November 3, 2014

Research Groups: Friday, November 7

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Psycholinguistics Group
Danielle Moed: "Is the pan without eggs the same as the empty pan? How types of modifiers affect choice of referring expression and memory."

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Syntax/Semantics Group
Elizabeth Cowper: ""More about 'have': This talk might have a new analysis in it."

As the title suggests, this talk discusses work in progress. Building on earlier work by Brunson and Cowper (1992), and more recent work by Bjorkman and Cowper (2013), I propose a new analysis of sentences like those in (1).
(1) The tree has a bird's nest in it.
(2) The garden has had many flowers planted in it.
I argue that 'have' spells out a peripheral applicative head (Kim 2011) above Event, the head hosting viewpoint aspect, and that the subject merges in the specifier of the applicative head before moving to spec/T. The applicative head assigns an affected interpretation to its specifier. This account correctly predicts a) the interactions between 'have' and the spellout of other auxiliaries in the clause, and b) the special meaning associated with the construction.  I will conclude with some speculations on why the pronouns in (1) and (2) cannot be replaced with anaphors.

Brunson, Barbara, and Elizabeth Cowper. 1992. "On the topic of 'have'." TWPL.
Bjorkman, Bronwyn, and Elizabeth Cowper. 2013. "Inflectional shells and the syntax of causative 'have'." CLA Proceedings.
Kim, Kyumin. 2011. "External Argument Introducers." Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Fieldwork Group
Chris Harvey: "Custom wiki-based databases for integrating a small corpus, a lexicon, and a grammar."

In working with the dormant language Mahican, I've tried to organize my work so that each aspect of my research 'talks' with the other aspects. In digging through the corpus, I've found things I'd like to take note of, e.g. interesting inflectional phenomena, derivation of stems, occurrences of unusual sentence structure. These were all noted on whatever scrap of paper was at hand, but it was difficult to consolidate all the information into something usable.

As a means of managing the data, I created a wiki – which has, over time, evolved into a proper database. Now I can do things like:

a) Find all words with the derivational root /htĘŚm/
b) List all the sentences which have subordinative mood
c) Compare what I think 3sg.independent.indicative should be with all the instances of 3sg.independent.indicative in the corpus.

It has since expanded to work with Dene languages, which led to a user-friendlying of the interface.

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