Linguistics 001      Homework 1      Due We 9/09/2015

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

Below you will find a list of recent papers. In each case, a link is provided to the full text (or at least an abstract). Even though you may not be able to understand everything in the article or even the abstract, you should be able figure out enough in order to answer the questions below.

First, classify each item 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 Wikipedia, 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.

You should not be surprised to find yourself puzzled, since the correspondence between classificatory taxonomies and the real world is often fuzzy. So the point of the exercise is to show that you understand the taxonomy and also (to the extent that you can at this point) that you understand what the various articles are trying to do.

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 of the hyperlinks may 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. Mayumi Hosono, "On Icelandic Object Shift".
  2. David Anthony and Don Ringe, "The Indo-European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives".
  3. Anthony Webster, "'Everything Got Kinda Strange after a While:' Some Reflections on Translating Navajo Poetry that Should not be Translated".
  4. Bert Remijsen, "Dialectal Variation in the Lexical Tone System of Ma'ya".
  5. Joseph Tyler, "Rising pitch, continuation, and the hierarchical structure of discourse".
  6. Edda Fields-Black, "Untangling the many roots of West African mangrove rice farming".
  7. Jeremy Calder and Daria Popova, "Dimensions of Rhythm: the multi-layered nature of rhythmic style".
  8. Laura Baxter, "Lexical Diffusion in the Early Stages of the Merry-Marry Merger".
  9. Ya Li et al., "Hierarchical stress modeling and generation in Mandarin for expressive Text-to-Speech".
  10. Alethia Cui and Taylor Jones, "An Investigation of Affricate Simplification in Conversational Mandarin".
  11. Yong-cheol Lee et al., "A Crosslinguistic Study of Prosodic Focus".
  12. Milena ŠereikaitÄ—, "Lithuanian Passives and Passive-like Constructions".
  13. Murray Grossman, "The non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia.
  14. Russell Gray et al., "Language Phylogenies Reveal Expansion Pulses and Pauses in Pacific Settlement".
  15. Ronald Langacker, "The Vowels of Proto Uto-Axtecan".
  16. Jiahong Yuan et al., "Sentence selection for automatic scoring of Mandarin proficiency".
  17. Robert Ladd et al., "Correlational Studies in Typological and Historical Linguistics".
  18. Charles Yang, "Negative Knowledge from Positive Evidence".
  19. Linda Pratt and David Denison, "The language of the Southey-Coleridge Circle".
  20. Gabor Angeli et al., "Leveraging Linguistic Structure for Open Domain Information Extraction".
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