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jeu. 09/11/2017 Phonetic vs. phonological variation in Heritage Italian VOT
CR34 Clio
Conférence de :
  • Naomi Nagy (University of Toronto)

Réseau de sociolinguistique variationnelle

When two languages share the same phonetic feature, but differ in its phonotactic distribution, change may occur (in either language) through progressive restructuring of distributional norms (Nodari et al. 2017). In this talk, phonetic and phonological variation is investigated in the context of Heritage Italian speakers living in Toronto, Canada. Variationist sociolinguistic methods are applied to explain patterns of variation in Voice Onset Time (VOT) to understand whether the observed variation indicates change in the language.
Calabrian Italian is characterized by an allophonic rule of voiceless stop aspiration that preferentially applies in syllables whose onset is the second member of a heterosyllabic cluster (e.g. [ˈstaŋkho] stanco ‘tired’) or a geminate (e.g. [ˈstakkho] stacco ‘I disconnect’). In English, aspiration applies in stressed CV(X) syllables. Previous auditory analysis of Heritage (Calabrian) Italian in English-speaking Canada has shown evidence of phonological innovation: the incidence of long-lag VOT in unstressed CV syllables decreases, while, in stressed CV syllables, it increases from 1st to 2nd to 3rd generation speakers (Nodari et al. 2016, 2017). In contrast, previous acoustic analysis of VOT in the English-aspiration contexts showed cross-generational stability among the same speakers(Nagy & Kochetov 2013), paralleling findings for the morphosyntactic variable pro-drop (Nagy 2015).
We next evaluated whether the phonetic characteristics of the voiceless stops change , and, if so, what factors correlate to this variation. 16 speakers from the Heritage Language Variation and Change (HLVC) corpus (Nagy 2011; http://projects.chass.utoronto.ca/ngn/HLVC ), representing adult immigrants, and children and grandchildren of immigrants from Calabria, were selected. We measured the VOT and the duration of the following vowel for aspirated and unaspirated stops from the same contexts as Nodari et al. (2016). Speech rate was analysed to assess the speakers’ proficiency in their heritage language. The speech of 6 homeland speakers (from Calabria) was also analysed for comparison. Data show cross-generation and interspeaker differences for both phonetic and phonological variation. The sociolinguistic practices and attitudes of the speakers, assessed through the HLVC ethnic orientation questionnaire, contribute to the explanation of interspeaker variation. Nagy, N. 2011. A multilingual corpus to explain geographic variation. Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata 43.1-2:65-84.
Nagy, N. 2014 [online]; 2015 [paper]. A sociolinguistic view of null subjects and VOT in Toronto heritage languages. Lingua 164B:309-327. Nagy, N. & A. Kochetov. 2013. Voice Onset Time across the generations: A cross-linguistic study of contact-induced change. In Multilingualism and Language Contact in Urban Areas: Acquisition - Development - Teaching - Communication. P. Siemund, I. Gogolin, M. Schulz & J. Davydova, (eds.). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 19-38.
Nodari R., Celata C., Nagy N. 2017. Interspeaker and cross-generation patterns of variation in phonetic and phonological attrition. 11th Int’l Symposium on Bilingualism, Limerick, Ireland, June 2017.
Nodari R., Celata C., Nagy N. 2016 Immigrants’ speech: is phonetic attrition a necessary precondition for phonological attrition to occur? Third International Conference on Language Attrition (ICLA3), Colchester, UK, July 2016.

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ven. 10/11/2017 Séminaire DTT - Conférence Shelece Easterday (DDL & U. Albuquerque)
ISH, salle Betty Albrecht (100A)

The role of morphology in syllable complexity: establishing a cross-linguistic range of variation

In this talk I will discuss issues related to the interaction between morphology and syllable structure complexity. The talk will start with an overview of common theoretical assumptions on the topic and a review of quantitative findings regarding the ways in which morphology can influence the size and shape of syllables. Problems in the current research will be discussed, including the heavy overrepresentation of Indo-European, and especially European, patterns in both empirical and theoretical approaches to the issue. We will also examine ‘unexpected’ patterns from other language families and regions which suggest that there is far more typological variation in the interaction between syllable complexity and morphology than the European data would lead us to expect. The aim of the current project is to systematically explore the interaction between morphology and syllable complexity in a carefully diversified language sample in order to gain a richer understanding of the range of variation in this phenomenon. In the talk, I will elaborate upon some of the hypotheses of the project and discuss methodological and practical issues of language sample construction and data collection for a project of this kind. I also welcome input and open discussion from attendees on relevant patterns from languages that they are familiar with.


mar. 14/11/2017 atelier HELAN2, Natalia Chousou-Polydouri & Françoise Rose "Evolution of Genderlects in the Tupi language family"
ISH-Jeannine Sontag

ven. 17/11/2017 Séminaire DTT - Atelier Typologie sémantique
ISH - Salle André Frossard

Yokot'an (Chontal Mayan) spatial deixis: complex demonstrative words
Amanda Delgado Galvan
Leiden University

Deictic expressions are deeply rooted to place and time of speaking. As stated by Levinson (2004:97) 'deixis introduces subjective, attentional, intentional and, of course, context-dependent properties'. The contextual information is grammaticalized in categories which include person, space deixis and time deixis. In space deixis the speaker anchors a point in the speech event to express the location of the FIGURE according to different spatial-axes. In everyday ‘spatial talk’ several linguistic elements, such as demonstratives e.g. English this and that, here and there, are employed. Languages use different demonstrative systems when locating something in space, time or referring to something in the discourse defined grammatically. Moreover, demonstratives can be accompanied by a reference pointing gesture.

This talk is dedicated exclusively to the spatial deictic demonstrative system in Yokot'an (Chontal Maya), a highly endangered language of Mexico with 37,000 speakers with minimal intergenerational transmission. In this presentation, I follow Dixon's (2003:61) definition of demonstrative and apply it to the analysis of the demonstrative system of Yokot'an. I will show that the demonstratives are grammaticalized forms used by Yokot'an speakers to talk about the relative location of things and people at a time and place of speaking. Yokot'an has a two-term demonstrative system: Proximate (origo) and Distal (not-origo). These primary forms can appear as independent words like in example (1) or be part of a complex word as in (2). The latter is the most frequent form used.

U-x-e da.
'Here he goes.' (HS_SAT_58)

Wi-da alotoj-on=dok’o.
'We married here.' (CONV_PAU_14)

Furthermore, following Dixon's (2003:61) typology, I will show that Yokot’an has three types of demonstratives: nominal, local and manner. In addition I will illustrate demonstrative co-speech pointing gestures. Finally, I will discuss the source deictic morphemes ya’ ‘from there’ yo’ ‘from hither’ and how spatial information is encoded in questions in Yokot'an.

Dixon, Robert. 2003. Demonstratives: A cross-linguistic typology. Studies in Language. International Journal sponsored by the Foundation “Foundations of Language”, 27 (1), 61-112.
Levinson, Stephen. 2004. Deixis. In The handbook of pragmatics (pp. 97-121). Blackwell.


lun. 20/11/2017 Réunion Interne
Club sandwich Dendy

Neurones miroir des ajustements posturaux


lun. 20/11/2017 PopLang
Populations effects on languages: Modelling population dynamics and language transmission from the perspective of language learning, contact, and change.
MILC, Amphithéatre

Cette journée est organisée dans le cadre du projet IXXI-ISH "sur le bout de la langue" (Institut Camille Jordan & Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage). Plus d'informations à venir bientôt !

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mar. 21/11/2017 Conférence Evolyon 2017
Grand Amphithéâtre de l’université Lyon 2

La publication par Darwin de "L’origine des espèces" en 1859 a marqué un tournant majeur dans l’histoire des sciences. Au cours du XXème siècle, grâce aux travaux scientifiques dans les domaines les plus divers (génétique moléculaire, écologie des populations, paléontologie, phylogénie, biomathématiques, etc.), notre connaissance de l’histoire et notre compréhension des processus de l’évolution ont considérablement progressé. Ces connaissances constituent le socle sur lequel repose toute la biologie puisque – comme l’a si bien formulé Dobzhansky – "en biologie, rien n’a de sens si ce n’est à la lumière de l’évolution". Plus que jamais, l’évolution du monde vivant est au cœur de nombreux axes de recherches, dont beaucoup dépassent largement le cadre strict des sciences biologiques (sciences de l’homme et de la société, linguistique, philosophie, ...).

Il existe sur Lyon un potentiel scientifique très fort dans le domaine de l’évolution. L’objectif de la conférence EvoLyon est de réunir les chercheurs de ce domaine afin de stimuler des coopérations – notamment entre spécialistes de différents domaines scientifiques. Nous invitons donc tous les chercheurs, étudiants et enseignants lyonnais intéressés – directement ou indirectement – par la question de l’évolution à participer à cette conférence. Les précédentes éditions d’EvoLyon (2009, 2011, 2013 et 2015) avaient réuni chacune plus de 200 participants. Cette année, EvoLyon se tiendra au Grand Amphithéâtre de l’université Lyon 2.

Le programme comprendra des exposés de Laurent Keller (Université de Lausanne), Hugo Mercier (Institut Des Sciences Cognitives, Lyon) et d’une dizaine d’autres intervenants.

Pour toute information, contactez : evolyon@universite-lyon.fr Le programme, les informations pratiques (accès, ...) et le formulaire d’inscription sont accessibles sur le site http://evolyon.universite-lyon.fr/


ATTENTION : date limite pour l’inscription : 20 octobre

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mar. 28/11/2017 Atelier R - Débuter avec R
Salle Paul Rivère - ISH

jeu. 30/11/2017 Séminaire Acquisition Bilingue du Langage
ISH - Ennat Léger

ven. 01/12/2017 Séminaire DTT - Atelier morphosyntaxe (Imperatives & commands)
Apprehensives in Australia & South America
Marine Vuillermet (DDL)

Apprehensives are mood markers encoding the undesirability and the (high) possibility of an event (Lichtenberk 1995; Verstraete 2005; Vuillermet to appear).

(1) ’Biya ’biya ’biya ’biya! Kekwa-ka-chana miya!
bee bee bee bee pierce-3A-APPREHENSIVE 2SG.ABS
‘Bee, bee, bee, bee! Watch out it might sting you!

To date, little is known about them. This is primarily due to the low frequency of such morphemes (e.g. Heath (1981:187), Olawsky (2006:513)), resulting in scanty descriptions (see however François (2003:301–312), Epps (2008:630–633), or Green (1989)). The terminology is also very heterogeneous across language areas and families (cf. admonitive (Meira 2009:314), apprehensional-epistemics (Lichtenberk 1995), monitory (van der Voort 2004:322), timitive (Lichtenberk 2008)).

The goal of this presentation is to examine the distribution and typological profile of apprehensives in two macro-areas (Hammarström & Donohue 2014), namely South America and Australia, using WALS-like maps. I hope to raise awareness of apprehensional morphology and inspire more fine-grained descriptions of the phenomenon.

Epps, Patience. 2008. A Grammar of Hup. (Mouton Grammar Library 43). Berlin - New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
François, Alex. 2003. La sémantique du prédicat en mwotlap (Vanuatu). (Linguistique de La Société de Linguistique de Paris). Leuven-Paris: Peeters.
Green, Ian. 1989. Marrithiyel: A Language of the Daly River Region of Australia’s Northern Territory. Canberra: The Australian National University. (Doctoral dissertation).
Hammarström, Harald & Mark Donohue. 2014. Some Principles on the Use of Macro-Areas in Typological Comparison. Language Dynamics and Change 4(1). 167–187.
Lichtenberk, Frantisek. 1995. Apprehensional Epistemics. In Joan Bybee & Suzanne Fleisch-man (eds.), Modality in Grammar and Discourse, 293–327. (Typological Studies in Language). Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Lichtenberk, Frantisek. 2008. A grammar of Toqabaqita. (Mouton Grammar Library 42). Berlin - New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Meira, Sergio. 2009. A grammar of Tiriyó. Rice University. (Doctoral dissertation).
Verstraete, Jean-Christophe. 2005. The semantics and pragmatics of composite mood marking: The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia. Linguistic Typology 9(2).
van der Voort, Hein. 2004. A Grammar of Kwaza. (Mouton Grammar Library 30). Berlin - New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Vuillermet, Marine. To appear. The apprehensional domain in Ese ejja: making the case for a typological domain? (Ed.) Maïa Ponsonnet & Author. Studies in Language. (Special Issue -- Morphemes and emotions across the world’s languages). 27p.


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