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ISH - Bat C
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mer. 15/01/2020 Atelier Histoire et Ecologie des Langues: Linguistic diversity is influenced by variation in the anatomy of the vocal tract - some examples
ISH, salle Ennat Leger
Conférence de :
  • Dan Dediu
dans le cadre HELAN2

While it is generally accepted that the universal (i.e., species-specific) aspects of the human vocal tract shape the sounds used by languages, it is underappreciated how much such "universals" hide: there is, in fact, a vast sea of variation that might have something to do with the bewildering diversity of languages. I will survey the causes and patterning of anatomical variation in the vocal tract, and I will focus on some recent examples of how this variation might help better understand language evolution, change and diversity, such as the role of diet in the spread of labiodentals, or the effects of hard palate shape on vowels. I will argue that we must embark on a cross-disciplinary large-scale research program aiming to uncover the fascinating and complex causal processes connecting evolution, genetics, development, anatomy, linguistics, cognitive sciences and anthropology (among others) if we want to advance our holistic understanding of humanity, it origins and place in nature. And yes, language should be seen in its wider context which includes the biology of its users.


ven. 17/01/2020 Séminaire DTT
A preliminary typology of Australian interjections: results and methodological insights
ISH, salle Bollier
Conférence de :
  • Maïa Ponsonnet (The University of Western Australia)
dans le cadre DTT : Atelier morphosyntaxe

In this seminar I will present a preliminary typology of the interjections documented in 37 languages of diverse genetic affiliation across the Australian continent. I will spell out the results concerning Australian interjections themselves, which for most of them raise the question of whether they reflect specifically Australian properties, or universals of language. I will also discuss theoretical and methodological issues involved in studying interjections typologically.


ven. 24/01/2020 Atelier Typologie sémantique
Associated motion and posture in Araona
ISH, salle Berty Albrecht
Conférence de :
  • Adam Tallman (DDL)
dans le cadre DTT

This talk will provide a preliminary analysis of associated posture and motion in Araona, a Takanan language of Bolivia. The main focus of this talk will be to describe the categories in the language fleshing out aspects of their structure and meaning that require future research. A secondary focus of this talk will be the distinction between lexical and grammatical notions of motion and posture in Araona. Previous descriptions of Araona did not identify associated motion as a category in the language (e.g. Pitman 1980, Emkow 2006). While there are a number of morphemes that are clearly affixal (bound and uninterruptable) and grammatical (displaying backgrounded information, echo phenomena and seem to participate in a paradigm) (Guilluame 2016) there are others where it is less clear whether they should be regarded as markers of associated motion, motion verbs inside verb-verb compound constructions or both (see Guillaume 2013 for related facts in Tacana) Evidence for their potential compound status comes from their use as free form verb roots (or the presence of a verb root which is phonologically identical and semantically similar) and the fact that, in their modifier function, they appear adjacent to a verb base rather than seperated by affixal material. They also appear with motion+manner verbs suggesting that they may have a classificatory function akin to compound constructions (Bauer 2017). A similar situation arises with posture verbs. Posture verbs can appear in the verb root position and express the main event of a predicate. However, they can also appear as apparently suffixal modifiers of other verbs, where they can take on more semantically bleached and grammatical meanings (Guillaume 2013, forthcoming). This talk will consider the semantic and pragmatic differences between posture verbs as roots versus posture verbs as verb-modifiers / aspectual markers.


Bauer, L. (2017). Compounds and Compounding. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Emkow, C. (2006). A Grammar of Araona, an Amazonian language of Northwestern Bolivia. La Trobte University, RCLT, PhD Thesis.

Guillaume, A. (2013). Classes lexicales de verbes, transitivité et composition verbal V+V en tacana (Amazonie bolivienne). Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage, CNRS & Université Lumière de Lyon 2: Atelier de Morphosyntaxe.

Guillaume, A. (2016). Associated motion in South America: Typological and areal perspectives. Linguistic Typology, 20(1), 81-177.

Guillaume, A. (forthcoming). Takanan languages. In P. Epps, & L. Michael (Eds.), Amazonian Languages. An International Handbook. De Gruyter Mouton.

Pitman, D. (1980). Bosquejo de la Gramatica Araona. Riberalta: Summer Institute of Linguistics.


ven. 24/01/2020 Réunion Interne
Soirée jeux de société
Salle de pause du laboratoire DDL

mer. 29/01/2020 Réunion Interne
Conseil de Laboratoire
MSH-LSE, Salle Ennat Léger

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


ven. 31/01/2020 Word constituents and the morphology-syntax distinction: descriptive and typological perspectives (1/3)
ISH, salle Ennat Léger
Conférence de :
  • Adam J.R. Tallman (DDL, ELDP)
dans le cadre DTT : Atelier morphosyntaxe

This seminar will be concerned with two related issues in linguistics; (i) the distinction between morphology and syntax language-internally and cross-linguistically; (ii) the legitimacy of 'words' as language-internally motivated and as cross-linguistically comparable constituents. We will review ideas in the field concerning the distinction between morphology and syntax and the problems associated with identifying word constituents with a focus on literature critical of the traditional distinctions between morphology and syntax on the one hand and the word and the phrase on other hand (rather than the vaster literature in the field of linguistics which presupposes these distinctions without argumentation). New perspectives on constituency will be proposed for the description and comparison of morphology and constituency across languages.

The first talk will provide an overview of proposals regarding what distinguishes morphology and syntax together with an outline of the seminar. For those interested in presenting later on in the seminar, attendance will be crucial, since a number of new methodologies will be proposed, and it will be expected that those who present engage with these methodologies. In the first lecture an overview of the basic problems in identifying words in specific languages and cross-linguistically will be provided, focusing on the interpretation of wordhood diagnostics and what it means for such diagnostics to converge or diverge around specific spans of structures. A new proposal for how to motivate words in the face of misalignments will be proposed based on the concept of convergence beyond chance along with a research program for how to investigate constituency in general. The talk will critique the concepts of ‘morphosyntactic/grammatical word’ and ‘phonological/prosodic word’ as they are currently used in linguistic description and confessional ‘theoretical approaches’ like prosodic phonology upon which much description is based.
(see Tallman accepted ; in review; Tallman et al. 2019; Guttierez et al. 2019)

Guttierez, A., Uchihara, H., & Tallman, A. J. (2019). Words as emergent constituents in Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec. Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America IX. Austin.
Tallman, A. J. (accepted for publication). Beyond grammatical and phonological words. (email author for copy).
Tallman, A. J. (submitted). Constituency and coincidence in Chácobo (Pano). Studies in Language.
Tallman, A. J., & Auderset, S. (in prep). Measuring and assessing morphological autonomy. For a special volume in Linguistic Typology on morphosyntactic misfits.
Tallman, A. J., & Epps, P. (to appear). Morphological complexity, autonomy, and areality in Amazonia. In G. Francesco, & P. Arkadiev (Eds.), Morphological complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tallman, A. J., Campbell, E., Uchihara, H., Guttierrez, A., Wylie, D., Adell, E., . . . Everdell, M. J. (2019). A new typology of constituency and convergence. 13th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology. Pavia (Italy).
Tallman, A. J., Wylie, D., Adell, E., Bermudez, N., Camacho, G., Epps, P., . . . Woodbury, A. C. (2018). Constituency and the morphology-syntax divide in the languages of the Americas: towards a distributional typology. 21st Annual Workshop on American Indigenous Languages. University of California Santa Barbara.

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