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Department of Linguistics

Archived Seminars 2006

 

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Seminars 2006

Topic: Variation across three generations in Australian English
Speakers: Minna Korhonen, University of Helsinki

Date:

Friday, 24 November

Time:

6 - 7.15 pm

Location:

W5C 221

Variation across three generations in Australian English

This research study looks at social variation in and speaker attitudes towards Australian English. Special attention is paid to the alleged American English influence on Australian English. My aim is to examine to what degree AusE follows either BrE or AmE; how it has changed during the last three generations; and in what directions AusE is developing. My research material consists of sociolinguistic interviews conducted in Blayney, NSW, and of responses to an online questionnaire.
This presentation concentrates on the features that showed the most interesting cross generational differences in the online questionnaire. These include verb morphology and marginal modals together with some phonological and orthographic features. In some features, such as the past tense form for the verbs dive and sneak, clear generational differences were discovered. Some preliminary results from the interview material will also be presented.

Topic: From Cook to computers: the origins, development and future of dictionaries in Fiji and the Pacific
Speakers: Associate Professor Paul Geraghty, University of the South Pacific

Date:

Friday, 13 October

Time:

6 - 7.15 pm

Location:

W5C 221

From Cook to computers: the origins, development and future of dictionaries in Fiji and the Pacific

The first systematic attempts to record information about languages of the Pacific islands were made by Captain Cook and his officers. This talk traces the lexicographic efforts of various 'harmless drudges' over the past two hundred years or so, from beachcombers and traders of the early nineteenth century, through missionaries and professional linguists, culminating in the current 'race' to be the first Pacific language with a monolingual dictionary.

All staff and students welcome!

Topic: Dictionaries for foreign language learners
Speakers: Sally Rourke, lexicographer

Date:

Friday, 30 June

Time:

6 - 7.15 pm

Location:

W5C 221


Dictionaries for foreign language learners

The seminar presented research into the use of medium-sized bilingual dictionaries by HSC candidates in four of the most commonly studied languages: French, Japanese, German, Italian.  The range of dictionaries available for the four languages was discussed, and the need for language-by-language assessment for pedagogical purposes. E-dictionaries and their uses and limitations were also examined. Findings on the extent of students' use of dictionaries, and of teacher training in using them were discussed.

 

Topic: Corpus information and bilingual lexicography
Speaker: Dr Petek Kurtböke, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast

Date:

Friday, 24 March

Time:

6 - 7.15 pm

Location:

W5C 221


 Corpus information and bilingual lexicography

The most prominent features of agglutinative languages are synthetic form, high rate of inflection and the formation of lengthy words through the combination of smaller morphemes to express compound ideas.  Each of the morphemes generally has a specific function and retains its original form and meaning during the combination process.  For languages with productive affixational morphology, (e.g. Turkish, Finnish, Hungarian, Basque, Korean, Japanese, Tamil, Australian Aboriginal Languages, Kiswahili, Quechua, Nahuatl, etc.), it is possible to produce numerous forms for a given root.  However, linguistic research has not placed much emphasis on agglutination so far, in spite of scientific evidence that for the speakers of agglutinative languages affixes are a property of the lexicon.  A number of clichés surrounding “agglutinative languages” need to be addressed to avoid stereotyping on the basis of new information extracted from corpora so that the lexicons and computational mechanisms for agglutinative languages could be improved. 

This paper explores the current status of Turkish on the basis of corpus information for the purposes of dictionary making.  In theory, Turkish speakers are capable of producing words of indefinite length by reshuffling a set number of suffixes available in their mental lexicon.  However, a corpus analysis of Turkish shows that the longest stretch of suffixes on an ordinary word contains no more than 6 as opposed to standard text book examples with twice as many suffixes and the average number of suffixes per word appears to be 3 or 4 in written text.  However, suffixation continues to play an important role in Turkish as corpus information reveals that a number of high frequency word forms are advancing rapidly along the path of grammaticalization with some already claiming suffix status, including certain forms of the productive verb OL- (‘be, become’). 
 
The treatment of such characteristics of Turkish, particularly in bilingual lexicography, is problematic (e.g. English-Turkish; Italian-Turkish) as what is rendered for example by a verb in the Indo-European language involved, may be rendered by a suffix in Turkish leaving the lexicographer with the dilemma of how to organise an entry based on individual affixes, which are usually underrepresented in dictionaries of agglutinative languages. 

A corpus approach to agglutinative morphology has implications for lexicography and software development.  It handles suffixes as a property of the lexicon and deals with suffix combinations on the basis of their frequency of co-occurrence rather than in terms of probabilistic calculations.  Suffixes, like words, regularly form certain strings and this regularity needs to be explored more systematically on the basis of corpus information and included in the new generation dictionaries of agglutinative languages.


Lexicography-related publications

Kurtböke, P 2003 Italian-Turkish Bilingual Dictionary. Zanichelli, Bologna, Italy.

Kurtböke, P 2001Schizoglossia, Turkish Language Reform and Dictionaries. in Kiselman, C and G Mattos, (eds.) Language Planning and Lexicology; Proceedings of an international symposium. The Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Zagreb.

Kurtböke, P 2000 Morphological Parsing, the Mental Lexicon and the Dictionary. EURALEX 2000 Proceedings. The University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Kurtböke, P and L Potter 2000 Co-occurrence tendencies of loanwords in corpora International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 5:1.

Kurtböke, P 1998 Non-equivalence of delexicalised verbs in bilingual dictionaries. EURALEX 1998 Proceedings, The University of Liége, Belgium.

Kurtböke, P 1996 The Impact of Corpus Planning on Bilingual Dictionaries. EURALEX 1996 Proceedings, University of Göteborg, Sweden.

Kurtböke, P 1995 Bilinguals as the Vehicles of Borrowing: Sir Paul Rycaut (17th c.) and Lady Wortley Montagu (18th c), and some Turkish loanwords in the Oxford English Dictionary. The University of Melbourne, Working Papers in Linguistics, 15:48-57.

Kurtböke, P 1994 XVIIth Century Italian‑Turkish Dictionaries. EURALEX 1994 Proceedings Free University of Amsterdam.

 

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