Linguistics 001      Homework 1      Due Mo 9/19/2016

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

Below you will find a list of lins to recent papers and news or feature stories. Even though you may not be able to understand everything in these articles, 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, lexicon, 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. Occasionally, you can answer the questions based only on the title. Sometimes the abstract is enough. Sometimes you'll need to skim (some parts of) the full text of the article. 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 Texts:

(1) "The Origins and Evolution of the Cleveland Accent"
(2) "Variation in Information Structure with Special Reference to Africa"
(3) "The evolution of medial /t/ over real and remembered time"
(4) "The Singlish Language Reflects the Power of My People"
(5) "Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis"
(6) "Split intransitivity in English"
(7) "Voler + infinitive in Catalan: From the imminence aspectual periphrasis to the epistemic and evidential marker"
(8) "Gradient perception of children’s productions of /s/ and /θ/: A comparative study of rating methods"
(9) "Parsing Linear Context-Free Rewriting Systems with Fast Matrix Multiplication"
(10) "Automatic sentence stress feedback for non-native English learners"
(11) "Error and Expectation in Language Learning: The Curious Absence of Mouses in Adult Speech"
(12) "Long-Range Prosody Prediction and Rhythm"
(13) "Canadian raising with language-specific weighted constraints"
(14) "Computers Can Sense Sarcasm? Yeah, Right"
(15) "Donald Trump's accent, explained"
(16) "Commonsense Reasoning ~ Winograd Schema Challenge"
(17)"Subjects in Acehnese and the Nature of the Passive"
(18)"Towards Automatic Detection of Narrative Structure"
(19)"Maxent grammars for the metrics of Shakespeare and Milton"
(20) "(r) we there yet? The change to rhoticity in New York City English"
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