Linguistics 001      Homework 1      Due Mo 9/21/2009

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. 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 an earlier year.

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 or the Wikipedia, looking it up in on-line dictionaries or encyclopedias such as those available through the Penn library web site, or using resources such as SIL's Glossary of Linguistic Terms.

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.

[ Some hyperlinks will not work from locations outside of Penn's network. If this happens to you, please try to find a way to do the exercise from campus. If you can't do this, we'll try to supply a "local copy" of the abstract. Please let your TA know if there are links that don't work for you ].

List of Articles:

  1. The Chicken or the Egg? A Probabilistic Analysis of English Binomials
  2. Clitic Climbing and the Dual Status of Sembrare
  3. French intonational structure: Evidence from tonal alignment
  4. Conversational maxims in encounters with law enforcement officers
  5. The Patterns of Consonantal Acquisition and Change in Chipewyan
  6. Argument Status and PP-Attachment
  7. Pitch Cues for the Recognition of Yes-No Questions in French
  8. Nonresponsive performance in radio broadcasting: A case study
  9. Masking-based β-order MMSE speech enhancement
  10. Evaluating the speech output component of a smart-home system
  11. Characterizing and Predicting Corrections in Spoken Dialogue Systems
  12. The notion of argument in prepositional phrase attachment
  13. Created Objects, Coherence and Anaphora
  14. What the Japanese Language Tells Us about the Alleged Japanese Relational Self
  15. A cross-cultural comparison of communicative gestures in human infants during the transition to language
  16. //CAN i help you //: The use of rise and rise-fall tones in the Hong Kong Corpus of Spoken English
  17. Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis: Examining the ideology of sleaze
  18. Syllable contractions in a Mandarin spoken dialogue corpus
  19. On verb-initial and verb-final word orders in Lokạạ
  20. Nasal harmony in Ikwere, a language with no phonemic nasal consonants
  21. Beers, Kaffi, and Schnaps: Different Grammatical Options for Restaurant Talk Coercions in Three Germanic Languages
  22. Aspectual Posture Verb Constructions in Dutch
  23. Private Language, Public Laws: The Central Role of Legislative Intent in Statutory Interpretation
  24. Ambiguity resolution in sentence processing: the role of lexical and contextual information
  25. Proper names and the theory of metaphor



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