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Résumés séminaires CRLAO 2015 "Recherches actuelles en linguistique"


Laurent Sagart  (Directeur de recherche CNRS)Le système Baxter-Sagart de reconstruction du chinois archaïque
Mercredi 21 janvier 2015

On présentera les grands traits du système Baxter-Sagart de reconstruction du chinois archaïque. D’abord les faits linguistiques sur lesquels elle se fonde, puis les particularités du système.
L’exposé sera illustré par des exemples.

 

Lai Yunfan (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 / CRLAO), Analyse du système tonal du wobzi, une langue rgyalronguique (tibéto-birman)
Mercredi 28 janvier 2015

L’exposé sera consacré au système tonal du khroskyabs wobzi, une langue rgyalronguique. Nous parlerons des règles pour la dérivation des tons de surface, de l’interaction des règles dans les composés et le rapport entre les tons et la morphologie verbale. Nous comparerons notre présente analyse avec les analyses précédentes.

 

Johann-Mattis List (DFG Research Fellow/CRLAO), Computer-Assisted Language Comparison and its Application to Chinese Dialectology
Mercredi 4 février 2015

During the last two decades, historical linguistics has experienced a quantitative turn, reflected in multiple publications on such diverse topics as phonetic alignment, automatic cognate detection, and phylogenetic reconstruction. Unfortunately, the new methods have created a gap between the “new and innovative” quantitative methods and the traditional approaches which date back to the beginning of the 19th century: While traditional linguists complain about a lack of quality in computational approaches, computational linguists complain about a lack of structure in traditional approaches. This also holds for Chinese linguistics and Chinese dialectology, where quantitative approaches haven an even longer tradition, dating back at least to the 1960s.
My research project on “Vertical and lateral aspects of Chinese dialect history”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) has two major goals: Firstly, it proposes an interdisciplinary, data-driven approach to Chinese dialectology, where – based on cooperation with biologists and sinologists – quantitative methods originally designed to study lateral gene transfer in evolutionary biology are used to explore vertical (inheritance-related) and lateral (contact-related) aspects of Chinese dialect history. Secondly, the project aims to bridge the gap between traditional and quantitative approaches in historical linguistics by establishing a new framework of “computer-assisted language comparison” which develops interactive interfaces which help to compensate both the lack of structure in traditional, and the lack of quality in quantitative historical linguistics.
In this talk, I will briefly summarize the current state of the art for quantitative methods in historical linguistics, pointing out their specific prospects and challenges. I will then introduce the major ideas behind the framework of “computer-assisted language comparison” and give some examples on how it can be applied in the field of Chinese dialectology and Chinese dialect history.

 

Xu Dan (INALCO-CRLAO), Studies on the Tangwang language of Northwestern China
Mercredi 11 février 2015

This seminar will present some of the major findings of the new volume, entitled Studies on the Tangwang language (2014) by Xu Dan. Chen Yuanlong (Ibramhim, a native Santa speaker) first described the Tangwang language in an article in Minzu Yuwen 1985 (Minority Languages of China). The Tangwang language has predominantly Chinese vocabulary with some words borrowed from Arabic, Persian and Mongolian. The word order is mainly SOV (subject-object-verb), an order which is common to all Altaic languages (in the meaning of Sprachbund), while SVO is also accepted in some cases (recall that the word order in Chinese is SVO). The languages in Gansu-Qinghai area are in the process of losing their tones, and the degree of loss varies from region to region, while Standard Chinese has four tones. The languages in this region borrowed their case system from Mongolic languages (or dialects), while Chinese is morphologically a poor language.

 

Raoul Blin (CRLAO-CNRS), Repenser « l’acceptabilité/la grammaticalité » en linguistique en intégrant les apports de la linguistique de corpus. Etude de cas : les noms dérivés en en japonais
Mercredi 25 février 2015

Nous présentons la morphologie et la sémantique des noms dérivés japonais : (ex :sanka + sha, « participation/participer + sha » « participant »). Cette étude s’apparente à celles sur la sémantique des suffixes nominalisant comme « -eur » ou « -ant » en français (« demand-eur », « particip-ant »), « -er » en anglais (« play-er ») etc . Cependant, nous renonçons à l’interprétation en termes de rôles sémantiques (par exemple : sanka-sha désignerait « l’agent ») et préférons nous concentrer sur les relations logiques entre le nom verbal et son dérivé, observables à travers des jeux d’inférences entre énoncés. Nous proposons aussi d’intégrer à l’analyse l’ambiguïté des dérivés. Les informateurs peinent en effet à attribuer une valeur sémantique claire à certains dérivés, ou hésitent sur leur acceptabilité. Leur interprétation est même parfois en contradiction avec les observations sur corpus. Plutôt que de passer cette incertitude sous silence, nous l’exploitons comme une donnée pertinente pour l’analyse. Nous justifierons cette position et suggérerons une méthodologie.

 

Gong Xun (INALCO-CRLAO), Evolution of consonant clusters in Eastern Tibetan
Mercredi 4 mars 2015

Old Tibetan initial consonant clusters like bsgr- are simplified into /dʐ-/ (or /tʂ-/) in the most reduced Central dialects of Tibetan, while peripheral dialects often preserve a more archaic situation.
In this study, I will examine the phonological evolution from Old Tibetan to the modern dialects in Eastern Tibet. The situation for the syllable onset can be organized into a series of typological “steps of evolution”. Most importantly, I will show that among initial clusters with non-rising sonority, what has happened is a gradual loss of feature contrast.
The reduction of Old Tibetan clusters can be partially causally attributed to the synchronic phonological representation of Old Tibetan. In the last stage of evolution, the cluster bst- [pst-] merged with most /Ct-/ clusters into pre-aspirates /ʰt-/. I hypothesize that in the mental grammar of Old Tibetan speakers, bst- was represented as a pre-aspirated /ʰt-/ with additional featural specifications on a well-defined feature geometry.
This phonological representation would be inferred by native speakers from the paradigm of attested clusters, which, in turn, has its origins in an earlier historical evolution that is “blind” in a more typical neogrammarian way.

 

Pierre Magistry (Paris 7-Denis Diderot), Stratification du réseau lexical du hokkien de Taïwan
Mercredi 11 mars 2015

Taiwanese Hokkien presents strong evidences of multiple historical layers of borrowing through the pervasiveness of 「多音字」duoyinzi, sinograms with multiple readings. For a given sinogram, traditional analysis distinguish between wenduyin 文讀音 and baiduyin 白讀音 (so-called "literary" and "colloquial" readings) but it is well accepted that more than two strata are to be found and described.
We will both stress the limits of such analysis and explain how we can still benefit from it.
Fortunately, a large amount of lexical data for Taiwanese Hokkien is available as Open Data. We will propose a method to (semi-) automatically model and explore the Taiwanese lexicon in search of such strata.
Our method is based on the modelisation of the lexicon as a complex network .
We will first introduce all needed theoretical aspects of our modelisation (so that no prior knowledge in graph theory is required to attend this presentation). Then we will explain how we can rely on graph theory to create a model of the lexical data as a graph that takes into account the traditional analysis of 文讀音 and 白讀音. Once the model is created, we will show how it can be analysed and explored in search of lexical strata using community detection and advanced visualisation tools.

 

Christine Lamarre (INALCO-CRLAO), La position de l’objet au sein des groupes verbaux contenant un directionnel dans les langues sinitiques
Mercredi 18 mars 2015

Les directionnels du chinois standard sont en général analysés comme un sous-type des résultatifs, formant comme les résultatifs un verbe composé avec le verbe qui les précède. Ils s’en distinguent pourtant par leur structure bimorphémique (un composant indiquant la trajectoire et l’autre le point de vue déictique), et la diversité des positions possibles pour l’objet patient quand il est exprimé (trois positions attestées après le verbe) soulève pourtant une série d’interrogations (analyse éventuelle en série verbale).
Nous examinons ici la question de la position de l’objet sous l’angle de la variation interne aux langues sinitiques, et proposons l’hypothèse que la multiplicité des positions possibles en langue standard soit le résultat de la koïnésation. Cette koïnésation aurait entraîné la réallocation (Trudgill, 1986, Dialects in Contact, p. 126) de l’une des formes redondantes, qui se voit restreinte en langue standard au mode irréel. On peut également y voir un phénomène d’exaptation (Chappell et Peyraube, 2011, « Grammaticalization in Sinitic languages »).

 

Spike Gildea (University of Oregon/ Collegium de Lyon), The patchwork quilt of synchronic and diachronic syntax
Mercredi 25 mars 2015

When a language has some ergative alignment pattern, it is usually found in only a subset of grammatical contexts, creating what has been called split ergativity. In one common pattern, tense-aspect-based split ergativity, ergative alignment occurs only in past tense or perfective aspect clauses, while some other alignment occurs elsewhere (Dixon 1994). Theoreticians have tried to explain these splits as a grammatical expression of abstract notions like viewpoint, transitivity, inherent agentivity, and ontological salience. In recent research, we have discovered that multiple languages from the Cariban and Jê families (spoken in northern and central South America) present the opposite pattern, in which ergative alignment occurs only in nonpast and imperfective clauses. Trivially, such facts contradict the putative universal about split ergativity; less trivially, they call into question the proposed explanations for that universal. This talk proposes to explain both the universal and counter-universal patterns with reference to the concrete details of historical processes that create individual clause types with their distinct alignments (cf. Gildea 2012).
The metaphor of “split” ergativity (or any other form of “split” alignment) encourages us to misconceptualize the phenomenon as a kind of “surface” division of some “deeper”, somehow fundamentally unified phenomenon. However, the evolution of such alignments suggests a completely different metaphor, that of a patchwork quilt: different constructions (with their different alignment) are like new patches added to the existing quilt of main clause grammar. This metaphor derives from the evolution of “splits”, but it also helps to frame the synchronic analysis of such alignments in a more useful way. This sort of explanation illustrates the potential of diachronic typology, both to help us understand the prevalence of typological universals (without lamenting the discovery of counter-examples) and to bring a new perspective to explanations of these universals (and their counter-examples).

- Dixon, R M W. 1994. Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Gildea, Spike. 2012. Linguistic Studies in the Cariban Family. Handbook of South American Languages, ed. by Lyle Campbell and Veronica Grondona, 441-494. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter

 

Johan van der Auwera (Université d’Anvers), Negatives between Chamic and Bahnari
Mercredi 1er avril 2015

The talk deals with the verb embracing double negation (not unlike ne V pas) found in the Austronesian Chamic languages and in the Austroasiatic Bahnaric languages (both mostly in Vietnam) and with the question of how it developed. We propose both an internal and external explanation. The former relates to what is called a ‘Jespersen Cycle’, a hypothesis about the renewal of single negation out of double negation, itself developing out of another single negation. The latter involves language contact. We argue that the Jespersen Cycle hypothesis is more plausible for Chamic, thus revisiting earlier work, and that the language contact hypothesis makes more sense for Bahnaric, thus supporting a more general hypothesis about the direction of interference between the two families. This case study will be placed in the wider framework of the study of double negation.

 

Jean-Christophe Verstraete (Université de Louvain, Professeur invité et directeur d’études associé à l’EHESS), The Languages of Cape York Peninsula, Australia

This series of four talks provides a survey of the languages of Cape York Peninsula (CYP) in northeastern Australia. The talks focus on what is interesting or remarkable in these languages, both from an Australian perspective and a broader typological perspective. We use examples from our own fieldwork on Middle Paman and Lamalamic languages of CYP (e.g. Verstraete 2012, Verstraete & Rigsby 2015), as well as the better-described languages of CYP (e.g. Haviland 1979, Crowley 1983, Alpher 1991, Smith & Johnson 2000, Gaby 2006).
[ Série de 4 communications proposant une vue d’ensemble sur les langues du Cape York Peninsula (CYP), dans le Nord-Est de l’Australie. Les propriétés les plus intéressantes et remarquables de ces langues sont soulignées, dans une perspective proprement australienne mais également dans le cadre plus large de la linguistique typologique. Les exemples utilisés sont repris du propre travail de terrain de l’auteur sur le Middle Paman et sur les langues Lamalamiques du Cape York (Verstraete 2012, Verstraete & Rigsby 2015), ainsi que sur les langues mieux décrites du CYP (Haviland 1979, Crowley 1983, Alpher 1991, Smith & Johnson 2000, Gaby 2006). ]
 

(1) The languages of eastern Cape York Peninsula (Australia): A typological profile
Mercredi 8 avril 2015

This talk provides a general introduction to CYP and its languages. We first discuss the region’s prehistory (dating back to 37.000 BP; David 1993) and contact history, as well as its general ethnographic profile (clan-country-language relations, marriage exogamy etc; Rigsby & Chase 1998). This is followed by an introductory survey of CYP languages, dealing with genetic classification (subgrouping of Paman languages in the greater Pama-Nyungan family; Hale 1964, 1976a, b), sociolinguistics (patrilects, personal multilingualism; Sutton & Rigsby 1978, Verstraete & Rigsby 2015), phonology (thorough-going changes in and phoneme inventories and word structure; Alpher 1976) and morphosyntax (at NP and clause levels).

[ La communication sera une introduction générale à la region du CYP et aux langues qui y sont parlées. On discutera d’abord la préhistoire de cette région (37.000 ans avant notre ère ; cf. David 1993) et des contacts qui sont intervenus, ainsi que le profil ethnographique général (relations entre langue et clan, mariage exogamiques, etc. cf. Rigsby & Chase 1998).
La discussion sera suivie d’une introduction générale aux langues du CYP et à la classification généalogique de ces langues qui appartiennent à un sous-groupe des langues Paman de la grande famille des langues Pama-Nyungan (voir Hale 1964, 1976a, b). Les considérations sociolinguistiques (phénomènes de multilinguisme, etc ; cf. Sutton & Rigsby 1978, Verstraete & Rigsby 2015), phonologiques (changements systématiques dans l’inventaire des phonèmes, mais aussi à l’intérieur de la structure du mot ; cf. Alpher 1976) ainsi que morphosyntaxiques (au niveau du syntagme nominal et de la proposition) seront enfin abordées.
]


(2) Morphosyntax of the Cape York Peninsula (CYP) languages, Australia
Mercredi 15 avril 2015

This talk focuses on clausal morphosyntax, specifically the domains of case and agreement. We provide a survey of patterns of case marking and verbal agreement in CYP languages, with a special focus on their functions. In the domain of case, we show that case marking is not merely determined by syntactic functions, but also by information structure and aspects of discourse structure (Gaby 2010, Verstraete 2010). In the domain of agreement, we focus on ‘irregular’ patterns of agreement that serve to mark experiencer roles, and that have extensions towards valency-changing functions (e.g. Verstraete 2011a, b).

[La communication portera sur la morpho-syntaxe propositionnelle, et plus particulièrement sur les domaines des cas et de l’accord. Un ensemble de formes avec des marqueurs casuels et des accords portant sur le verbe sera donné. En ce qui concerne les cas, on montrera que les marqueurs ne sont pas seulement déterminés par les fonctions syntaxiques, mais aussi par la structure informationnelle et les aspects du discours (Gaby 2010, Verstraete 2010). En ce qui concerne les accords verbaux, on insistera sur les formes ‘irrégulières’ qui serve à marquer les rôles d’expérience et qui ont des prolongements fonctionnels dans le changement des valences du verbe.]

(3) Sociolinguistics and language contact in the Cape York Peninsula languages
Mercredi 22 avril 2015

This talk focuses on patterns of personal multingualism in CYP languages, and the types of language contact resulting from them. We show how the marriage rule of clan exogamy leads to a distinctive type of personal multilingualism (Sutton & Rigsby 1978), which is difficult to accommodate in classic typologies of multilingual behaviour. This type of multilingualism facilitates intensive language contact in the region, leading to contact-induced change in grammar in some areas, often accompanied by relatively little lexical borrowing. We discuss the example of intensive contact between the Middle Paman and Lamalamic languages in the Princess Charlotte Bay area (Rigsby 1997), using evidence from pronominal morphosyntax (Verstraete 2012) and from multilingual place name sets.

[La communication portera sur les formes du multilinguisme personnel dans les langues de la CYP et sur les différents types de contacts de langues qui en résultent. On montrera que les règles de mariage dans les clans exogamiques ont conduit à un type particulier de multilinguisme personnel (Sutton & Rigsby 1978). Ce type de multilinguisme singulier facilite l’intensité des contacts de langues dans cette région, entraînant des changements par contact dans le domaine de la grammaire, souvent accompagnés d’emprunts lexicaux relativement limités. On discutera de ces contacts intenses entre le middle paman et les langues lamalamiques dans la Princess Charlotte Bay (Rigsby 1997), avec des exemples pris dans le domaine de la morphosyntaxe pronominale et dans le domaine des noms de lieu multilingues.]

(4) Phonology of the Cape York Peninsula languages
Mercredi 29 avril 2015

This talk focuses on the phonology of CYP languages, which has long been regarded as one of their most distinctive characteristics in the wider Australian context (e.g. Dixon 1980). We illustrate the profound differences in phoneme inventories and word structure found in this region by analysing the synchronic and diachronic phonology of the Lamalamic language Umbuygamu, in contrast with its more conservative Middle Paman neighbours, Yintyingka and Umpithamu (Verstraete & Rigsby 2015).

[La communication portera sur la phonologie des langues de la péninsule CYP, qui a longtemps été considérée comme ayant des caractéristiques propres dans le large contexte des langues d’Australie (Dixon 1980). On illustrera les profondes différences qui existent dans l’inventaire des phonèmes et dans la structure du mot dans cette région en analysant, en synchronie mais aussi en diachronie, la phonologie du umbuygamu (langue lamalamique), par rapport aux langues voisines, et notamment le middle paman, le yintyingka et le umpithamu (Verstraete & Rigsby 2015)] 

 

Katia Chirkova (CRLAO-CNRS), Ersu verbal morphology
Mercredi 13 mai 2015

This presentation reports results of an ongoing parallel investigation of three closely related Tibeto-Burman languages of southwestern Sichuan: Ersu, Lizu, and Duoxu. The first part of the presentation focuses on the aspectual system of Ersu, so as to provide a comprehensive overview of the aspectual organization of the variety of that language as spoken in Ganluo County. In contrast to previous descriptions (Sun 1983, Liu 1983, Zhang 2013), this presentation shows that the basic distinction between perfective and imperfective aspect in Ersu is expressed by lexical-derivational means: verbal stems and (essentially directional) prefixes. The expression of other types of aspects (change of state, experiential, progressive, durative) relies on periphrastic constructions and is tightly interwoven with modality.
In the second part of the presentation, the Ersu system is compared to that of Lizu and Duoxu to reveal a common ‘core’ derivational aspect system, shared by all three languages. In the shared system, bare verb stems tend to be imperfective, whereas perfective forms are derived by adding telicity-inducing directional prefixes to an imperfective verb stem. The presentation further discusses (a) the semantics of the perfectivity and imperfectivity categories of the three languages, (b) the relation between aspect and time reference, and (c) meanings and functions of verbal prefixes in Ersu, Lizu, and Duoxu with reference to other Tibeto-Burman languages of Sichuan that also use directional prefixes to express aspectual meanings.

 

Fresco Sam-Sin et Léon Rodenburg (Université de Leiden), IT Perspectives on Language Learning and Research: The Case for Manc.hu
Mercredi 20 mai 2015

This talk thinks aloud about the possibilities students and researchers can create to deploy, share and use online text corpora. It will do so by looking at the case of www.manc.hu, an online Manchu toolkit. We will put all our instruments under scrutiny, discuss our experiences, and point out how this translates to your study, teaching and research.

Bibliography Tool: the uselessness of text without context (encounters with the Manchu Way).

Reader Tool: the flipped classroom as pedagogic empowerment, but also the laziness hidden in hyperlinks.

Corpus Tool: the linguistic value of displaying the heterogeneity of discourse modes; putting the status quaestionis to the test.

Dictionary: balancing between too much and too little definition, but also: building historical dictionaries on the go.

This talk hopes to be equally stimulating for language researchers, teachers and students.

 

Éva Buchi (ATILF, CNRS & Université de Lorraine), Reconstruction, défectivité et auxiliarisation : réflexions à partir de l'article */'βad‑e‑/ (corrélat de latin vadere) du Dictionnaire Étymologique Roman
Mercredi 27 mai 2015

Cette conférence se propose de réfléchir, sur la base d’un article en cours de rédaction du Dictionnaire Étymologique Roman (DÉRom, cf. http://www.atilf.fr/DERom), aux conditions qui doivent être réunies pour que la méthode comparative puisse aboutir à la reconstruction, d’une part, d’un verbe défectif, de l’autre, d’un auxiliaire. Sur un plan plus général, il s’agira de questionner la position des études romanes au sein de la grammaire comparée, et d’approfondir le dialogue avec des spécialistes d’autres familles linguistiques amenés à se servir de cette méthode.

 

Mathias Jenny (Université de Zurich, Professeur invité et directeur d’études associé à l’EHESS), donnera une série de quatre communications sur La typologie des langues de l’Asie du Sud-Est

(1) Multi-verb Predicates in Southeast Asian Languages
Mercredi 3 juin 2015

One feature that is often mentioned as characteristic, even constitutive or diagnostic, of the Southeast Asian (SEA) linguistic area are Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs). The term SVC has been in use since the early 20th century, while the phenomenon was first described in the mid-19th century in Akan (Fante). The terminology was later applied to different languages, especially in East and Southeast Asia, as well as West African and Creole languages, resulting in a number of diverging definitions that are not easily reconciled. With no generally accepted definition available, the use and descriptive-typological usefulness of the term SVC has become disputed. Haspelmath (2015) is a recent attempt at a reconciliation of existing definitions.
In this talk, I look at different patterns and functions of multiverb predicates in three languages of Southeast Asia belonging to three different families, namely Thai (Tai-Kadai), Burmese (Sino-Tibetan), and Mon (Austroasiatic). These languages differ greatly in the structures of multiverb predicates. A number of multiverb predicates in Thai, Burmese, and Mon fall outside Haspelmath’s (2015) definition of SVCs, leaving only a reduced set of grammatical constructions and lexical compounds in each language. A given function may be expressed by a SVC or another construction, and a given verb can occur as part of an SVC or another construction within or across the languages.

Given this finding, SVC does not appear to be a useful category for a typological description of SEA languages. Turning away from SVC as a given category, I propose to look more closely at the semantics and functional extensions of constructions involving two or more verbs without looking for a priori defined categories. This alternative approach in the analysis of multiverb predicates is expected to yield more telling results, not only in the languages in focus in this talk, and make the relevant phenomena comparable cross-linguistically without interference from (random) definitions. Rather than offering a fully-fledged theory of multiverb predicates and the analysis thereof, it is hoped this talk will lead to constructive discussions about the topic.

(2) Give and Get in the languages of Southeast Asia and beyond
Mercredi 10 juin 2015

Numerous studies are available on different aspects of the languages of Southeast Asia. What they have in common is that they are usually based on the major languages of the area, such as Thai, Khmer, and Vietnamese, while not much research includes the languages on the western fringe of this area, namely present-day Myanmar. This gap is addressed in this study, at least with respect to one feature.One of the outstanding features of Southeast Asian languages is the grammatical use of secondary verbs (V2). These V2s range in function from modal to directional and aspectual, and also express secondary concepts such as manner, attitude, and more. Very often these V2s are difficult, if not impossible, to catch in traditional grammatical terms. One case in point is the verb ‘get’, which occurs in either pre-verbal or post-verbal position in many languages of SEA, with different functions. Post-verbal ‘get’ usually expresses general ability or the absence of obstacles, while in pre-verbal position it indicates that an event occurs because of some prior event (Enfield 2003), often translated as ‘get to’ or ‘have a chance to’, or (mis-)analyzed as past tense. This second function seems to be closely related to the use of (mostly pre-verbal) ‘give’ to express permissive and/or jussive causative function, present in the majority of languages of SEA and spreading into Myanmar. In verb-final Burmese, where auxiliaries are commonly placed after the main verb, ‘get’ occurs only post-verbally, though with different syntactic behavior for the meanings ‘can, be able’ and ‘have to, get to; have done’. The former, corresponding to SEA post-verbal ‘get’ is a free auxiliary, the latter, which corresponds to SEA pre-verbal ‘get’ is a bound morpheme. This example shows that the similarity of expression is often hidden behind differences in syntax, especially in languages with diverging basic word order.
Based on published sources and original material collected during numerous field trips to Myanmar over the past ten years or more, this study looks at the form and use of GIVE and GET constructions in a sample of languages spoken in present-day Myanmar and adjacent areas. The main languages used in this study are varieties of Burmese, Mon, and Shan, representing the three major language families of the area, namely Tibeto-Burman, Austroasiatic, and Tai-Kadai, respectively. Additional data will be adduced from Karenic languages, as well as other languages where data are available and relevant to the argument.

(3)  Exploring language contact in Myanmar
Mercredi 17 juin 2015

Located between the two well known (though not uncontroversial) linguistic areas of South Asia and Southeast Asia, Myanmar (Burma) is home to over a hundred languages belonging to six different language families. These languages vary greatly in their typological profiles. Some features of some of the languages spoken in Myanmar are similar to the ones found in South Asia, others are closer to Southeast Asian languages. A number of features seem to be more typical of what we call the ‘Greater Burma Zone’, rather than belonging to either of the neighboring areas. In spite of the great structural diversity, the languages of the Burma Zone also have many characteristics in common. These shared traits can in many cases be explained as result of longstanding language contact and spread from regionally or locally dominant languages to subordinate languages. The outcome of these contact scenarios is often a superficial similarity in contact varieties which can lead to diversification within a language. The similarity with neighboring languages may be in the syntactic organization of phrases and clauses, in the phonetic realization of sounds, in common semantics and functional extensions of lexemes, and others.
In this study, which brings together methods and material from history and linguistics, I look at different contact scenarios in Myanmar, some of which are richly documented, others still poorly understood. In the case of Mon, we have access to over a thousand years of direct and indirect evidence of social and linguistic contact in Thailand and Myanmar, and we can see how the language converges with the respective national languages, and at the same time diverges internally. The findings of the Mon case can be applied to other areas, for which historical documentation is non-existent, and can thus help our understanding of past contact scenarios.

This study is part of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on ‘the Greater Burma Zone as a transitional zone of languages and peoples’, running from 2014-2017.

(4) New Situation (NewSit) – an aspectual category in Southeast Asia
Mercredi 24 juin 2015

Traditional aspect theory makes a basic distinction between lexical aspect (aktionsart) and grammatical aspect. Lexical aspect is an inherent part of the semantics of a verbal predicate, grammatical aspect expresses the temporal structuring of an event by means of morphological (synthetic or periphrastic) aspect markers. A number of tests have been proposed to classify verbs in terms of durative vs. momentary and telic vs. atelic. The major distinction made within grammatical aspect is between perfective and imperfective, with perfect added by some authors; others see perfect as tense, rather than aspect.
Many Southeast Asian (SEA) languages use secondary verbs to express aspectual notions. These V2s not only express grammatical aspect, but are also used to specify lexical aspect. Many verbs in SEA languages are underspecified in terms of aktionsart, and this underspecification may, if felt necessary by the speaker, be remedied by means of secondary verbs. One frequent aspect (or aspectoid) marker, found with similar functions in most SEA languages, originates in a verb usually translated as ‘finished’. In its grammatical functions, it is variously glossed as ‘perfective’, ‘perfect’, ‘past’, or ‘currently relevant situation’. Xiao & McEnery (2004) use the label ‘actual aspect’, which is given as a subcategory of the perfective aspect, for one of two similar morphemes in Mandarin Chinese (post-verbal le), while the other one (clause final le) is labeled ‘change-of-state’.
The morpheme in question may occur in perfective/past situations (‘he ate an apple’), but it also commonly occurs in imperfective situations, often combined with progressive or continuous markers (‘he is eating now’). Though a change of state is necessarily involved in situations described by this morpheme, it is not the change, but rather the ensuing situation that is in focus. In this study, I propose the label ‘new situation’ (NSIT) for the morpheme in question, based on a close investigation of its use in a number of languages from SEA, including languages of Myanmar. The data used include corpora (where available), published primary and secondary material, as well as elicited data. The analysis of the NSIT marker in SEA languages has implications not only for grammaticalization and areal linguistics, but also for aspect theory in general, as the SEA data suggest that the proposed categories for other languages and regions are not adequate or sufficient to describe the aspect systems of SEA languages, and that the perfective-imperfective dichotomy is less universally valid than the literature suggests.

[Xiao, Richard & Tony McEnery. 2004. Aspect in Mandarin Chinese. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.]

 

 



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XXXIe Journées de Linguistique Asie orientale - 31st Paris Meeting on East Asian Linguistics

Journée(s) d'étude - Jeudi 28 juin 2018 - 09:15Manifestation scientifique internationale organisée chaque année par le CRLAO, l'édition 2018 des Journées se tiendra les 28 et 29 juin 2018 à l’INALCO, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris.Les communications présentées au cours de ces journées touchent tous les domaines de la recherche linguistique sur les langues d’Asie Orientale.Comité d'organisation / Organization CommitteeJiyoung Choi (CRLAO, INALCO), Christine Lamarre (CRLAO, INALCO), Yo(...)

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Journées de Linguistique d'Asie Orientale 2017 - Paris Meeting on East Asian Linguistics

Rencontres scientifiques - Jeudi 29 juin 2017 - 09:00Les Journées de Linguistique sur l’Asie Orientale, événement scientifique annuel du CRLAO, célèbrent cette année leur trentième anniversaire.Les participants interviendront dans tous les domaines de la recherche linguistique sur les langues d’Asie Orientale autour du thème de la « Diversité linguistique en Asie du sud-est et en Asie orientale ».Un atelier sur les changements linguistiques induits par contacts de langues en Asie orientale e(...)

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29e journées de linguistique d’Asie Orientale

Journée(s) d'étude - Lundi 04 juillet 2016 - 09:00Manifestation scientifique internationale organisée chaque année par le CRLAO, l'édition 2016 des Journées se tiendra les 4 et 5 juillet prochains à l’EHESS, 105 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris.Les communications présentées au cours de ces journées touchent tous les domaines de la recherche linguistique sur les langues d’Asie Orientale. Elles seront données en français, en anglais et en chinois.Entrée libre dans la limite des places disponibles.

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À la rencontre des Aïnous, minorité autochtone du Japon

Journée(s) d'étude - Vendredi 20 mai 2016 - 14:00Cet atelier fait écho à l’exposition « Regards sur les Aïnous du Japon », organisée par la BULAC.ProgrammeVendredi 20 mai 2016 - Langue, histoire & société aïnoues14h-14h15 - Accueil & présentation des participantsIntroduction - État de la recherche sur les Aïnous en France, en Europe & au JaponPanel 1 - Langue & tradition oraleModération: Charlotte VON VERSCHUER  (EPHE/CRCAO)14h15-15h - La distribution de la langue aïnoue dans le Japon ancien(...)

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À la rencontre des Aïnous, minorité autochtone du Japon

Journée(s) d'étude - Samedi 21 mai 2016 - 10:00Cet atelier fait écho à l’exposition « Regards sur les Aïnous du Japon », organisée par la BULAC.ProgrammeVendredi 20 mai 2016 - Langue, histoire & société aïnoues14h-14h15 - Accueil & présentation des participantsIntroduction - État de la recherche sur les Aïnous en France, en Europe & au JaponPanel 1 - Langue & tradition oraleModération: Charlotte VON VERSCHUER  (EPHE/CRCAO)14h15-15h - La distribution de la langue aïnoue dans le Japon ancien ((...)

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