, and how such examples can inform our understanding of structural borrowing in contact situations.


mar. 06/11/2018 Séminaire DTT - Conférence
Towards a typology of covert causee causatives
Albert Alvarez (Université de Sonora, Mexique)
14h - 15h30
ISH - salle Ennat Léger

In this talk, I will present a research project focused on how languages of the world can express a situation of indirect causation (have someone do something) in which the causee is left implicit, that is to say, the causee is not expressed but still implied (have (someone) do something, have something done (by someone)). Here, I will explore and propose a formal typology of the constructions that can be used cross-linguistically for expressing a covert causee causation, considering at this stage two major features: i) the presence or absence of a causative marking in the construction, and ii) the number of valency-changing markers present in the construction (zero, one or several markers). On the basis of this preliminary typology, new insights will also be addressed in order to enlarge the scope of this research, in particular concerning the semantics of the participants involved in the covert causee causation as well as its relation to the phenomena of voice combination and voice ambivalence.



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