Melbourne! We love you! What a wonderful visit to a wonderful, wonderful city! We loved (1) the coffee and cafés, (2) the street art, (3) the penguins!! and kangaroos and wombats and koalas, (4) the (vegan!) food!!, (5) the neighborhoods, (6) the bars and nightlife, (7) the FUNKY architecture, (8) the people!, (9) the bookstores and libraries, (10) the galleries and parks. Everything everything!
I had a blast chatting with the linguists at University of Melbourne about identifying and analyzing variation in minority languages while showcasing exciting work on Ende by Katherine Strong and Christian Brickhouse! It's so enriching having other people look at Ende data with their own expertise and curiosity.
Slides and slide notes
Nick Evans, Dineke Schokkin, and I presented our work in reconstructing the phoneme inventory of proto-Pahoturi River. This presentation focused on the reconstruction of the liquids. Although there are at most three liquids in each PR language, there are five distinct correspondence sets across the family.
What a thrill to defend my dissertation in front of so many of my advisors, friends, and family!
In this work, I expand Zoll’s (1996) analysis of subsegmental phenomena to address the fact that her uniform treatment of ghost elements cannot account for a key behavioral property: the default realizational state of the ghost element (Zimmermann 2018). This property subclassifies ghost elements into two groups: those that are preferentially realized unless they violate markedness and those that are preferentially deleted unless they repair markedness. I call these martyr and hero ghosts, respectively.
In Optimality Theory, presence and absence of phonological elements in the output is regulated by ranked and violable constraints. If a constraint that penalizes non-realization of a phonological element is ranked higher than a constraint that penalizes realization, then the optimal output will not include the element. This is the necessary constraint ranking for a ghost element that exhibits martyr-type behavior. The opposite ranking generates hero-type behavior. If ghost elements are represented uniformly as subsegments as Zoll (1996) proposes, then we predict only two types of languages: one in which all ghost elements are martyrs and one in which all ghost elements are heroes. This theoretical typology undergenerates the empirically observed typology of phonological patterns.
Ende (Pahoturi River) exhibits two types of ghost elements: floating nasals, a martyr ghost, and infinitival reduplication, a hero ghost. I propose a representational distinction that splits ghost elements into two subsegmental types: those that are specified for their melodic features and those that are specified for their skeletal or structural features. This engenders faithfulness constraints which can be ranked with respect to one another to indicate a language’s preference to realize or not realize melodic or skeletal subsegments, predicting four types of languages, including Ende.
This work provides analyses of both ghost elements in Ende and other languages with multiple ghost elements, including Chaha, Yowlumne, and Welsh. I also provide the first descriptive analyses of the phonotactics, phonology, and morphology of Ende and introduce the basic typological profile for the language and the language family.
I had a lovely time at PHREND (PHonology Research weekEND) 2019, which was held at UC Berkeley this year. I presented the briefest of snapshots of my dissertation work and enjoyed hearing more about the development of Q Theory in Panãra (Myriam Lapierre, Martha Schwarz, Karee Garvin, Sharon Inkelas) and catching up with Emily Grabowski and learning about tone in Coatlán-Loxicha Zapotec. Cherry on the top of this conference was catching a beautiful sunset over the city and both bay bridges from Larry Hyman's gorgeous home in the Berkeley hills.
Ghost elements in Ende phonology
Kate L. Lindsey (Stanford University)
Ende phonology exhibits several phenomena where partially underspecified segments seem to appear and disappear at the service of phonotactics, much like yers in Slavic. Following Zoll (1996) and Kiparsky (2003), I call such elements ghosts. I will present two types of ghosts in Ende and show how the interaction of these two patterns informs formal theories on the representation of underspecification in the input.
Ende floating nasals demonstrate alignment of an underspecified nasal segment to the leftmost non-initial obstruent in the word, much like how stress and affixes may be aligned to left or right edges of stems or feet (McCarthy & Prince 1993) or how tone patterns may spread to adjacent tone-bearing units. A phonotactic analysis of the Ende dictionary and corpus reveals that prenasalization is a contrastive feature of morphemes, much like nasalization in Máíhɨ̃ki (Sylak-Glassman 2013). Ende phonotactic reduplication displays semantically vacuous copying of segmental structure to repair verb roots that violate a phonotactic constraint on word minimality. Monosyllabic verb roots reduplicate in isolated forms, but multisyllabic verb roots do not. Curiously, morphological structure also seems to play a role.
Representing both ghost elements as subsegments in the input allows for straightforward constraint-based analyses of the phenomena independently. However, when the two ghost patterns co-occur in the same word, a ranking paradox arises. This puzzle is solved if the two types of ghost elements are represented distinctly in the input.
Talk: Is Ende reduplication phonological copying or morphological doubling? @ UC Berkeley's Phonetics and Phonology Forum
Is Ende reduplication phonological copying or morphological doubling?
Ende infinitival verbs are an interesting puzzle for the Dual Theory of reduplication (Inkelas 2008), which distinguishes phonological and morphological doubling as formally and functionally distinct phenomena. In Ende, infinitival reduplication is sensitive to phonological structure (monosyllabic verb roots reduplicate, multisyllabic verb roots do not reduplicate) and to morphological structure (monomorphemic verb roots reduplicate, multimorphemic verb roots do not). The shape of the reduplicant may be phonologically-determined (CV template, TETU patterns) or morphologically-determined (total reduplication, no TETU patterns). In this talk, I will contrast the two potential analyses, showing that neither a strictly phonological nor a strictly morphological analysis can account for all the data, and suggest an alternative mixed approach.
Inkelas, S. (2008). The dual theory of reduplication. Linguistics, 46, 351–402.
CLICK THIS POST TO SEE HANDOUT
Thrilled to share the news that I just accepted a position in Boston University's Department of Linguistics for this Fallǃ I will be teaching phonology and fieldwork and continuing my research in southern Papua New Guinea, hopefully with some BU graduate students joining in on the fun. I'm so grateful for all the support from my friends and family this past year <3
Excited to discuss new collaborative work with Katherine Strong and Katie Drager (UH Manoa) on sociolinguistic variation in Ende retroflex affrication at Stanford's weekly Sociolunch.
It was a fun experience to be interviewed for an in-flight magazine after reading so many of them over the years! This article came out in their January-February edition on all Air Niugini flights.
Abstract summary: Following Schokkin's (2018) work on linguistic and age effects on final /n/-realization in Idi verbs, this paper presents a matched study of the same variation in related Ende. The findings show that the pattern is not as simple as /n/-elision or /n/-addition, but rather that the youngest and oldest speakers are eliding /n/ (e.g. da instead of dan) and young women are adding /n/ (e.g. danən instead of dan). This work expands what is known about the Pahoturi River language family and contributes to the study of sociolingusitic variation in minority languages.
Abstract: To what extent can the results of variation studies in large-scale speech communities be extended to small-scale speech communities? Many sociolinguistic differences would lead us to reject the "uniformitarian principle" that allows us to extrapolate across space and time (Labov 1972), for example: rates of linguistic change, rates and types of multilingualism, and conditions of language acquisition are all different between WEIRD and small-scale societies like in southern New Guinea. In this talk, I will discuss how I planned, collected, analyzed, and interpreted a sociolinguistically annotated corpus of Ende, a Pahoturi River language of southern New Guinea, taking into account the unique characteristics of this community. Together, we can discuss the advantages and difficulties for engaging in this type of research in small-scale speech communities.
Phonological Variation and Gradient Representation
This Friday, I would like to discuss two topics with the P-interest group. For the first half of our meeting, I will discuss a phonological variable relevant to my dissertation: verb-final /n/-realization in Ende. I will discuss my methods and preliminary findings. Then, I will present a recent paper (Smolensky & Goldrick 2016) on the use of Gradient Symbolic Representations (GSR) to model French liaison consonant realization. The big take-away from this paper is that a symbol in the input can be gradient in its degree of presence in the input (i.e., partially present), such that it incurs a partial violation of Dep to be realized and a partial violation of Max to not be realized. My hope is that we can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of introducing gradience in the input of phonological grammars in order to account for idiosyncratic patterns in languages like French and Ende.
Giving native speakers a voice improves linguistic data collection. In this talk, Kate Lindsey will detail the ways in which actively engaging native speakers in the linguistic exploration of the Ende language resulted in better research outcomes for her doctoral work on phonological variation in the Ende verb. This half-hour presentation will be followed by the screening of a short film, which is the culmination of collaboration between Ende community members, who directed and narrated the auto-documentary, and Lindsey, who provided technical training during an eight-week class.
The movie shows life as it was in southern Papua New Guinea before Christianity and how it all changed when two missionaries came from up river, and sent two Ende couples to bible school in the late 50s. They returned three years later as the first Ende pastors. The movie talks about the hardships they faced and how the arrival of Christianity came with the arrival of clothes, medicine, air strips, and schools. Ende Tän e Indrang is a unique ethnographic document as it details the cultural conversion of a little-known tribe from their own perspective.
Film: Ende Tän e Indrang ‘Light into Ende Tribe’. Papua New Guinea, 30 mins. In Ende language with English subtitles.
BY ALEX KEKAUOHA
Three years ago, linguistics PhD student Kate Lindsey was looking for new research projects when an advisor told her about a small tribe in Papua New Guinea that was seeking help preserving their language, called Ende. The tribe invited Lindsey to stay with them and create a dictionary and grammar, as well as translate various texts from English. Deciding that this field research could be developed for her dissertation, Lindsey set out a year ago for the tiny village, called Limol, 7,000 miles away.
Full Article here.
Talk: Parallel variation in two speech communities: a comparison of final /n/ elision in Idi and Ende.
An end. A beginning.
I’m settled in at Kwale and Aruwa’s house. Our second home in Upiara. The run up to this departure was so exaggeratingly slow, that I’m surprised at how fast the past two days have felt.
Tuesday was my last work day in Limol, and consequently everyone who had ignored my requests for language help in the last two weeks came at the same time to help. I was able to get a few good recordings in and I also recorded some tutorials in Ende for how to use the camera and video cameras. Otherwise I spent the day organizing the corpus for leaving here and finishing some last minute transcriptions.
I spent all day Wednesday packing, giving things away to friends, and organizing what I’m leaving for Catherine as clearly as possible. The men all went hunting and the women went for fish. I went with Wagiba our dog Maya for sago and got my 18th run in a row! Wagiba said some really nice things to me, like how nice my Ende has gotten and how I’m everyone’s daughter in the village. We had a really nice feast. Quite a few people gave thank you speeches which felt good. At least seven mothers brought me a plate of food! Though I had more work to do on the computer, I decided to have one last showing of the Ende movie and Moana for everyone. People really liked it.
This morning was filled with last minute packing, pictures, and goodbyes. It was sadder than usual since I’m not sure when I’ll come back next. Everyone kept telling me all the old people will die while I’m gone, which, obviously, added to the sadness. But it actually felt quite rushed, I walked out of the village and it was hard to tell if my backpack was more full with my few possessions or leaves and flowers slipped in by my friends.
Now I’m in Upiara after an uneventful but very slow canoe ride in the hot sun. I sweated in two layers, a rain coat, and an umbrella but I think I avoided sunburn. I am looking forward to this trip to Daru, as I’m taking Wagiba with me on the plane and I know she will help me get what I need to get done done. Besides the usual shopping for Limol, my top priority is to get some recordings of an Agob speaker - Agob is the last language we need for a full survey of the Pahoturi River language family. I also hope to get a lot of transcribing done and to watch the World Cup final, but that depends on how many people come to visit and the TV channel selection at Tobest. Fingers crossed!
While this is an end to something big - my year here ‘down under’ - I also see it as the beginning of the last year of my PhD, which I am really, really excited to begin. This year will be all about writing, publishing, presenting, applying for jobs, and networking. I’ve got quite a few papers and talks lined up, and I’m excited just to do my best and talk about my work - which is something I still love! Many people experience getting burnt out from their dissertation, so perhaps I’m lucky that I had even more frustrating things to get burnt out on that my relationship with my thesis is still in tact :) hope it lasts through the year!
For now my mind is all on Australia. A few papers, presentations, meetings, and even a movie premiere are all scheduled for the next two weeks. I’m also starting my writing bootcamp, which is four hours of writing every morning, which I hope to keep up throughout the year! Penny is also taking me out for a birthday dinner (!) and Andrey has booked me a day at the spa (!) so I’m looking forward to getting nice and pampered too.
I am overcome with gratitude - the Ende Language Project has been awarded the generous Firebird Fellowship for the fourth year in a row! This year’s project: Passing On Knowledge - a seven week technology workshop training youth in Limol how to use video cameras and computers to make short films about their grandparents and ancestors. We wouldn’t have been funded if not for the amazing work done first by Grace, Diana, Elizabeth, Catherine, Gwynn, and Lauren. Cheers to you all and may this project open up doors to knowledge and opportunity for everyone in Limol.
All smiles after 10 weeks of language work! I had intended on staying in Limol through June but I had some computer troubles and made the decision to come out to Canberra for a month and stay in through July instead. The fieldtrip was another wild success. Although I was alone this trip, I was still able to double the size of the spoken corpus by conducting 62 sociolinguistic interviews. I made a lot of progress on the grammar and phonology and trained Warama and Tonny how to transcribe with the computer.
Third version of the Ende dictionary printed and bound today! More names and faces on this year’s cover and most importantly way more words inside!
Talk: Diachronic typology meets contact typology - a regional case study from Southern New Guinea (ALT 12)
What an exciting talk to give with Nick Evans, Dineke Schokkin, Eri Kashima, Mark Ellison, Kyla Quinn, and Jeff Siegel! Together, we presented some discussions on the following questions: Do different levels of linguistic structure change at different rates? and Are those levels affected differently in language contact? Nick introduced a new word vergence to talk about convergence, divergence, and nonvergence among the languages in Southern New Guinea. We presented and compared phonemic, lexical, kinship, and morphological data across the region. As you can see in the photo above - it was a popular talk!
Spent a blissful few days on the south coast with Nick, Penny, and the happiest dog Pepper. Plenty of beach walks and December ocean swims! Feeling refreshed and happy.
With the generous help from people who contributed to my Light for Limol campaign, the Ende Language Team was able to bring in 120 solar lanterns and 2 water rollers for Limol! We will be bringing more in on future trips, but for now enjoy this photo of all the mothers in Limol with their new solar lanterns. Feeling very grateful to be a part of something that means so much to the people of Limol.
Kate Lynn Lindsey