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Products for grant FN-50112-13

FN-50112-13
A Grammar of Cha'palaa, with an archival corpus
Simeon Floyd, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FN-50112-13

Other-initiated repair in Cha’palaa (Article)
Title: Other-initiated repair in Cha’palaa
Author: Simeon Floyd
Abstract: This article describes the interactional patterns and linguistic structures associated with otherinitiated repair, as observed in a corpus of video-recorded conversation in the Cha’palaa (a Barbacoan language spoken in north-western Ecuador). Special attention is given to the relation of repair formats to the morphosyntactic and intonational systems of the language. It examines the distinctive falling intonation observed with interjections and content question formats and the pattern of a held mid-high tone observed in polarity questions, as well as the function of Cha’palaa grammatical features such as the case marking system, the nominal classifiers and the verb classification system as formats for repair initiation. It considers a selection of examples from a video corpus to illustrate a broad range of sequence types of opened and restricted other-initiated repair, noting that Cha’palaa had the highest relative rate of open repair in the cross-linguistic sample. It also considers the extension of OIR to other practices such as news uptake and disagreement in the Cha’palaa corpus.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/opli.2014.1.issue-1/opli-2015-0014/opli-2015-0014.xml
Access Model: open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: De Gruyter
Publisher: De Gruyter

Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems (Article)
Title: Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems
Author: Simeon Floyd
Abstract: There would be little adaptive value in a complex communication system like human language if there were no ways to detect and correct problems. A systematic comparison of conversation in a broad sample of the world’s languages reveals a universal system for the real-time resolution of frequent breakdowns in communication. In a sample of 12 languages of 8 language families of varied typological profiles we find a system of ‘other-initiated repair’, where the recipient of an unclear message can signal trouble and the sender can repair the original message. We find that this system is frequently used (on average about once per 1.4 minutes in any language), and that it has detailed common properties, contrary to assumptions of radical cultural variation. Unrelated languages share the same three functionally distinct types of repair initiator for signalling problems and use them in the same kinds of contexts. People prefer to choose the type that is the most specific possible, a principle that minimizes cost both for the sender being asked to fix the problem and for the dyad as a social unit. Disruption to the conversation is kept to a minimum, with the two-utterance repair sequence being on average no longer that the single utterance which is being fixed. The findings, controlled for historical relationships, situation types and other dependencies, reveal the fundamentally cooperative nature of human communication and offer support for the pragmatic universals hypothesis: while languages may vary in the organization of grammar and meaning, key systems of language use may be largely similar across cultural groups. They also provide a fresh perspective on controversies about the core properties of language, by revealing a common infrastructure for social interaction which may be the universal bedrock upon which linguistic diversity rests.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136100
Access Model: open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: PLoS One
Publisher: PloS One

Evidentiality and interrogativity (Article)
Title: Evidentiality and interrogativity
Author: Simeon Floyd
Abstract: Understanding of evidentials is incomplete without consideration of their behaviour in interrogative contexts. We discuss key formal, semantic, and pragmatic features of cross-linguistic variation concerning the use of evidential markers in interrogative clauses. Cross-linguistic data suggest that an exclusively speaker-centric view of evidentiality is not sufficient to explain the semantics of information source marking, as in many languages it is typical for evidentials in questions to represent addressee perspective. Comparison of evidentiality and the related phenomenon of egophoricity emphasises how knowledge-based linguistic systems reflect attention to the way knowledge is distributed among participants in the speech situation.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024384114002630
Access Model: open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Lingua
Publisher: Elsevier

Vision verbs dominate in conversation across cultures, but the ranking of non-visual verbs varies (Article)
Title: Vision verbs dominate in conversation across cultures, but the ranking of non-visual verbs varies
Author: Simeon Floyd
Abstract: na
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://cognitivelinguistics.org/en/journal
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Cognitive Linguistics
Publisher: International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA)

Conversation Across Cultures (Book Section)
Title: Conversation Across Cultures
Author: Simeon Floyd
Abstract: Informal conversation is a practice found among speakers of every language in every culture on Earth. Or is it? Is conversation just one ofmany culturally variable speech genres, or is it the informal baseline on which all other genres are built? Can the same type of basic turn-taking system be observed in all languages, or does it vary analogously to the ways that grammatical systems do? Are conversational actions such as “asking questions” or “giving directives” present in every culture, or are these culture-specific categories based on English, meaning that other cultures have their own distinct categories? These questions are central not only to understanding language usage, but also to conceptualizing human sociality more generally. Larger social realities are built up from thousands and thousands of small-scale interactions, so a social scientist’s need to understand these tiny moments is a bit like a physicist’s need to understand subatomic particles. Given its fundamental nature, it is surprising that conversational interaction has, with a few notable exceptions, mainly been treated peripherally to other domains in linguistic anthropology. Reasons for this are complex, involving both disciplinary histories as well as changing technological constraints on the collection of corpora of audio/video data in many different linguistic and cultural contexts. This history is discussed in more detail below, but initially it is worth revisiting the origins of the modern-day study of talk in interaction with respect to our present questions about conversational practices across cultures.
Year: 2014
Primary URL: http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/pubman/item/escidoc:1760003:6/component/escidoc:2071751/Dingemanse_Floyd_Conversation_2014.pdf
Publisher: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Book Title: Cambridge handbook of linguistic anthropology


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