Publications

Sign Language & Linguistics | Special Issue

A special issue of Sign Language & Linguistics in memory of Irit Meir was recently published, guest edited by Diane Lillo-Martin, Wendy Sandler, Marie Coppola, and Rose Stamp, who also wrote the introductory article “Irit Meir”.

The issue also contains the article “Person vs. locative agreement: Evidence from late learners and language emergence” by Lily Kwok (MA 2019), Stephanie Berk (PhD 2004), and Diane Lillo-Martin.

Magda and Stefan Kaufmann | Handbook of Japanese Semantics and Pragmatics

We are pleased to announce that the recently published Handbook of Japanese Semantics and Pragmatics (De Gruyter Mouton 2020, edited by Wesley W. Jacobsen and Yukinori Takubo) features two chapters by UConn faculty:

  • “Formal treatments of tense and aspect” by Stefan Kaufmann (Chapter 7, pages 371-422)
  • “Possibility and necessity in Japanese: Prioritizing, epistemic, and dynamic modality” by Magdalena Kaufmann and Sanae Tamura (Chapter 11, pages 537-586)

 

Coppola | Volume on Emerging Sign Languages of the Americas

We are pleased to announce that “Emerging Sign Languages of the Americas”, a volume edited by Marie Coppola with Olivier Le Guen and Josefina Safar, is going to be published in November as part of DeGruyter’s Sign Language Typology Series.

“This volume is the first to bring together researchers studying a range of different types of emerging sign languages in the Americas, and their relationship to the gestures produced in the surrounding communities of hearing individuals.”

Coppola | Best Paper in Language Award

A paper co-authored by Marie Coppola, “The noun-verb distinction in established and emergent sign systems” (Language 95, no. 2 (2019): 230-267), has won this year’s Best Paper in Language Award.

Congratulations to Marie and her co-authors: Natasha Abner, Molly Flaherty, Katelyn Stangl, Diane Brentari, and Susan Goldin-Meadow!

Abstract: In a number of signed languages, the distinction between nouns and verbs is evident in the morphophonology of the signs themselves. Here we use a novel elicitation paradigm to investigate the systematicity, emergence, and development of the noun-verb distinction (qua objects vs. actions) in an established sign language, American Sign Language (ASL), an emerging sign language, Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL), and in the precursor to NSL, Nicaraguan homesigns. We show that a distinction between nouns and verbs is marked (by utterance position and movement size) and thus present in all groups–even homesigners, who have invented their systems without a conventional language model. However, there is also evidence of emerging crosslinguistic variation in whether a base hand is used to mark the noun-verb contrast. Finally, variation in how movement repetition and base hand are used across Nicaraguan groups offers insight into the pressures that influence the development of a linguistic system. Specifically, early signers of NSL use movement repetition and base hand in ways similar to homesigners but different from signers who entered the NSL community more recently, suggesting that intergenerational transmission to new learners (not just sharing a language with a community) plays a key role in the development of these devices. These results bear not only on the importance of the noun-verb distinction in human communication, but also on how this distinction emerges and develops in a new (sign) language.

 

 

Van der Hulst | Two Books

The following two books co-edited by Harry van der Hulst appeared recently:

Substance-based Grammar: The (Ongoing) Work of John Anderson, edited by Roger Böhm and Harry van der Hulst, John Benjamins


The Study of Word Stress and Accent, edited by Rob Goedemans, Jeffrey Heinz, and Harry van der Hulst, Cambridge University Press