Fall 2005

''Markedness and Interlanguage Phonology" . Dr. Mehmet YavaƟ, Linguistics / FIU. September 22, 2005.

A structure X is more marked than another structure Y if cross-linguistically the presence of X implies the presence of Y, but not vice versa. Accordingly, more marked structures are predicted to present more difficulties to learners in L2 acquisition. This presentation discussed some phonetic features that can further refine the relative markedness of certain structures, and their possible implications for L2 teaching.

"(S)expletives; Female Speech, Male Speech and Use of Expletives." Filiz KUNUROGLU, Linguistics, FIU. October 17, 2005.

Women's speech and how it differs from the men's speech has been the concern of the many linguists over the past decades. In this talk, an experimental study which re examines both the similarities and the differences between female and male speech in terms of expletives was presented. The results were discussed as to whether sex and gender can be taken as the basis of these differences.

"The Cross-Linguistic Behavior of Spontaneous Speech." Dr. Ellen Thompson, Linguistics, FIU. November 21, 2005.

This talk investigates morphosyntactic spontaneous speech errors from a cross-linguistic perspective. I argue that differences in the structural representation of inflectional morphology predict the distribution of spontaneous speech errors that we observe in English, Spanish, and German Sign Language. English shows contrasting behavior of main versus auxiliary verbs with respect to separation errors, whereas Spanish allows separation errors with both main and auxiliary verbs, and German Sign Language does not exhibit separation errors with either main or auxiliary verbs. The different patterning of errors may be explained if we assume that main verbs in English are derivationally constructed out of syntactically separate stem and affix, while (inflected) auxiliary verbs form a single lexical unit (Lasnik 1995, Chomsky 1957). Spanish, on the other hand, exhibits a unitary system, with both main and auxiliaries being syntactically derived, a claim which is supported by the predicate cleft construction of this language. German Sign Language has a unitary system with main and auxiliary verbs being formed in the lexicon, which is supported by the general behavior of speech errors in this language.

Spring 2005

"'You Have Hissed All My Mystery Lectures'" - A Look at Slips of the Toungue". Dr. Ellen Thompson, Linguistics / FIU. February 15, 2005.

In this talk, I argue that slips of the tongue, which may seem to be little more than a nuisance in speaking, can in fact help us to understand the structure of human language, and can provide evidence about how we produce and understand language. Sigmund Freud argued that that slips of the tongue reveal our unconscious wishes and desires, and discussed the error committed by a member of the House of Commons who referred to another member as the honorable member for Central Hell, instead of Central Hull. Linguists have long noted that the errors that are observed are not random; the structural units, rules and processes that linguists posit in order to account for the phenomena of natural language are affected in speech errors. We observe errors which affect phrases, such as, "I have to smoke my coffee with a cigarette", instead of the intended, "I have to smoke a cigarette with my coffee". Errors occur which affect words, such as, "What child will a grammar learn?", instead of, "What grammar will a child learn?" We also observe errors which affect the meaningful units of which a word is composed; for example, George Bush said, "The government is not the surplus's money, Vice President.", instead of the intended, "The surplus is not the government's money, Vice President". Errors affecting sounds are observed, such as Bush saying, "If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow", when he intended to say, "If the barriers and tariffs are torn down, this economy will grow." I conclude the talk with discussion of the implications of observed errors for the theory of language production and language processing.

"The Old English V2 Process: An Analysis of Modern Theories". Leslie Bofill, Linguistics / FIU. February 17, 2005

The presentation explores the verbal syntax of Old English. Various theories that seek to explain the structure of the "Verb Second" process in Old English is discussed, and the history of the loss of "Verb Second" in English is presented.

"From Ice Cream to aisakulimi: The Adaptation of Consonant Clusters in Loan Words".Dr. Estefan Engelberg, University of Wuppertal/ Germany. March 3, 2005.

Loanwords usually undergo a number of adaptations when they enter the borrowing language. Phonemes unknown to the borrowing language are replaced, features are altered, and accent and tone patterns are modified. This talk will be dealing with the adaptation of consonant clusters when loans from German and English enter non-Indo-European languages which have stricter constraints on clusters. Data will come mainly from Estonian, Kyrgyz, Mokilese, Samoan, Kusaiean and Arabic