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Semantics and Pragmatics / Saying the address in English
« Last post by Natalia on March 15, 2019, 03:14:21 PM »
Tell me please which of the following is the best way to say your address:

1. I live at Flat 4, 25 Green Street in London.
2. I live in Flat 4 at 25 Green Street in London.
3, I live at Flat 4 at 25 Green Street in London.
Outside of the box / Waveform Model of Vowel Perception and Production
« Last post by Mike Stokes on March 03, 2019, 06:48:16 PM »
The Waveform Model of Vowel Perception and Production (2009) was discovered after visually reviewing over 20,000 waveforms and effectively reading raw complex waveforms (Stokes, 1996 -  The Waveform Model of Vowels (WMV) organizes American English vowel’s into categorical pairs defined by the number of F1 cycles per pitch period.  F2 values then provides the distinguishing cue between the categorical pairs.  Below is a short list of WMV achievements.

1) WMV is the first to explain vowel perception, production, and perceptual errors.  A working model must be able to explain each of these facets (Klatt, 1988).
2) Presented human performance on the Hillenbrand et al. (1995) dataset at an Acoustical Society of America conference (ASA, 2011 -
3) Presented human performance on the Peterson and Barney (1952) dataset at an ASA conference in 2014 (
4) Achieved human performance on streaming speech (the Hillenbrand et al. wav files).  This work is being prepared for publication.
5) Recent work has been focused on identifying concussions from h-vowel-d productions (preliminary results presented at an ASA conference in 2014 -  Since 2014, a total of 4,129 vowels across 45 concussion subjects and 840 vowels across 20 control subjects have been recorded for this project which is the only federally recognized research to identify concussions from speech.  Acoustic measurements have been taken every 6 milliseconds across every production creating over 150,000 rows of data.
6) The logic of the WMV has been successfully introduced into algorithms and achieved human performance on the most cited datasets in the literature.  As a model of cognition, the WMV is the first to be introduced into a working algorithm achieving human performance. 

Although the WMV was published almost 10 years ago, it has not been recognized.  However, this has provided the time to validate the model and refine the programming achieving human performance.  Also, there is still no other model that has successfully described production or perception.  By extension, no model of perceptual errors has even been possible.  This is succinctly illustrated in the title of one presentation; From speech signal to phonological features - A long way (60 years and counting). Henning Reetz, presented at the 164th Acoustical Society of America meeting in October, 2012.

I understand this area is to introduce models and debate their merits.  I appreciate the opportunity to enter the WMV into the debate.  Dr. Reetz’s presentation was made 3 years after the publication of the WMV.  I hope the WMV will be considered before another researcher prepares a 70 years and counting presentation.  I look forward to a discussion about perception, production, errors, or the working algorithm of cognition.
Morphosyntax / Re: Argument-Adjunct Asymmetry and Exhaustivity
« Last post by Daniel on March 01, 2019, 03:36:48 AM »
Well, a casual explanation might be that because adjuncts can already move around somewhat freely, there's no need to focus them in Spec,CP. This might mean it's also possible to do so (so the complementizer could show up), or that it just isn't used like that, although it wouldn't explain why it is strictly ungrammatical. Maybe a "Last Resort" explanation? Are you sure that even with the right kind of emphatic intonation it isn't possible to get this?

In English, Do-support is said to be a Last Resort operation when tense must be spelled out without attaching to the lexical verb, but we can get an emphatic reading as in "He DID read the book." Without that emphasis it is "ungrammatical" but it is possible to generate, even as a Last Resort, if there is emphasis.
Typology and Descriptive Linguistics / Re: Why we use have + past participle?
« Last post by Audiendus on February 28, 2019, 10:07:47 PM »
Originally, perfectives with HAVE as an auxiliary came from a different source, namely transitive constructions with a sort of possessive sense of a stative description like "I have the window broken", parallel to "I saw the window broken".
In French, the gender and number of the past participle agree with those of an object pronoun (but not with those of an object noun):

J'ai vu la fille. (I have seen the girl)
Je l'ai vue. (I have seen her)

J'ai acheté les livres. (I have bought the books)
Je les ai achetés. (I have bought them)

It is as if we are saying "I have her seen", "I have them bought".
Morphosyntax / Re: Argument-Adjunct Asymmetry and Exhaustivity
« Last post by Morphosyntax on February 28, 2019, 06:33:55 AM »
The complementiser is spelt out when arguments are focus-moved to SpecCP. It's the element that introduces subordinate clause, like 'that' in English. The interpretation of this focus construction is comparable to a cleft in English.

Hanya Ali yang   dia   tumbuk.
only    Ali COMP 3.SG punch
'It was ONLY ALI whom he punched.'

"Hanya Ali" in the example above is moved from the object position, and "yang" surfaces as the head of C.

"Exhaustive" focus is the effect you get when there is a set of alternatives, but only one choice is permitted, e.g. in the use of focus operator 'only'. All the other alternatives are negated.

Even when 'sahaja/hanya/cuma' (all meaning "only") is used, the complementiser surfaces with arguments only.

Hanya semalam   dia   tumbuk Ali.
Only    yesterday 3.SG punch   Ali
'Only yesterday he punched Ali.'
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Helping to compare 'descriptive power' of languages
« Last post by Daniel on February 26, 2019, 12:24:44 PM »
It is generally assumed to be axiomatic that all languages have the same descriptive power. It is more that there is no good counterevidence to this, than that there is any obvious proof.

One important point is the infinity of languages: that we can generate longer and longer sentences, from a finite, relatively small, set of words, and build up sentences of any imaginable length, and therefore can express many ideas, although certain ideas may take longer to express (and may be longer in some languages than others). There has been some research into questions like the information rate (over time, e.g., per second) of different languages, but it's not entirely clear what the point of that research is, or what the results should mean, and it is controversial how to measure it anyway. In short, there are probably better questions to ask.
Morphosyntax / Re: Argument-Adjunct Asymmetry and Exhaustivity
« Last post by Daniel on February 26, 2019, 12:20:36 PM »
I'd like a little more information before commenting here:

1. Why does C appear in second position in the clause? Are these embedded examples, or is this C appearing in matrix clauses? (This is a C element structurally parallel to English "that", correct?)

2. What precisely does "exhaustive" mean? Is it aspectual (=completive, perfective) or more about the actual semantics of finality/consumption? And could you use an adverb that has this meaning explicitly such as the word "exhaustively" itself (or "completely", "finally", or "already", etc.)?

So I'm not sure about the answer, but more information from those two questions should at least lead you in the right direction.
Morphosyntax / Argument-Adjunct Asymmetry and Exhaustivity
« Last post by Morphosyntax on February 26, 2019, 03:43:16 PM »
In Malay, complementiser 'yang' surfaces when a DP constituent obtains exhaustive focus.

Dia   yang   mati  COMP die
HE died.

It does not surface when an adjunct is focalised.

Semalam  (*yang)   dia   mati
Yesterday (*COMP) 3.SG die
YESTERDAY he died.

It does not seem logical that adjuncts cannot be exhaustive. Is there anything in the linguistics literature that discusses this?
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Helping to compare 'descriptive power' of languages
« Last post by frostysh on February 26, 2019, 03:01:18 AM »
I will send my opponent to this forum instead! And will be totally perfect if you can provide with some reference to such subject as a 'descriptive power' in some academic articles or like that.

If we can name all this things that language can describe as 'medium' the same descriptive power means that for all languages this medium will be basically the same. Is it right? About difference of description and translation of a particular text, in translation we usually obtain end data near to the size of the initial one, and in description we can turn any single word into the Wikipedia article and still we will correctly show the meaning. Is it true?

I am not the linguist, and actually unemployment so I interesting in science because I want to study and find a job, and of course I need to have some knowledge in the field of Linguistic. The discussion about translation and a description has showed to me that.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Helping to compare 'descriptive power' of languages
« Last post by Daniel on February 26, 2019, 02:28:32 AM »
all languages have basically the same ability to describe something
Yes, that is correct.

One important type of difference between languages is which types of meaning contrasts are grammatically required (or just used often, or available in short, concise forms). For example, Evidentiality is a category of grammatical "evidence" for statements, like "I think" or "I know for a fact" or "someone told me", etc. Languages with obligatory evidentiality marked on every verb are different from English (and other languages without evidentiality) because speakers engage in that sort of behavior so often, and it may even have some effects on how they classify the world around them. But these are questions of usage and grammar, not questions of what can possibly be expressed because we can paraphrase anything we need to-- as shown by the examples above, like "I think", "I know", etc.
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