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mar. 29/03/2022 Séminaire de recherche de l'axe DiLiS
Nominal classification in Baniwa
MSH-LSE, salle Berty Albrecht
Conférence de :
  • Sandra Cronhamn (Lund University)

dans le cadre DILIS : Séminaire DiLiS

  • Link to the videoconference room

      In this seminar, I will present my ongoing PhD research, which is concerned with the description and analysis of the classifier system in Baniwa [bwi], an Arawak language spoken in Northwestern Amazonia. My work builds primarily on original data collected in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, AM, Brazil, in 2020. I focus mainly on the semantic, morphosyntactic and historical aspects of the system.

      Baniwa has around 50 classifiers, which are marked as suffixes and used in both derivational and inflectional functions (Ramirez (2001), Aikhenvald (2007)). Inflectional suffixes are obligatory in several morphosyntactic contexts, including on low numerals and attributive adjectives. The assignment of classifiers is flexible and mostly semantically transparent, although there are also examples of conventionalization. The analysis of agreement within the system is currently being undertaken, with inconclusive results so far due to conflicting data.

      Semantically, Baniwa classifiers are highly diverse and fill several different functions. The system contains both sortal and mensural classifiers. Among the sortal classifiers, most distinctions are shape-based, but parameters such as gender, function and configuration also play a role. The system contains a classifier with generic status, as well as a few highly specific classifiers which are only used with a very small number of nouns. Apart from varying in semantic generality/specificity, classifiers also vary greatly in their frequency of use.

      Besides being an interesting system in its own right, nominal classification in Baniwa—like in many other languages of NW Amazonia—is also interesting from a typological perspective, as it shares traits with both (typical) classifier systems on the one hand and (typical) noun class systems on the other, suggesting a possible grammaticalization path between the two (Seifart (2005), Seifart & Payne (2007), Grinevald & Seifart (2004)). I will therefore spend some time discussing the features of Baniwa classifiers from a typological perspective.


      Aikhenvald, A.Y. (2007) Classifiers in multiple environments. Baniwa of Içana/Kurripako–A North Arawak perspective. In: International Journal of American Linguistics 73(4), pp. 475-500.

      Grinevald, C. & Seifart, F. (2004) Noun classes in African and Amazonian languages: Towards a comparison. In: Linguistic Typology 8, 243–285 (2004).

      Ramirez, H. (2001) Uma Gramática do Baniwa do Içana. Ms.

      Seifart, F. (2005) The structure and use of shape-based noun classes in Miraña (North West Amazon). Nijmegen: Radboud University dissertation.

      Seifart, F. & Payne, D.L. (2007) Nominal classification in the North West Amazon: Issues in areal diffusion and typological characterization. In: International Journal of American Linguistics 73(4), pp. 381-387.


mer. 30/03/2022 Development of phonetic complexity in bilingual children living in Lebanon
Conférence de :
  • Nour Chami (Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth)

dans le cadre DENDY : Séminaire Bilinguisme

Children’s early phonetic development is constrained by universal biological limitations, but it is also influenced by the target language characteristics. Several studies on monolingual children have examined phonetic complexity showing its increase with age and/or lexical size as well as a gap between the actual and the targeted complexity. Moreover, the only crosslinguistic study to our knowledge showed first that languages differ in terms of phonetic complexity but also the influence of these differences on the development of children’s phonetic complexity. The aim of our study is to describe the development of phonetic complexity in multilingual children speaking Lebanese Arabic and French and/or English. Concerning methodology, we recorded spontaneous utterances of 16 Lebanese multilingual children aged between 16-30 months. Recordings lasted 30 minutes per child and took place at home in natural communication settings with the mother. Using an adaptation of Jakielski’s Index of Phonetic Complexity (IPC), we carried out an analysis to assess the phonetic complexity in all the three languages, of both produced and targeted words by two groups of children aged between 16-20 months and 27-30 months. Expressive vocabulary size was estimated by using the Lebanese Trilingual Communicative Development Inventory – 16-30 months (IDC-L trilingue 16-30 mois). Our findings show that children’s IPC increases significantly with vocabulary size only at 16-20 months of age, at the lexical spurt stage. Moreover, we showed that although children’s actual productions’ IPC increases with age, its value is always inferior to that of target words in all the three languages, indicating that children still have articulatory limits. Furthermore, the cross-linguistic comparisons of children’s IPC scores of their produced words do not reveal any differences between languages showing that these children’s first lexical productions seem to be more influenced by articulatory constraints than by the ambient language. References Bellemmouche, H. (2016). Influence du développement phonologique et de l’input sur les premières productions lexicales d’enfants arabophones. Doctoral dissertation, Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III ; Université Hadj Lakhdar (Batna, Algeria). Charlier-Bered, M., & Juhem, A. (2007). Evolution de la complexité phonético-phonologique et sélection lexicale chez des enfants français entre 12 et 27 mois. Master’s Thesis, Université Lyon 1. Davis, B. L., & MacNeilage, P. F. (1995). The articulatory basis of babbling. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 38(6), 1199-1211. Gayraud, F., Barkat-Defradas, M., Lahrouchi, M., & Hamed, M. B. (2018). Development of phonetic complexity in Arabic, Berber, English and French. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique, 63(4), 527-555. Jakielski, K. (2000). Quantifying phonetic complexity in words: An experimental index. Child phonology conference, Cedar Fallas, IA.


mar. 05/04/2022 Some observations on placeholders in Dalabon (Gunwinyguan, non-Pama-Nyungan, Australia)
MSH-LSE, salle Elise Rivet
Conférence de :
  • Maïa Ponsonnet (DDL)

dans le cadre DILIS : Atelier Morphosyntaxe

  • Link to the videoconference room
  • Link to the material

      In this session I will present the use of the placeholder keninjhbi in Dalabon, a polysynthetic language of the Gunwinyguan family (non-Pama-Nyungan, northern Australia). After establishing that keninjhbi is best described as a “placeholder” – against other types of fillers –, I will discuss its origins, distribution and morphological affordances, as well as potential discourse and pragmatic functions. Based on the data at hand, the discourse and pragmatic roles of keninjhbi (such as euphemistic and evaluative functions) seem relatively limited. Notwithstanding some stylistic overtones, speakers appear to use this placeholder primarily as a tool to manage disfluencies. At the same time, in line with the overall morphosyntactic tendencies of Dalabon, keninjhbi is syntactically and morphologically flexible, thus offering speakers a range of possibilities when dealing with disfluencies. To illustrate this, in the last part of the talk I will dwelve into two differentiated patterns of use of keninjhbi, based on quantitative analysis of data from two different speakers who exhibit different “styles” of disfluency management.

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mer. 06/04/2022 Réunion Interne
Conseil de laboratoire DDL
MSH-LSE, salle André Frossard

[Note: réunion interne. Seuls sont concernés les 15 membres élus, nommés ou de droit du Conseil de Laboratoire.

Note: internal meeting. Only the 15 elected, appointed or ex-officio members of the Conseil de Laboratoire are concerned.]


jeu. 07/04/2022 Réunion Interne
Réunion interne de l'axe DiLiS
MSH-LSE - Salle Bollier

mar. 12/04/2022 Associated motion in typological and diachronic perspectives (Lecture 1)
MSH-LSE, salle Berty Albrecht (+ visio)
Conférence de :
  • Antoine Guillaume (DDL)
  • Guillaume Jacques (CRLAO)

dans le cadre DILIS : Atelier Typologie sémantique

Introductory course (four lectures) on the topic of associated motion. Lectures 1 (April 12th) and 2 (April 19th) will be given by Antoine Guillaume and lectures 3 (May 17th) and 4 (May 31th) by Guillaume Jacques.

Link to the videoconference room


jeu. 14/04/2022 The evolution of laughter and verbal play
en ligne (lien plus bas)
Conférence de :
  • Gregory Bryant (UCLA Dept of Communications)

dans le cadre DENDY

(Conférence en visio)
During conversational interaction, speakers will use a variety of nonverbal vocal strategies to help them achieve pragmatic goals. These vocal signals often accompany verbal phenomena such as indirect speech, which often can be construed as a form of verbal play. One common such signal is laughter, which evolved from play vocalizations in our primate ancestors, and retains part of this communicative function in our everyday conversational interactions. Here I will describe some different lines of research that reveal some of the communicative complexities of laughter, verbal play, and social interaction. Overall this work points to one possible connection between linguistic pragmatics and nonhuman animal communication.

Zoom link:
Passcode: 4qGWYf


mar. 19/04/2022 Associated motion in typological and diachronic perspectives (Lecture 2)
MSH-LSE, salle Berty Albrecht (+ visio)
Conférence de :
  • Antoine Guillaume (DDL)
  • Guillaume Jacques (CRLAO)

dans le cadre DILIS : Atelier Typologie sémantique

Introductory course (four lectures) on the topic of associated motion. Lectures 1 (April 12th) and 2 (April 19th) will be given by Antoine Guillaume and lectures 3 (May 17th) and 4 (May 31th) by Guillaume Jacques.

Link to the videoconference room


jeu. 21/04/2022 Étude typologique et contrastive des morphèmes aller/venir en français et pāj/māː en thaï central
Campus Berges du Rhône, salle GAI.003
Soutenance de doctorat de : Nichuta BUNKHAM

Cette thèse de doctorat porte sur l’étude des verbes aller/venir en français en comparaison avec les verbes pāj ‘aller’/māː ‘venir’ en thaï central (Tai-Kadai, Thaïlande). Ce travail consiste à examiner les morphèmes aller/venir et pāj/māː en suivant trois objectifs : (1) distinguer et classer les valeurs spatiales et non-spatiales de ces morphèmes, (2) examiner en détail leurs valeurs spatiales et (3) comparer et mettre en évidence la spécificité de ces morphèmes dans chaque langue. En français, aller/venir appartiennent à la classe des verbes et construisent en général des expressions spatiales et/ou temporelles concrètes, abstraites ou métaphoriques. En thaï, pāj/māː sont transcatégoriels (ils entrent dans plusieurs classes des mots) et polyfonctionnels, opérant au niveau morphosyntaxique, au niveau sémantique et au niveau discursif (perspective du locuteur, du narrateur ou du personnage). L’étude est principalement basée sur les données de deux corpus parallèles : un roman français contemporain traduit en thaï et un roman thaï contemporain traduit en français. Mots-clés : aller/venir, pāj/māː, valeurs spatiales/non-spatiales, verbe déictique, deixis dynamique, grammaticalisation, TAM


mar. 26/04/2022 Linguistic Prominence and Modelling Language
MSH-LSE, salle Elise Rivet (et en visio)
Conférence de :
  • Mark Ellison (University of Cologne)

dans le cadre DILIS

This talk comes in three parts. In the first part, I will talk about modelling language at different levels. On the one hand, language arises when two speakers come together and interact. The properties of those speakers determine the language behaviours that happen between them. On the other hand, we can think of individual speakers as part of a network of linguistic connectivity. We can deduce properties of the system as a whole on the basis of properties of the network.

The second part of the talk introduces the notion of linguistic prominence, as it is being explored at the Collaborative Research Centre at the University of Cologne. Prominence picks out one linguistic item from a set of similar items. In many languages, stress identifies a most prominent syllable within a word. Syntactic constructions such as clefting can make one phrase more prominent than others. Discourse contexts make some potential referents more prominent, and so more likely to be referred to. The role of prominence in language understanding is explored.

The final third of the talk brings together the first two parts to develop an account of linguistic prominence. If listeners in conversations make predictions about what is coming up, it is useful for speakers equiped with a theory of mind to manipulate listener reliance on predictions. I argue that added prominence acts to encourage listeners to rely more on the input they receive, than on their predictions, during interpretation. I conclude with considering the implications of this model in language contact situations, and for language change.



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