A. Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed)
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ItemTwos and Fore: Dual Organization and the Importance of Foreshadowing in Prai Story Structure( 2018-12-03)This study examines two Prai folk tales through the lens of universal story grammar. Since the 1970’s, schema theory has been invaluable in explaining how information in narratives is encoded, processed, and retrieved. Story grammar further defined how narratives are stored by proposing a hierarchical organizational framework. This paper critically examines claims about the universality of story grammar. Analysis for this study took into account significant pragmatic features (repetition, pauses, and rate of speech) that indicate episode boundaries and important transitions. Overlapping features reveal that Prai narrative texts differ from previous studies in several important ways. The stories show that information is organized according to a binary structure. In addition, story grammar rules do not adequately describe the importance of foreshadowing to the comprehension of Prai folk stories, nor do they account for how endings are often de-emphasized.
ItemRhetorical Questions in Papuan Malay, Other Malayic Languages, and the Papuan Languages of West Papua( 2018-12-03)This paper presents a descriptive and typological study of rhetorical questions. The first part describes the form and functions of rhetorical questions in Papuan Malay. There are no formal characteristics that mark Papuan Malay rhetorical questions. Instead, the context indicates whether a question has rhetorical functions. Typically, Papuan Malay rhetorical questions have social functions as pseudo questions, while their discourse-stimulating uses as stimulus questions are marginal. Pseudo questions are used to convey assertions, expressions of incertitude and negative evaluations. The speakersﾒ underlying emotions tend to be negative. The second part of this paper investigates typological aspects of rhetorical questions in Malayic languages, as well as other Austronesian and Papuan languages in West Papua. Three patterns emerge which are submitted as testable hypotheses for further studies on rhetorical questions: (1) rhetorical questions tend to have social functions; (2) speakers do not use them to convey positive evaluations; and (3) rhetorical questions tend to carry underlying negative emotions. For Papuan Malay, at least, all three patterns apply.
ItemA Phonology Of Eastern Kmhmu' With Special Reference To Palatal Continuant Codas And Neutralisation Of Vowel Length Contrast( 2018-12-03)The eastern variety of Kmhmu' described in this study has a rich phoneme inventory of 36 consonants and 10 distinctive vowel qualities with contrastive vowel length. There is no contrast of vowel phonation or tone, although voicing and glottalisation do contrast in initial consonants. Word and syllable structure are described along with word formation patterns. Previous descriptions of this variety of Kmhmu' differ in their interpretation of the final voiceless palatal continuant and in their interpretation of vowel length preceding final /ʔ h j̊/ (Smalley 1961, Preisig 1990, Suksavang Simana et al. 1994 and Suwilai 2002). This study presents data and analysis which clarify these details. This analysis suggests that the voiceless palatal approximant in final position be interpreted as an approximant, rather than a fricative as others have analysed it, because it is realised with little turbulence. It also demonstrates how vowel length contrast is neutralised in syllables with final laryngeal consonants /ʔ h j̊/, where duration is consistently intermediate between long and short. The neutralisation of vowel length before final /j̊/ is thought to be due to the articulatory and auditory similarity to final /h/.
ItemDescriptions of Co-extension Paths in Khasi( 2018-07-16)This study looks at the description of inanimate objects in Khasi using motion or dynamic expressions. The paper specifically looks at how information on path and manner is encoded in such expressions. These descriptions are taken from an elicitation experiment. The first part of the paper gives a brief account of the experiment and the quantitative results. The experimental design consists of speakers describing visual scenes containing spatially extended objects, such as roads, pipes and fences. The second part of the paper focuses on the linguistic analysis of the descriptions. It is found that Khasi speakers in this study use a combination of path verbs, manner verbs, path and manner conflating verbs, and compound verbs with deictic components to describe these objects. A fairly large repertoire of verb types is attested in the data. The combination jayd ‘walk’+ satellite is the most frequently used verb, placing Khasi in the category of satellite languages. It is also observed, that boundary crossing acts as a stimuli feature with path-conflating verbs. These constitute the second and third most frequently used verb types. The use of some path+manner conflating verbs places Khasi in the category of languages with non-actual movement, in the hierarchy proposed by Blomberg.
ItemAcoustic Correlates of Statement and Question Intonation in Southern Vietnamese( 2018-07-16)This paper reports a study that investigated the acoustic correlates of the intonation patterns of statements versus various kinds of questions in Southern Vietnamese. Sentences identical in segmental make-up and lexical tone were elicited in nine different contexts: (1) statements, (2) Yes-No questions without particles, (3) Yes-No questions with the particle không, (4) questions with the particle ư (5) alternative questions with the particle hay ‘or’, (6 and 7) Wh-questions with the particles ai (who) and chừng nào ‘when’ at the beginning, and (8 and 9) Wh-questions with particles cho ai ‘for whom’ and hồi nào ‘when’ at the end. Twenty speakers (9 males and 11 females) from Hồ Chí Minh City participated in the study. The results show that there are a number of acoustic strategies for realizing the difference between declaratives and the interrogatives in Southern Vietnamese: global F0, speech tempo, intensity and local sentence-final F0. The results of this investigation contribute to the study of Vietnamese prosody, cross-language and cross-dialectal prosodic comparison.
ItemTwo Birds with One Stone: The Aerodynamic Voicing Constraint and the Languages of Borneo( 2019-09-12)A hallmark of any good scientific theory is its ability to derive two or more superficially unconnected phenomena from a single unifying principle. A classic example is Newton’s gravitation theory, in which Kepler’s laws of motion for the planets orbiting the sun and Galileo’s laws of motion for objects falling on the earth, both of which had previously been recognized as valid but unconnected statements about physical processes, were shown to reflect the same fundamental force (gravity). This paper draws attention to the identity of a basic phonological process that has taken divergent paths in the history of particular languages or language groups. In particular, it is argued that the historical development of true voiced aspirates [bph], [dth], [gkh] in the Kelabit-Lun Dayeh languages of Borneo, and the replacement of word-final voiced stops by the homorganic nasals in a number of languages in Borneo are outcomes of the same phonetic limitation, namely the aerodynamic voicing constraint (AVC).