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  • 1.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    An exercise in a posteriori language sampling2008In: Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, ISSN 1867-8319, Vol. 61, no 3, 208-220 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A central methodological issue in language typology is sampling – how to choose a representative set of languages for a typological investigation. Most proposed typological sampling methods are a priori in the sense that they are based on assumed, rather than observed, effects of biasing factors – such as genealogical and areal proximity.The advent of the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) creates for the first time a chance to attempt a posteriori sampling. The basic idea is to create a sample by

    removing from the set of available languages one member of each pair of languages whose typological distance – as defined in terms of the features in WALS – does not reach a predefined threshold. In

    this way, a sample of 101 languages was chosen from an initial set of the 222 languages that are best represented in WALS.The number of languages from different macroareas in this sample can be taken as an indication of the internal diversity of the area in question.Two issues are discussed in some detail: (i) the high diversity of the indigenous languages of the Americas and the tendency for these to be underrepresented by previous sampling methods; (ii) the extreme areal convergence of Mainland South East Asian languages. It is concluded that areal factors cannot be neglected in typological sampling, and that it must be questioned whether the creation of elaborate sampling algorithms makes sense.

  • 2.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Grammatical resources and linguistic complexity: Sirionó as a language without NP coordination2008In: Language Complexity: Typology, contact, change, John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia , 2008Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    The paper discusses the relationship between cross-linguistic differences in grammatical resources and linguistic complexity. It is claimed that Sirionó (Tupí-Guaraní) lacks syntactic coordination as in English John and Mary are asleep. Instead, Sirionó employs a number of different strategies – the ‘with’ strategy, the list strategy, and the ‘also’ strategy – to make up for this. It is argued that one or more of these strategies may serve as a diachronic source of syntactic coordination. The development of syntactic coordination in a language exemplifies condensation processes in grammaticalization and increases complexity in the sense that a certain type of complex syntactic structure is introduced, and makes it possible to express in one syntactic unit what previously needed two or more.

  • 3.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Grammatikens grundfärg är som zebrans2008In: Språktidningen, Vol. 1, no 3, 44-47 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Hur exotiskt är finska?2008In: Verkko-Virittäjä, no 4/2008Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Kuinka eksoottinen kieli suomi on?2008In: Virittäjä, Vol. 4/2008, 545-559 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The degenerate dative in Southern Norrbothnian2008In: Case and grammatical relations: studies in honor of Bernard Comrie / [ed] Greville G. Corbett, Michael Noonan, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008, 105-126 p.Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 7.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The map and the terrain2008In: Theoretical Linguistics, Vol. 34, no 1, 53-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Älvdalska - eget språk eller värsting bland dialekter?2008In: Språktidningen, Vol. 1, no 6, 12-18 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 9.
    Dunn, Michael
    et al.
    Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen; Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Levinson, Stephen C.
    Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.
    Lindström, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Reesink, Ger
    Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Terrill, Angela
    Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Structural phylogeny in historical linguistics: methodological explorations applied in Island Melanesia2008In: Language, ISSN 0097-8507, E-ISSN 1535-0665, Vol. 84, no 4, 710-759 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using various methods derived from evolutionary biology, including maximum parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis, we tackle the question of the relationships among a group of Papuan isolate languages that have hitherto resisted accepted attempts at demonstration of interrelatedness. Instead of using existing vocabulary-based methods, which cannot be applied to these languages due to the paucity of shared lexemes, we created a database of STRUCTURAL FEATURES — abstract phonological and grammatical features apart from their form. The methods are first tested on the closely related Oceanic languages spoken in the same region as the Papuan languages in question. We find that using biological methods on structural features can recapitulate the results of the comparative method tree for the Oceanic languages, thus showing that structural features can be a valid way of extracting linguistic history. Application of the same methods to the otherwise unrelatable Papuan languages is therefore likely to be similarly valid. Because languages that have been in contact for protracted periods may also converge, we outline additional methods for distinguishing convergence from inherited relatedness.

  • 10.
    Engstrand, Olle
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics.
    Helgasson, Petur
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The beginnings of a database for historical sound change2008In: Papers from the 21st Swedish Phonetics Conference, 2008, 101-104 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We report a preliminary version of a database from which examples of historical sound change can be retrieved and analyzed. To date, the database contains about 1,000 examples of regular sound changes from a variety of language families. As exemplified in the text, searches can be made based on IPA symbols, articulatory features, segmental or prosodic context, or type of change. The database is meant to provide an adequately large sample of areally and genetically balanced information on historical sound changes that tend to take place in the world’s languages. It is also meant as a research tool in the quest for diachronic explanations of genetic and areal biases in synchronic typology.

  • 11.
    Gerholm, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Att skapa ett språk i en kontext2008In: Psyke og Logos: Tema: Spädbarnspsykologi, ISSN 0107-1211, Vol. 2, no 29, 557-579 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Utan en språklig infrastruktur av relativt stabil natur blir det svårt för ett barn att finna tolkningsbara mönster i de verbala och ickeverbala stimuli det möter. Sådana stabila mönster verkar emellertid finnas i föräldrarnas språkliga agerande, vilket beskrivs och illustreras i artikeln. Huvudsaklig fokus är dock att lyfta fram och diskutera den hittills mindre uppmärksammade aspekten av barnets eget agerande för att tillägna sig de språkliga ramar och normer som utgör basen för samvaro. Ett agerande där de genom bl.a. blickbeteende och direkta frågor vidmakthåller föräldrarnas scaffoldingramar, samt själva laborerar med fraser och beteenden som de tillägnat sig genom interaktion med föräldrarna. I artikeln introduceras även begrepp som avser att benämna två kvalitativt olika former av beteenden som återfinns hos barn mellan 1 och 5 år: oinskränkt vs normkänsligt beteende. Utifrån den ständiga växelverkan mellan föräldrarnas reaktioner och responser och barnets tolkning av desamma argumenteras för att barnet guidas mot att välja en utvecklingsprocess där den ena formen av språkligt och ickespråkligt beteende ersätts av den andra.

  • 12.
    Hunley, Keith
    et al.
    Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    Dunn, Michael
    Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
    Lindström, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Reesink, Ger
    Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
    Terrill, Angela
    Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
    Healey, Meghan E.
    Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    Koki, George
    Human Genetics, Institute for Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea.
    Friedlaender, Françoise R.
    Independent Researcher, Sharon, Connecticut, United States of America.
    Friedlaender, Jonathan S.
    Department of Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    Genetic and Linguistic Coevolution in Northern Island Melanesia2008In: PLOS Genetics, ISSN 1553-7390, E-ISSN 1553-7404, Vol. 4, no 10, e1000239Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies have detailed a remarkable degree of genetic and linguistic diversity in Northern Island Melanesia. Here we utilize that diversity to examine two models of genetic and linguistic coevolution. The first model predicts that genetic and linguistic correspondences formed following population splits and isolation at the time of early range expansions into the region. The second is analogous to the genetic model of isolation by distance, and it predicts that genetic and linguistic correspondences formed through continuing genetic and linguistic exchange between neighboring populations. We tested the predictions of the two models by comparing observed and simulated patterns of genetic variation, genetic and linguistic trees, and matrices of genetic, linguistic, and geographic distances. The data consist of 751 autosomal microsatellites and 108 structural linguistic features collected from 33 Northern Island Melanesian populations. The results of the tests indicate that linguistic and genetic exchange have erased any evidence of a splitting and isolation process that might have occurred early in the settlement history of the region. The correlation patterns are also inconsistent with the predictions of the isolation by distance coevolutionary process in the larger Northern Island Melanesian region, but there is strong evidence for the process in the rugged interior of the largest island in the region (New Britain). There we found some of the strongest recorded correlations between genetic, linguistic, and geographic distances. We also found that, throughout the region, linguistic features have generally been less likely to diffuse across population boundaries than genes. The results from our study, based on exceptionally fine-grained data, show that local genetic and linguistic exchange are likely to obscure evidence of the early history of a region, and that language barriers do not particularly hinder genetic exchange. In contrast, global patterns may emphasize more ancient demographic events, including population splits associated with the early colonization of major world regions.

  • 13.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Influences of form and function on the acceptability of projective prepositions in Swedish2008In: Spatial Cognition and Computation, ISSN 1387-5868, E-ISSN 1573-9252, ISSN 1387-5868, Vol. 8, no 3, 193-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Projective prepositions express the relation between two objects by referring to a direction in space and have traditionally been regarded as expressing purely geometric relations. Recent studies have shown that the appropriateness of English and Spanish projectives also depends on functional relations between objects. This study investigates if the acceptability of the Swedish projectives över, under, ovanför and nedanför are influenced by functional factors as well, and whether över and under are differentially influenced by function than ovanför and nedanför, as has been shown for their English cognates. It also investigates how the shape and parts of the related objects influence their functional interaction, and thereby the acceptability of the prepositions. This is done with respect to the predictions of the AVS-model, a model of the perceptual processes underlying the apprehension of projectives, which takes both the geometric and the functional relation between objects into account. It was found that acceptability judgments about the prepositions are influenced by function as their corresponding English and Spanish prepositions. The acceptability of över was more sensitive to function than ovanför, whereas under and nedanför were not differentially influenced by function, as has been shown for Spanish. It was further found that the shape and parts of both of the related objects influence acceptability regions associated with the prepositions in predictable ways, as functional interactions between objects largely depend on their parts. The results finally show that the AVS-model needs to be further developed in order to account for the form and function of the located object.

  • 14.
    Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    A book notice on Savickienė, I. & W. U. Dressler (eds.), The acquisition of diminutives a cross-linguistic perspective2008In: Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 559Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    A review of “The changing languages of Europe” by Heine, B. & T. Kuteva2008In: Linguistics, Vol. 46, no 5, 1019-1030 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Approaching lexical typology2008In: From polysemy to semantic change: towards a typology of lexical semantic associations / [ed] Martine Vanhove, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008, 3-54 p.Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 17.
    Liljegren, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Review: A Grammar of the Shina Language of Indus Kohistan by Ruth Laila Schmidt and Razwal Kohistani: (Beiträge zur Kenntnis südasiatischer Sprachen and Literaturen, 17. Herausgeben von Dieter B. Kapp)2008In: Himalayan Linguistics, ISSN 1544-7502, E-ISSN 1544-7502, no 6, 1-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Lindström, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Language complexity and interlinguistic difficulty2008In: Language Complexity: Typology, contact, change / [ed] Matti Miestamo, Kaius Sinnemäki, Fred Karlsson, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008, 217-242 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the related but distinct issues of linguistic complexity and difficulty, as from the viewpoint of an adult learner. Language complexity is seen as an objective property of a system, which could in principle be computed mathematically, while difficulty is grounded in the particular person who experiences the difficulty, involving factors such as the linguistic categories present and the nature of their marking in the learner’s own language. Th is reasoning will be illustrated with one non-Austronesian language, Kuot, and its three Austronesian neighbours, Nalik, Notsi and Madak, of north-central New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

  • 19.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Review of "Creolization of langauge and culture" by Robert Chaudenson2008In: Carrier Pidgin, Vol. 32, no 1, 24-26 p.Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The simplicity of creoles in a cross-linguistic perspective2008In: Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change / [ed] Miestamo, Matti, Kaius Sinnemäki & Fred Karlsson, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008, 265-285 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Which parts of language are the most stable?2008In: Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, ISSN 0942-2919, Vol. 61, no 3, 234-250 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents an algorithm intended to quantify the diachronic stability of linguistic characteristics. It is argued that a linguistic feature whose presence or absence is best predicted by language families is a stable feature. Conversely, a feature that correlates better with geographical areas than with families is one that is sensitive to diffusion. Contrasting the structural heterogeneity within families with that found within geographical areas, it is thus possible to make a statement regarding the varying diachronic stability of specific features. While the main aim of the paper is methodological exploration, and while the method certainly not devoid of problems, I propose that the current approach can be useful in studies of language contact and long-range historical comparison.

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