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- Work Papers
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of the Summer Institute of Linguistics,
University of North Dakota Session
Volume 44 (2000)
Volume editor: Stephen A. Marlett
NP References to Active Participants and Story Development in Ancient Hebrew
Stephen H. Levinsohn
(13 pages, 53 Kb)
Ancient Hebrew is compared with two languages that use a conjunction or pre-verbal particle to signal new developments in a narrative. This comparison shows that Hebrew makes a significantly greater number of full NP references to active participants than the other languages. Typically, languages refer to active participants with NPs when the subject remains the same in two contexts: to mark the beginning of a narrative unit and to highlight a speech or action. Such references are found in Hebrew not only in these contexts, but also in connection with new developments.
Quantification with 'all' in Seri
Stephen A. Marlett
(11 pages, 51 Kb)
Words meaning 'all' in Seri include a verb, a pronoun (which often cooccurs with a coreferential NP), and an NP modifier. This paper explores the syntax of the constructions in which these words occur. It also explores the scope relationship between these words and negation, which seems to vary depending on a non-surface syntactic relation.
Polar Questions in Seri
Stephen A. Marlett and Mary B. Moser
(9 pages, 382 Kb)
Polar questions in Seri are always expressed using an interrogative sentence type which, for such questions, is morphologically distinct, but not syntactically distinct, from declarative sentences. Other facts about polar questions in Seri are described and illustrated as well. (Some of the utterances are linked to sound files and require the Adobe Quicktime plug-in to be installed; this plug-in is normally installed with Acrobat Reader by default.)
Seri Dictionary: Sounds and Speech
Mary B. Moser and Stephen A. Marlett
(27 pages, 176 Kb)
The Seri language is rich in verbs and expressions for sounds and speech. This paper highlights this domain of the Seri lexicon and discusses sounds made by inanimate objects, animals, and humans.
Other excerpts from the Seri dictionary have been published in the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Work Papers. The complete dictionary was published in 2005; for a description and information about how to buy it, see http://www.sil.org/mexico/seri/G004-Diccionario-sei.htm.
Central vs. Back Vowels
(19 pages, 248 Kb)
At least fourteen languages contrast a central and a back vowel which are otherwise identical (in height, rounding, tenseness, etc.). Three previous feature systems are argued to be inadequate for capturing these contrasts. A new model is proposed, redefining the feature [± back] (as a dependent of the Dorsal Node) so that it can distinguish between central and back vowels.
Language and Ethnicity Among a Group of Pentalingual Albuquerqueans
(22 pages, 81 Kb)
The Khoja Ismailis of the Indian subcontinent have spoken two languages in a mildly unstable diglossic relationship for centuries. In recent decades many Khoja Ismailis immigrated to East Africa, and many learned three additional languages. Descriptions of the situation in Africa suggested the hypothesis that three of the languages may have stood in a direct relationship to three different concentric levels of ethnic identity, while the other two languages may have been used in different kinds of outgroup interactions. Interviews with Ismailis who have immigrated to Albuquerque from East Africa suggest a possible approach to defining ethnic boundaries involving a notion of shared ethnic subcategorization systems.
Explaining Multilingual Education: Information on Some Tough Questions
Stephen L. Walter
(9 pages, 34 Kb)
A 1999 seminar on multilingual education has resulted in a book which summarizes the investigative work of the seminar participants (from ten countries). This article provides a synopsis of the book. The evidence suggests that countries which do not develop and implement mother tongue education programs will incur long-term disadvantages outweighing any short-term gains that result from using only one language of education.