LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts

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EISSN : 2377-3367
Published by: Linguistic Society of America (10.3765)
Total articles ≅ 242
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Hannah Sande
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6, pp 24-1-5; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3017

Abstract:
Based on original field data, I demonstrate that in Guébie (Kru, Niger-Congo), third person pronouns phonologically resemble their antecedents. This system, along with other phonologically determined agreement systems, pose problems for our traditional Y-model of grammar, which assumes that phonological features are not present in the syntax (cf. DM, Marantz 1995), thus morphosyntactic processes like agreement should not be able to access phonological features. Here I address the question of whether phonologically determined agreement systems can be modeled without requiring syntax to be sensitive to phonological features. To do this I argue that pronouns select for an NP complement (cf. Elbourne 2001), where the pronoun enters into an agree relation with its NP complement. When spelled out, the morphologically agreeing heads must be phonologically similar, and this overt agreement licenses ellipsis of the NP.
Yuki Ito
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3003

Abstract:
Based on the contrast between the believe-class and the wager-class verbs, Pesetsky (1992) makes a generalization that agentive verbs do not allow ECM (the Agent/ECM Correlation). However, he notes two classes of exceptions to the generalization. I argue that the two classes of exceptions can be uniformly treated as causatives and that the Agent/ECM Correlation can be seen as an instance of the broader l-syntax finding that “not all internal arguments are created equal”–with agentive activity verbs the root selects an internal argument, but not with change-of-state verbs (Basilico 1998, Hale and Keyser 2002, Alexiadou and Schäfer 2011, Cuervo 2014).
Janis Nuckolls
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3015

Abstract:
Our paper seeks to clarify the interrelations between ideophones and gestures in the Pastaza dialect of Ecuadorian Quichua. We argue that in some instances there is a very straightforward semantic relationship between ideophones and gestures, especially when they depict visually observable motion. In other instances, it’s necessary to consider not only the interrelations between ideophones and gestures, but between ideophones, verbs and gestures, because the ideophone and its gesture are specifying the manner of a verb’s motion, or an image of the verb’s action as ongoing, or accomplished and complete. Gestures, therefore, not only illustrate ideophones’ meanings, but also tie those meanings together with a verb’s grammatical and semantic specifications.
Bum-Sik Park, Hyosik Kim
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3005

Abstract:
◊ Korean FAs with/without their morphological markers can be captured by ellipsis approach.◊ The presence and absence of trouble makers encoded with offending *s determines the acceptability of FAs.◊ The proposed analysis extends to the variability of postposition-stranding and a certain asymmetry in island-violating fragments.
Polly O'rourke, Gregory Colflesh
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6, pp 17-1-5; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3008

Abstract:
1. Introduction. Research using the event-related potential (ERP) technique has provided many important insights into the neural mechanisms associated with language comprehension. The integration of lexico-semantic information is associated with an increased centro-parietal negativity between 300-500 ms known as the N400 (Kutas & Federmeier, 2011; Kutas & Hillyard 1980). Morphosyntactic integration is associated with an early left anterior negativity (LAN) maximal around 200-500 ms, followed by a late posterior positivity (P600) maximal between 500 and 800 ms (see Kutas, Van Petten & Kluender (2005) for review). The P600, in absence of early negativity, is also elicited by well-formed sentences that present increased difficulty due to temporary ambiguity (i.e. garden-paths; Gouvea, Phillips, Kazanina & Poeppel, 2010; Osterhout, Holcomb & Swinney, 1994). The use of ERP as a means of indexing the different neural mechanisms associated with language processing is contingent on the assumption that all neurologically normal, native speakers show consistent responses to sentence stimuli such that the grand averaged ERPs reflect effects that are manifest uniformly across individuals. This notion was recently challenged by Tanner and Van Hell (2014). In their innovative study, they showed that, although in the grand mean syntactic violations elicited a classic biphasic LAN/P600 response, most participants either showed an N400 or a P600 rather than a biphasic response. Given the topographical distribution of the effects for each group, they concluded that the LAN often found for syntactic violations in grand mean analyses is the result of the distributed negativity in some subjects being neutralized or minimized by the right lateralized positivity in the others such that only the left anterior negativity remains. Response dominance did not, however, predict acceptability judgment accuracy, nor did it correlate with measures of working memory (WM) and executive control. The individual differences in N400/P600 response dominance observed by Tanner and Van Hell (2014) lead to interesting questions regarding other contexts which tend to elicit these potentials. Garden-path sentences are known to elicit P600 effects in absence of early effects but there is some variability (Friederici, Mecklinger, Spencer, Steinhauer & Donchin, 2001; Gouvea et al., 2010; Horberg, Koptjevskaja-Tamm & Kallionen, 2013; Matzke, Mai, Nager, Russeler & Munte, 2002; Vos, Gunter, Schriefers & Friederici, 2001). This variablity could suggest the possibility of individual differences in response profiles, as Tanner and Van Hell (2014) found for syntactic violations. One known source of variability in garden-path effects for both P600s and comprehension accuracy is working memory capacity (WMC). High WMC individuals show greater P600 effects for garden-path sentences compared to low WMC individuals (Friederici, Steinhauer, Mecklinger, & Meyer, 1998). High WMC individuals also show reduced garden-path effects in comprehension accuracy such that they have better comprehension accuracy for garden-paths (Just & Carpenter, 1992). Lower comprehension accuracy in low WMC individuals indicates they are more likely to arrive at “Good Enough” interpretations (Ferreira, Bailey & Ferraro, 2002) in which the faithful interpretation of the sentence is not adopted. In the current study we applied the RDI analysis to the ERPs associated with garden-path sentences in order to determine (1) if participants’ N400/P600 dominance for garden-path sentences will fall into a continuum such that there will be a continuous distribution of N400 and P600 effect magnitudes with negative correlations between them, (2) if response dominance will predict comprehension accuracy, and (3), if so, is that effect reducible to individual differences in WMC. 2. Methods.2.1. Participants. Data were collected from 62 right handed participants, 25 of which were excluded due to eligibility issues, technical issues, noncompliance, or excessive artifacts. As a result, 37 participants (20 female) between the ages of 18 and 35 (M = 21.6, SD = 3.21) were included in the analysis. All participants were right-handed, neurologically normal, native speakers of English with normal or corrected-to-normal vision, and none had had started learning a second language before age 12.2.2. Sentence Stimuli This experiment used the same control and garden-path sentences as O’Rourke & Colflesh (2014) (based on Gouvea et al., 2010). See sentences (1) and (2) for examples of garden-path and control sentences, respectively.The patient met the doctor and the nurse with the white dress showed the chart during the meeting.The patient met the doctor while the nurse with the white dress showed the chart during the meeting.There were 36 sentences per condition and an additional 288 sentences including fillers and conditions not presented herein. Fifty percent of the sentences were followed by a yes/no comprehension question. 2.3. Complex Span Tasks. As indices of WMC, three complex span tasks were used in the current study: reading span (Daneman & Carpenter, 1980; Unsworth, Heitz, Schrock & Engle, 2005), operation span (Unsworth, et al., 2005), and symmetry span (Unsworth, Redick, Heitz, Broadway, & Engle, 2009). In the reading span task participants were presented with a series of sentences and asked to indicate, via button press, if the sentence they read made sense. After each sentence they were then presented with a letter that they were to remember for later recall. At the end of the sequence, they had to recall the letters in serial order. Their score reflects the total number of letters recalled in the correct serial position out of a total of 75 items. Operation span was identical to reading span as described above except instead of making sense judgments on sentences, participants had to read math...
Teresa O'neill
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3018

Abstract:
This paper offers a new analysis of so-called tense ‘harmony’ in specificational pseudoclefts (Higgins 1979; Sharvit 2003; Romero 2004). I take a referential approach to tense, where tenses relate two time pronominals: Topic Time (TT, Klein 1994) and Reference Time (RT) (Utterance Time, UT, in main clauses). Although binding between either UT or matrix Event Time (ET) and embedded RT derives the interpretations of most embedded tenses, binding cannot fully account for embedded tenses in specificational pseudoclefts.I propose that Topic Time coreference derives puzzling restrictions on embedded tenses in pseudoclefts in languages both with and without sequence of tenses (SOT).
Sarah Ouwayda, Ur Shlonsky
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3019

Abstract:
Novel observations show Cinque’s (2005) phrasal movement proposal makes correct predictions on the grammaticality of word orders in Lebanese Arabic noun phrases. Adding an adjective yields grammatical orders Cinque (2005) cannot derive. We show that assuming an additional merge position—either for demonstratives or for numerals—derives the orders without losing Cinque’s typological predictions, and we present evidence favoring an additional numeral position.
Janet H. Randall
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3023

Abstract:
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, , Ianthi Maria Tsimpli
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.3046

Abstract:
Focusing on the discourse conditions that license the use of null subjects (pro) in Greek and Italian, this paper shows that the distribution of referring expressions (RE, e.g., overt and null pronoun, clitic, definite description, etc.) does not only depend on the referents’ discourse status (alias accessibility). Syntactic constraints play an important role too.
Nagarajan Selvanathan
LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.2993

Abstract:
Specificational copular clauses, in one school of thought, are considered to be inverted predications from an underlying small clause (Moro 1997, Mikkelsen 2004, den Dikken 2006 etc). One aspect of specificational copualr clauses that is often neglected is the fact that such clauses have a unique information structure profile in requiring an obligatorily focused post-copular constituent. In this extended abstract, I argue that the reason for this does not lie in movement of the pre-copular phrase to a topic position (as argued by Mikkelsen 2004) but rather because of movment of the post-copular phrase to a clause internal FocP (a position argued for independently by Jayaseelan 1999 a.o). I provide data from Tamil scrambling facts in support of this.
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