The goal of this seminar is to collaboratively elaborate a kit of experimental stimuli in the framework of semantic typology. While the general description of a language requires to be based on a balanced corpora (e.g. Himmelmann 1998), the semantic exploration of the language can undoubtedly be facilitated by experimental stimuli, especially non-linguistic ones (Lüpke 2009; Majid 2012; Ponsonnet 2014). Such stimuli not only help to seize semantic specificities in a language, but also allow to investigate variation within a community and may facilitate crosslinguistic comparison.
The specific domain to be considered in this seminar is the “apprehensional domain” or the grammatical expression of fear, defined as a judgement of undesirable possibility (Vuillermet Submitted). Apprehensional morphology is so far little known in the literature (see for e.g. Plank’s 2013 call), probably for some of the following reasons: heterogeneous terminology, infrequency in corpora and (consequently) short accounts (if any) in grammatical descriptions. However, a preliminary crosslinguistic investigation shows that such morphemes are present in a number of languages, especially in the Amazonian and Australian areas.
The collaborative reflection on an adequate stimuli will not only benefit from the various fieldwork experience of the DDL field linguists, but also from its psycholinguists. The seminar will be organized as follows:
- 1st session (17/02): Introduction of the apprehensional domain and the parameters to be considered
- 2nd session (10/03): Presentation of experimental stimuli in Psycholinguistics by N. Bedouin and Broad typology of materials used in field linguistics (by M. Vuillermet)
- 3rd session (31/03): Participative session on the participants’ own experience with stimuli and associated discussion
- 4th session (21/04): Brainstorming on possible stimuli targeting the apprehensional domain.
Himmelmann, Nikolaus. 1998. Documentary and Descriptive Linguistics. Linguistics 36. 161–195.
Lüpke, Friederike. 2009. Research methods in language documentation. Language Documentation and Description 6. 53–100.
Majid, Asifa. 2012. A guide to stimulus-based elicitation for semantic categories. In Nicholas Thieberger (ed.),The Oxford handbook of linguistic fieldwork, 54–71. New York: Oxford University Press.
Plank, Frans. 2013. What exactly is ...? A new feature: Call for contributions. Linguistic Typology 17(2). 267–268.
Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2014. Documenting the language of emotions in Dalabon (Northern Australia): Caveats, solutions and benefits. In Aicha Belkadi, Kakia Chatsiou & Kirsty Rowan (eds.), Proceedings of the Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory 4, 1–13. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Verstraete, Jean-Christophe. 2005. The semantics and pragmatics of composite mood marking: The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia. Linguistic Typology 9(2).
Vuillermet, Marine. Submitted. The apprehensional domain in Ese ejja: making the case for a typological domain? In Maïa Ponsonnet & Marine Vuillermet (eds.). Special issue in Studies in Language -- Morphemes and Emotions across the World’s Languages. 27p.