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In this paper, I consider double causatives in Mehweb, a one village language spoken in Daghestan, Russia, and belonging to the Dargwa branch of East Caucasian. The capability of stacking two causative suffixes seems to be lexically restricted, and mapping onto verbal meanings that are typically P-labile in the languages of the family. Interestingly, the verbs allowing double causatives are not morphosyntactically labile in Mehweb, which is generally poor in labile verbs as compared to sister languages. I conclude that the ability to form double causatives is not a consequence of the morphosyntactic property of being labile; rather, both morphosyntactic properties follow from the same component of the lexical semantics of these verbs and ultimately from the properties of the situational concepts they convey. As a tentative functional explanation I suggest that the relevant property is the weakened status of the agentive participant.
Bjorkman & Zeijlstra (2018) claim that agreement with the absolutive argument in ergative-absolutive languages follows naturally in an Upwards-Agree (UA) system supplemented by the relation of Accessibility if 𝜙-agreement is parasitic on structural case assigned to the absolutive noun phrase either by T or by v. By drawing evidence from two distantly related East Caucasian languages, Mehweb and Avar, this article shows this view to be erroneous while also fine-tuning the consensus view, due to Legate 2008, of the nature of the absolutive case. I then show that the problematic facts are trivially analyzable with standard Agree (Chomsky 2000 et seq.).
The paper aims at providing an exhaustive overview of studies of small-scale multilingualism, a type of language ecology typical of—but not exclusive to—indigenous communities with small numbers of speakers. We identify the similarities and differences among situations of such multilingualism, which lay the foundations for a future typology of this kind of language ecology.
Approach and data:
We outline the importance of language ideologies for multilingualism in small-scale societies, highlight the sources of this type of language ecology, with a special focus on the impact of marriage patterns, discuss to what extent situations of small-scale multilingualism are truly egalitarian and symmetric, and survey the different methods used in the study of this domain. In order to do so, we survey studies devoted to multilingualism in indigenous communities of all continents: the New World (especially South America), Australia, Melanesia, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The multilingual ecologies of the pre- and postcolonial world are extremely diverse, with many factors playing a role in their constitution. They are also highly endangered, and thus their study is of the utmost urgency.
The domain of small-scale multilingualism is still novel for sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. Although the researchers working with indigenous groups have been describing the peculiarities of multilingual repertoires, language acquisition and language attitudes in various parts of the world, the domain lacks the kind of comparison and generalizations that we provide here.
The increased interest in small-scale multilingualism has been boosted by the realization of its significance for reconstructing the social conditions that favoured linguistic diversity in the precolonial world. Furthermore, insights into this type of multilingualism—which differs considerably from the better-studied situations of bi- and multilingualism in urban contexts and large nation states—are of prime importance for a better understanding of the human language faculty.
This chapter focuses on textual data that is collected for a specific purpose, which are usually referred to as corpora. Scholars use corpora when they examine existing instances of a certain phenomenon or to conduct systematic quantitative analyses of occurrences, which in turn re#ect habits, attitudes, opinions, or trends. For these contexts, it is extremely useful to combine different approaches. For example, a linguist might analyze the frequency of a certain buzzword, whereas a scholar in the political, cultural, or sociological sciences might attempt to explain the change in language usage from the data in question.
The paper examines the efficiency of topic models as features for computational identification and conceptual analysis of linguistic metaphor on Russian data. We train topic models using three algorithms (LDA and ARTM – sparse and dense) and evaluate their quality. We compute topic vectors for sentences of a metaphor-annotated Russian corpus and train several classifiers to identify metaphor with these vectors. We compare the performance of the topic modeling classifiers with other state-of-the-art features (lexical, morphosyntactic, semantic coherence, and concreteness-abstractness) and their different combinations to see how topics contribute to metaphor identification. We show that some of the topics are more frequent in metaphoric contexts while others are more characteristic of non-metaphoric sentences, thus constituting topic predictors of metaphoricity, and discuss whether these predictors align with the conceptual mappings attested in literature. We also compare the topical heterogeneity of metaphoric and non-metaphoric contexts in order to test the hypothesis that metaphoric discourse should display greater topical variability due to the presence of Source and Target domains.The paper examines the efficiency of topic models as features for computational identification and conceptual analysis of linguistic metaphor on Russian data. We train topic models using three algorithms (LDA and ARTM – sparse and dense) and evaluate their quality. We compute topic vectors for sentences of a metaphor-annotated Russian corpus and train several classifiers to identify metaphor with these vectors. We compare the performance of the topic modeling classifiers with other state-of-the-art features (lexical, morphosyntactic, semantic coherence, and concreteness-abstractness) and their different combinations to see how topics contribute to metaphor identification. We show that some of the topics are more frequent in metaphoric contexts while others are more characteristic of non-metaphoric sentences, thus constituting topic predictors of metaphoricity, and discuss whether these predictors align with the conceptual mappings attested in literature. We also compare the topical heterogeneity of metaphoric and non-metaphoric contexts in order to test the hypothesis that metaphoric discourse should display greater topical variability due to the presence of Source and Target domains.
The paper provides evidence for the existence of endoclitics in Andi, a Nakh-Daghestanian language of the Avar-Andic branch spoken in the Republic of Daghestan, Russia. In Andi, the additive marker (‘also’) and the intensifying marker (‘even, at all’) behave as enclitics on various types of hosts and as endoclitics when they occur on negative verb forms. In the latter case, the additive and intensifying markers break up the word form and appear before the negation marker. I argue that both the additive and the intensifier are clitics, especially in view of their highly promiscuous attachment. I also show that negative verb forms are morphologically synthetic, so the additive and the intensifier are genuine endoclitics, i.e. clitics that occur inside morphological words. In addition I provide a few parallels for the unusual morphosyntactic behaviour of additive and intensifying clitics in some other Nakh-Daghestanian languages as well as in some languages of Northern Eurasia. Although in these cases the corresponding markers do not qualify as endoclitics proper, the available data hint at a cross-linguistic tendency towards word-internal placement of morphemes with meanings like ‘also’, ‘even’ or ‘only’.
Head/dependent marking is a typological parameter based on whether syntactic relations, or dependencies, are marked on the head of the relation, on the non-head, on both, on neither, or elsewhere in the constituent. It has been visible in description and comparison for some thirty years, during which time advances in analysis of phrase structure and descriptions of previously unnoticed patterns have revealed some imprecisions and gaps in the typology. That approach has figured in descriptive and theoretical work of various kinds and has proven quite useful as far as it goes, but the expansion of descriptive and theoretical work on morphosyntax in the subsequent decades has revealed some gaps and inconsistencies in the original formulation. These can be removed by allowing markers to be assigned not to words but to entire phrases, a move that also allows detached and neutral marking to be more comfortably accommodated in locus theory.
This is an introduction to Chapter 5 "Post-Soviet Russian cultuire: Anony, desecularization and the conservative turn in the book "Russian Moderization: A new pradigm"
The purpose of the present research was to comprehensively assess the language abilities of Russian primary-school-aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), varying in non-verbal IQ, at all linguistic levels (phonology, lexicon, morphosyntax, and discourse) in production and comprehension. Yet, the influence of such non-language factors as chil-dren's age, the severity of autistic traits, and non-verbal IQ on language functioning was studied. Our results indicate a high variability of language skills in children with ASD (from normal to impaired) which is in line with the previous studies. Interestingly, the number of children with normal language abilities was related to the linguistic levels: according to more complex morphosyntax and discourse tests, fewer children with ASD were within the normal range unlike the results in simpler phonological and lexical tests. Importantly, we found that language abilities were best predicted by non-verbal IQ but were independent from age and the severity of autistic traits. The findings support the claim that formal language assessment of children with ASD needs to include all linguistic levels, from phonology to discourse, for helping speech-language therapists to choose an appropriate therapy target.
In this article I present a connection between frequency and length of person-number indexes via two independent researches: token frequency obtained from the Universal Dependencies’ treebanks and type frequency gathered within a typological study. After introducing the results of those two studies, I will present East Caucasian data. I show that the unusual history of person-number indexes in these languages leads to violations of the tendencies.
This short remark documents exceptions to the main strategy of expressing sentential negation in Russian Sign Language (RSL). The postverbal sentential negation particle in RSL inverts the basic SVO order characteristic of the language turning it into SOV (Pasalskaya 2018a). We show that this reversal requirement under negation is not absolute and does not apply to prosodically heavy object NPs. The resulting picture accords well with the view of RSL word order layed out by Kimmelman (2012) and supports a model of grammar where syntactic computation has access to phonological information (Kremers 2014; Bruening 2019).
This article presents a survey of the morphology of highly polysynthetic Northwest Caucasian languages.
The study explores the discourse formulae of disagreement in Russian and English. Starting with a set of Russian target formulae, we aim to establish their English equivalents using corpus analysis. Next, we conduct an experiment in order to identify the pragmatic function of each formula – refusal or prohibition.
The volume is devoted to the typology of the category of number in the world's languages.
The chapter provides a detailed description of the expression of number in West Circassian.
Following Stilo’s (2018) study of small-inventory classifier systems in a number of Indo-European, Turkic, Kartvelian and Semitic languages of the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area, the paper presents an account of numeral classifiers in Udi, a Nakh-Daghestanian (Lezgic) language spoken in northern Azerbaijan. Being a pripheral member of the linguistic area in question, Udi possesses an even more reduced version of a small-classifier system, comprising one optional classifier dänä (Iranian borrowing, most likely via Azerbaijani) used with both human and inanimate nouns. A dedicated classifier for humans is lacking, although there is a word tan (also of Iranian origin) only used after numerals or quantifiers, but predominantly as a noun phrase head. The behaviour of dänä and tan is scrutinized, according to a set of parameters, in both spoken and written textual corpora of the Nizh dialect of Udi. Drawing in the data from the related Nakh-Daghestanian languages, the paper shows that among the languages of the family Udi may be unique in possessing classifiers (albeit as a result of contact), Khinalug possibly being the only other exception.
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that allows interaction with endogenous cortical oscillatory rhythms by means of external sinusoidal potentials. The physiological mechanisms underlying tACS effects are still under debate. Whereas online (e.g., ongoing) tACS over the motor cortex induces robust state-, phase- and frequency-dependent effects on cortical excitability, the offline effects (i.e. after-effects) of tACS are less clear. Here, we explored online and offline effects of tACS in two single-blind, sham-controlled experiments. In both experiments we used neuronavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) as a probe to index changes of cortical excitability and delivered M1 tACS at 10 Hz (alpha), 20 Hz (beta) and sham (30 s of low-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation; tRNS). Corticospinal excitability was measured by single pulse TMS-induced motor evoked potentials (MEPs). tACS was delivered online in Experiment 1 and offline in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, the increase of MEPs size was maximal with the 20 Hz stimulation, however in Experiment 2 neither the 10 Hz nor the 20 Hz stimulation induced tACS offline effects. These findings support the idea that tACS affects cortical excitability only during online application, at least when delivered on the scalp overlying M1, thereby contributing to the development of effective protocols that can be applied to clinical populations.
Udi (East Caucasian) possesses several means of expressing the meaning ‘other’, namely (i) the combination of a (usually distal) demonstrative with a numeral (usually ‘one’), arguably calqued from Azerbaijani, (ii) the expression originating from a combination of a demonstrative with the noun ‘arm, side’ and (iii) borrowed adjectives. It is shown that the morphological properties of some of these expressions suggest a kind of grammaticalization. The semantic differences between the expressions mostly fit into the contrast between the types of ‘other’ expressions proposed by Cinque (2015), but also display additional remarkable contrasts.
The paper describes expressions with the meaning ‘other’ in East Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian) languages. It is shown that four main strategies can be distinguished: i) the ‘one’-based strategy: ‘other’ includes the numeral ‘one’; ii) the demonstrative-based strategy: ‘other’ includes a demonstrative pronoun; iii) the mixed demonstrative-based + ‘one’-based strategy: ‘other’ includes both a demonstrative and the numeral ‘one’; and iv) the lexical strategy: ‘other’ is a dedicated adjective (pronoun), not necessarily derived from any other clearly discernable source.
This paper presents experimental evidence for overspecification of small cardinalities in refer-ence production. The idea is that when presented with a small set of unique objects (2, 3 or 4), the speaker includes a small cardinality while describing given objects, although it is overin-formative for the hearer (e.g., “three stars”). On the contrary, when presented with a large set of unique objects, the speaker does not include cardinality in their description – so she produces a bare plural (e.g. “stars”). The effect of overspecifying small cardinalities resembles the effect of overspecifying color in reference production which has been extensively studied in recent years (cf. Rubio-Fernandez 2016, Tarenskeen et al. 2015). When slides are flashed on the screen one by one, highlighted objects are still overspecified. We argue that one of the main reasons lies in subitizing effect, which is a human capacity to instantaneously grasp small cardinalities.
The category of person is a linguistic expression of reference to a role in a speech act, including the speaker, the addressee, or a combination thereof. The values of the person category commonly, if not universally, include the opposition of first person (reference to the speaker) versus second person (reference to the addressee). Reference to neither the speaker nor the addressee is commonly—though not always—considered to be the third value of the category, third person. This article is an overview of person indexation on the verb and in possessive constructions, interaction of the category of person with other categories such as number and moods, the issue of person hierarchies as reflected in the categories of clusivity and direct-inverse systems, and some topics in the pragmatics of person. The discussion includes some topics disregarded or less touched upon in other surveys of the category of person, such as a discussion of the person relationship to commands (imperative paradigms) or logophoricity. The main focus is on the morphology of person, and other aspects of personal reference are discussed with respect to how they are expressed or differentiated by morphological material. On the other hand, personal reference in grammar and lexicon show strong affinity, making it both difficult and unnecessary to separate independent personal pronouns from person affixes in a typological perspective. In this sense, person-related lexicon and inflectional morphology are treated together.