Slides and slide notes
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
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.
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!
Another enormously successful field trip to Limol in the books. I learned so much, not just about the language, but about what it means to be kind, generous, and selfless, Ende qualities that abound in KT village. This picture is of me and "the boys" who make this crazy dictionary/grammar/corpus thing happen! Jeff, Joshua, Warama, Tonny, and Jerry far right. Couldn't do what I do without their hard work and awesome attitudes!
I am very happy to report that I have been awarded support from the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research. They have accepted my proposal to collect and annotate the Ende spoken corpus and expand the Ende dictionary and grammar. Their support will go directly toward this important documentation task that has been requested directly by the Ende speaking community. I feel very honored to have their support and look forward to sharing this with Limol.
On May 19th, I gave a talk titled “Verbal Reduplication in Ende” at the 3rd annual Northwest Phonetics and Phonology Conference. The data presented in this talk were collected in 2015 and 2016 and the proposed analysis for the three reduplication patterns is part of my dissertation proposal. I got some great feedback and stayed with my friend Oksana, whom I met in 2011 at the LSA Institute in Boulder. I’ve attached the slides below.
Today, I received the wonderful news that my proposal to continue research on the phonology and morphology of the Ende verb was accepted by the Stanford Vice Provost for Education Diversity Dissertaiton Research Opportunity fund. This grant will support travel and equipment fees related to my dissertation.
On May 6, I completed my first 100-mile bike ride - the Wine Country Century - to raise awareness for my Light for Limol campaign. During the month of April, I shared videos and stories about life in Limol, where solar powered lanterns and water rollers will make a big difference in the lives of Ende speakers. My goal was to raise $1000 to bring 2 water rollers and 40 solar lanterns - one lantern for every house in Limol. My friends and family went above and beyond to support me and as of May 6, we raised $2025 for Limol! This money will go to 4 water rollers and 80 solar lanterns, which will be shared between the villages of Limol and Malam.
I had the wonderful opportunity to share some data and thoughts on nominal and verbal reduplication in Ende with the Stanford Phonology Interest group before presenting my talk at NoW Phon. I got some great feedback from my dissertation committee and other members of the reading group.
Strengthening the Ende Language Project with Sustainable Community Development
The Ende Language Project is a local initiative to write down and translate Ende, a language spoken in Western Province, Papua New Guinea. I was invited to join the team in 2015 to develop a writing system, begin a dictionary, and translate important texts. As a linguist, I brought my own questions and collected a wealth of information about one of the last undocumented languages. The trip was so successful that I am returning this summer to continue training the team and to gather data for my dissertation.
However, language does not exist in a vacuum and the community that speaks it struggles with daily survival. My previous trip addressed some needs, but the Community Engagement Grant would empower the Ende Language Project to combine our academic pursuits and community engagement in a life-saving, sustainable way. Lack of knowledge and means for proper handwashing puts the entire community in danger. For $4,000, the Ende Language Project can translate important hygiene information into Ende and set up six handwashing stations around the village. This initiative has been requested by the community, will involve local materials and workers to ensure sustainability, and has been shown to improve community health.
Kate Lynn Lindsey