University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Volume 24, Issue 1

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 23
  • Publication
    (2018-03-30) Irani, Ava; Šereikaitė, Milena
    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 The series has included volumes of previously unpublished work, or work in progress, by linguists with an ongoing affiliation with the Department, as well as volumes of papers from NWAV and the Penn Linguistics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 41st Penn Linguistics Conference, held from March 24-26, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA, at the University of Pennsylvania. Thanks go to Luke Adamson, Ryan Budnick, Andrea Ceolin, Nattanun Chanchaochai, Ava Creemers, Aletheia Cui, Kajsa Djärv, Amy Goodwin Davies, Helen Jeoung, Wei Lai, Nari Rhee, Caitlin Richter, Ollie Sayeed, Lacey Arnold Wade, Yosiane White, Hong Zhang 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: Adamson, Luke 2018. Denominal verbs: past tense allomorphy, event frames and zero-categorizers. In University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 24.1, ed. Ava Irani and Milena Šereikaitė, 1-10. 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 Ava Irani and Milena Šereikaitė, Issue Editors
  • Publication
    Denominal Verbs: Past Tense Allomorphy, Event Frames, and Zero-Categorizers
    (2018-03-30) Adamson, Luke
    This study discusses ‘recategorized’ verbs that are derived from nouns, focusing on those that have no overt categorial morphology. On the basis of evidence from past tense inflection with privative locatum verbs, I argue that the event structure can select for nouns rather than roots, and that this is another potential source of obligatory recategorization beyond determination of meaning for the root. I also dispute the empirical generalizations of Borer (2013), whose theory disallows zero-derived recategorization altogether.
  • Publication
    Lexical vs. Nominal prefixes and Their Meaning Domains
    (2018-04-02) Šereikaitė, Milena
    This study contrasts two types of prefixes in Lithuanian (a Baltic language), the lexical prefix and the nominal prefix. Despite being homophonous, I demonstrate that these prefixes are two distinct elements. There is a tradition in the literature to analyze lexical prefixes as part of a VP complement (Babko-Malaya 2003, Dimitrova-Vulchanova 1999, Svenonius 2004, ia.) since, despite being perfective, they also license an additional argument. Nevertheless, the data from Lithuanian show that the lexical prefix lacks phrasal properties. Instead, I propose that the lexical prefix is a morphological element, which is merged directly with a verbalized root (in line with Basilico 2008). In contrast, I show that the nominal prefix is a category-defining head n since it operates on the roots meaning space (Marantz 2001; Arad 2005) and can assign gender to a noun (Kramer 2016). I further gave evidence for this analysis showing that it correctly predicts polysemy resolution effects (Marantz 2013).
  • Publication
    Evidentiality and Undirected Questions: A New Account of the German Discourse Particle wohl
    (2018-03-30) Göbel, Alexander
    This paper presents novel data on the German discourse particle 'wohl', which has been analyzed as a marker of uncertainty by Zimmermann (2008), and argues for treating 'wohl' as an inferential evidential. The argument is twofold. First, in declaratives 'wohl' is felicitous in contexts the respective modified proposition is known to be true, which is incompatible with an account in terms of uncertainty. Second, the distribution of 'wohl' in interrogatives is more complex and more restricted than assumed by the standard account: Following Truckenbrodt (2006), I assume that V2-interrogatives are undirected questions that can be licensed by 'wohl' but whose undirectedness effect is independent of 'wohl'. V-final interrogatives, on the other hand, are canonical directed questions but can only host 'wohl' when targeting content that cannot be known directly. The final analysis is couched in the framework of Murray (2010), proposing that 'wohl' contributes a not at-issue restriction of the common ground to those worlds in which the speaker (in declaratives) or addressee (in interrogatives) has inferential evidence.
  • Publication
    The Semantics and Pragmatics of “some 27 arrests”
    (2018-04-02) Stevens, Jon; Solt, Stephanie
    In this paper we examine the "some + n" construction, where the apparent quantifier "some" is used with a numerical expression, as in "some 27 students were arrested." Contrary to previous claims in the literature, we show that while many speakers prefer an approximative interpretation for some + n, it is untenable to analyze “some" as an approximator akin to "about" or "roughly." We survey some constraints on the distribution of some + n, and propose a semantic analysis based on recent theories of indefinite determiners (e.g. Alonso-Ovalle and Menendez-Benito 2010) which is able to explain these constraints. On our account, "some" introduces a manipulation of the domain of quantification, either restricting it to contextually relevant pluralities or widening it to include pluralities whose cardinality is *approximately* that of the associated numeral. In contexts where approximation is disfavored and there is no obvious restriction on the domain, the meaning contribution of "some" is essentially vacuous. We claim that this vacuousness, in conjunction with Horn's (1984) division of pragmatic labor, explains why some + n is most felicitous in emphatic contexts, e.g., "some 17 Republicans ran in the primary!" (where 17 is higher than expected) as opposed to "?Some 5 Democrats ran in the primary" (where 4 is average).
  • Publication
    When Differential Object Marking is Obligatory: Some Remarks on the Role of Case in Ellipsis and Comparatives
    (2018-04-02) Irimia, Monica Alexandrina
    The identity condition in ellipsis has received a great deal of attention in formal studies, one of the most prominent topics of inquiry being its precise nature. This paper contributes to this debate by examining a rather ignored equative (equality comparative) context where unexpected differential object marking is obligatory irrespective of its canonical features. The data come from Romance (taking Romanian as a representative sample) and one Indo-Aryan variety, namely Nepali. We show that such marking poses a challenge to most theories examining the precise nature of the identity condition in ellipsis and comparatives. The answer we propose follows mixed theories (Mártin González 2016); crucially, we also show that (some types of) Case identity can be reduced to the requirement of certain structures to manipulate arguments instead of predicates (oftype). Our remarks are relevant to licensing of arguments and identity conditions that go beyond ellipsis.
  • Publication
    A New Way to Define Binding Domain in Korean
    (2018-04-02) Park, Jayeon
    This paper examines a binding paradigm in Korean which is claimed to support the Highest Edge Effect (HEE), where in a phase with multiple edges, only the highest-edge is accessible from outside of the phase due to the Phase-Impenetrability Condition (PIC), as proposed in Bošković (2013). It has been argued by a number of authors that the binding domain for principle A should be stated in terms of phases (e.g. Lee-Schoenfeld 2008, Despić 2011, Wurmbrand 2013b, Zanon 2015, Bošković 2016a). Under this approach, an anaphor must be bound in its minimal phase. What is important for our purposes is that an anaphor can be bound outside of its own minimal phase XP only if it is located at the edge of the phase (the anaphor then does not really “belong” to phase XP, but to a higher phase). I also argue that the binding patterns from Korean examined here provide empirical evidence for contextuali-ty of phasal edgehood, where the existence of another specificer of a phase (i.e. edge) affects the edgehood of other specifiers (see Bošković 2016a).
  • Publication
    Acoustic Correlates to Ambisyllabic Representations in American English
    (2018-04-02) Nesbitt, Monica
    The syllabic affiliation of ambisyllabic consonants (e.g. the /m/ in limit) is unclear. Standard analyses argue for their simultaneous linkage to the preceding and following syllables (Kahn, 1976; Kenstowicz, 1994). However, others have argued that a reformulation of the crucial phonological processes in terms of foot-structure eliminates the need for syllabic representations all together (Jensen, 2000; Kiparsky, 1979). There is even a lack of consensus in the literature about the onsets and codas. It has been argued that there is little to no perceptual evidence through priming experiments for syllable structure (Schiller, Costa, & Colome 2002; Schiller, Meyer, & Levelt 1997). On the contrary, through a syllable tracking task, Nesbitt & Durvasula (2015) argue that listeners do perceive a difference between word-medial onset and codas. Furthermore, they argued that listeners treated words containing ambisyllabic consonants similar to those containing word-medial coda consonants. With so many conflicting findings, the question remains: Are syllabic representations available to speaker/listeners of American English? If so, what acoustic cues are utilized to indicate such representations for ambisyllabic consonants? For this paper, recorded speech was extracted from the Buckeye Corpus (Pitt et al 2007), and analyzed to determine the acoustic effects of word-medial consonants. We compared duration and pitch measurements of vowels preceding ambisyllabic consonants to those preceding word-medial coda and word-medial onset consonants in American English. We conclude that American English speakers have a coda representation for ambisyllabic consonants. They produce vowels preceding these consonants and word-medial coda consonants with a shorter duration and lower pitch than they do vowels preceding word-medial onset consonants.
  • Publication
    Comparatives Combined with Scalar Particles: The Case of Chinese HAI
    (2018-04-02) Chen, Yi-Hsun
    This paper investigates the syntax and semantics of the scalar particle HAI combined with Chinese bi comparatives. Several empirical facts are presented and discussed. First of all, two syntactic positions of HAI are identified: syntactically, the scalar particle HAI can either precede the comparative standard (HAIhigh) or follow it (HAIlow) in the Chinese bi comparative. Second, HAIlow leads to a positive inference while HAIhigh does not. Third, although many focus particles may appear in the position of HAIhigh, they are categorically banned from the position of HAIlow. Finally, HAIhigh conveys that the assertive content contravenes the speaker’s expectation. The core proposal made in this paper is the following. Syntactically, HAIhigh is an adjunct adjoined to the degree phrase while HAIlow occupies the degree head. Semantically, the scalar HAI involves two core ingredients: a scale and some presuppositional conditions based on the type of the scale. In particular, HAIhigh employs the scale of likelihood (similar to English even) and presupposes that the prejacent p is less likely than its alternative ¬p: the negation of the prejacent. By contrast, HAIlow takes the scale provided by gradable predicates and presupposes that both the comparative target and the comparative standard are ordered above the contextual standard of the scale. Finally, it is proposed that the semantics of the scalar HAI is constrained by its syntactic position: while HAIhigh operates on the domain of propositions based on the scale of likelihood, HAIlow on the domain of degrees based on the dimension of gradable predicates.
  • Publication
    The Effect of Focus on Creaky Phonation in Mandarin Chinese Tones
    (2018-03-30) Huang, Yaqian; Athanasopoulou, Angeliki; Vogel, Irene
    Previous studies of the prosodic realization of focus in Mandarin Chinese show an expansion of the pitch range of lexical tones. It is less clear, however, whether focus affects the Creaky Phonation (CP) that often co-occurs with the Dipping third tone (T3), and to some extent, also with the Falling fourth tone (T4). This study investigates the effect of focus on the acoustic properties of the four Mandarin tones, and while it confirms the expansion of the pitch range under focus, it does not find that focus affects CP in T3; it only finds an effect of focus on CP in T4. Both the F0 and CP patterns are also considered in relation to the Functional Load Hypothesis, specifically, the relationship between the contrastive properties of a language and the manifestation of prominence.