Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Penn Linguistics Conference

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
  • Publication
    (2020-10-01) Rhee, Nari; Budnick, Ryan
    The University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL) is an occasional series published by the Penn Graduate Linguistics Society. The series has included volumes of previously unpublished work, or work in progress, by linguists with an ongoing affiliation with the Department, as well as volumes of papers from NWAV and the Penn Linguistics Colloquium/Conference. This volume contains selected papers from the 43rd Penn Linguistics Conference, held from March 22-24, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA, at the University of Pennsylvania. Thanks go to Jennifer Arlin, Johanna Benz, Spencer Caplan, Andrea Ceolin, Yiran Chen, Ava Creemers, Jordan Kodner, Aini Li, Daoxin Li, Ruaridh Purse, and Ruicong Sun for their help in editing. Since Vol. 14.2, PWPL has been an internet-only publication. As of September 2014, the entire back catalog has been digitized and made available on ScholarlyCommons@Penn. Please continue citing PWPL papers or issues as you would a print journal article, though you may also provide the URL of the manuscript. An example is below: Jeoung, Helen. 2020. Wh-agreement Across Three Domains in Indonesian. In University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 26.1, ed. Nari Rhee and Ryan Budnick, 115-123. Available at: Publication in the University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL) does not preclude submission of papers elsewhere; copyright is retained by the author(s) of individual papers. The PWPL editors can be contacted at: U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, 3401-C Walnut Street, Suite 300, C Wing, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228 and Nari Rhee and Ryan Budnick, Issue Editors
  • Publication
    Wh-agreement Across Three Domains in Indonesian
    (2020-10-01) Jeoung, Helen
    Cross-linguistically, morphological wh-agreement has been observed either on C/T or on verbs (Zaenen 1983; Reintges et al. 2006), coinciding with classic domains for successive-cyclic A' movement. This suggests that other phasal XPs may be also marked with morphological wh-agreement. The central claim of this paper is that in Indonesian, wh-agreement occurs in three domains: complementizers, verbs and nominals. Evidence for wh-agreement on C and wh-agreement on verbs comes from previously observed patterns in the literature, which I re-cast as wh-agreement. Next, by examining cases in which possessors undergo A' movement out of DP, I show that obligatory changes in morphology are an instantiation of wh-agreement within DP. This analysis contributes new patterns to the range of attested wh-agreement, and brings Indonesian morphosyntactic patterns under the umbrella of a wider cross-linguistic phenomenon.
  • Publication
    Resultative Secondary Predicates and Prefixes in German and Dutch
    (2020-10-01) Creemers, Ava
    Certain prefixed verbs in German have been shown to be incompatible with adjectival Resultative Secondary Predicates (RSPs) (Kratzer 2005). Similarly, verbal prefixes have been shown to be incompatible with RSPs in Dutch (Hoekstra et al. 1987, Hoekstra 1988). In this paper, I give a unified account for the the incompatibility of verbal prefixes and RSPs in German and Dutch. I show that, similar to what has been argued for Dutch, it is not transitivity that precludes RSPs in German, but rather the prefixes themselves. I provide evidence that non-prefixed verbs that obligatorily express their internal argument (such as transitive and unaccusative verbs) can combine with RSPs in German. I propose that the right generalization for the incompatibility of prefixes and RSPs follows from a semantic restriction that prevents the occurrence of multiple states in a single event (Tenny 1987).
  • Publication
    Children (and Some Adults) Overgeneralize Negative Concord: the Case of Fragment Answers to Negative Questions in Italian
    (2020-10-01) Moscati, Vincenzo
    Recent studies on language acquisition have shown that children may initially adopt a Negative Concord grammar also when this option is disfavoured or forbidden in the target language. If children overextend Negative Concord, they might do it not only in Double Negation languages, but also in Romance. This hypothesis will be tested by looking at Italian children’s comprehension of negative fragments used as answers of negative questions: in this context, Double Negation readings typically arise in adult speakers of Italian. The experimental results show that Italian 5-year-olds prefer Negative Concord interpretations to a larger extend than the adult control group, supporting the idea that Negative Concord might initially be overgeneralized by young children.
  • Publication
    Perceptual Confusion of Mandarin Tone 3 and Tone 4
    (2020-10-01) Han, Chao; Vogel, Irene; Yuan, Yue; Athanasopoulou, Angeliki
    In connected speech, the acoustic properties of Mandarin tones undergo modifications not observed in isolation. The current study investigated the perceptual distinction between Mandarin tones in connected speech, focusing on Tone 3 and Tone 4, which have been reported to share a similar initial falling contour. The current study also tested whether syllables produced with focus and / or in certain syllable positions affect the tonal perception. In a forced choice perception task, participants heard syllables extracted from three syllable words previously recorded in short dialogues, and were instructed to select one of four characters representing corresponding monosyllabic words differing only in tone. The accuracy results showed that Tone 4 was much more successfully identified than Tone 3. Nonetheless, after using a d-prime analysis to control for an observed T4 response bias, we found the same level of perceptibility of T3 and T4. Furthermore, the two tones were better perceived when a tone was produced in a focus context or at the edge of a word, confirming the effect of prosodic structure on tonal perception.
  • Publication
    Mobile Affixes Across Western Armenian: Conflicts Across Modules
    (2020-10-01) Bezrukov, Nikita; Dolatian, Hossep
    In this paper, we discuss the cross-linguistically rare case of mobile affixation in three Western Armenian varieties, in which the Indicative marker alternates between a prefixal and a suffixal realization depending on the context. In Hamshen Armenian, conditioning is fully phonological: the Indicative is a prefix if the verb is vowel-initial and a suffix elsewhere. However, in Gyumri and Akhalkalaki Armenian, the placement of the Indicative marker is subject to a curious interleaving between phonological and syntactic conditions. First, if a consonant-initial verb is alone in some relevant syntactic domain, the affix takes a suffixal position, but if there is extra syntactic elements present, it surfaces as a prefix (syntactic condition). This domain is similar to syntactic phases but not always isomorphic to them. In Akhalkalaki, the Indicative is even capable of leaving the verb base and cliticizing onto the constituent bearing the sentential stress. We discuss the data and provide a preliminary analysis.
  • Publication
    The Syntax of Concessive Clauses: Evidence from Exempt Anaphora
    (2020-10-01) Lund, Gunnar; Charnavel, Isabelle
    Charnavel (2019b) argues that the acceptability of exempt anaphors in adjunct clauses can be used to diagnose the height of those clauses. The goal of this paper is first to provide experimental support for this diagnostic and then to use it to probe the syntax of two types of concessive clauses in English, namely clauses headed by "even though" and "although". The distribution of exempt anaphors reveals that "even though"-clauses attach lower than "although"-clauses. However, this result seems to contradict more standard scopal tests (such as pronominal binding) suggesting that "even though"-clauses scope as high as "although"-clauses. We argue that this apparent conflict reveals that more fine-grained scopal distinctions are needed both between different types of adjunct clauses and between different types of DPs.
  • Publication
    Implicit Causality: A Comparison of English and Vietnamese Verbs
    (2020-10-01) Ngo, Binh; Kaiser, Elsi
    In sequences like ‘Lisa frightened/blamed Kate because she…’, verbs influence the likelihood of subsequent pronouns referring to subjects or objects, an effect called implicit causality. In addition to its significance for theories of reference resolution, this effect is important for cognitive and socio-cultural research. A fundamental question has to do with the source of implicit causality effects and how they relate to verb classes (e.g. Stimulus-Experiencer). Furthermore, many researchers use implicit causality as a tool to investigate other aspects of pronoun interpretation. Crucially, this work requires access to pre-existing information about the subject-vs.-object biases of individual verbs. Large-scale studies provide public datasets for English and Spanish. However, lack of large public datasets for typologically-diverse languages is a serious limitation. It is problematic for practical reasons (it poses challenges for experiments on languages without accessible implicit causality norms) and theoretical reasons (it limits our ability to understand implicit causality effects). To address this, we conducted a large-scale study of 149 verbs in Vietnamese and provide a comparison between these Vietnamese verbs and their English equivalents revealing intriguing variations in their implicit causality biases. Crucially, this work creates a database which can serve as a tool for theoretical and practical applications of crosslinguistic research relating to implicit causality.
  • Publication
    Direct Causation: A New Approach to an Old Question
    (2020-10-01) Baglini, Rebekah; Siegal, Elitzur A. Bar-Asher
    Causative constructions come in lexical and periphrastic variants, exemplified in English by Sam killed Lee and Sam caused Lee to die. While use of the former, the lexical causative, entails the truth of the latter, an entailment in the other direction does not hold. The source of this asymmetry is commonly ascribed to the lexical causative having an additional prerequisite of “direct causation", such that the causative relation holds between a contiguous cause and effect (Fodor 1970, Katz 1970). However, this explanation encounters both empirical and theoretical problems (Nelleman & van der Koot 2012). To explain the source of the directness inferences (as well as other longstanding puzzles), we propose a formal analysis based on the framework of Structural Equation Models (SEMs) (Pearl 2000) which provides the necessary background for licensing causal inferences. Specifically, we provide a formalization of a 'sufficient set of conditions' within a model and demonstrate its role in the selectional parameters of causative descriptions. We argue that “causal sufficiency” is not a property of singular conditions, but rather sets of conditions, which are individually necessary but only sufficient when taken together (a view originally motivated in the philosophical literature by Mackie 1965). We further introduce the notion of a “completion event” of a sufficient set, which is critical to explain the particular inferential profile of lexical causatives.
  • Publication
    Obligatory Overt Movement of WH-phrases in Japanese
    (2020-10-01) Oguro, Takeshi
    Japanese is widely known as a WH-in-situ language, where WH-phrases stay in their original positions. This paper shows that obligatory overt movement of WH-phrases is involved in mono ka rhetorical questions (MRQs), which are examined in Oguro 2018. After observing the behavior of MRQs suggesting that they should be regarded as negative assertions rather than questions, this paper reveals that WH-phrases in MRQs need to be obligatorily fronted to sentence initial position, by investigating the scopal interaction between WH-phrases and the particle dake 'only'. It is suggested that WH-phrases in MRQs should be treated on a par with negative phrases in negative preposing cases.