DDL - UMR 5596
ISH - Bat C
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mar. 28/03/2017 Réunion Interne
Réunion DENDY + talk E. Geva (Univ Toronto)
ISH, E. Léger

Language and Literacy Skills in Emerging Bilinguals with Typical and Less Typical Development

by Professor Esther Geva (Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto)

With the high number of immigrants and refugees to Europe, North America and the Australian continent, most of whom are second language (L2) learners, it is important to understand what are the language and literacy needs of culturally and linguistically diverse children and adolescents - those who are typically developing, those whose education has been disrupted, and those who may have a learning disability (LD).
Much of my research on L2 reading development has been guided by general questions such as: What does typical development of language and literacy skills in L2 look like? Do L2 learners catch up with their monolingual peers? Are models of reading based on monolingual readers applicable where L2 students are concerned? What aspects of reading are related to language proficiency in the L2 and what aspects are not? How do reading and language skills in the native language relate to L2 reading skills? Is it possible to identify reading disabilities or language impairment in L2 learners even when they are not fluent in the L2? In my presentation I will address these fundamental questions and illustrate some general trends on the basis of research conducted in my lab. Depending on interest and time constraints I will discuss the implications of this research for practice, professional training, and policy.


mar. 28/03/2017 Journée d'études Typologie des langues du Caucase
ISH - salle Elise Rivet

Morning session: 9.00 - 12.00

1. An overview of East Caucasian languages and their neighbours: families, contacts, typological profiles (approx. 30 min) Michael Daniel

This is a short survey of the linguistic families endemic to, or represented in, the Caucasus. We will provide a very general introduction to the typological properties of the languages of the Caucasus, focusing on the languages of the East Caucasian language family.

2. Moods in East Caucasian (60 min) Nina Dobrushina
In this lecture, I will present a survey of non-indicative moods in East Caucasian. I will treat expression of inducement to different persons (imperative / hortative / jussive), morphosyntactic structure of volitional clauses, and the meaning of the optative in Daghestanian languages. I will also discuss the domain of irrealis, with a special focus on conditional constructions.

3. Two ditransitive strategies in East Caucasian: Recipient split? (90 mins) Michael Daniel
East Caucasian languages show a typologically rare pattern of discriminating two types of 'give'-situations by alternating inflectional marking on the recipient NP. I will walk the audience through different possible semantic interpretations of the phenomenon, to come up, in the end, with a less obvious - but also more theoretically plausible and promising - interpretation of the contrast, ultimately linking it to the two-layered model of semantic roles and the dual nature of the situations of transfer.

Afternoon session: 13.30 - 17.00

4. Person agreement in Archi, Dargwa and Nakh: gender or what? (90 mins) Michael Daniel

Unlike the widespread gender, person agreement is not typical of East Caucasian languages. Archi, Dargwa and Nakh do person reference by means of gender agreement (person by other means, in terms of Corbett et al's). Unlike other NPs with plural human reference, first and second plural pronouns unexpectedly control non-human plural agreement. After discussing some typologically peculiar morphosyntactic properties of this agreement, I will suggest, as one possibility, a functional explanation of how this pattern may have emerged.

5. Where have all the adjectives ended up: a study in Archi statives (60 mins) Michael Daniel
It is well known from the typology of property words that adjectives is the least stable part-of-speech category, torn between nouns and verbs. The typological profile under which the property words are verbs is sometimes called adjectival-verb languages. In this paper, I argue that merely showing that a property word is a predicate rather than an attribute is not equivalent to arguing that it is, morphosyntactically, a verb. To use Dixon's metaphor (Where have all adjectives gone?) , Archi is an example of a language whose property words certainly went all the way to become predicative items. However, they remained a separate morhosyntactic class and did not (fully) assimilate with verbs.

6. Agreement classes in East Caucasian: the rise and fall of structuralism (60+ mins if we have time) Michael Daniel
If we will survive so far in this long day, I will consider nominal class (gender) systems in several East Caucasian languages. Here, a small set of cognate markers are combined into multiple singular - plural pairs, forming from three to many 'agreement classes'. I will show that following the insightful Zalizniak's structuralist approach in his seminal book on Russian gender does not provide a plausible description of the gender systems in East Caucasian. Instead of ascribing nominal class (gender) to a lexical item on the whole, one should ascribe it separately to its number forms, singular vs. plural. This provides a more semantically transparent and more parsimonious description of at least some of the systems.


ven. 31/03/2017 Atelier typologie sémantique -- Experimental stimuli
Participative session on the participants’ own experience with experimental stimuli and discussion
ISH, Berty Albrecht

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 Accepted). 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. Accepted. 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.


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