October 27, 2014

Research Groups: Friday, October 31

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Language Variation and Change Group
Silvia Dal Negro (Free University of Bozen): "Dealing with multilingual data: The making of a corpus in South Tyrol."

After a short introduction to the sociolinguistic situation of South Tyrol (North-East of Italy), the aims, methodology and results of a research project on bilingual speech will be dealt with. In the presentation I will focus in particular on patterns of language distribution in a spoken corpus encompassing Tyrolean (German) dialect, Italian and Trentino dialect.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Phonology Research Group
Alexei Kochetov: "Phonetics of Dravidian retroflexes: Insights into phonological patterning and the linguistic prehistory of South Asia."

Dravidian retroflexes are peculiar in being phonetically more 'extreme' (retracted) and historically more archaic than in other languages of South Asia. Phonologically, retroflexes exhibit particular edge effects (positional restrictions and assimilatory directionality) unusual for other coronal consonants. This talk examines dynamic and spatial aspects of retroflex production in Kannada (South Dravidian) exploring phonetic sources and the development of the common phonological patterns. Articulography and ultrasound imaging data collected from 10 speakers of the language reveal that retroflex gestures are complex and asymmetric, being more distinct at their onset than the offset, and thus strikingly parallel to the phonological edge effects. Phonetic types and phonological patterns of retroflexion are further discussed in light of recent findings of molecular genetic studies of South Asian populations.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Syntax/Semantics Squib Section
Round-table discussion led by Nick Welch of issues relating to the structure of the left periphery, particularly questions that arise in diagnosing the position functional heads in head-final languages. Everyone welcome, regardless of background!

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