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 5: Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics from A-Z, Studies on Native American Languages, Japanese and Spanish. (1984). Edited by Stuart Davis.


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Recent Submissions

  • Introduction (Coyote Papers Volume 5, 1984)

    Unknown author (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
  • On the Interpretation of 'Null Anaphora' in Japanese

    Natsuko, Tsujimura; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
  • Onomatopoeia and Metaphor

    Tomoda, Shizuko (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
    Japanese has a great number of onomatopoeic expressions. The frequency of their usage in communication varies from situation to situation. For example, the frequency in casual speech is higher than in formal speech. Also, the usage of onomatopoeic expressions is often found in newspaper headlines, ads, cartoons, and novels. Particularly in these first three cases, onomatopoeic expressions provoke vivid images. The primary motivation for the usage of these expressions is due to this function. The concept which a speaker or a writer has in his mind and intends to convey to a hearer or a reader can be precisely compressed into a single lexical item, that is, an onomatopoeic expression. In our communicative environment, we also find many metaphors, metaphorical expressions, and conceptual metaphors (see Lakoff and Johnson (1980)). Particularly with regard to the purpose of usage or creation, we can see some similarities between onomatopoeia and metaphor. Moreover, if we consider both metaphor and onomatopoeia as "symbolic concepts" in a broad sense, it is plausible to expect the existence of similarities between them. In this paper, I attempt to show how onomatopoeia in Japanese applies to metaphorical extension. This paper consists of three sections. The first section provides mainly background information of onomatopoeia in Japanese, where the classification and semantic function of onomatopoeia will be examined. In the second section, I will postulate a mechanism of comprehension of onomatopoeia based on my assumption that there exist similarities between onomatopoeia and metaphor. Although the postulation of a mechanism of comprehension would vary depending on the particular theory of metaphor, I do not intend to address any theoretical issue related to metaphor in this paper, since I consider the paramount objective here to be strictly the presentation of a pilot study of onomatopoeia in Japanese with regard to metaphorical extention. In the third section, I will present the semantic experiments performed and discuss the results of these experiments.
  • The Syntactic Function of the Yi-/Bi-Alternation in Jicarilla Apache

    Sandoval, Merton (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
  • A Propositional Classification of Spanish Sentences

    Sandoval, Maria (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
    The purpose of this paper is to classify semantically the sentences and clauses of Spanish using the framework proposed in Chapter IV of Steele, Akmajian et al. (Steele 1981). The framework refines the hypothesis that "AUX is that part of a sentence which makes possible a judgment regarding its truth value" (Steele 1981:157). This paper will illustrate how Spanish instantiates the framework by schematizing the relationship among its clauses and sentences and will show that, in the set of verbal inflections classified as the indicative mood, there is an element that makes possible a judgment as to a sentence's truth value. Although a syntactic analysis arguing for the existence of AUX will not be undertaken here, any such analysis would have to reflect in some fashion the facts discussed in this paper. The issue of truth value is approached here from a semantic vantage point. There is good reason for classifying sentences according to their truth value. Steele has, by using her definition of AUX and its instantiation in four different (unrelated) languages, extracted from the interlinguistic comparison of the constituents identified as AUX a set of seven non -definitional properties (regarding position, composition, internal order, etc.) which these four unrelated languages have in common. It is the clustering of these properties that leads to the hypothesis that AUX is crucial in determining the truth value of a sentence. The hypothesis explains why all these properties should occur. In other words, the definition and the hypothesis "... simply represent the same linguistic fact, but at different levels of abstraction. The definition depends on...a syntactic analysis; the hypothesis is a characterization of an element identified in the syntax" (Steele 1981 :162). I will not specifically show here that there is something in Spanish which meets the definition of AUX given in Steele, but I will show that there is something which, through its presence or absence, determines the truth value of sentences. That "something" is the inflections of the indicative mood. The semantic classification of Spanish sentences utilizing the Steele framework validates the hypothesis in a language- particular way. Instantiation of the framework serves two purposes. First, the criterion for well-definedness for any general framework requires that it be applicable to individual cases. Second, the framework makes possible a contribution to the literature on the Spanish subjunctive. It makes explicit the relationship between sentences and clauses and provides a classification that makes clear the different character of indicatives, on the one hand, and imperatives, subjunctives and infinitives, on the other. Specifically, the difference between the indicative and the subjunctive /imperative /infinitive is due to their two different propositional bases. That there is a propositional difference between the indicative and the subjunctive /imperative is not new. As far back as 1920, Rodolfo Lenz distinguished between them: "The INDICATIVE expresses propositions which are considered real and actual (assertive judgments). The SUBJUNCTIVE and the IMPERATIVE express propositions which are real only in our imagination" (Lenz 1920:426; translation mine). What is new is the treatment of the infinitive together with the imperative and the subjunctive because of their identical propositional bases, which the framework elucidates.
  • Copala Trique Tone and Universal Tone Features

    Hollenbach, Barbara E. (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
    In motivating a set of distinctive features, at least three criteria must be taken into consideration. The first one is comprehensiveness: the features should provide enough distinctions to cover every opposition found in natural languages. The second one is phonetic reality: each feature should have some articulatory or perceptual basis (though many oppositions will, of course, need to be defined in relative, rather than absolute, terms). The third criterion is phonological function: the features should permit phonological (and perhaps morphological) processes to be stated in a simple and insightful way. Let us consider these three criteria as they apply to tone. Even though comprehensiveness is hardly an issue in segmental phonology, in tonal phonology it is, because there seems to exist a reluctance on the part of some linguists to admit the existence of complex tonal systems, and a tendency to look for abstract analyses that assign surface tone contrasts to some other parameter in underlying structure. For example, both Gruber (1964) and Yip (1980) provided feature specifications that permit only four contrasting tone levels in underlying structure even though a number of different languages with five contrasting levels oftone had been reported in the literature by the time they wrote. At the present time, there are at least nine such languages. Tone systems with four contrasting levels are even more common than those with five levels, and yet some linguists, such as Woo (1969) and Halle and Stevens (1971), provide features that permit only three levels of tone. One purpose of this paper is to document the existence of a tenth language with a five-level tone system, Copala Trique. A second purpose is to claim, on the basis of evidence from Copala Trique and from the published material on the languages cited in footnote one, that any proposed universal feature set for tone that fails to provide a unique specification for each of five levels is inadequate on the basis of the comprehensiveness criterion. At first glance, it may seem that the second criterion, phonetic reality, should present no problems in the area of tone, because tone has a well defined acoustic correlate, fundamental frequency. On closer examination, however, a number of problems arise, although I give them very little attention in this study. I include virtually nothing, for example, about the interaction between fundamental frequency and other phonetic parameters. I turn now to the third criterion, phonological function, and to the relation between the second and third criteria. These two sometimes conflict because different languages may impose differing phonological organization on very similar phonetic material. One important problem that involves both phonetic reality And phonological function is the issue of contour, or gliding, tones. Should they be treated as indivisible units in at least some languages, or should they invariably be decomposed into sequences of level tones? Because of space limitations, I do not discuss this issue in the present paper, but simply assume that gliding tones should always be decomposed. It is therefore necessary for phonological theory to provide features only for level tones. For a detailed defense of this position, the reader is referred to S. Anderson (1978, pp.146 -61) and to Yip (1980, pp.10- 30). A second problem that involves both the second and third criteria concerns binary versus scalar features. From a strictly phonetic point of view, fundamental frequency is a single, potentially multivalued, parameter. This fact can be captured simply and naturally by the use of a single scalar tone feature; such a feature is capable of handling any number of tone levels. At least one linguist, Stahlke (1977), has argued for this position. From a phonological point of view, however, binary features for consonants and vowels have proven so useful in expressing underlying oppositions and in writing rules that it seems desirable to employ them for tone as well. To my knowledge, all linguists except Stahlke who have proposed feature sets for tone have assumed that tone features should be binary, and I consider only binary features in the remainder of this study. It is clear that the choice of binary features to be used for partitioning a single phonetic parameter into three or more values cannot be made solely on a phonetic basis. There are various ways of juggling two features in order to characterize systems with three or four levels of tone, and there are even more ways of juggling three features in order to characterize systems with five levels of tone. In order to choose among these alternatives on a principled basis, it is essential to consider phonological function. Phonological processes differ significantly from language to language. In order to capture different kinds of processes in an equally insightful way, therefore, some latitude must be permitted in the way that features are selected and assigned. Most linguists who have proposed feature sets for complex tone systems, however, provide only a single choice of features, and a single way of assigning those features to different levels of tone. Even though such linguists often state that their feature set permits an insightful statement of phonological processes, their claims are usually based on a very small sample of languages. A third purpose of this paper is to claim that none of the feature sets for tone proposed to date permits enough latitude in either feature choice or feature assignment to capture the range of significant relationships among tone levels found in natural languages. Al l of these proposals are therefore inadequate as universal feature sets. To support this claim, I show precisely how each of them fails to provide an insightful description of Copala Trique tone. A fourth purpose of the paper is to present a set of three features that succeeds in capturing the significant relationships among the five tone levels of Copala Trique. The fifth purpose of this paper is to propose a new set of universal tone features that is flexible enough to accommodate the relationships among levels found in all tone systems described to date. I believe that phonological theory must provide five different underlying features, of which a language may select as many as three. I also propose a number of constraints on feature combinations.
  • The Subject in Spanish and Some Related Topics

    Grigsby, Chiyo (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
    The purpose of this study is to define a grammatical construct subject for Spanish sentences. Naturally, this task is only possible within a broader context: What is the sentence as a syntactic entity, and what is it composed of? The framework employed here is proposed by Steele (to appear) in the analysis of Luiseno. In the following pages, the readers will find that her framework also has validity in regard to Spanish, a language clearly distant from Luiseno. The organization of this paper is as follows. In Section 2, the traditional definitions of the subject will be reviewed, as well as the inadequacies and drawbacks inherent to these definitions. In Section 3, the Spanish sentence will be analyzed in some detail. In Section 4, based on this analysis of the sentence, an alternative definition of the subject will be proposed. In Section 5, the implications of this proposal will be examined and it will be shown that our analysis offers a better account of facts of the Spanish language than any previous analyses. In Section 6, a conclusion will be presented.
  • On the Nature of Syntactic Structure: Implications for a Theory of Reference

    Farmer, Ann; Tsujimura, Natsuko (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
  • Moods and Modes in Yaqui

    Escalante, Fernando (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)
    In this paper I will present an analysis of Yaqui moods and modes. Yaqui is an Uto-Aztecan language with approximately eighteen thousand speakers, most of whom live in Sonora, Mexico and Arizona. Yaqui, like all natural languages, has sentence mood. Yaqui is a verb -final language and has sentence-final suffixes marking tense /aspect and modality. Some of the terminology that I employ here is presented in Bach and Harnish (1979). The Yaqui taxonomy of communicative illocutionary acts contains Constatives, Directives, Commissives, and Acknowledgements. These illocutionary acts are carried out by employing a sentence with a particular mood /modal status. The terms "mood" and "mode" are frequently employed interchangeably, or with no clear definition of the difference between the two. My proposal here is that we may define sentence mood in Yaqui as a set of elements that define sentence type, that are necessary for sentencehood, and that are mutually exclusive. In contrast, sentence modes are optional features of sentences and are not mutually exclusive. Modes may occur with one another and necessarily occur with some mood. I will also distinguish between major and minor sentence moods; the minor moods may be recognized as sub-varieties of the major moods. An interesting result of this analysis is the identification of the semantic and pragmatic factors that constrain possible mood/mode combinations. I will now specify the Yaqui moods and modes. Moods: Every Yaqui sentence has one and only one mood. The three major moods in Yaqui are Declarative, Interrogative, and Imperative. Minor Moods: I identify four minor moods. The minor moods can be viewed as varieties or sub-classes of the major moods. The minor moods are Warnings, Prohibitions, Tag Questions, and Queclaratives. The first two are sub-varieties of the Imperative mood, and the latter two are sub-varieties of the Interrogative mood. These minor moods have pragmatic functions that differ from those of the corresponding major moods. Modes: Yaqui modes are either epistemic (relating to truth) or deontic (relating to action or control). The modes cooccur with the moods and with each other, as I will show. To begin, I will first describe the structure of each of the major moods.
  • Squamish Stress Clash

    Davis, Stuart (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1984)