Fall 2011 Linguistics Program Colloquia
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Featuring Presenters and Topics:
- Kahn, Sarah. 2011.
The Spanish Third Person Pronoun. WWU Linguistics Program Colloquium: Bellingham, Wa (Mentor: Dr. Shaw Gynan)
The third person pronoun in Spanish has multiple meanings.It is used for true reflexives (esta mañana me bañé 'this morning I took a bath'), passive reflexives (se inundó la casa 'the house was flooded'), and impersonal agents (se ayuda a los pobres 'the poor are helped'). The relationship of the third person pronoun to the argument structure of the verb will be analyzed. Of special interest is the so-called "inherent reflexive," which has no direct translation into English. It will be demonstrated that the argument structure of inherent reflexives is different than that of English and related to the issue of why reflexive verbs do not accept direct objects. An example of this is me quejé de la comida 'I complained about the food.' Whereas the English verb 'complain' assigns only two arguments, which are the agent/experiencer and the theme, in Spanish three arguments are assigned by the verb quejarse. These are the agent, the experiencer, and the theme. Since both verbs involve experience, the form of the theme cannot be a direct object, but instead is realized as a prepositional phrase in both languages.
- Kamana, Remina. 2011. Expressing the concept of 'love' in Japanese and English. WWU Linguistics Program Colloquium: Bellingham, Wa (Mentor: Dr. Ed Vajda)
According to cognitive linguist, Lera Boroditsky, “The languages we speak affect our perceptions of the world” (Scientific America. 2011). In other words, every language has different way of conceptualizing various ideas such as time, space, and even color terms. In addition to these basic cognitive concepts, I also believe that the concept of “love”, which is more abstract but universal, and is perceived and interpreted very differently among different cultures. Therefore, I will compare and contrast how the meaning and interpretation of the universal notion of “love” varies in different cultures by focusing on the English phrase “I love you” and Japanese phrase “愛して る” meaning “I love you” in terms of its frequency, who the receiver is, employed settings, and its intended meaning and interpretation.
- Payne, Melanie. 2011.
The Problem of Wintu
. WWU Linguistics Program Colloquium: Bellingham, Wa (Mentor: Dr. Anne Lobeck)
Wintu is an agglutinating, polysynthetic language. In my research on Wintu, I came across difficulties in determining the syntactic structure of this language using X-bar theory, a theory of phrase structure based on analytic, rather than polysynthetic analytic languages. X-bar theory depends on a distinction between subject and predicate, but in Wintu, as in other polysynthetic languages, this distinction is not obvious. Rather than discard X-bar theory as a universal, I hypothesize (following Baker 1988 and Gerdts 1998) that all languages do in fact follow the x-bar schema, but only underlying, not always as a surface structure. Supporting this hypothesis is Incorporation Theory; I go on to explain incorporation and the Mirror Principle (of Baker 1985). The Mirror Principle explains how languages that do not seem to conform to the X-bar theory on the surface actually have underlying morphological derivations that supply the same structure as syntactic derivations.
- Koch, Dylan. 2011.
Ideological Generation: an Excursion in Evidentiality.
WWU Linguistics Program Colloquium: Bellingham, Wa (Mentor: Dr. Janet Xing)
Epistemic particles in Standard Tibetan are used to signify the source – or lack of source – of the utterance. The modal /rεʕ/ marks a statement as a rather obvious assumption most listeners within a nonspecific context should understand or as historic fact outside the realm of contextual manipulation. The modal /jĩn/ suggests either that the proposition is a personal knowledge privy only to the speaker or that the speaker has an ulterior motive in conveying the utterance. To analyze these particles, I examine the speech of Tibetan newscasters on various online news sources. Because the news media serve essentially as information distribution centers, the choice of these particles should be more deliberate than in regular speech styles. I examine which particles are deployed in news reports and discuss how they frame the reported event. I use a quantitative analysis to identify the ideological pattern they present.
- In order for students to be eligible to present at any WWU student colloquium, they must complete and submit a colloquium guidelines form, returning it to Dr. Edward Vajda.
- You are encouraged to present some work that you have already done for one of your linguistics classes, many of which include a paper, project, or presentation as one of the requirements.
- Presentations may be by individuals or small groups.
- Presentations should be approximately 10 minutes (per group or individual) with 5 minutes for questions. (Sometimes we adjust this slightly depending on the total number of presenters.)
- When you think you might have a topic, choose a linguistics faculty member as a mentor. This person will help you with the format of your presentation, handouts, overheads, multimedia setup, etc.
- We can arrange for practice talks, especially if some presenters have not already or recently presented the material in another class. Talk with Dr. Edward Vajda about this.
- If you plan to present this quarter, notify Dr. Edward Vajda of your intention to present.
All linguistics majors are required to give a presentation of some of their work before graduation. You may present any quarter. This is a chance for all of us - students and faculty - to get together and to share knowledge, food, and drink. It also gives you a chance to practice giving a real live linguistics talk, just like real live linguists do. So, here are some guidelines: