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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Natalia on June 16, 2018, 01:44:15 PM »
Thank you.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Daniel on June 16, 2018, 11:50:04 AM »
Either one. "6th period" is a name, so you can refer to it as just that, and it would be the most natural way to phrase it (at least to my American ears). But "in the 6th period" is a more formal way of expressing it if you are describing how your schedule works, for example, explaining how the time is divided during the day. So you would skip "the" with classmates, but to explain to an outsider unfamiliar with your school's typical schedule, you might say "in the...", but even then it wouldn't be required.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Natalia on June 16, 2018, 11:13:51 AM »
Hello.
When we are talking about the timing of the school day, should I say, e.g.

1. I have biology in the 6th period.
or
2. I have biology in 6th period.

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I'm glad my response was helpful.

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That's what definite literally means-- previously introduced (defined) in the discourse, right?

. Not being a linguist and only being exposed to a small subset of the material I would disagree with this.
I was referring to the etymology of the term: definite means defined, as in established or known from the discourse context. Of course now it's just a technical term not necessarily always meaning (only?) that.

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Definiteness through bridging relations, situational context etc would indicate that previous discourse mention or even activation need not be present for something to be definite. Russell's theory of uniqueness of entity has come under a fair bit of flack by relevance theorists. Powell is an interesting read on this. Happy to modify my views though if you have more thoughts?
There are (at least) two types of definiteness that interact, and can't necessarily be substituted or explained by the other.
1. Established in context (literally "defined"): "I bought a boat. ... then the boat sank."
2. Specificity/uniqueness: "the book on the table", suggesting either there is only one, or it is the obvious one.
The first may sometimes have a sort of anaphoric ('referring back', as in pronouns) sense.

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[Switch-Reference]
Urmmmmm, I am well and truly out of my depth here, but will look this up.
The term "Switch-Reference" is used to refer to when there is a change in subject from one clause to the same, in contrast to maintaining the same subject:
1. He arrived home. He watched a movie. SAME SUBJECT
2. He arrived home. She watched a movie. DIFFERENT SUBJECT

Different languages have different ways of expressing this.

In some languages, there are different endings on the verbs indicating whether the subject of a following clause is the same or different:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch-reference


But that's getting away from the main point I wanted to make:

In languages where subjects are optional (these are called "pro-drop languages" by linguists, sort of an odd term, meaning "pronoun-dropping"), then:
1. When many verbs have the same subject, it is normal to omit repeated pronouns.
2. When pronouns are used, very often they refer to new (different) subjects.
So this means that in general, the use of pronouns is associated with change of reference in the discourse.

Note that this is a somewhat similar situation to what you describe for Greek, but exactly the opposite tendency: pronouns tend to disappear in repeated usage, while you find repeated usage of "ho" when the same referent is mentioned repeatedly.

For the relevant sense related to the use of pronouns, see this reference:
Cameron, Richard. 1995. The scope and limits of switch reference as a constraint on pronominal subject expression. Hispanic LinguisLcs 6/7. 1–27.
And look up various papers citing that one (it's probably the most cited article, though there are many more if you want to read them).

---

Good luck with your research. The proposal sounds interesting, especially investigating those ideas experimentally.

The potential weakness in the argument regarding Relevance Theory, and not necessarily specific to your work, is that it seems equally plausible to come up with the opposite hypothesis for similar reasons also motivated by relevance. This is why I referred to omission of pronouns in same subject contexts above.

Roughly, if the speaker and hearer already know about the subject, then why would we need to reinforce it?

You say the repeated usage somehow highlights its salience, and I can see that. But wouldn't this mean that you could get a contrast between repeated use of salient subjects, versus repeated use of unimportant subjects? Or, if not that, then try to find a way to distinguish these hypotheses.

The experimental results may be helpful in this, depending on how you design the experiment!
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Morphosyntax / What is “Classifying nouns to groups to subject”?
« Last post by giselberga on June 13, 2018, 06:27:30 AM »

Icelandic gender nouns Classify nouns to groups to subject
What is “Classifying nouns to groups to subject”?
I don’t understand it
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Morphosyntax / Minimalist Syntax - Clausal Subjects
« Last post by Morphosyntax on June 13, 2018, 05:53:19 AM »
What is the analysis of sentences with clausal subjects in the MP with regard to movement of a clausal subject to SpecTP (if that’s even where clausal subjects go)?

It is obvious that he is a guy - That he is a guy is obvious
It kills me to see you go - To see you go kills me

Is the clause attracted by an EPP feature on T? I’m not sure about this because, for all I know, an EPP feature only targets DPs. The simplest solution would be to say that clauses have an EPP feature as well. Then again, there are people who say that clausal subjects move to CP.

I’d say the clause moves to SpecTP because if it moved to CP, the expletive would still be the subject. That’s because the clause wouldn’t land in the intermediate TP (constituting an ungrammatical mixed A-A’ chain), so the EPP feature on T would still remain unchecked, enabling the merge of an expletive due to the absence of an actual subject.

Does anyone know of any MP/late P&P literature on clausal subjects.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: Introduction Thread
« Last post by PetitTom on June 13, 2018, 05:29:14 AM »
Greetings! My name is Tom, happy to join this community. I am not graduaded specialist in linguistics, but linguistics represents my favorite hobby. Interested in Romance languages, I am currently learning French, Spanish and Franco-Provençal dialects. Do I want to link my professional activities with linguistics? Maybe, I am not sure at this moment.

But I can say with confidence that I am big lover of languages. I learned French in university for 4 years and also I finished Coursera french online course (level B1). Now I would like to improve my knowledge to B2. 

Thanks for attention and have a nice day!
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Historical Linguistics / Why was norn language extinct?
« Last post by giselberga on June 13, 2018, 04:50:12 AM »
Norn Language was like a old Norse and extinct
Why was norn language extinct?
And Many minor language in UK was extinct?
(Ex: Manx language, Cornish language etc)
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Hi Daniel, thanks for the response. I was wondering whether I had been so incomprehensible that no-one was quite sure what to say!
I agree with the following
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definiteness is at least sometimes anaphoric in discourse
. I am considering looking through one of the smaller biblical books with Matsui's work on bridging relations at some point. This may be able to explain a number of instances with initial arthrous proper noun.

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Someone whose work you might want to consult is Tania Ionin
Thanks

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I don't think that's wrong, but is it necessary? That's what definite literally means-- previously introduced (defined) in the discourse, right?
. Not being a linguist and only being exposed to a small subset of the material I would disagree with this. Definiteness through bridging relations, situational context etc would indicate that previous discourse mention or even activation need not be present for something to be definite. Russell's theory of uniqueness of entity has come under a fair bit of flack by relevance theorists. Powell is an interesting read on this. Happy to modify my views though if you have more thoughts?

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(But compare this to the 'Switch Reference' phenomenon in 'pro-drop' languages, where a subject pronoun is substantially more likely in an introduction instance than in a repeated usage instance, where usually the agreeing verb alone is enough. [This has little to do with the other/older sense of "Switch-Reference" related to verbal morphology, except at the discourse level of same/different subjects.])
Urmmmmm, I am well and truly out of my depth here, but will look this up.

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Whether this is an exception to that or something else depends on how you analyze it, but that literature would be worth looking into. I have a fairly substantial bibliography on it I could send you if you're interested.
If you could send that bibliography over it would be really appreciated. I will see how much money I have at the end of the month and see whether I need to break my bank again.

If you are interested, the below is a more fully fleshed out summary of my thoguhts for this personal study that I posted on a biblical greek board. Thanks for all the comments!

I am considering the use of the definite article in the New Testament. Recently I have been listening to and reading a lot of journal articles as well as reading a number of chapters in books on definiteness and reference. I have also been reading about the use of the definite article in English from a relevance theory procedural meaning perspective.

I have found that a number of treatments of the article in the New Testament don’t really deal with the question of what it means to be definite, I see this as a slight missing. Similarly, many treatments of the article are based on intuition rather than experimental pragmatics, these often deal with default means of reference. Whilst not fully disagreeing that there are default ways of referring, I want to see what underlies these, namely why they became defaults.

I clearly haven’t read everything on the subject, however I have read lots of journal articles, chapters of a number of books on NT linguistics, as well as Wallace’s book and Ronald D. Peters’ PHD dissertation. This is on top of all the grammars I could lay hands on.

I am interested in looking at applying Christopher Lucas’ modification of Hawkins’ work on the use of the definite article (see link below) to the New Testament and also Matsui’s work on bridging in understanding the use of the article. I want to also work through papers on experimental pragmatics looking at processing effort in reference assignment.

https://www.academia.edu/2129603/Defini ... ommodation

My current suppositions with regards to participant reference specifically, for the most part agree with the outcome of other works that I have read on NT linguistics. The difference being the relevance-theoretic and hopefully experimental pragmatics underpinning.

Initial introduction of participant in narrative with no article unless either:
1. Activated in the discourse already through spreading activation or some other mechanism e.g. bridging
2. Accessible as a mutually manifest P-set
Subsequent reference through articles or pronouns. Some relatively recent work on processing cost of discourse reference has shown pronouns to be more costly than nouns therefore impacting relevance

Where switching between previously activated participants in an embedded discourse section
1 The use of ho de is used as a means of reducing the processing cost that would have been involved in the use of full noun phrases. The article anaphorically marking the noun phrase used as a mutually manifest P-Set. The cognitive principle of relevance will allow the hearer to stop at the most accessible reference assignment which will usually be that one in the recent discourse
2 The use of the article with a noun phrase to predominantly create an expectation of more cognitive effects where the previous full reference is relatively recent. This additional expectation is due to the increase in processing effort due to decoding the greater lexical information. Unlike previous work that I have looked at I would also like to look at this use sometimes perhaps being simply to help the hearer keep track of which participants are involved thus the increase of relevance through reduction in processing cost in some instances. This would divert from perspectives that see this as necessarily highlighting the salience of the information following and would need to look at the length of the reported discourse interactions.
3 The use of the anarthrous noun phrase to increase expectations of relevance. This would be through the lack of indication that the noun phrase is a mutually manifest referent, thus requiring reference assignment by the hearer. Given that this is a recent referent then this would be highly accessible to the hearer and thus not require an undue amount of processing.

Rather than just applying the relevance theory principles intuitively I would be interested in researching this from an experimental pragmatics perspective using works on modern languages as an analogue.

In particular:
1 Processing effort based on use of articular vs anarthrous proper nouns
2 Participant reference in participant switching
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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: Why isn’t Semitic language important vowel?
« Last post by Daniel on June 09, 2018, 10:17:47 PM »
Indeed. But consonants being the lexical roots and vowels being the inflections wouldn't mean that either isn't important. Not as central to lexical meaning, but arguably more important for grammar!
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