Saturday, January 2, 2010

Linguistics Society of America Annual Meeting

Highlights (for me!) from the upcoming LSA Conference in Baltimore this weekend. For more info...LSA Annual Meeting 2010

This is what my Friday morning looks like...

Language Acquisition I

Chair: Jennifer Bloomquist (Gettysburg College)
9:00: Seung Kyung Kim (Stanford University): Young children's production of direct objects in spontaneous speech
9:30: Rachel Theodore (Brown University), Katherine Demuth (Brown University), Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): Acoustic evidence for position and complexity effects on children's production of plural -s
10:00: Gregory Aist (Iowa State University), Donna Gates (Carnegie Mellon University), Margaret McKeown (Carnegie Mellon University), Jack Mostow (Carnegie Mellon University): Derivational morphology affects children's word reading in English earlier than previously thought
10:30: Jeffrey Lidz (University of Maryland), Rebecca Baier (University of Maryland): Predictive parsing impedes word learning in 16- and 19-month-olds
11:00: Ann Bunger (University of Delaware), John Trueswell (University of Pennsylvania), Anna Papafragou (University of Delaware): Event apprehension for language production in children
11:30: Jodi Reich (Yale University), Elena Grigorenko (Yale University), Maria Babyonyshev (Yale University): Nominal inflection in children with disorders of spoken language: Evidence from Russian

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Phonological Processes in Child Language Acquisition

Some common phonological observations in bilingual child language acquisition
I will be revisiting these frequently

Subject: loquacious 3 year old female

- Metathesis
"spaghetti" becomes "pasghetti"
"elegant fowl" becomes "elefant gowl"
"Joseph" becomes "Jophes"

- Assimilation (Palatalization)
"very" becomes "dery"

- Non-rhotization

With regard to second language (Tagalog)
the following words contain aspirated stops. Aspiration is a feature of English

"malaki" becomes "malakhi"
"tubig" becomes "t(h)ubig"
"balikat" becomes "balikhat"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tagalog Segment Inventory

With thanks to the Speech Accent Archive

Introducing the Tagalog Segment Inventory!

These are all the sounds in the native Tagalog language. Some of us Filipinos may remember the old Alphabet we used to sing in school that went, "A ba ka da, e, ga, ha, i, la, ma, na, o, pa, ra, sa, ta, u, wa, ya!" Well this is it folks! In IPA standard format.

New sounds like c, z, (enye), are all loan sounds from English and Spanish.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nasal Place Assimilations in Tagalog

Take a look at Tagalog numbers 11 through 19... Notice how the prefix "labing" literally meaning "surplus" slightly changes in form in each of these examples...

(11)-> labing-isa
(12)-> lanbindalawa
(13)-> labintatlo
(14)-> labing-apat
(15)-> labinlima
(16)-> labing-anim
(17)-> labimpito
(18)-> labingwalo
(19)-> labinsiyam

When does "labing" end in "ng?" (before vowels and "w")

When does it end in "n?" (before "d," "t," "l," "s,)

In "m?" (before "p")

Could all of these be but variations of one underlying form of "labing?"

What determines these variations?

The answer to these questions lies in the following chart.

Tagalog Phonetic Inventory
We see from the chart above that the nasal
[m] is produced by the lips (bilabial),
[n] is produced by the teeth (dental) and
"ng" (written as [ŋ] on the chart) is pronounced far back in the velum of the mouth (velar).

"Bilabial, Dental and Velar" are all "places of articulation." Basically, where the sound is produced.

Now, The universal phonological rule is that certain sounds called "nasals" like "m", "n" and "ng" / [ŋ] (nasals because you kinda use your nose to make these sounds) must agree in place of articulation with the consonant (C) that follows them.

/n/-> αgrees in place (of articulation)/ ___ C

So, for instance, in the Tagalog word for 12: "labin-dalawa,"
the nasal [ŋ] becomes the nasal [n] (a dental) to agree with the following consonant, [d] (a dental) in "dalawa."

The true underlying form of the prefix is "labing." And "labing" just changes form according to what letter comes next. Cute no?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The occurence of the silent H in Tagalog

"This is an hantik"

HANTIK - pronounced to my knowledge by Filipinos as [AN-TIK]

is most likely a Spanish influence on Philippine phonology since the island of Antique named after the red ant, hantik was originally spelled Hantique. It is the only occurrence of a silent H in Tagalog that I know of. If anyone knows of any other please feel free to post it here.

What is Taglish? (Abstract)

(Many thanks for Dr. Bautista and Dr. Almario for their valuable insights mentioned in this paper and Adarna's attic for this scrumptious picture)

In the Philippines, there is a popular dessert made of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and tropical fruits. It is served cold in a tall glass or bowl topped with ice cream. This “mix-mix” or “halo-halo,” as the dessert is called, was first used in reference to the linguistic blend of Tagalog and English called Taglish in 1967 (Bautista, 1991).

It is the purpose of this paper to explore what Taglish is, as a step towards determining whether it can be used in a Heritage Language learning setting. Is Taglish a language distinct from English or Tagalog? Is it a pidgin or creole? Or is it an occurrence of code-switching?

We must first define what language is. Brown (2002) says, “Language is an arbitrary system of vocal (or visual) symbols used by the members of a speech community for the purpose of communication.”

According to Crystal (1987), to distinguish a language from a dialect one would need to determine the degree of unintelligibility between these languages. This paper briefly investigates whether Taglish is lexically, grammatically (morphologically and syntactically) and phonologically distinct from English or Tagalog.

Language determination is also made on the basis of mutual intelligibility, cultural/mass opinion as well as its political status (Vajda, 2001).

Hopefully, this mainly linguistic and partly sociological approach will help illuminate the nature of Taglish.

For paper request email: