Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1606-822X / 2309-5067
Published by: John Benjamins Publishing Company (10.1075)
Total articles ≅ 239
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Latest articles in this journal

Scholastica Wai Sze Lam
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 72-115;

This paper is a study of how deaf children in Hong Kong acquire Chinese relative clauses. The relative clause is reported to be a difficult structure for deaf children (Friedmann & Szterman 2006). While it may be true for postnominal relative clauses, it is unclear whether prenominal relative clauses are equally difficult for deaf children. This paper explores this question by examining deaf children’s comprehension and production of Chinese relative clauses via an elicited production task, a picture selection task and a dots-connecting task, which are all presented in written format. In addition to deaf children, typically developing Cantonese children and Cantonese adults with high Chinese proficiency are also recruited for comparison. The results show that deaf children fall behind typically developing Cantonese children in production. But deaf children with higher Chinese proficiency can perform similarly with typically developing Cantonese children. The error types and the types of non-RC responses produced by deaf children are also present in the data of typically developing Cantonese children, suggesting that deaf children do not undergo a different pathway in the development of relative clauses. While typically developing Cantonese children demonstrate non-significant subject advantage in production but object advantage in comprehension, deaf children do not demonstrate subject-object asymmetry in production and object advantage in comprehension.
Robert Blust
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 177-200;

The Kenyah languages of central Borneo form a distinct unit within the North Sarawak group of Austronesian languages. In northern Sarawak there is a well-defined contrast between types that have been called ‘Highland Kenyah’ and ‘Lowland Kenyah’. A key difference between these sets of closely-related languages is the reflexes of Proto-North Sarawak/Proto-Kenyah *b, *d, *j, *g and *bh, *dh, *jh, *gh, which are distinguished (usually as b, d, j, g vs. p, t, c, k) in Highland Kenyah, but show a complex set of innovations in some varieties of Lowland Kenyah. The most striking of these changes in the dialect spoken by the Lebu’ Vu’ Kenyah at Long Sela’an and Long Ikang, and the Long Tikan Kenyah at Long San, is the shift of voiced aspirates to phonetic implosives that were generalized to the reflexes of *b, *d, *j, *g as final syllable onsets, leading to merger of the two series. Because it was conditioned, this merger produced complementation between [b]/[ɓ], [ɟ]/[ʄ], and [g]/[ɠ] (*d lenited before implosion was generalized, preventing merger). Most remarkably, the reduction of Proto-Kenyah nasal-obstruent clusters in these dialects has begun to produce new instances of [ɟ] and [g], but not [b] and [d], creating contrastive implosives only at palatal and velar positions, a reversal of the distributional preference commonly associated with implosive stops in cross-linguistic perspective.
Ting-Chi Wei
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 19, pp 266-305;

This paper argues that fragment question (FQ) in Mandarin Chinese is derived from topic movement and TP deletion, contributing to the growing body of evidence that sentence fragments are syntactically full clauses (Merchant 2004). Structurally, an FQ consists of a topic-like constituent followed by a particle ne, which functions as a topic marker and as a constituent question particle simultaneously. The fragment is argued to move to the SpecTopP rather than SpecFocP (Wei 2013), because FQ exhibits topic properties and respects island effects such as the complex NP island and the adjunct island. However, it is insensitive to islands such as the sentential subject island and left branch condition. We propose that the absence of island effect can be attributed to the pied-piping of the entire topic-like island to the SpecTopP. In addition, the proposed analysis not only captures the ineligible FQs caused by intervention effect within the passive structures but also the eligible FQs induced by preposition drop in the language.
Huibin Zhuang
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 141-176;

Fake attributives in Chinese are the result of the interaction between syntax and prosody. For syntactic reasons, certain objects of complex verbal constructions and verbal quantifiers cannot be realized in situ; but they can be spelled out in some roundabout ways, one of which is to form fake attributives through de-insertion. In the forming process of fake attributives, the clitic de plays an important role, and de-insertion is frequently resorted to in facilitating the correspondence between the phonological structure and the syntactic structure, with the aim of ensuring meaning conveyance. It is concluded that fake attributives are initiated, to some extent, by mismatches between syntactic and phonological structure and derived when de is inserted to enhance their correspondence.
Katia Chirkova, Dehe Wang
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 355-382;

抽象: 本文通過語法問卷和長篇語料收集到的材料,以甘洛縣則拉鄉爾蘇話為例,對爾蘇語體貌系統的主要表達手段及其之間的關係進行了探討。本文確定了爾蘇語體系統的核心部分(即完整體與非完整體的對立)以詞彙和派生手段(動詞和動詞前綴)構成。本文指出爾蘇語較次要體的類型(如經驗體等)依靠語法形式手段(體貌標記)表達。本文發現爾蘇語大多數體標記兼表體與示證的意義。最後,本文分別介紹了體貌系統的主要表達手段和相關語料依據。
Takahiro Higashi, Yunjia Wang
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 430-451;

抽象: 北京話去聲連讀存在前去變成升調的社會變體,對於這種變體的成因,學界的看法不盡相同。本文用個案語音和文本分析的方法對北京話連去變調與詞重音之間的關係進行了研究。首先通過聲學測量和兩個聽辨實驗確定了變調樣本的重音格式,發現前去能夠變為升調的兩字組基本上都是聽感上的後重型。然後通過與若干輕音詞表的對比確認發生前去變調的雙音節詞在北京口語中不存在前重式。文章分析了北京話中兩種去聲變調格式——前去變為升調和後去變為低降調——的形成原因以及詞重音對變調格式的作用。作者認為,連去組合中的兩種變調格式實質上都是在重音保留本調原則、重讀音節同化非重讀音節原則和減少曲折原則的基礎上,相鄰音節音高同化作用的結果,同時,去聲連讀中的順向同化和逆向同化作用間接也說明了北京話的雙音節詞存在前重和後重兩種重音模式。
Robert Blust,
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 577-621;

Beginning with publications in the early 1980s there have been attempts to use syntactic data to determine the highest-order subgroups of Austronesian. These efforts fall into two categories: those which claim that the voice affixes of Philippine-type languages originally had exclusively nominalizing functions, and those which claim that the affixes themselves were innovated after the separation of Rukai from the ancestor of all other Austronesian languages. Although these ideas lay dormant for some years, recently both have been revived in renewed efforts to show that the Austronesian family tree is not ‘rake-like’ in its highest nodes, but shows extensive embedding of subgroups that can be justified by successive layers of syntactic innovations. This paper questions the methodological soundness of both types of arguments on the grounds that they appeal to negative evidence, and logically any such appeal can do no better than reach an inference of indeterminate status rather than the positive conclusions that have been proposed.
, Ao Chen,
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 622-646;

This paper examines the nature of categorical perception (CP) effects in Mandarin and Dutch adult listeners through identification and discrimination tasks using lexical tonal contrasts and through the CP index analysis. In identification tasks, Mandarin listeners identify tones in accordance with their native tonal categories whereas Dutch listeners do so based on acoustic properties. In discrimination tasks, Dutch listeners outperform Mandarin listeners especially in tonal steps on the continuum falling within the Mandarin tonal category boundary, whereas Mandarin listeners display high sensitivity in discrimination of stimuli falling across the native boundary. The CP index analysis shows a higher degree of CP in Mandarin (categorical perception) than in Dutch (psycho-acoustic perception) listeners.
Changsong Wang
Language and Linguistics / 語言暨語言學, Volume 18, pp 647-698;

In this paper, some mysteries and asymmetries of the Chinese potential de construction are investigated. It is shown that a morphosytnactic approach is conducive to accounting for these puzzles. First we explore the possibility of taking de and its negative counterpart -bude as functional heads (cf. Tsai 2001; T. Wu 2004). It is proposed that bude could be a functional head with the negative potential (i.e. impossible/impermissible) meaning. This could be evidenced by both empirical data and theoretical deduction. It is argued that bu in V-bu-R, which is distinct from the normal pre-verbal negative morpheme bu, is actually bude. This helps to explain why the negative potential meaning is involved in V-bu-R. Meanwhile, V-de/bude and V-de/bu-R are both assumed to be formed through Morphological Merger (cf. Marantz 1988; Embick & Noyer 2001, 2007, etc.). Meanwhile, we have discussed some asymmetries observed between V-de/bude and V-de/bu-R and some paradigmatic asymmetries between potential V-de construction and its negative potential V-bude construction. It is assumed that these syntactic asymmetries may be due to some morphological operations related to de and bude.
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