Main clause că ‘that’ in Romanian
Abstract: Romanian că ‘that’ is the Force head of subordinated clauses (Hill 2004). In this paper I point out that the complementizer că ‘that’ may occur in root (vs. subordinated) declarative clauses as well, but only in certain environments, which I identify as being the speech act domain promoting the speaker’s point of view. I argue that in such contexts, main clause că ‘that’ marks the border between various pragmatic sub-fields derived at the left periphery of clauses, rather than typing the clause, as it does in CP complements to V or N. In particular, main clause că ‘that’ draws the border between the injunction field and the Mood adverbial field (Cinque 1999), and between the latter and the discourse pragmatic field (ForceP-FinP).
Keywords: main clause phenomena, că ‘that’, left periphery, pragmatic features, cartography
Romanian restrictive relatives: a head raising analysis?
Abstract: The paper investigates the syntax of restrictive relative clauses from a mainly descriptive viewpoint. It offers a critical view of the head raising analysis (Kayne 1994) and shows that no conclusive evidence supports the application of this analysis to Romanian. I suggest that a different theoretical approach, provided by the Matching Analysis (Chomsky 1965, Sauerland 1998), might instead account for the empirical facts I will bring to attention. However, I leave for future research the details concerning its implementation.
Keywords: Romanian restrictive relative clauses, raising, matching
Manner adverbs within the VP
Abstract: The current paper explores mechanisms of manner adverb licensing in Romanian. The purpose of this paper is to investigate issues concerning the syntax of the manner adverbs in Romanian. The paper also briefly discusses the structure of the clause in Romanian. One task is to examine how these adverbs distribute in the clause. My aim is to provide structural positions for manner adverbs that will account for the data presented.
Keywords: manner adverbs, word order, SVO, VSO, adverb generation
A few notes on the ‘need’ field in Romanian
Abstract: Isachenko (1974) proposed that in Russian, the absence of a (transitive) verb ‘need’ of the English type (cf. I need a book) correlates with the absence of possessive ‘have’. Following Isachenko’s insight, Kayne (2007) further proposed that the English verb need is derived by incorporation of the noun need into have. This paper discusses the behavior of Romanian a trebui, which, unlike English need, is not transitive, although Romanian is otherwise a ‘have’ language, much like English. It will be argued that despite the differences between Romanian a trebui and English need, a modification of Kayne’s (2007) incorporation proposal is also tenable for Romanian. It will be further shown that a trebui can also express deontic obligation and an analysis will be presented whereby deontic a trebui originates in an existential configuration. This analysis can arguably also account for three other types of related constructions expressing deontic modality in Romanian.
Key terms: possession, modality, incorporation, existential constructions
Andrei A. Avram
Japanese and English name truncations
Abstract: This paper looks into the structural properties of Japanese and English truncated names. Name truncation is considered to be a word-formation process and is analyzed from the perspective of Prosodic Morphology. Japanese and English truncated names are shown to be subject to strict prosodic requirements. Also discussed is the relation between name truncation and prosodic minimality in the two languages.
Keywords: name truncation, bimoraic foot, syllable, prosodic minimality, derived word
Recent English loanwords in Irish and the interchange of initial segments
Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to show that evidence from the alteration of initial segments in Irish sheds some light on a modern phenomenon whereby recent loanwords from English resist mutations. We begin the discussion with the presentation of the mechanism of word-initial mutations and show how mutations have triggered the reanalysis phenomenon of alteration of initial segments. Then the research on loanwords’ resistance to mutations conducted by Stenson (1990) and Watson (1983) is brought to light. Ultimately, we show that frequent previous alterations of a given segment could have made Irish speakers aware that mutations may lead to possible confusion of the radical consonant with other initial segments. Concluding, recent English borrowings block mutations in order to protect the quality of the initial consonant.
Keywords: mutations, Irish language, loanwords assimilation
Antonella Delmestri and Nello Cristianini
String similarity measures and PAM-like matrices for cognate identification
Abstract: We present a new automatic learning system for cognate identification. We design a linguistic-inspired substitution matrix to align sensibly our training dataset. We introduce a PAM-like technique, similar to the one successfully used in biological sequence analysis, in order to learn substitution parameters. We propose a novel family of parameterised string similarity measures and we apply them together with the PAM-like matrices to the task of cognate identification. We train and test our proposal on standard datasets of Indo-European languages in orthographic format based on the Latin alphabet, but it could easily be adapted to datasets using any other alphabet, including the phonetic alphabet if data was available. We compare our system with other models reported in the literature and the results show that our method outperforms both orthographic and phonetic approaches formerly presented, increasing the accuracy by approximately 5%.
Keywords: cognate identification, substitution matrices, string similarity measures.
Annotating a Romanian lexicon in a generative framework
Abstract: We present in this paper an on-going research: the construction and annotation of a Romanian Generative Lexicon (RoGL), following the generative lexicon theory. Our system follows the specifications of CLIPS project for Italian language. It contains a corpus, an ontology of semantic types, a graphical interface and a database from which we generate data in XML format. We describe here the graphical interface structure as well as functionality and the annotation procedure.
Keywords: generative lexicon, semantic annotation, graphical interface, Romanian language
Entry layout in the history of English lexicography: Bailey 1736, Martin 1749 and Johnson 1755
Abstract: The present paper focuses on the history of lexicography and proposes a comparative analysis of three significant English dictionaries of the 18th century: Nathan Bailey’s Dictionarium Britannicum (second edition, 1736), Benjamin Martin’s Lingua Britannica Reformata (first edition, 1749), Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (first edition, 1755). The paper discusses the structure of the entries in these texts, concentrating on the changes undergone from Bailey to Johnson, and attempts to show that the increased complexity of Martin’s and Johnson’s lexicographic entries marks a departure from the model of the “universal” dictionary. While the structure of universal dictionaries such as Bailey’s retains important similarities with that of the encyclopaedias of the time, later 18th century dictionaries, such as those of Johnson, are closer in structure to contemporary dictionaries of the English language, indicating a more complete separation of what starts to count as “linguistic” from what starts to count as “encyclopaedic”.
Keywords: history of lexicography, monolingual, encyclopaedic, entry complexity
The cognitive linguistic enterprise in Romania
Abstract: The paper focuses on some cognitive linguistic topics (e.g. categorization, polysemy, motivation of idioms, etc.) approached by Romanian linguists in the last two decades. The selection of contributions that this paper presents is intended to offer an overview of the main attempts to introduce and develop cognitive linguistics in Romania. The claims put forward for English (especially American English) have been contrasted and checked against data from Romanian. Generally, Romanian studies from a cognitive linguistic perspective shed light on various linguistic phenomena at both a theoretical and a practical level. Theoretically, they are relevant through their comparative and contrastive analyses, while practically they contribute insights to language acquisition and translation studies.
Keywords: category, conceptual metaphor, conceptual metonymy, conventional knowledge, motivation
Texting Christmas wishes in China: a view from pragmatics
Abstract: Texted messages on mobile phones are a prevalent mode of conveying regards in contemporary China, where this use of language reflects a shift in cultural values and customs. By analyzing the texted messages of two internet corpora, this article aims to shed light on linguistic and extra-linguistic constraints on speakers’ linguistic options when they formulate such messages.
Keywords: texted messages, pragmatics, discourse constraints, extra-linguistic constraints
“The English have no respect for their language”: the paradox of the English stereotype in G. B. Shaw’s Pygmalion
Abstract: The paper discusses several hypostases of the English stereotype as revealed in the verbal behaviour of different characters in G. B. Shaw’s Pygmalion, concentrating especially on the interpersonal verbal encounters between Professor Higgins, Eliza Doolittle and Colonel Pickering and their environment. Starting from the theoretical premise that stereotypes are extendable forms of social cognition, the emergence of ethnic stereotypes is followed, as they unfold through conversational styles, forms of address and politeness strategies. The play is approached with the help of micro-sociolinguistic methods, focusing on face-to-face conversational interactions between characters. The conclusion of the article is that in Pygmalion some of the characters (the “conventional” ones) are biased by their English ethnicity, the Englishness of others (of the “creative” ones) is less foregrounded, it appears in several, paradoxically related forms, opening to the intertextual interpretation of the play, as acceptable.
Keywords: ethnic stereotypes, intertextuality, middle-class morality, politeness strategies, social identity
Translating between trans-ferring and trans-forming
Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of translators/interpreters in a world in which intercultural exchanges have multiplied dramatically. If traditionally the translator has been a mediator between different linguistic and cultural universes, his role is even more important nowadays when modern technology facilitates human interaction making geographic and chronological distances dwindle. I first look at the analysis Tzvetan Todorov makes of one of the most spectacular cases of cultural clashes in the recorded history of mankind: the discovery and conquest of America by the Spaniards. Then I try to draw a parallel between the role translators/interpreters (or often their absence) played in those tragic events and their role in two crucial moments of our history, respectively: the late 19th century and the end of the following one.
Keywords: translating, cultural differences, borrowings, acculturation