|Title||Linear Lengthening in Iwaidja: An Event-Quantifying Intonation at the Phonology to Semantics/Pragmatics Interface|
|Publication Type||Article de revue|
|Année de publication||2022|
|Authors||Caudal, Patrick, and Robert Mailhammer|
|Date de publication||08/2022|
|Type of Article||Linguistique descriptive, de corpus, expérimentale, théorique et formelle|
|Keywords||Australian languages, discourse structure, Iwaidja, linear lengthening intonation, scalarity, semantics pragmatics|
This paper investigates the meaning of a specific intonation contour called linear lengthening intonation (LLI), which is found in the northern Australian language Iwaidja. Using an experimental field work approach, we analysed approximately 4000 utterances. We demonstrate that the semantics of LLI is broadly event-quantificational as well as temporally scalar. LLI imposes aspectual selectional restrictions on the verbs it combines with (they must be durative, i.e., cannot describe ‘punctual’, atomic events), and requires the event description effected by said verbs to exceed a contextually determined relative scalar meaning. Iwaidja differs from other northern Australian languages with similar intonation patterns in that it does not seem to have any argument NP-related incremental or event scalar meaning. This suggests that LLI is a decidedly grammatical, language-specific device and not a purely iconic kind of expression (even though it also possibly has an iconic dimension).