Vol. XXV Nr. 2

DOI: 10.31178/BWPL.25.2

Anca Sevcenco

Predicate doubling in Romanian

Abstract: The current paper analyzes Romanian predicate doubling, a construction that features topicalization of a non-finite form, a supine, that surfaces either as a bare verb or as a vP complete with arguments and adjuncts and is immediately followed by a clausal structure whose fully inflected tensed verb is the lexical copy of the supine. Predicate doubling occurs in a large variety of languages and has been used in syntactic research to support various theoretical accounts such as the multiple copy theory of movement developed in Nunes (2004) or late adjunction of the arguments of the fronted predicate (Landau 2007), to name just a few. I argue for a base generation account of Romanian predicate doubling, drawing upon the framework implemented in Muñoz Pérez & Verdecchia (2022). This framework takes into consideration information structure and the way in which discourse develops by answering relevant questions under discussion.

Keywords: predicate doubling, Romanian, topicalization, movement, base generation

Doina Jitcă and Samuel Marușcă

A common view on broad and contrastive focus events

Abstract: This paper proposes a cognitive view on sentence stress patterns to discuss focus elements in both broad and narrow focus contexts. The cognitive perspective is based on the hypothesis that prosodic phrases correspond at the cortical level to cognitive binary relations between speech objects of utterances. On this view, cognitive relations are produced by a generic information packaging (IPk) mechanism that pairs constituents with different cognitive functions. At the utterance level, cognitive relations are implemented by prosodic phrases (relations) where different pitch features mark their two functional constituents. Our proposal is to assign sentence stress patterns with corresponding cognitive structural patterns of utterances. One of the two constituents of cognitive and prosodic relations is nuclear and projects its cognitive function to the whole cognitive unit which it belongs to. The paper proposes a nuclear accent analysis by connecting the cognitive functions of constituents with their phonetic/phonological features. The contours analyzed in the paper as hierarchies of cognitive/prosodic relations are selected from those used by Ladd (2008) to exemplify sentence stress patterns in broad focus statements with ascending and descending contours, and in contrastive focus statements. We conclude that, in the new perspective, different cognitive structural patterns can be assigned to contrastive/broad focus statements in different semantic contexts.

Keywords: cognitive relation, prosodic phrase structure, nuclear element, prominence, focus.

Anastasios Poulidakis

Acquisition of affricate /ts/ in Greek: A case study

Abstract: The present research examines the acquisition of affricates by one Greek-speaking child so as to investigate their phonological status in the underlying representation. For this reason, a comparison is made between the affricate [ts] and the clusters [ks], [ps] to see if their phonological status is the same or different. The child’s data reveal a preference for the           [-continuant] over the [+continuant] feature in reductions in all the aforementioned categories. However, the child manages quite often to utter [ts] faithfully, while clusters do not present any faithful production. So, the acquisition of [ts] precedes that of clusters. These findings support Lombardi’s (1990) Unordered Component Hypothesis, according to which the features [−continuant] and [+continuant] of affricates are unordered and are represented on two different tiers. In other words, their features are considered single-valued, namely, they are either present or absent. For the analysis of child’s tokens, Maximum Entropy Grammar is used (Goldwater & Johnson 2003), which can adequately account for the various handling of affricates.

Keywords: affricates, language acquisition, phonological representation, Maximum Entropy Grammar

Marco Bril and Andrea Roijen

The processing of gender agreement during reading comprehension in L2 French: The effects of syntactic complexity and working memory  

Abstract: A longstanding debate in L2 research focuses on how syntactic complexity needs to be operationalized to account for L2 performances. Whereas many studies investigated this issue in L2 production, very few studies focused on L2 sentence processing. The present study aimed at investigating the effect of syntactic complexity on gender agreement processing in L2 French, while controlling for the learners’ working memory capacity. We tested 37 Dutch learners of French by means of a self-paced reading technique. The results showed decreased sensitivity to gender agreement in embedded structures, but increased sensitivity to gender agreement in non-embedded structures. We concluded that the number of clauses in gender agreement constructions accounts for the effect of syntactic complexity on gender agreement processing in L2 French and that this measure is negatively correlated to sensitivity to gender agreement. We furthermore concluded that (non-verbal) working memory does not affect L2 gender agreement processing.

Keywords: gender agreement, L2 processing, reading, syntactic complexity, working memory

Larisa Avram, Alexandru Mardale and Elena Soare  

Animacy in the acquisition of differential object marking by Romanian monolingual children

Abstract: Differential object marking (DOM) has been shown, in an impressive number of production studies, to be acquired by monolingual children at around age 3. The picture which emerges from comprehension data, however, reveals that DOM is an area of vulnerability in L1 acquisition. This study investigates the acquisition of DOM by monolingual Romanian children using a preference judgment task. 80 monolingual Romanian children (aged 4;04-11;04) and a control group of 10 Romanian adults took part in the study. Results show that DOM is vulnerable and trace this vulnerability to the animacy feature. Romanian children incorrectly overgeneralize DOM to inanimate proper names and inanimate descriptive DPs until age 9. The vulnerability of animacy is predicted by its variable behaviour with respect to object marking as well as by the current increase in the use of clitic doubling, a DOM marker less sensitive to animacy. On the learnability side, we account for the findings in terms of Biberauer & Roberts’ (2015, 2017) Maximize Minimal Means model. We suggest that, in accordance with the Feature Economy bias, Romanian children first identify only the role of referential stability (which has more robust cues in the input) and consider the possibility of animacy as a relevant feature later. In line with the Input Generalization bias, children maximize the role of referential stability, which results in overgeneralization of DOM to inanimate objects, especially to inanimate proper names. 

Keywords: differential object marking, animacy, overgeneralization, L1 acquisition, Romanian

Ruxandra Drăgan

Explicitation and the translation of English adjectival compounds into Romanian  

Abstract: While English and other Germanic languages make extensive use of compounding as a means of expanding their lexicons, in Romanian and Romance languages, in general, compounding is merely a minor word formation process. For this reason, the translation of English compounds into Romanian is a challenging endeavour that usually involves the spelling out of syntactic and semantic information otherwise implicit in the original derivatives. Building on these ideas, the present paper explores the translation strategies employed to render deverbal -ed adjectival compounds into Romanian. It is shown that the typological differences between the two languages lead translators to adopt strategies which, to a large extent, entail obligatory explicitation (see Klaudy & Károly 2005, Klaudy 2003, 2009, 2017, Molés-Cases 2019, etc.), though cases of implicitation are not excluded.

Keywords: deverbal -ed adjectival compounds, translation strategies, grammatical transposition, compensation techniques, explicitation


Diana Hornoiu. Understanding Pragmatics: From Theory to Practice. (Reviewed by Costin-Valentin Oancea)

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