Séminaire SFL/LLF

Tuesday 06 February 2024, 16:00 to 17:30
Emma Corbeau et Jules Bouton (LLF)

LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)

Zhanglin Xie (LLF)
Does crosslinguistic difference in redundant adjective production depend on word order?

When identifying objects with distinct colors and shapes, people often use color modifiers not necessary for object identification (Rubio-Fernandez, 2016,2019), contrary to Gricean principles (Grice, Cole, & Morgan, 1975). Previous studies show that word order seems to influence redundant adjective production across languages (Jara-Ettinger & Rubio-Fernandez, 2022; Kachakeche, Futrell, & Scontras, 2021; Rubio-Fernandez, 2016; Rubio-Fernandez, Mollica, & Jara-Ettinger, 2021; Waldon & Degen 2021; Wu & Gibson, 2021). For example, English speakers produce more redundant color adjectives than Spanish speakers and one possible explanation is that since color adjectives are prenominal in English but postnominal in Spanish. We aim to investigate whether the word order effect predicting redundant color adjective and number adjective production extends to other languages such as Chinese and French, given that color words are prenominal in English/Mandarin but postnominal in Spanish/French, while number words are prenominal in all four languages. By replicating Wu and Gibson (2021)’s experiment, we looked at the redundant adjective production depending on the language (Chinese/English vs. French/Spanish) and modifier type (color vs. number). The experiment involved English (N = 50), Mandarin Chinese (N = 51), Spanish (N = 49), and French speakers (N = 50) of similar age and education, with unexpected findings challenging the anticipated impact of word order on redundant color adjective production. Firstly, the model shows Chinese speakers are significantly less redundant than other speakers. Secondly, we found that redundant number modifiers were significantly more prevalent than color modifiers. Therefore, our current results did not support the word order hypothesis (incremental efficiency hypotehsis). Alternatively, we proposed that the adjective frequency could explain this crosslinguistic production pattern for redundant adjectives and a corpus study from Universal Dependencies corpora confirmed this hypothesis.

Alireza Jaferian (SFL)
Consonant clusters in Farsi, a representational approach

In my PhD dissertation, I deal with Persian phonology, mainly focusing on syllable structure and consonant clusters in Farsi, the modern Iranian variety. The empirical basis is a written lexical corpus of about 32000 words. On the theoretical side, I use the CVCV model, developed in the broader framework of Government Phonology. In this talk, I will show that given a language-specific parameter setting, the distribution of consonant clusters in Farsi follows from CVCV representations.