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 21: Proceedings of the Arizona Linguistics Circle 6. (October 5-7, 2012).


Contact Coyote Papers at coyotepapers@gmail.com.

Recent Submissions

  • Can Idioms Be Passivized?: Evidence from Online Processing

    Stone, Megan Schildmier; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    This paper presents the results of an experiment designed to access native speakers’ underlying grammatical knowledge concerning the passivizability of English Verb-Object (VO) idioms. Although it has long been noted that some VO idioms retain their idiomatic meaning in the passive while others do not (Katz & Postal 1964, et seq.), the source of this variation is unclear, and native speaker intuitions on a large number of idioms are not as clear cut as previous accounts might suggest. Taking as a starting point Folli and Harley’s (2007) hypothesis that there is a structural distinction between passivizable and nonpassivizable idioms, the current study tests one prediction of this hypothesis, namely that there should be a categorical distinction between the two types of idioms in the grammars of native speakers. The experimental results contradict this hypothesis, as evidenced by a normal distribution of response times to passive idioms. However, it is hypothesized that this online task is not appropriate to access the fine-tuned syntactico-semantic judgments underlying native speaker intuitions of idiom passivizability, due to the fact that the methodology employed here—a self-paced reading task—does not yield the expected results even for canonically passivizable and nonpassivizable idioms.
  • On Semantic Agreement with Quantified Subjects in Russian

    Glushan, Zhanna A.; University of Connecticut (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013-03-04)
    Quantified numeral subjects in Russian may famously trigger plural or singular verb agreement. Generative accounts (Pesetsky (1982), Franks (1995), Bošković (2006)) tie the variation to Case and the DP/QP distinction. Corpus-based accounts (Revzin (1978), Corbett (2000), Robblee (1993)), in addition to precedence and definiteness/specificity, note a strong correlation between agreement choice and the animacy of a QNP subject. In this paper, I attempt to reconcile the original generalizations in both linguistic traditions by proposing an account whereby (i) the animacy condition on agreement is an argument structure effect (ii) the connection between Nom case and agreement with QNP subjects is captured by Case as accessibility condition for agreement (Marantz (1991), Bobaljik (2008), Baker (2010) Baker and Vinokurova (2011) but contra Chomsky (2000), (2001)) (iii) definiteness/specificity effects with agreement follow from Diesing’s (1992) Mapping Hypothesis and a locality condition on semantic agreement.
  • Situational Demonstratives in Blackfoot

    Schupbach, S. Scott (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    Previous analyses of Blackfoot’s demonstrative system by Uhlenbeck (1938), Taylor (1969), and Frantz (1971, 2009) share the same tendency to conflate the meanings of different functions of demonstratives into one overly broad meaning. I address this problem by analyzing only the situational uses of demonstratives in 25 stories from Uhlenbeck (1912) and additional data from Uhlenbeck (1938). My solution is built upon the framework outlined in Imai’s (2003) cross-linguistic study of spatial deixis and informed by the typological demonstrative studies of Dixon (2003) and Diessel (1999). I argue that Blackfoot’s demonstrative system encodes features of Imai’s four parameters: anchor, spatial demarcation, referent/region configuration and function.
  • Preposition Stranding in Heritage Speakers of Spanish

    Depiante, Marcela; Thompson, Ellen; University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire; Florida International University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    In this research, we explore the linguistic structure of the Spanish of Heritage Speakers, those who have acquired Spanish as the home language in a minority language context (Iverson, 2010). We contribute to the discussion of the properties of Heritage Languages here by examining Preposition Stranding in Heritage Speakers versus native monolingual speakers of Spanish. We claim that the distinct behavior of Heritage Speakers of Spanish supports the claim that Heritage Languages may differ from native monolingual language in the narrow syntax, affecting uninterpretable features of the grammar.
  • Pragmatic repair driven by indexicality

    Kim, Hyuna B.; UNM, CE (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013-03-04)
    This paper aims to account for Double Accessibility effects found in Korean. Clearing out confusions in the previous discussion on the phenomenon, it claims that Korean does not have a Double Access reading in a semantic sense, unlike English, but Double Accessibility effects arise as a result of pragmatic repair which is employed in order to interpret a focused indexical element causing a conflict in the interpretation process. The advantages of the pragmatic analysis defended in this paper over the movement analyses proposed in the literature will be shown in details.
  • Gender variation in writing: Analyzing online dating ads

    Schultz, Patrick; University of Texas at Austin (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    In the present study, a corpus of more than 18,000 online dating ads (downloaded from Craigslist.com, ~ 1.4 million words) is used to investigate differences in language use between men and women in the online dating context. Few studies have investigated gender differences in written texts, Newman, Groom et al. (2008), Mulac and Lundell (1994) and Koppel, Argamon et al. (2002) being the notable exceptions. These papers, however, differ remarkably in methodology and results. In the dataset studied here, regression analysis reveals marked differences the use of linguistic features such as emoticons or abbreviations. Writer gender and addressee gender emerge as predictors of variation.
  • Good Times, Bad Times: A keyword analysis of letters to shareholders of two Fortune 500 Banking Institutions

    Poole, Robert E.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    This corpus-based keyword analysis study investigated the letters to the shareholders from two commercial banks, Bank of America and Citigroup, over a three-year period from 2008, 2009, and 2010. The letters were compiled to facilitate a diachronic assessment of profit/loss reporting from two prominent institutions over a time period in which the recession commenced, peaked, and concluded. To conduct the analysis on the node texts, two sets of reference corpora were compiled. The first reference corpus set consisted of the letters to shareholders from eight consistently high-performing corporations not within the commercial banking industry for each of the three years; the second reference corpus set consisted of the letters from the 10 banking institutions that also appeared in the Fortune 500 listings for the three period. The corpus-based analysis revealed that in years of low performance companies create messages that assert a vision and forward a strategy for ensuring future success while also deflecting responsibility for past failure. In contrast, when companies perform well, the keyword lists display a clear tendency of the company and the author to accept praise and responsibility for high performance.
  • On the meaning(s) of 'after' in varieties of Scottish English

    Reed, Sylvia L.; Wheaton College (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    Basic spatial and temporal meanings of the preposition after in Standard American English and Highland Scottish English are accounted for in this proposed semantics of the preposition. In addition, two seemingly aberrant meanings in Highland Scottish English and Lowlands Scots/ Lowlands Scottish English are discussed; the proposed semantics accounts for these meanings as well. The meaning of after is related to the meanings of first and subsequent, which are given definitions in terms of points of reference.
  • Ki-clauses in Turkish: A paratactic analysis

    Kesici, Esra; Cornell University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    This paper proposes a unified treatment for Turkish embedded clauses headed by the complementizer 'ki,' an element known to be borrowed from Persian. Embedded ki-clauses are generally thought of as just another case of subordination, albeit with an 'Indo-European' pattern. However, arguments are provided that ki-clauses are'paratactic assertions,' that is, paratactic clauses with their own assertoric illocutionary force. The puzzling root-clause character of these clauses, as well as their characteristic syntactic/semantic behavior with respect to word order, NPI-licensing, WH-questions, binding, and focusing adverbs are explained by virtue of this paratactic-assertoric analysis. The presented account of ki-clauses is derivational, capturing the relationship that the ki-clause has with a position inside the matrix clause through an adaptation of Torrego and Uriagereka's (2002) analysis of parataxis used forcomo-clauses in Spanish, and Yoon's (2011) paratactic analysis of Korean subjunctive and evaluative negation constructions.
  • Frequency and acoustic reduction in English -ment derivatives

    Sung, Jae-Hyun; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
    This study investigates the influence of frequency on the production of bimorphemic words, and considers which frequency measure is most apt to explain the differences. Previous studies have reported that frequent words are produced faster and more casually than infrequent ones, and that medial segments will have shorter durations. The present study examines the relation between frequency and the duration of medial segments in English derived words by conducting a production experiment with 6 native speakers of American English using 74 English '-ment' derivatives, and pits word frequency, base frequency, and relative frequency (wordfreq/basefreq) against one another as predictors. The results show that models incorporating any of the three frequency measures strongly predict medial segment duration (R-squared = 0.56, with the differences in R-squared between them on the order of 1%. Among the three frequency measures, whole word frequency explained the most variance, across all consonant types. The duration of segments in highly frequent words tends to be shorter than that in relatively infrequent words. Overall, this study confirms that speakers are sensitive to the extralinguistic information associated with the words such as frequency, and in this case, traditional frequency measures (whole word and base frequencies) are better predictors than relative frequency.