linguistics

Seminar Series: "A Preliminary Investigation of Overlapping Talk in Peer Interaction: Implications for CA-for-SLA Research"

When more than one person talks simultaneously, overlaps happen. Overlapping talk is a ubiquitous phenomenon found in any speech exchange systems (cf., Schegloff, 2000). However, when it comes to the second language acquisition (SLA) research, overlapping talk has seldom been taken up as an object of investigation.

In this presentation, I will present my preliminary investigation of overlapping talk observed during pair work activities in elementary Japanese language classrooms at a U.S. university. The data come from a corpus of 67 video-recorded pair work cases. A conversation-analytic (CA) framework is used to closely examine the occurrences of overlapping talk on a turn-by-turn basis.

By drawing on the ‘unusual’ characteristics of overlapping talk found in the database, I will discuss whether or not these pair work activities afford opportunities for SLA.

Through this presentation, I would also like to discuss how CA, established by sociologists, such as Harvey Sacks and Emanuel Schegloff, can be applied to the analysis of L2 interaction data in order to advance our understanding of the SLA process.

Date: 
Friday, April 22, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
W.T. Young Library 2-34A (Active Learning Classroom)
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Seminar Series: "Fue muerto: Suppletion in Spanish Analytic Passives"

This presentation details a case study of two competing participles of the Spanish verb matar ‘to kill’ (matado/muerto ‘killed/dead’). I provide quantitative data from corpora of modern Spanish that show that muerto ‘dead’ is the preferred form for matar in passive periphrastics. The use of the participle muerto (from the infinitive morir ‘to die’) in the paradigm of matar has long been considered a textbook example of verbal suppletion in Romance; however, I offer an alternate explanation. The objective of this analysis is to demonstrate that these two participles are best considered to be allomorphs of the same archimorpheme /to die/. The general premise of my claim is that agentivity determines the distribution of forms: an agentive reading triggers the participle matado, while a non-agentive reading triggers muerto. The nature of this particular instance of verbal allomorphy provides insight into the origins and maintenance of irregular verbal forms in language.

Date: 
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
Alumni Gallery (W.T. Young Library)
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Seminar Series: "Trails and Tribulations: Chatino conceptions of the dead"

The Chatino people from Oaxaca, Mexico, believe that the departed begin a new life that is parallel to the world of the living, known in the Chatino language as JlyaG.  In order to reach JlyaG, therecently departed must traverse on a treacherous path that goes through mountains, rivers, and towns. Jlya is a metaphysical place that corresponds to an actual location in our plane of existence found towards the northern part of the Chatino region in the municipality of Zenzontepec (coordinates 16° 32′ 0″ N, 97° 30′ 0″ W). 

Prayers, stories, myths, place, and performance are crucial elements in the practice and belief of the Chatino concept of the dead. In the Chatino town of San Marcos Zacatepec, when an adult dies, family members call an expert to perform a speech called TiA SuA KnaA or ‘prayer to the dead.’ The TiA SuA KnaA is recited at the dead person’s wake. The goal of the speech is to guide the dead through the trail of the dead and to encourage them not to come back and taunt their family members, friends, and community members either by showing up in individual’s dreams or appearing as a ghost quB tiqE.

The departed also need to demonstrate endurance, agility, and artistic skills. For example, when they reach a place called SaA tqenA, located in the town of Cieneguilla, San Juan Quiahije (coordinates 16.3000° N, 97.3167° W), the dead have to dance. The dead men, in addition to dancing, must whistle or sing. Women only have to dance. Hence, Chatinos believe that artistic abilities such as dancing, whistling, and singing must be learned and practiced during the course of a person’s lifetime. This presentation will discuss these aspects of Chatino conceptions of the dead and describe the verbal art of the rituals involved as the recently dead move on to JlyaG.

Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
Niles Gallery (Fine Arts Library)
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"LingoFest" - free hands-on activity day introducing linguistics to primary and secondary school students.

See the website

Date: 
Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Location: 
Funkhouser Building.
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Compressed Course: "Mapping Variation: An Introduction to the Use of Geospatial Tools for Linguistic Analysis" (A&S 500-003)

This one-week, one-credit compressed course focuses on mapping variation through the use of geospatial tools like GIS.  The course, offered as A&S 500-003, will take place from November 9-13 from 5-8pm each day in the Oliver Raymond Building, room C226.  As a 500-level course, it is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Dr. Montgomery's research investigates ways of integrating techniques used in geography with those traditionally used in dialectology.  His specific focus in the use of GIS technologies is innovative in the field of linguistics, and his presence on UK's campus will expose the community here to some of the most recent endeavors in these kinds of digital humanities research methodologies.  Despite a focus in linguistic variation, this class will present methods that could be applied to many of the social sciences and humanities, wherein the questions deal with societal patterns, variations in those patterns, and the geospatial presentation and analysis of data related to those patterns.  If you have any questions about this course, please contact Dr. Jennifer Cramer (jennifer.cramer@uky.edu).

Date: 
Monday, November 9, 2015 - 5:00pm to Friday, November 13, 2015 - 8:00pm
Location: 
Oliver H Raymond Building, Room C226
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Public Lecture: "The role of perception in the 'creation' of dialect areas"

Date: 
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: 
UKAA Auditorium (W.T. Young Library)
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Seminar Series: "Proximity, boundaries, and cultural prominence: The perception of dialects in Great Britain"

Date: 
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
W.T. Young Library 2-34A
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Public Lecture: "The Basque Language and People – intriguing origins, complex context"

Basque, a minority language spoken in a region straddling the border between Northeastern Spain and Southwestern France, has fascinated linguists and nonlinguists alike for centuries. Part of the mystique surrounding the language is the perception that it is an 'old language': it is an isolate with no demonstrable genealogical relationship with any other language, and has been spoken in the Basque Country for over 2,000 years, a surprising fact given its minority status. This puzzlement about Basque has led many to look for connections to languages spoken in places as far apart from the Basque Country and each other as the Caucasus, India, and North America, or to claim that Basque is the remnant of a language family that was spoken in a much larger area than it is now.

One of the goals of this talk is to demystify Basque, concentrating on a fact often overlooked by those not familiar with the language, namely, that it has been in continuous contact with other languages, especially with Latin and its descendant Romance languages for the last 2,000 years or so. This contact situation has had profound effects, both on the language itself and on its social status, as well as on our scholarly understanding of the structure of the language. On the one hand, the study of the influence that Latin and Romance languages have had on Basque has been one of the main tools that have allowed Basque linguists to elucidate certain aspects of the structure of the language as it was spoken about 2,000 years ago, a scholarly accomplishment that would probably not have been possible if Basque hadn't been in such a contact situation. On the other hand, it would be impossible to understand the current situation of Basque as a minority language without an understanding of its relation to the majority languages spoken in the Basque Country (Spanish and French).

Date: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: 
UKAA Auditorium (W.T. Young Library)
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Public Lecture: "The Romani People and Their European Context"

Although the Romani language originated in India, it took its definitive shape in Europe. In this sense, the Romani people are as European as many other peoples who arrived in Europe during the Middle Ages, such as the Hungarians. This lecture will discuss the history and cultures of the Romani people and their place in discourses of Europe and nationhood.

Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: 
UKAA Auditorium (W.T. Young Library)
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Public Lecture: "Celtic Languages in Historical and Contemporary Perspective"

From the mystique of the Arthurian Romances with its knights, swords and Camelot, to the scenes of contemporary Neo-Druids holding their white-robed ceremonies at Stonehenge, or the macabre images of the Wicker man, burning to propitiate the ancient gods, the Celts have about them an aura of the mysterious, the romantic, the sinister. Even among linguists the Celtic languages have something of a reputation for being "exotic" with their strange word orders and initial consonant mutations. Yet the current social status and future prospects of the Celtic languages are far less romantic and exotic, for indeed, like many or even most of the minority languages of the planet, the Celtic languages are all endangered, to one degree or another, as their speakers embrace a present and future that looks more successful through the lens of English or French. In this talk we will explore some of this ground together, from the record of the Celts in Antiquity to the current position of their languages as endangered languages of western Europe.

Date: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: 
J.F. Hardymon Theater (Davis Marksbury Building)
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