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2017/02/11 Skewed AGREE: accounting for a closest-conjunct effect with semantic implications. Poster presented at the Workshop in honor of David Pesetsky's 60th birthday

Abstract

The AGREE operation as defined in Chomsky (2000) can't identify a match when probes have a kind of domain I call “ambiguous” — domains in which there are multiple possible matches. I investigate a phenomenon that involves φ-probes with ambiguous domains and, based on the realization that AGREE always seems to resolve to the the match linearly closest to the probe, I propose the Skewed AGREE principle: “when in doubt, pick the linearly closest match”.


2016/05/25 One Negation in Kĩsêdjê. Handout of presentation given at Amazonicas VI, Leticia, Colombia

Abstract

Kĩsêdjê doesn't have negative determiners, negative pronouns, negative adverbs or negative particles. Instead, all negation is achieved through the use of negative existential verbs. There are two negative existential verbs in the language: the negative assertive verb khêrê ‘not_be’ and the negative deontic verb hwêt-txi ‘must_not_be’. Negative existential verbs behave like regular intransitive verbs. The single argument of a negative existential verb can be a noun phrase—in which case it realizes existential negation—or an embedded clause—in which case it realizes sentential or constituent negation. Both sentential negation and constituent negation involve embedding (through nominalization) the relevant clause under a negative verb, with constituent negation further involving marking the relevant constituent with the indefinite determiner thõ. Though Kĩsêdjê's negation system is very consistent with its logical representation, it is apparently very uncommon cross-linguistically. Some languages have ‘auxiliary’ negative verbs, but not many seem to have negative verbs that behave like intransitive verbs. Evenki, Tongan and Wari' are some languages that seem to be like Kĩsêdjê in this respect (Miestamo, this conference). In this paper I describe the Kĩsêdjê negation system and discuss the significance of its cross-linguistic rarity in face of its logical transparence.


2016/05/19 Noruega, Ndo ro hwêkê, Peido na cara. Handout de comunicação dada no PPGAS-MN-UFRJ

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Resumo

À medida que conhecem novos entes, os Kĩsêdjê (Jê do Norte, Terra Indígena Wawi, MT) precisam "decidir" maneiras de se referir a eles. Entre esses entes incluem-se, por exemplo, a canoa, o metal, os gravadores, o combustível, os motores, os carros, tratores e caminhões, o papel, o dinheiro e os projetos, a vitória de um time sobre outro em uma partida de futebol, a aposentadoria rural, a votação em políticos locais e federais, os países, os chinelos de borracha tipo "crocs", os noruegueses, a escrita etc. As diversas estratégias linguísticas com que nos deparamos ao estudar essas maneiras de "neonominar" apontam para momentos específicos situados ao longo da história recente de contatos dos Kĩsêdjê com outros povos, sobretudo os contatos com os povos alto xinguanos (khupẽ wê amtô, "estrangeiros-ratos", cujas casas têm portinhas chistosamente assemelhadas a tocas de rato) e com os brancos (khupẽ khá txi, estrangeiros da roupa abundante). A natureza diversificada dessas estratégias ao longo do tempo, e ao ser aplicadas a diferentes domínios e por diferentes subgrupos, tece uma sistemática dinâmica que envolve mecanismos similares aos encontrados na nomeação de pontos geográficos. Percebemos, por outro lado, diferenças significativas entre a nomeação de pontos geográficos e a nomeação de novos entes. Neste trabalho destaco o papel do chiste na nomeação destes últimos.


2016/02/09. Linear phenomena in switch-reference marking. Handout of talk at Rugters Syntax Lab meeting.

Summary

In this talk I discussed data that seems to pose an insurmountable challenge to every theory of switch-reference that only makes reference to hierarchical positions, including Nonato (2014).