SKY Journal of Linguistics, vol. 15:2002
Abstracts SKY:n sivuille

Marija M. Brala:
The Semantics and Grammar of ‘Motion'. Evidence from Croatian Prefixes vs. Prepositions.

Departing from Talmy's (1975, 1985) findings relative to the typological contrast in the lexicalisation of motion events, this paper explores the lexical patterns of a series of Croatian motion verbs and their subcategorisation requirements. While some of Talmy's findings are reinforced, others are challenged. In particular, we focus on Talmy's satellites and the long standing view that Slavic prefixes express Aspect. We propose a revised reading of these particles, whereby Aktionsart is put forward as the core semantic element lexicalised by Slavic prefixes. In the final part of the paper, we relate the findings stemming from the analysis of the Croatian prefixed motion verbs to a set of English dynamic prepositions, and suggest that the English preposition ‘to' conflates the Aktionsart element of a second or ‘target state' within the TT. This, in turn, yields a more complete understanding of the concept of motion. Since the elements proposed in this paper are viewed as shared between language and other sub-systems of human cognition, all the hypotheses put forward should, if correct, be valid crosslinguistically.

Magdalena Charzyñska-Wójcik:
The Syntax of Old English Experiencer Verbs

The paper offers a new classification of the syntactic frames OE Experiencer verbs can appear in. The characteristics of individual construction types seen against the background of the variation exhibited by individual verbs found in them allow us to propose that the fifteen attested structures are in fact only variants of three basic types. The discussion reveals that OE clausal arguments are Case-marked in the same way as NP arguments. A further observation is that OE lexicon is relatively insensitive to category distinction but sensitive to Case.

Kimmo Granqvist:
Finnish Romani Phonology and Dialect Geography

In this paper, I will provide a short sketch of the Finnish Romani phonology, including the vowel system, the consonant inventory, phonotactics, the most crucial phonological processes, syllable structure, and to some extent, the suprasegmentals. Moreover, I will present some guidelines of the dialect geography. The focus is also on the influence of the contact languages on the phonological structure of Finnish Romani, in particular the Finnish effect that manifests itself especially in the form of several articulatory reduction rules. The paper is mainly based on a 140,000-word corpus of Finnish Romani, collected by the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, mostly during the years 2000 and 2001.

Ekaterina Gruzdeva:
The Linguistic Consequences of Nivkh Language Attrition

The paper outlines various changes that have occurred in Nivkh as a result of language attrition. Nivkh (Paleosiberian, isolate) is heavily endangered, and is being currently replaced by Russian, which totally dominates in all spheres of communication. After a discussion of political and social factors relevant Nivkh obsolescence, the paper considers a number of linguistic features that have been disrupted in consequence of language decay, such as: (a) loss of specific lexical items, (b) simplification of language devices used for spatial deixis, (b) elimination of contrast between velar and uvular consonants, (d) collapse of some morphophonological alternations, (e) changes in the use of some locative cases, (f) radical reduction in the elaborated system of cardinal numerals, (g) loss of first person pronominal and imperative dual imperative forms. Nivkh data, which are based on the author's own fieldwork, appear to conform to the reasonably well established hypothesis that language obsolescence results in a general simplification and reduction of a language system, especially with regard to the linguistic features which are not shared by Nivkh and the dominant Russian language.

Jarmo Jantunen:
Comparable Corpora in Translation Studies: Strengths and Limitations

This article deals with the advantages and limitations of so-called comparable corpora in Translation Studies. Comparable corpora are text collections in two separate subsets in the same language: one subcorpus consists of non-translated (original) material in language A, and the other consists of translations produced into the same language. This article will focus on phenomena such as representativeness, objectivity, applications in translation training and translators' work as well as linguistic approaches in translation studies. Two translational corpora, namely the Translational English Corpus (TEC) and the Corpus of Translated Finnish (CTF), are studied as examples of corpora that have already been used in analyses in the field of Corpus-based Translation Studies.
Keywords: Corpus-based Translation Studies, Translational English Corpus, Corpus of Translated Finnish, comparable corpus, representativeness

Juhani Järvikivi & Jussi Niemi:
Allomorphs as paradigm indices: On-line experiments with Finnish free and bound stems

Two masked priming experiments investigated the role of stem allomorphs and the status of the nominative singular in lexical processing of Finnish inflected nouns. The results show that, first, free standing allomorphs significantly prime the corresponding nominative singular, e.g., saappaa-saapas. Second, the results also show, that inflected nouns, e.g., sudelle, are equally strongly primed by the nominative singular, susi, than by an inflected form with a different stem, e.g., sutta. We will argue that the stem allomorphs are separately represented at the form level and that the nominative singular does not enjoy a special status vis-à-vis other stem forms. The results are discussed in a decompositional framework that assumes separate levels of modality specific form representation and abstract lemma representation.
Key words: Finnish, morphology, allomorph, processing

William McGregor:
Structural Changes in Language Obsolescence: A Kimberley (Australia) Perspective

This paper discusses structural changes in three obsolescent languages from the Kimberley region in the far north-west of Australia, Gooniyandi, Nyulnyul, and Warrwa. The changes — which are all comparable with changes attested in language obsolescence situations elsewhere in Australia and the world — include a few quite restricted phonological changes, and some more obvious morphological, syntactic, and lexical changes. These are mainly processes of simplification — losses of forms and levelling of systemic distinctions; also discernible is remodelling of systems bringing them closer to the systems of the dominant language. The range and extent of changes differs amongst the three languages, correlating with the different synchronic and diachronic conditions of the language obsolescence situations.

Helka Riionheimo:
How to Borrow a Bound Morpheme? Evaluating the Status of Structural Interference in a Contact between Closely-related Languages

This article has a twofold aim: firstly, to evaluate on the basis of a structural analysis of language contact data whether the observed Estonian-based pattern is gaining an integrated status in immigrant Ingrian Finnish, and secondly, to discuss the ways in which morphological borrowing may occur between languages. It is concluded that the use of the pattern probably exemplifies a mixing of the two morphological systems during speech processing rather than represents a permanently borrowed feature. It also becomes evident that applying the intermediate categories proposed for lexical borrowing (viz. code-mixing and nonce borrowing) is problematic, and it is suggested that the intermediate stage between code-switching and structural borrowing may be termed code-blending. All in all, the article shows that grammatical borrowing and its mechanisms differ from lexical borrowing and ought to be investigated in their own right.

Pauli Salo:
Lexical Atomism and the Principle of (Psycho)semantic Compositionality

What is the constitution of meaning of morphemes (lexical concepts)? Most theories conjecture that they are constituted by molecular or holistic internal structure: prototypes, exemplars, semantic networks, complex schemata, scripts or even classical definitions. Recently, however, a growing opposition has arisen in cognitive science claiming that psychological evidence suggests rather the opposite, namely, that lexical concepts are not internally structured, but that they are primitive unstructured atoms. I will examine these claims in this paper, arguing that such an atomistic hypothesis might indeed be a more plausible alternative.

Nikolai Vakhtin:
Language Death Prognosis: A Critique of Judgement

The present paper analyzes and challenges the ability of linguists to judge about the degree of language endangerment. It demonstrates that our prognostications about language obsolescence, although they may be true, are not necessarily true due to certain characteristics of the sources of the data on perceived linguistic vitality crucial for diagnosing language attrition. The information about language circumstances is based on one of the three sources of data: claims by the speakers; observations by the scholars; and statements by indigenous scholars. Each of the three sources of information contains a trap that makes the data difficult to rely upon. Claims by the speakers are determined by the situation in the language community. In a language shift situation characteristics of linguistic proficiency in many cases reflects not the actual language proficiency, but rather the person's position on the generation scale and community expectations concerning language proficiency determined by age. Observations by the researcher are determined by the current theoretical paradigm, in the core of which there lies the concept of language attrition. Scholars observing and reporting language loss reflect, to some extent, not so much the real processes but rather their own expectations determined by the theoretical paradifm. Finally, statements by indigenous scholars often combine both tendencies. Prognostications made on the basis of these sources are thus far from trustworthy.

Doris Wagner:
Papier-Bier: Adjektive zur Beschreibung des Bieres in der deutschen Bierplakat-Werbung

This paper analyses adjectives used to describe beer in advertising. The corpus used consists of about 1600 German posters advertising beer; all adjectives were analysed, those in the headline as well as those in the slogan. Beer is assumed to be a very central part of German culture. This thesis is supported by the existence of a very large number of proverbs and phrases connected with beer. Today about 1200 breweries produce about 5000 different kinds of beer. What are the strategies used when advertising beer? Which qualities of the beer are emphasized? On the basis of the adjectives – they are above all related to the taste or the colour of the beer – some conclusions concerning German beer culture can be drawn. The long tradition of brewing, the existence of monastery breweries, the many different types of beer, regional differences and stereotypes, all of these different aspects ar reflected in the choice of adjectives. The intended group of consumers and their way of living is also reflected in the use of adjectives, but you can also notice an attempt to get away from the image of beer as a cheap drink for the masses and to make it socially more acceptable.

|SKY homepage | |