Linguistics (Tri-College)

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    Requirement of Variable-Introducing Elements on Event Quantification in Chinese: A case study of 每 měi–VP sentences
    (2024) Dantas e Moura, Guilherme Zeus; Huang, Shizhe
    Chinese uses the 每–都 měi–dōu cooccurrence to express universal quantification. The case where 每 měi is followed by a noun phrase (měi–NP) is well studied, but the case where 每 měi is followed by a verb phrase (měi–VP) is often forgotten in the literature. Huang (1996) proposed a hypothesis about 每 měi–vp constructions in Chinese: the requirement of a variable-introducing element in the verb phrase. Common variable-introducing elements that are used in 每 měi–VP sentences include ⼀次 yī cì ‘one time’ and ⼀场 yī chǎng ‘one event’, which in some sense quantify over the eventuality denoted by the verb phrase. However, Huang (1996) shows an example where an indefinite direct object, namely ⼀篇⽂章 yī piān wénzhāng ‘one article’ , a variable-introducing element, also serves this role. This thesis strengthens the hypothesis of Huang (1996) by showing that it correctly predicts the grammaticality of a larger collection of sentences. The larger dataset includes ditransitive verbs, the 把 bǎ construction, and the verb copying construction, as well as includes sentences with two kinds of variable-introducing elements: indefinite expressions and the reflexive pronoun ⾃⼰ zìjǐ ‘self’.
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    Monolingual Spain? The Impact of the Co-Official Designation on Catalan and Asturian Language Policy and Education
    (2024) Chan, Jacob; Lillehaugen, Brook Danielle, 1976-
    The perception of Spain as a monolingual country under “Spanish” undermines its linguistic diversity. While Spanish is the official language, regions like Catalonia recognize Catalan as co-official. However, other languages like Asturian lack such recognition, impacting their rights and protections, especially in education. This research explores the significance of co-official status, focusing on Catalan and Asturian. Utilizing a comparative approach, it examines their diglossic situations, particularly in language policy and education. Furthermore, it investigates factors contributing to the disparate use of these languages, notably within public primary education since the dates of their legal protection. The study reviews national and regional laws related to official status and the acceptance/rejection processes for co-officiality with respect to Catalan and Asturian respectively. It assesses governmental and public attitudes towards co-official status and its practical implementation. Additionally, it explores laws, public support and opposition regarding language use in public schools, and potential correlations between co-official status and positive perceptions in general. Four main conclusions emerge: perceptions of Asturian's lack of co-official status stem from viewing it as a threat to Castilian dominance with language as a hindrance as opposed to a right; some argue that existing protections are adequate; Catalan's historical economic and political power has influenced its use and protection, especially in education; and Catalan's unique situation suggests a need to reassess its "diglossic" status. This research highlights the impact of language policy on public perceptions and usage of Spain's minoritized languages, providing valuable insights in language policy for minoritized languages.
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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.