Linguistics 001      Fall 2000      Homework 1      Due We 9/20

This assignment assumes understanding of the lecture on Approaches to the study of language.

Below you will find two lists of titles of articles or books published in linguistics within the last few years, many of them from Language, which is the journal of the Linguistic Society of America. In each case, a link is provided to an abstract of the paper (note that the link may not take to exactly the right spot each time, so you may sometimes have to scan up or down a bit).. You will usually not be able to understand everything in the title or the abstract, but you should try to understand enough in order to answer the questions below.

Classify the first list of titles according to the level(s) of linguistic analysis that seem to be most clearly involved. That is, each title should be classified as involving (one or more of) phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, or pragmatics. A reasonable answer is sometimes something like "this paper deals primarily with morphology while discussing influences from phonology and semantics." In each case, give a brief (one sentence) explanation of your reasoning.

Classify the second list of titles according to their connections to topics external to language (if any). The available categories include theoretical linguistics, descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, linguistic typology, stylistics, and others that you may find in the readings or the course lecture notes (though the list given should be adequate). Again, give a brief explanation of each answer. Extra credit: indicate the levels of analysis involved in each article.

Typically, the title and abstract will contain words you don't know; you can try consulting Fromkin & Rodman's glossary (pp. 519-540) or the index in either of the course texts. The online Lexicon of Linguistics may be useful, though it is rather technical, being intended for specialists. You can often learn about a term by searching for it on the web, via Google or Altavista or whatever -- such searches will rarely get you definitions as such, but you will often be able to guess the meaning of a phrase by reading several uses in context. You can also try ordinary dictionaries, and the Encyclopedia Britannica, which is available on line through the Penn library web site. If after a modest but reasonable effort you still find a case totally baffling, make your best guess and bring your questions up in recitation.

Sometimes more than one answer is reasonable, and we will give your answers the benefit of the doubt whenever it is plausible to do so.

List 1 (Identify level of linguistic analysis)

  1. Processing complexity and filler-gap dependencies across grammars
  2. The grammaticalization of the proximative in Tok Pisin
  3. Quantifier scope in English, Chinese, and Japanese
  4. Grammatical constructions and linguistic generalizations: The What's X doing Y? construction
  5. Episodic -ee in English: A thematic role constraint on new word formation
  6. The origins of consonant-vowel metathesis
  7. Um infixation and prefixation in Toba Batak
  8. Identificational focus versus information focus
  9. The mechanisms of denial
  10. A Process Model for Recognizing Communicative Acts and Modeling Negotiation Subdialogues
  11. A Corpus-based Investigation of Definite Description Use
  12. Algorithms for Grapheme-Phoneme Translation for English and French
  13. Tohono O’odham (Papago) Plurals
  14. Constant "segmental anchoring" of F0 movements under changes in speech rate
  15. Acoustic Characteristics of Greek Vowels

List 2 (Identify connections to external topics)

  1. Revisiting Tungusic classification from the bottom up: A comparison of Evenki and Oroqen
  2. Identifying the creole prototype: vindicating a typological class
  3. Quatrain form in English folk verse
  4. The role of diffusion in the genesis of Hawaiian creole
  5. Sound and meaning in Shakespeare's sonnets
  6. Evaluating behavioral and neuroimaging data on past tense processing.
  7. Vowel Elision in Hiatuus Contexts: Which Vowel Goes?
  8. On stress and accent in Indo-European
  9. Experiments with A Spoken Dialogue System for Taking the U.S. Census
  10. Noun Specification and Classification in Uzbek
  11. Why is colour naming difficult?
  12. A Positron Emission Tomographic Study of Regular and Irregular verb Morphology in English
  13. Split intransitivity in Japanese and the unaccusative hypothesis
  14. A Sketch of Iñapari Phonology (no abstract available -- link gives context of publication only).
  15. Neutral Vowels in Optimality Theory: A Comparison of Yoruba and Wolof
    [course home page]    [lecture schedule]     [homework]