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mar. 19/03/2019 Réunion Interne
When pragmatic inference is ensconced in conventional language
ISH, salle E. Léger
Conférence de :
  • Ira Noveck
dans le cadre DENDY

For the last twenty years or so, much experimental work has been focused on what Grice called conversational implicatures, i.e. cases where extralinguistic pragmatic inferences provide enriching cues to a speaker’s intended meaning. For some linguists, the pragmatic effects linked to scalar implicature (where, e.g., Some participants are children can be understood as Some but not all participants are children), which has been considered a canonical case of a Generalized Conversational Implicature (Levinson, 2000), are viewed as so automatic that they are practically grammatical, to the point that a scalar term along with its inference are to be viewed as a singular conventional expression. In the first part of this talk, I take a step back to re-evaluate such claims and partly by showing that this view does not align with the extant data. I then turn to phenomena in which the pragmatic import of expressions is indeed conventionalized. This prompts a very brief consideration of what Lewis meant by convention and a presentation of Grice's notion of conventional implicature, which refers to a class of expressions that include a pragmatic procedure but without altering an utterance's truth-conditional meaning (e.g., but provides contrast while being truth-functionally equivalent to and). This leads me to report on some of my recent attempts with colleagues to experimentally isolate pragmatic features in participants' behaviors when they are responding with, or evaluating, French conventionalized expressions that have an ensconced pragmatic meaning.


jeu. 21/03/2019 Atelier Phonological Typology
ISH - Salle Ennat Léger

Session 4: Diachronic and synchronic processes of sound change
In this session we will discuss several families of phonetic and phonological sound change -- consonant strength changes (weakening and strengthening), vowel reduction, and processes affecting phonotactic complexity -- and issues related to their crosslinguistic prevalence, geographic distribution, and other features. We will also discuss some proposed motivations for various types of sound change.

Guest presentations:
Denis BERTET: "An unusual case of diachronic strengthening in Tikuna"
Gérard PHILIPPSON: "Strengthening and weakening in Bantu consonant system evolution"


jeu. 21/03/2019 Réunion Interne
Soirée jeux de société
MSH, cafétéria (RdC)

ven. 22/03/2019 Séminaire du laboratoire
Natural adaptation and coding of human languages for long range communication: shouting, whistling and drumming
Julien Meyer (GIPSA, Grenoble)
ISH - Espace Marc Bloch

Human languages represent very complex coding systems that can be decoded by the human brain after a long acquisition phase. In their acoustic form, human languages can be expressed through different speech registers. Modal speech is the most common one but several other registers have evolved around the world to enable interlocutors to speak from far. The present paper will first provide a large overview of the limits of modal speech for distance communication and will list the major acoustic constraints that interfere with spoken communications in rural outdoor settings. Next, it will describe how speech has been naturally adapted to these constraints in different populations by transforming the sounds of spoken languages in shouted speech, whistled speech or drummed speech. These three registers represent different ways of coding the same linguistic targets as modal speech. Their comparison in a wide variety of languages of the world highlights the great productive and perceptual flexibility of humans to transmit messages of linguistic attitude for telecommunication purposes in natural surroundings.


mar. 26/03/2019 Atelier Histoire et Ecologie des Langues, Igor Yanovich (Tübingen): HOW (NOT) TO USE GENETIC DATA FOR HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS
ISH-Ennat Leger

With the wider availability of genetic data, it is natural to want to use them in order to solve long-standing puzzles in linguistics. In this talk, I will discuss some seemingly attractive ways to use genetic data for that purpose, which however under closer inspection do not work. In other words, this talk is about how (not) to interpret genetic evidence when trying to solve historical-linguistic puzzles, and what we-linguists may want from geneticists in order to move forward on this together. The specific methods I will discuss include PCA, Admixture, and Globetrotter, and possibly the (unpublished) tool MOSAIC.

mer. 27/03/2019 Réunion Interne
Conseil de Laboratoire
MSH, André Frossard

mer. 27/03/2019 Atelier Phonological Typology, Sonja Dahlgren: Reconstructing Egyptian Greek - Typology and sociolinguistics as tools for variation studies in text languages
ISH - Salle André Bollier


Reconstructing Egyptian Greek – Typology and sociolinguistics as tools for variation studies in text languages
Sonja Dahlgren (Department of Languages, University of Helsinki)

In this paper I discuss the Greek phonological variation within the language contact situation in Roman Egypt. Greek documents in Egypt contain plenty of nonstandard variation, much of which is based on the impact of Egyptian. Morphosyntactic variation has been verified before (Leiwo 2003 & Stolk 2015 for case inflection, Vierros 2012 for relative clause constructions) but until recently, the orthographic variation that is revealing of the phonological level has lacked a detailed analysis. Gignac (1976) lists all the nonstandard variants in the Egyptian Greek corpus, and Horrocks (2010: 112) lists the main features that can be seen to result from the contact with Egyptian. In Dahlgren (2017), I was able to prove a solid connection between Greek nonstandard spelling variants and Egyptian phonology. Greek had served as the official language of the government since the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE (e.g. Clarysse 1993: 186-188), but in the Roman period especially misspellings based on the phonological level of the language multiplied. This is for a variety of reasons, some to do with sociolinguistic factors such as the growing population size of L2 Greek users (see Sinnemäki & Di Garbo 2018), and some with linguistic factors such as the development of the Egyptian language into its final phase, Coptic. At the same time, Greek was also in the process of phonological development (Horrocks 2010: 166-167), causing irregularity in the grapheme-phoneme correspondence.
Analysing variation of this multicausal language contact situation required a multidisciplinary approach. In my phonological analysis, I focused on one corpus of Greek ostraca, particularly rich with Egyptian-influenced variation on the phonological level. I verified variation in the L2 Greek by similar variants in Greek loanwords in native Coptic texts. To separate the phonological level from orthographic conventions, I incorporated Second Language Writing System (L2WS) studies into the analysis. Most importantly, in order to understand the synchronic nature of the variation, I compared the phonological variation in Egyptian Greek to similar contact linguistic situations between languages of comparable structural differences, for instance English/French and Arabic.
The study showed that most of the L2 features in the Greek used by L1 Egyptians were universal examples of underdifferentiation, overdifferentiation and stress transfer as already described by Weinreich (1968: 18-19). Furthermore, the sociolinguistic study of the early Roman period material showed structural similarities to the typology of language convergence by Matras (2009: 223-226) as well as the analysis of early societal bilingualism by Haugen (1950: 215-217). The type of language variation present in Greek texts in Egypt also suggests an independent contact variety, such as is described by Thomason (2001: 15-26): a second language speakers’ version of the target variety, with features deriving from imperfect learning and the impact of L1. These findings combined allow for a reinterpretation of the type of phonetically-based misspellings in Egyptian Greek, including iotacism. In this paper, I give examples e.g. of the difference between how the Greek-internal variation and the contact-induced variants manifested themselves: in the former, e.g. fronting of vowel value could occur in any position, in the latter it was connected to the consonantal environment. The bivalency of Coptic eta is related to this issue and studied within Coptology (Lambdin 1958: 179-180, 185-187; Peust 1999: 228-230).


ven. 29/03/2019 Atelier R : Débuter avec R (groupe1)
MSH - Salle Fernand Rude

Inscription sur le lien suivant: (limité à 9 personnes) https://evento.renater.fr/survey/debuter-dans-r-1pneqai4


ven. 29/03/2019 Séminaire DTT - Atelier Morphosyntaxe

Françoise Rose (DDL)
"The functions of Mojeño Trinitario classifiers in discourse

Mojeño Trinitario has a set of classifiers that shows a wide distribution. They are found on numerals, nouns, adjectives and verbs, but are obligatory on numerals only. They can be used in nominal derivation, when found on nominal or verbal roots. Otherwise, beside their use on numeral and their lexical occurrences, they are optional. This talk will focus on the functions they then serve in discourse. For instance, classifiers in the verb refer to S, O or a locative participant and foreground the participant when it is expressed as a noun phrase. They are then used to introduce a new topic (that was given ot not). In absence of an overt noun phrase, the classifiers instead background the participant. They are then used to introduce a new non-topical participants or to mention participants that are given ('anaphoric use').

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