Ángel Gallego & Aritz Irurtzun (eds.)
Approaches to Language: Data, Theory and ExplanationEditorial:
Frontiers Research Topic Més informació
The study of language has changed substantially in the last decades. In particular, the development of new technologies has allowed the emergence of new experimental techniques which complement more traditional approaches to data in linguistics (like informal reports of native speakers’ judgments, surveys, corpus studies, or fieldwork). This move is an enriching feature of contemporary linguistics, allowing for a better understanding of a phenomenon as complex as natural language, where all sorts of factors (internal and external to the individual) interact (Chomsky 2005).
This has generated some sort of divergence not only in research approaches, but also in the phenomena studied, with an increasing specialization between subfields and accounts. At the same time, it has also led to subfield isolation and methodological a priori, with some researchers even claiming that theoretical linguistics has little to offer to cognitive science (see for instance Edelman & Christiansen 2003). We believe that this view of linguistics (and cognitive science as a whole) is misguided, and that the complementarity of different approaches to such a multidimensional phenomenon as language should be highlighted for convergence and further development of its scientific study (see also Jackendoff 1988, 2007; Phillips & Lasnik 2003; den Dikken, Bernstein, Tortora & Zanuttini 2007; Sprouse, Schütze & Almeida 2013; Phillips 2013).
In this context, we welcome contributions to this Research Topic that intends to serve as a showroom for the latest developments in language science methods. In so doing, papers submitted to this Research Topic should go beyond developing an innovative contribution by addressing a research problem: they should also serve as a sample of the kind of methods and experiments (in a broad sense) run in different approaches to language, in the hope that this discussion prompts a reflection on the relation between data, theory, and explanation.
Among the possible issues that submissions to this Research Topic could cover we find the following particularly relevant: the validity of quantitative approaches for the study of I-language (e.g. corpus analyses or formal experimental approaches), the complementarity of psycholinguistic and theoretical approaches to determine the nature of syntactic phenomena (reconstruction, agreement, binding, etc.), the merits and limits of laboratory techniques for the study of prosody and intonation, and whether introspective acceptability judgements are a reliable source of data for the study of language.
Phonetic Causes of Sound ChangeEditorial:
Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical LinguisticsData de publicació:
Agost del 2020ISBN13:
9780198845010 Més informació
This book provides an integrated account of the phonetic causes of the diachronic processes of palatalization and assibilation of velar and labial stops and labiodental fricatives, as well as the palatalization and affrication of dentoalveolar stops. While previous studies have been concerned with the typology of sound inventories and of the processes of palatalization and assibilation, this volume not only deals with the typological patterns but also outlines the articulatory and acoustic causes of these sound changes.
In his articulation-based account, Daniel Recasens argues that the affricate and fricative outcomes of these changes developed via an intermediate stage, namely an (alveolo)palatal stop with varying degrees of closure fronting. Particular emphasis is placed on the one-to-many relationship between the input and output consonant realizations, on the acoustic cues that contribute to the implementation of these sound changes, and on the contextual, positional, and prosodic conditions that most favour their development. The analysis is based on extensive data from a wide range of language families, including Romance, Bantu, Slavic, and Germanic, and draws on a variety of sources, such as linguistic atlases, articulatory and acoustic studies, and phoneme identification tests.
Jon Ander Mendia
Structural Effects on Implicature CalculationEditorial:
Journal of Semantics, Oxford University PressData de publicació:
7 abril 2022 Més informació
This paper provides an investigation of Ignorance Inferences by looking at the superlative modifier at least. The formal properties of these inferences are characterized in terms of the epistemic conditions that they impose on the speaker, thereby establishing how much can and must be inferred about what the speaker is ignorant about. The paper makes two main contributions. First, it argues that the form of these inferences depends solely on the structural properties of the expression that at least is modifying, which do not necessarily coincide with semantic entailment. Rather, rank and order seems to matter: with totally ordered associates, at least triggers Ignorance Inferences that may be formally different than those obtained with partially ordered associates (Mendia (2016b)). Second, it builds on neo-Gricean double alternative generation mechanisms (like Schwarz (2016)) arguing that one of them must be provided by focus.
Eulàlia Bonet & Francesc Torres-Tamarit
Typologically Exceptional Phenomena in Romance PhonologyEditorial:
The Cambridge Handbook of Romance Linguistics, Cambridge University PressData de publicació:
23 juny 2022 Més informació
This chapter on Romance phonology reviews several phenomena that can be qualified as typologically rare. Some of the phenomena examined are rarely documented within Romance but are relatively common in other language families, while others are hardly attested in the world’s languages but are present to some degree in Romance. Their relative frequency across languages and geographical distribution have been assessed with the help of three online databases that are publicly available: PHOIBLE, WALS, and the World Phonotactics Database. In addition, the challenges that these phenomena represent for phonological theory are also briefly considered. The topics examined in this chapter concern (i) phoneme inventories; (ii) syllable structure, with a focus on consonantal clusters; (iii) segmental processes involving glides, nasal place neutralization, lenition and fortition, and metathesis, among others; and (iv) issues at the morphology–phonology interface involving suprasegmentals.