ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics is a publication of the Linguistics Circle, the Graduate Student Organization of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

Volume 4: Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics from A-Z, Exploring Language: Linguistic Heresies from the Desert. (1983). Edited by Esmerelda Martin-Callejo-Manandise.


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Recent Submissions

  • Ju:ki/Rain

    Zepeda, Ofelia (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
  • Preface and Introduction (Coyote Papers Volume 4, 1983)

    Unknown author (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
  • On Wh-Movement from Subject Position

    Tsujimura, Natsuko (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    Among the current approaches to universal grammar, those within the framework of the Extended Standard Theory have been considered as promising by a number of transformationalists. In this theory, the transformational component "Move " maps D- structures onto S- structures leaving behind traces which are coindexed with the roved elements. "Move a" represents both "Move NP" and "Move wh-phrase ". In this framework, a large number of phenomena involving WH-Movement and traces have been accounted for. One interesting case is the to contraction phenomenon in English. A familiar example of the phenomenon can be seen in the contraction of "want + to → wanna", and the following are, according to Chomsky and Lasnik (1977), the cases which involve traces (indicated as t) left behind by WH- Movement (i.e., (3) , (4)) : (1) I want to meet John. (2) I want Mary to meet John. (3) Who do you want to meet t? (4) Who do you want t to meet John? (5) Who do you wanna meet t? (6) *Who do you wanna meet John? where sentences of the type in (3) and (4) are derived from sentences like (1) and (2), respectively, (ignoring the difference in subjects) by WH- Movement. The contraction in question is observed in (5) and (6), which are the contracted versions of (3) and (4), respectively. WH- Movement leaves traces in (3) and (4) as shown in (7) and (8): (7) [who [do you want [to meet t] ] ] (8) [who [do you want [t to meet John]]] Chomsky and Lasnik claim that the trace left by WH- Movemrent in (8) intervenes between want and to, which makes the contraction impossible. On the other hand, the trace in (7) does not cone between want and to, hence, contraction may take place (cf. (5)). 142 Jaeggli (1980) refines this account for to contraction phenomena by distinguishing between two kinds of traces, i.e., Case-marked versus non-Case-marked trace. Only Case-marked traces, i.e., traces of WH- Movement, prevent contraction, whereas traces which are not Case- marked allow the contraction. The crucial cases of the latter involve contraction in semiauxiliaries, where the trace is left by Raising.' At this point, we should ask the question: can contraction phenomena be generalizable within the framework of trace theory? In other words, can trace theory be extended to account for contraction phenomena in general? If we assume that contraction phenomena cannot be generalized, the to constraction phenomenon would be an idiosyncratic feature, and could be treated in the lexical domain by considering the contracted forms as independent entries in the lexicon. On the other hand, if we assume that the phenomena can be generalized, trace theory should account for other contractions such an auxiliary contraction as well as the to contraction phenomenon. Although the choice between the two assumptions seems to be theory -dependent, we will take the latter assumption in this paper; that is, contraction phenomena can be generalized. Given this assumption, we encounter a problem with auxiliary contraction phenomena. Consider the following: (9) a. Who t has seen John? b. Who's seen John? where t in (9a) is the trace of WH-Movement, and (9b) is the contracted version of (9a). While trace theory accounts for the contraction phenomenon in (5)-(6) on the one hand, it would wrongly predict that the trace in (9a), which is left behind by WH-Movement, prevents the contraction between who and has on the other hand, since the trace in (9a) is Case - marked, and is supposed to prevent the contraction. Provided that we continue assuming trace theory can account for contraction phenomena in general, we might posit the contraction revealed in (9) is attributed to other assumptions underlying the derivation of the sentences of (9). One such assumption I would like to examine in this paper has to do with WH-Movement from subject position. Thus far, when we assume "Move wh-phrase" in core grammar for English, we have also assumed movement from subject position as in (9) as well as from object position (e.g. (3)). On the other hand, if we suppose that WH- Movement does not apply to subject position in a root sentence, preserving the generalization of contraction phenomena within the framework of trace theory, the problem with regard to the auxiliary contraction as seen in (9) does not arise, since no trace intervenes between the two elements to be contracted. Besides the problem stated above, WH- Movement from this position raises other problems, which I will discuss in Section 3. Given the above outline of the discussion, in Section 2, I would like to propose the hypothesis that WH- Movement does not apply to subject position in a root sentence (call it the No WH-Movement Hypothesis). The rest of the discussion consists of the following two sections: in Section 1, a set of counterexamples are presented to the trace theory account for contraction phenomena, assuming the phenomena are generalizable, and some attempts are made to solve the problem with respect to the auxiliary contraction as in (9), under the assumption that WH-Movement takes place in subject position; in Section 3, I will formulate a constraint on "Move wh-phrase" in order to prevent WH-Movement from subject position. Throughout this paper, I mean by subject position, the position in a root sentence.
  • Bad News about the Faire-Construction in French

    Manandise, Daniel; Martin-Callejo-Manandise, Esmeralda (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    This paper discusses a select few of the issues related to French causative constructions with faire. Our ambition here is not to propose a new treatment of the phenomenon, but to call attention to "unsifted data" that do not support the "demotion" hypothesis suggested by Carrie (1975, 1976, 1981). We will present evidence that Comrie's general analysis -- established mainly on the basis of canonical constructions such as sentences (1, 2) below-cannot stand unchanged, and needs further refinement, if it is to account adequately for all possible instances of the constructions in question. 2 (1) a. Valéry mange. - 'Valéry eats' b. Francois fait manger Valéry. - 'François makes Valéry eat' (2) a. Valéry mange un escargot. - 'Valéry eats a snail' b. François fait manger un escargot á Valéry. - 'François makes Valéry eat a snail' The (b)-sentences above are instances of the faire-construction, and the (a)-sentences are their non- causative counterparts. These latter may contain various types of predicates: one -place, two-place, and three-place predicates. The causative construction contains an entity faire, which we shall refer to as a "causative marker ", and an infinitival verbal form, which can be followed by postverbal complements. The introduction of a new element--i.e., the CAUSER (François, in (1) and (2)) --is the source of the "unorthodox" position occupied by the CAUSEE (Valéry, in (1) and (2)), which is "pushed" into a "secondary" position after the infinitive verb manger.
  • Semantic Fields and Semantic Change

    Lehrer, Adrienne (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    The theoretical activities and insights of the last two decades in linguistics have not spilled over into etymology and the study of semantic change, even though there has been much important work in both historical linguistics and in semantics. One reason for this neglect of semantic change is that the changes themselves seem to be sporadic. Every word has its own history. About the best we have come to hope for is a taxonomy, or classification schema, as found in Ullmann (1957), Stern (1931, 1968), or Williams (1975). These categories of semantic change summarize the tendencies or possibilities which may in fact have opposite effects, as narrowing vs. broading. Our current state of knowledge does not allow us to state interesting, falsifiable statements concerning the lexicon as a whole. In this paper we shall argue that some insights into the principles of semantic change can be found by looking, not at the whole lexicon, but at words which belong to a single semantic field. A semantic field is a set of lexemes which cover a certain conceptual domain and which bear certain specifiable relations to one another. An example of a simple semantic field would be the conceptual domain of cooking, which in English is divided up into the lexemes boil, bake, fry, roast, etc. A basic premise of semantic field theory is that to understand lexical meaning it is necessary to look at sets of semantically related words- -not simply at each word in isolation. By 'semantically related' we refer to relationships between lexical items such as synonymy, as in big and large; antonymy; such as big and small, hyponymy, as rose and flower or robin and bird; converseness, as buy and sell; incompatibility, such as cat, dog, cow, horse, pig, etc. A list of such lexical relationships and their meaning can be found in Lyons (1977) or Lehrer (1974). We will show that our understanding of semantic change can be enriched by looking at the histories of semantically related words.
  • Differentiating Disjunctive and Parenthetical Constructions

    Keener, Gary O. (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    The investigations reported in this paper are part of a larger attempt to delineate the precise role of pragmatics in linguistic communication, and to sufficiently enrich pragmatic theory (especially those portions of it which are not directly concerned with illocutionary-force determinations) so that we may better account for the contribution of pragmatics towards meaning. Of particular interest in this regard are wards or strings which cannot be interpreted compositionally, but which must be processed by the pragmatic component. It is hoped that a detailed analysis of such material and its precise interaction with surrounding compositional material will help us to uncover the exact nature of the relationship existing between the syntactic and pragmatic components of communication. In the discussion at hand, I will attempt to differentiate two classes of constructions, disjuncts and parentheticals, which are of interest in this study.
  • Case and Configurationality

    Jelinek, Eloise; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
  • Two Umlaut-Heresies and their Claim to Orthodoxy

    Janda, Richard D. (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
  • Apposition and X-Bar Rules

    Hollenbach, Barbara E. (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    The goal of this paper is to apply the insights of X -bar syntax, as developed by Jackendoff (1977), to apposition, a topic that has received only moderate attention within the framework of generative grammar, and one which Jackendoff essentially ignores. In Section 1, I try to capture the intuitive notion that we have of apposition by defining it as the repetition of full NP's, none of which has either structural or semantic priority, dominated by the same node in the tree. I propose a rule that generates such structures by doubling N'''. In Section 2, I discuss the difference between restrictive and nonrestrictive apposition, and I propose that restrictive apposition consists in the repetition of something smaller than the maximal projection of N. I therefore modify the rule given in Section 1 by replacing the triple -prime superscript on N with the variable n, which allows the rule to generate both kinds of apposition. In Section 3, I briefly compare the analysis of apposition presented in Sections land 2 with the approaches to apposition taken by Delorme and Dougherty (1972), Halitsky (1974), Pesetsky (1978), and Janda (1980). All of these investigators state or imply that apposition is a kind of head-modifier construction, a claim with which I disagree. One of Jackendoff's goals was to search for cross-category generalizations in syntax; in Section 4, therefore, I explore the possibility of generalizing my definition of apposition to categories outside of NP. The paper closes with a brief presentation of some unresolved problems for future research.
  • Yes/No Questions in the Yaqui Indian Language

    Escalante, Fernando (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    In this paper I will analyze two types of interrogative sentence structures in the Arizona dialect of the Yaqui Indian language. The first type of question sentence is the one that is usually answered by heewi 'yes' or e'e 'no', or something similar. The other type is the question that requires information and cannot be answered heewi or e'e. I will discuss the characteristics of each kind of Q-sentence such as intonation, tags, and special particles. Finally I will discuss their differences, what they both have in common, and how they fit together.
  • The Semantic Field of Spanish Cooking Verbs

    Dardis, Mary (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1983)
    The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of the semantic field of cooking verbs in Spanish. First, I will show how the field is structured and explain how the verbs interact, then I will advance a hypothesis as to how these verbs cohere in the field, and finally I will propose that other fields might be looked at in a similar way. As many words in the field as possible were compiled, for which purpose a variety of texts was used. The division of the words into basic and non basic was based on the intuitions of ten informants. Five Spanish dictionaries--an ordinary monolingual one, a Spanish/ English bilingual one, an etymological one, one on usage, and one of synonyms and antonyms--were consulted, as well as seven cookbooks, five from various areas of Latin America and two from Spain. The informants were all native speakers of Spanish, and, except for two who also spoke English well, they had little or no proficiency in English. They were from as wide a variety of Latin countries as it was possible to find: one from Bolivia, one from Chile, two from Mexico, one from Panama, one from Peru, two from Puerto Rico, one from Spain, and one from Venezuela. Various methods were used to tap their intuitions: (1) numerical scaling of words on a list, (2) a card- sorting task, (3) a sentence-completion task, (4) a short translation, (5) a task in which subjects compared pairs of phrases in order to judge if they were instances of paraphrase or not, (6) making grammaticality judgments on a group of sentences, and (7) answering oral questions about cooking verbs. Appendix I is a copy of the form used in eliciting information from the speakers; for convenience, I have translated the instructions into English, though the data remain in Spanish. Originally, the entire form was in Spanish. Some of the oral questions asked varied across my questioning of the informants, since they were based on each individual informants' earlier replies; other oral questions had to do with what types of foods and utensils would collocate most frequently (or exclusively) with certain cooking verbs. Some of the techniques I used to question the informants were based on the procedures outlined by Metzger and Williams (1966), who advocate investigative techniques aimed at creating sets of conditions, such as frames and questions, which elicit and govern native responses and which can be replicated. Because they are so controlled, they are interpretable with a minimum of ambiguity. The combined use of texts and informants is in line with the principles of linguistic methodology outlined by Labov (1972, 1974), who concludes that data elicited from a variety of sources and methods has higher validity than the "intuitions of the theorist himself" (Labov 1972:106). Different methods "can be mutually confirming" (Labov, 1972:118). I believe that is right. In this paper, for example, had I used only my own intuitions as a native speaker, my conclusions would have been limited to my own dialect and would have excluded dialectal differences in meaning, transitivity, and word equivalence. Many facets of language operate in dialectal and cross -dialectal structures, and the researcher who uses only his/ her own dialect as evidence is, at best, overlooking a wealth of data and information, and, at worst, developing an incomplete theory. A word about word: in this paper, I will use it to mean either one single lexical item or a paraphrastic expression. As will be seen, several cooking words in Spanish are not single words, but, in a semantic field analysis, must be treated as if they were.