Linguistics (Tri-College)

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    Viable Verbs and Adjectives for Mandarin Reduplication
    (2023) Zhang, Carrie; Huang, Shizhe
    In Chen Wang’s 2021 paper, the verb mingbai is used an example to prove his claim that for an AB word that could “be used potentially as either a verb or an adjective, its ABAB form tends to be verbal while its AABB form tends to be adjectival,” a claim that is also substantiated in Huang et. al (2009). As far as mingbai goes, this trend appears to be true, but does it apply to adjectives such as xuxin as well? This brief paper tests whether the claim about Chinese reduplication patterns holds true for other AB phrases, and looks at potential explanations for why AB phrases may fit into certain reduplication categories, if they can be reduplicated at all.
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    The Morphology, Syntax, and Binding Properties of Zapotec Pronouns
    (2023) Gold, Sarah; Lillehaugen, Brook Danielle, 1976-
    Binding theory has long been used to describe the behavior of nominals cross-linguistically, and the predictions of binding theory can be refined using a more sophisticated notion of pronouns. In this thesis, I apply a typology of syntactic structures of pronouns to the pronominal inventory of San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec (SLQZ) to explain the binding behavior of SLQZ nominals. I explore Felicia Lee’s (2003) explanation of SLQZ binding behavior under the assumption that SLQZ pronouns are best categorized as pro-DPs. While this categorization of SLQZ pronouns produces a compelling explanation of many binding facts, it raises additional questions about how SLQZ pronouns may be structured syntactically, especially with respect to the differences and similarities between clitic and independent pronominal forms in SLQZ. I present two possible structures for the syntax of independent pronominal forms in SLQZ, one where the pronominal base is in determiner position, and one where the pronominal base is in the focus position of a FocP which it projects.
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    Towards an Explanation of “Optional” Resumptive Pronouns in Colonial Valley Zapotec and Macuiltianguis Zapotec Relative Clauses
    (2023) Gihlstorf, Caroline; Lillehaugen, Brook Danielle, 1976-
    Resumptive pronouns can occur in both Colonial Valley Zapotec (CVZ) and Macuiltianguis Zapotec (MacZ) relative clauses, but they are not always present. What influences when CVZ and MacZ relative clauses take resumptive pronouns, and when they do not? I explore several factors that may influence resumptive pronoun usage in MacZ and, potentially, CVZ. My findings offer useful insight for future research on resumptive pronouns in CVZ and MacZ relative clauses and resumptive pronouns in relative clauses typologically.
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    “Wild Eyed Socialist”: The Use of Rhetorical Tools in Republican Speeches
    (2023) Chalfoun, Emrys; Payne, Amanda
    It is impossible to escape entirely from politics, so it is important to understand the tactics used by politicians. In this thesis I explore political rhetoric surrounding the use of the term socialism in thirteen speeches by Republican politicians in an attempt to understand the ways in which it is used to persuade audiences. The term socialism has recently been used by these politicians to describe the Democratic party, its candidates, and its policies, and yet many don’t actually understand the term. This suggests that something else is at play in the use of socialism by Republicans. Through an analysis of the rhetorical tools used by Republicans in political speeches, I see how repetition, warlike speech, and the delineation of us and them are used in association with socialism as means of persuasion.
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    Social and Linguistic Marginalization, and the Question of ‘Standard’: An Analysis and Translation of Giulio Cesare Cortese’s La vaiasseide
    (2023) Marsella, Lina; Benetollo, Chiara; Genovese, Giulio
    This thesis focuses on Giulio Cesare Cortese’s La vaiasseide, a mock epic poem written in 1612 in the Neapolitan language, a marginalized Italo-Romance language. This poem is incredibly innovative within the genre of chilvaric epic poetry, for it challenges the genre’s established linguistic, literary, and gender conventions, offering insight into the intersection of linguistic and social norms. For this project, I have engaged Cortese’s poem in two ways. On the one hand, I conducted a literary and socio-linguistic analysis of La vaiasseide. In the first part of the thesis, I discuss the linguistic background of Italy in order to contextualize Cortese’s choice to write in Neapolitan. Furthermore, I draw upon Cortese’s own words in order to analyze the social impact of his linguistic choice and his choice to portray working class women in a genre they are often left out of. On the other hand, I translated a canto of the poem. Of the poem’s five cantos, I chose to work with and translate the second canto. Throughout the process of translation, I asked myself – what did it mean to write this poem in Neapolitan? How can that significance be maintained through the act of translation? As Cortese’s translator, I had to confront the question of ‘standard’ language and, in turn, the question of what it means to be a ‘non-standard’ language. I faced many obstacles as a translator, with issues ranging from practical issues to theoretical, the most daunting of which being the task of deciding which languages and language varieties to translate into, and how to best translate a marginalized language. Consequently, my translation is an intrinsic part of my thesis, for it serves as an interpretive tool that complements my literary analysis. Together, the translation and the analysis illuminate La vaiasseide as Cortese’s response to the growing standardization of the Italian literary and linguistic canon, while raising broader questions about the intersection of linguistic, literary, and socio-cultural norms.