University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

The University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL) are published by the Penn Graduate Linguistics Society, the organization of linguistics graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania. PWPL publishes two volumes per year: * Proceedings of the annual Penn Linguistics Conference (PLC) * Selected Papers from New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) In addition, we publish an occasional volume of working papers written by students and faculty in the department.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 1215
  • Publication
    Bare Root Nodes in Basaa
    (1996) Buckley, Eugene
  • Publication
    Faithfulness Conflict in Korean Blends
    (2014-01-01) Ahn, Suzy
    This study addresses the question of what basic principles and constraints govern blending while focusing on the description and analysis of phonological properties of Korean blends. Korean blending shows a systematic phonological word-formation process that usually preserves the prosodic structure of the head source word, while the initial part of the segmental sequence of the blend is from the non-head source word. This general pattern can be explained by adopting prosodic faithfulness constraints for the head and segmental faithfulness constraints for both source words. Usually, prosodic faithfulness overrides segmental faithfulness. General and exceptional patterns of Korean blends can be explained by the interaction of prosodic faithfulness and segmental faithfulness constraints within the framework of Harmonic Grammar.
  • Publication
    Building Deverbal Ability Adjectives in Icelandic
    (2014-01-01) Wood, Jim; Sigurðsson, Einar F.
    This paper discusses two ways of forming Icelandic ability predicates: one with the present participle (Ability Participles, APs) and the other with an adjectivizing affix (Ability Adjectives, AAs). We show that they each share distinct properties with passives and with middles (and differ from both). We compare the meaning of the different ability predicates; in APs, the ability relates to properties of the understood subject or the event process, whereas in AAs, the ability relates to propertes of the object. On our analysis, the adjectivizing head of AAs attaches on top of a participial structure which both APs and AAs share.
  • Publication
    What Does the Copula Do?
    (1997) Nishiyama, Kunio
  • Publication
    Right Node Raising Requires both Ellipsis and Multidomination
    (2011-01-01) Barros, Matthew; Vicente, Luis
    Existing analyses of Right Node Raising (RNR) implicitly assume that all instances thereof can be subsumed under a single mechanism, whether it be movement, ellipsis, or multidomination. We challenge this assumption by showing that English RNR can be divided into (at least) two distinct subtypes, one which shows properties of ellipsis and one which shows properties of multidomination. Moreover, we also show that these two subtypes are in complementary distribution, and that neither one can be reduced to the other. The overall result is that RNR is not a single process, but rather a cover term for a family of processes with superficially identical outputs.
  • Publication
    Semantic Effects on Pronouns and Reflexives in Picture-NPs: Similarities and Differences
    (2012-05-01) Kaiser, Elsi; Do, Monica
    Research on Binding Theory shows that the syntactically-conditioned complementarity normally exhibited by pronouns and reflexives breaks down in certain syntactic environments, including possessorless picture-NPs (e.g. picture of {her/herself}). We report two psycholinguistic experiments which investigate what kinds of factors influence how pronouns and reflexives in picture-NPs are interpreted, given that their antecedents are not determined by Binding Theory. The results show that the interpretation of pronouns and reflexives in picture-NPs is governed by multiple factors. On the one hand, we corroborated the results of prior work which found that pronouns and reflexives are subject to opposing syntactic and semantic biases (Kaiser et al. 2009). However, on other hand, we provide evidence of shared biases: Both pronouns and reflexives dislike referentially underspecified antecedents, namely the indefinite existential ‘someone’ and wh-expressions. This pattern seems to fit well with claims that both forms prefer to pick out the antecedent whose point-of-view is being represented (Kuno 1987, Tenny 2003), assuming that referentially underspecified antecedents are not good point-of-view anchors
  • Publication
    The Acquisition of Variable Coda (r) in the Speech Community of Rio de Janeiro
    (2012-09-01) de C. F. Menezes, Vanessa; Gomes, Christina A.
    This paper addresses the emergence of complex syllables with coda consonant (r) in the acquisition of Brazilian Portuguese in the speech community of Rio de Janeiro. Acquisition of words containing complex syllabic types implies the diminishment or abandonment of the CV pattern, but what happen when the competing variable forms alternate different syllable shapes? Since variants are competing forms of the same word, in some cases, they also reflect competing phonological patterns and sociophonetic variation plays a role in abstracting mental representation. Studies about the speech community showed that the coda is variably realized alternating a phonetic velar/glottal variant with its absence and that internal codas are much more realized than final ones (Callou, 1987; Votre, 1978). There is no stigma related to the zero variant in final coda (noun and verbs). The study is based on a cross-sectional sample of 11 typically-developing children (from high and low middle class) distributed in age levels but not in relation to gender or class. The age grading ranges from 2;1 to 5;0. The analysis showed different distributions of frequency of variants as a reflex of the structured variation observed in the speech community. The results reveal that (r) is almost categorically absent in final verbs in all age levels, which can be taken as evidence that children are developing the CV pattern as the main representation of infinitives. Children’s behavior for medial codas is more consistent with a CV(r) pattern as the central representation than word final coda in all ages. The results obtained in this study for final verb coda is consistent with a final stage of a change in the direction of the loss of the infinitive morpheme in the speech community.
  • Publication
    Word-Level Recursion in Spanish Compounds
    (2015-03-01) Shwayder, Kobey
  • Publication
    Iconization and the Timing of Southern Vowels: A Case Study of /æ/
    (2014-10-01) Koops, Christian
    With reference to Irvine and Gal's (2000) model of how language ideologies are constructed, this study examines the linguistic basis for the iconization of Southern American English vowels. The specific focus is on the spectral and temporal properties of the low front vowel /ae/ (TRAP). The paper proposes a unified analysis of this vowel’s seemingly inconsistent behavior as part of the Southern Vowel Shift and as part of the Southern drawl. In the proposed model, the latter is an extension of the former. The link is an internal timing feature, a delayed initial vowel target. This case study of /ae/ serves as the basis for a broader re-consideration of Southern Anglo vowel phonetics.
  • Publication
    Diacritic Weight in the Extended Accent First Theory
    (2016-01-01) Vaxman, Alexandre
    In this article, I present the Extended Accent First theory, which is an offshoot of the Primary Accent First theory (van der Hulst 1996, 1997, 1999, 2010). While the latter is known to correctly account for accent location in a large variety of languages, it encounters difficulties accounting for lexical accent systems and systems sensitive to both phonological weight and lexical accent. The Extended Accent First theory makes such an account possible. In this theory, lexical accent is reanalyzed as “diacritic weight”, leading to the notions of “diacritic weight scale” and “hybrid weight scale”. The Extended Accent First theory is illustrated here with a case study from Central and Southern Selkup that shows how the theory works and, in particular, how it can account for dominance effects using a diacritic weight scale. A comparison of the Accent Deletion approach vs. the Extended Accent First theory with respect to accentual dominance suggests that the approach proposed here is more straightforward and economical. Interestingly, the existence of phonological and diacritic weight correctly predicts that there are accent systems which make reference to both weight types (ordered in a single language-specific weight scale).