A. Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed)

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    Reduction in Burmese Compounds
    ( 2020-05-08) Burgdorf, Dan Cameron
    Burmese is a sesquisyllabic language that allows major syllables to be reduced to minor syllables in certain circumstances. This occurs in many compounds, where the first word may reduce its final syllable. Previous descriptions of Burmese have relied on limited data and concluded that this reduction is unpredictable. This paper more thoroughly examines Burmese compounds, distinguishing different types and uncovering patterns in reduction. Reduction only occurs in a certain subset of nominal compounds, and is phonologically sensitive: with extremely few exceptions, only high and level tone syllables reduce, not creaky or checked tone.
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    Situation Types in Thai Sign Language
    ( 2020-01-27) Wallace, Cassie
    Situation types are defined according to three temporal features: dynamism, duration, and telicity. The inherent temporal features of a predicate can be uncovered using test frames with simple sentences. The current study presents a series of such tests and applies them to a set of Thai Sign Language (ThSL) predicates. Based on the test results, five situation types are identified in ThSL: states, activities, accomplishments, achievements, and semelfactives.
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    Variation of Oral and Nasal Stops by English and Japanese Learners of Thai
    ( 2020-01-27) Ruangjaroon, Sugunya
    A categorical variability constraint-based analysis (Boersma & Hayes 2001) accounts for oral and nasal stop acquisition in three different positions by English and Japanese learners of Thai. Homorganic nasals take place at the intermediate level where two or more surface forms are selected as optimal candidates. Both aspirated and voiced stops also occur, avoiding an unaspirated onset in almost equal frequencies. To account for variation of Thai stops, GLA, a stochastic OT approach is adopted for constraint reassessment rather than standard OT. In the initial state of the grammar, markedness constraints outrank faithfulness constraints for beginners. Markedness and faithfulness constraints overlap for intermediate learners exhibiting variation. At the advanced stage, faithfulness constraints were higher ranked because both English and Japanese learners are able to master Thai oral and nasal stops. The analysis proposed in the paper yields more accurate results than a categorical analysis.
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    Reconsidering the Diachrony of Tone in Rma
    ( 2020-01-27) Sims, Nathaniel A.
    Prior work has suggested that proto-Rma was a non-tonal language and that tonal varieties underwent tonogenesis (Liú 1998, Evans 2001a-b). This paper re-examines the different arguments for the tonogenesis hypothesis and puts forward subgroup-internal and subgroup-external evidence for an alternative scenario in which tone, or its phonetic precursors, was present at the stage of proto-Rma. The subgroup-internal evidence comes from regular correspondences between tonal varieties. These data allow us to put forward a working hypothesis that proto-Rma had a two-way tonal contrast. Furthermore, existing accounts of how tonogenesis occurred in the tonal varieties are shown to be problematic. The subgroup-external evidence comes from regular tonal correspondences to two closely related tonal Trans-Himalayan subgroups: Prinmi, a modern language, and Tangut, a mediaeval language attested by written records from the 11th – 16th century. Regular correspondences among the tonal categories of these three subgroups, combined with the Rma-internal evidence allow us to more confidently reconstruct tone for proto-Rma.
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    A Look at Diachronic Phonological Processes in Inthii Oy
    ( 2020-01-27) Daniell, Jennifer L.
    This study examines phonological processes from a diachronic view in the understudied West Bahnaric language Oy, Inthii village variety, Attapeu Province, Lao PDR. The paper, based on 1800 lexical entries collected from two speakers, provides an expansion of Sidwell & Jacq’s (2003) phonological sketch of Oy and their observations on its historical development. This study covers lenition of main syllable onsets, diphthongization processes, r/l contrast, development of velar clusters, and nasal minor syllables. The appendix provides phonetic and phonological transcriptions of all entries with English and Lao glosses and links to the recordings.