Browsing by Subject "typology"

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  • Di Garbo, Francesca; Kashima, Eri; Napoleão de Souza, Ricardo; Sinnemäki, Kaius (Officinaventuno, 2021)
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    This paper presents the building blocks of a comprehensive framework for the typological study of linguistic adaptation, i.e. how languages change in relation to the socio-historical and environmental contexts in which they are used. We showcase a battery of concepts and methods that are geared towards systematically comparing sociolinguistic environments and linguistic structures through the study of communities in social contact. We show that these concepts and methods can be used to investigate sociolinguistic correlates of linguistic diversity and language change in at least three ways: (1) to unravel causal factors related to language change, (2) to create datasets simultaneously addressing selection of communities, sociolinguistic features, and linguistic features, and (3) to formulate generalizations from empirically-grounded cross-cultural and cross-linguistic comparisons.
  • Viimaranta, Johanna; Bogomolov, Alexey (2020)
    This article is concerned with onomatopoeic interjections that describe the visual and acoustic effects produced when a subject or object comes into contact with water or another liquid. The aim of the research was to establish the criteria for devising a typology of such onomatopoeic expressions. The research material consisted of water-related onomatopoeic interjections in Russian and Finnish. While it is well known that such words can be used as predicates in Russian, descriptions of Finnish grammar make no reference to this type of syntactic function. Since words belonging to this group are recorded and codified in Russian dictionaries, but not in Finnish ones, the authors employed different methods for each of the two languages in examining the lexical material. After establishing a codified inventory of water-related onomatopoeic interjections in Russian, the authors analysed their dictionary meanings, which enabled them to reduce the semantic content of the interjections to a set of prototypical ideas. On the basis of this analysis, the authors created a typology of water-related situations and established the criteria for identifying onomatopoeic synonymy. To compensate for the absence of dictionary data for Finnish onomatopoeic interjections, native speakers were asked to fill in electronic questionnaires in which their task was to complete descriptive utterances, to make acceptability judgements concerning the use of particular onomatopoeic expressions, and to pinpoint the essential features of the situation described. The data obtained for both languages were systematized in tabular form in accordance with the typology of water-related onomatopoeic interjections presented in this article. In contemporary Russian, the codified inventory of water-related onomatopoeic interjection consists of the following words: bultykh, bul' or bul'k, kap, nyrk (nyr'), plyukh, pshik, khlest' (khles'), khlyup, chmok, and shlep. Words used in a similar way in contemporary Finnish include the following: kohi, kuoh, liri, liti, lits, loiskis, loti, lati, lats, molskis, pirsk, plats, polskis, pori, pul(i), roiskis, and tip. It turned out that the major considerations influencing a speaker's choice of a suitable water-related onomatopoeic word include the following: (1) seriality: whether a sound (and, consequently, a word) is repeated; (2) the location at which the sound is produced, i.e. whether the object comes into contact with the surface of the liquid or with a deeper stratum; (3) the shape of the object that interacts with the liquid (flat or multidimensional); (4) the result of the interaction (whether or not complete immersion in the liquid takes place); and (5) the quality of the object's interaction with the liquid. Apart from comparisons between Finnish and Russian, this typology provides a framework for the contrastive analysis of water-related onomatopoeia in other languages as well.
  • Kittila, Seppo (2020)
    Folklore refers to information that we have learnt as a part of the history of our own people and that has passed on from generation to generation for hundreds, or even thousands of years. This paper shows that as an information source folklore has features in common with other information sources, most notably hearsay, but it nevertheless constitutes an information source of its own, characterized as [-personal] [-direct] and [+internalized]. In addition, the paper proposes a formal-functional typology based on the element used for folklore coding. It is also shown that the semantic similarity of the coded element with the proposed definition of folklore corresponds to its frequency. Finally, the paper discusses the central theoretical implications this study has for our understanding of evidentiality.
  • Kittilä, Seppo (2019)
    Numerous studies have dealt with the coding of information sources within and across languages. These studies have shown that despite the significant differences in the number of formally distinct evidentiality categories, languages tend to have grammaticalized markers for certain information sources, but not for others; different kinds of sensory perception, inference, assumption and hearsay evidence are among those information sources that receive explicit coding. In this paper, another evidence type, namely general knowledge, will be examined. It will be shown that general knowledge differs from other information sources in its nature, but it also has features in common with them. In addition, a formal-functional typology of general knowledge coding will be proposed based on the nature of the element used for this purpose. Finally, the rationale behind the discussed types and the central theoretical implications of the paper will be discussed. The attested types either stress the peculiar nature of general knowledge providing evidence for its independent information source status, or they emphasize the common features shared by general knowledge and other information sources, most notably reliability of information.
  • Sinnemäki, Kaius Tatu-Kustaa; Garbo, Francesca Di (2018)
    In this article we evaluate claims that language structure adapts to sociolinguistic environment. We present the results of two typological case studies examining the effects of the number of native (=L1) speakers and the proportion of adult second language (=L2) learners on language structure. Data from more than 300 languages suggest that testing the effect of population size and proportion of adult L2 learners on features of verbal and nominal complexity produces conflicting results on different grammatical features. The results show that verbal inflectional synthesis adapts to the sociolinguistic environment but the number of genders does not. The results also suggest that modeling population size together with proportion of L2 improves model fit compared to modeling them independently of one another. We thus argue that surveying population size alone may be insufficient to detect possible adaptation of linguistic structure to the sociolinguistic environment. Rather, other features, such as proportion of L2 speakers, prestige and social network density, should be studied, and if demographic numeric data are used, they should not be used in isolation but rather in competition with other sociolinguistic features. We also suggest that not all types of language structures within a given grammatical domain are equally sensitive to the effect of sociolinguistic variables, and that more exploratory studies are needed before we can arrive at a reliable set of grammatical features that may be potentially most (and least) adaptive to social structures.
  • Lindstedt, Jouko (University of Sofia "St. Kliment Ohridski", 1981)