Linguistik-Klassifikation: Quantitative Linguistik / Quantitative linguistics
A general method for the statistical evaluation of typological distributions
- The distribution of linguistic structures in the world is the joint product of universal principles, inheritance from ancestor languages, language contact, social structures, and random fluctuation. This paper proposes a method for evaluating the relative significance of each factor — and in particular, of universal principles — via regression modeling: statistical evidence for universal principles is found if the odds for families to have skewed responses (e.g. all or most members have postnominal relative clauses) as opposed to having an opposite response skewing or no skewing at all, is significantly higher for some condition (e.g. VO order) than for another condition, independently of other factors.
On the optimalization and grammaticalization of anaphora
- The purpose of this dissertation is to defend the idea that the empirical responsibilities of binding theory can be handled in a more psychologically and historically realistic way when assigned to the field of pragmatics. In particular, I wish to show that Optimality Theory (OT) (Prince & Smolensky, 1993), the stochastic OT and Gradual Learning Algorithm of Boersma (1998), the Recoverability of OT of Wilson (2001) and Buchwald et al. (2002), and the bidirectional OT of Blutner (2000b) and Bidirectional Gradual Learning Algorithm of Jäger (2003a) can all participate in a formal framework in which one can formally spell out and justify the idea that the distributional behavior of bound pronouns and reflexivs is a pragmatic phenomenon.
Measuring nominal descriptivity
- Using Ultan's theory of descriptivity grading as a starting point, I will attempt to capture this differential utility in terms of [...] criteria of literalness, explicitness and syntactic complexity. I will first briefly present his System and investigate some generalizations which he has proposed on the basis of his study of body part terminologies in numerous languages. I will apply his theory to nouns in this and four other semantic domains, in three North American Indian languages. I will test his generalizations and propose some new ones. I will then present an alternative system of descriptivity grading and compare the results of its application with those of Ultan's system. In the final section I will suggest another methodology for quantification. An appendix at the end of the paper lists all of the descriptive lexical items mentioned, graded according to both systems.