Linguistics 001      Homework 1      Due Mo 9/15/2003

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

Below you will find a list of titles of linguistics articles within the last few years. In each case, a link is provided to the paper's abstract and/or full text (note that sometimes the link may not take you to exactly the right spot so you may sometimes have to scan up or down a bit, or follow another link). Even though you may not be able to understand everything in the article or even the abstract, you should be able understand enough in order to answer the questions below.

First, classify each article according to the level(s) of linguistic analysis that are most clearly involved: (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," or "as a discussion of linguistic nationalism, this paper deals implicitly with all levels of linguistic analysis." In each case, give a brief (one or two sentence) explanation of your reasoning, so that we can give you as much credit as possible even if we disagree with your conclusion.

Then, classify the same list of titles according to their connections to topics external to language (if any), or the aims of the study. This is an open-ended list including theoretical linguistics, descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, linguistic typology, anthropological linguistics, biology of language, forensic linguistics, stylistics. You can also choose other categories that you find in the readings or the course lecture notes. Again, there will often be more than one answer, and you should give a brief explanation to help us understand your reasoning and give you as much credit as possible. 

If you want, you can look at the similar set of questions and answers from last fall's course.

Typically, the title and abstract will contain words you don't know. If understanding a particular technical term seems essential to figuring out how to answer the questions, try searching for the word (perhaps in association with other related words from the text) on Google, looking it up in on-line dictionaries or encyclopedias such as those available through the Penn library web site, or using resources such as these:

If after a modest but reasonable effort you still find a case puzzling, make your best guess and bring your questions up in recitation.

Remember that you do not need to read the whole article. Sometimes, you can answer the questions based only on the title. Sometimes you'll need to make reference to information in the abstract. Occasionally you'll need to skim some parts of the full text of the article (where it is available). We understand that in the first week of what may be your first linguistics course, you can't be expected to fully analyze complex technical articles written by specialists for an audience of specialists.

[It's possible that some hyperlinks may not work from all locations. In such cases, we've tried to supply a "local copy" of the abstract. Please let your TA know if there are other links that don't work for you].

List of Articles:

  1. Language-internal Explanation: The Distribution of Russian Impersonals. (local copy)
  2. Earwitness identification over the telephone and in field settings. (local copy)
  3. Negated subjects and objects in 15th-century nonliterary English. (local copy)
  4. Weak vowels in modern RP: An acoustic study of happY-tensing and KIT/schwa shift. (local copy)
  5. Hedges in Japanese conversation: The influence of age, sex, and formality. (local copy)
  6. Yurok Syllable Weight.
  7. Proto-Utian (Miwok-Costanoan) Case System.
  8. The Relation Between Coordinated Interpersonal Timing and Maternal Sensitivity in Four-Month-Old Infants. (local copy)
  9. Body-Part Metaphors: A Cross-Cultural Survey of the Perception of Translatability Among Americans and Japanese. (local copy)
  10. Noun–verb dissociations––evidence from acquisition and developmental and acquired impairments
  11. Kissing and dancing––a test to distinguish the lexical and conceptual contributions to noun/verb and action/object dissociation.
  12. Aprosodia in major depression.
  13. Why can you hit someone on the arm but not break someone on the arm?––a neuropsychological investigation of the English body-part possessor ascension construction.
  14. Voice dysfunction in dysarthria.
  15. A prospective cross-sectional study of speech in patients with the 22q11 deletion syndrome.
  16. Comprehending the pronouns her, him, and his.
  17. Plausibility and grammatical agreement.
  18. When conceptual pacts are broken: Partner-specific effects on the comprehension of referring expressions.
  19. Accounting for the instability of Palenquero voiced stops.
  20. What happened to English?
  21. Nominative Objects in Japanese Complex Predicate Constructions.
  22. Contrast and Post-Velar Fronting in Russian.
  23. To be an Oblique Subject: Russian Vs. Icelandic.
  24. Restricting Suffix Combinations In German And English.
  25. Timing Relationships between Prosodic and Segmental Control in Osaka Japanese Word Accent.
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