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.
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.
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.
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!
I was very excited to be able to present my work on Sonority-Driven Stress in Chuvash at the Annual Meeting of Phonology in Vancouver! I saw some great talks; I particularly enjoyed Ellen Kaisse's plenary talk on postlexical processes and Arto Anttila's talk on meter across genres. I was also looking forward to meeting Shu-Hao Shih, who presented a poster titled "Sonority-driven stress does not exist." Now there's a poster title! It was fun discussing sonority in Gujarati with Shu-Hao, especially as it made my talk the next day a bit more interactive for the audience. All in all, a wonderful experience!
Julia Fine and I presented our work on KinQuest at the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. KinQuest is a new tool for eliciting and comparing kinship terminologies. It's a pilot survey that elicits exhaustive kinship data with the ability to adapt to many different kinds of kinship systems. This is the first step of a much larger project to develop an expansive cross-linguistic survey. Slides below.
Kate Lynn Lindsey