LingUU 4.1 out now!

LingUU 4.2 is out now! The sixth issue of LingUU Journal features articles on various linguistic topics, written by students from different BA and MA programmes. Download the entire issue, browse through the contents, or order a paper copy (while supplies last).

Marian Marchal (RMA Linguistics) examines the acquisition of sentences containing both a modal verb as well as negation. She argues that a stage of Unique Scope Assignment might not be necessary to explain Italian-acquiring children’s interpretation of these sentences. An experiment is proposed to investigate whether children are able to access the adult-like interpretation if additional processing cost is controlled for.  

Bjorn Lichtenberg(RMA Linguistics) discusses how language has evolved by reviewing the cultural approach to this question. After outlining how language is viewed in this approach, research in favor of this theory is examined, In addition, the author reviews the validity of claims favoring a biological approach. The paper reveals that the cultural approach is able to explain many aspects of language evolution.

Lex Tavenier(RMA Linguistics) analyzes a construction which is typical for creole languages, namely, serial verb constructions. Serial verb constructions consist of at least two consecutive verbs while only one grammatical subject is present. The verbs enter into complex syntactic and semantic relationships. The author considers a couple of possible syntactic analyses for the serial verb construction and comes to conclude that the findings are compatible with both analyzing the construction as serialized IPs and with analyzing it as serialized VPs, though statistical corpus analysis seems to suggest the VP-serializing to be more probable.

Vanessa Kühn (RMA Linguistics) Kühn further investigates the way in which clinical symptoms of schizophrenia are reflected in language. Especially central in her paper is the link between clinical symptoms and the emotion word usage of patients. She presents two examples of the untypical emotion word use in patients and combines these insights with the emotion processing model by Vingerhoets et al. (2000). Using this model, Kühn illustrates the influence of clinical symptoms of schizophrenia on general emotion processing further.

Beactrice Bancheri (RMA Linguistics) discusses the importance of emotion in the acquisition of a first language. Based on a model on human cooperation, Bancheri shows that emotion and language are closely intertwined. In addition, she discusses several aspects of language acquisition, such as infant-directed speech and word learning, in which emotion plays a prominent role.

Elina van Greuningen (RMA Linguistics) interned at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin. Here she researched the effect of the similarity between the German and Dutch language on the acquisition of gender in Dutch. In addition to her research experience, her stay in Germany was a special cultural experience with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Anouschka van Dijk (Msc Neuroscience and Cognition) discusses the film The Silent Child by directors Chris Overton en Rachel Shenton. This film follows a family with a four year old child named Libby who was born deaf. When the family hires a social worker who teaches Libby sign language, the new ability to communicate opens up a new world for her. Anouschka recommends the film to those who are interested in the obstacles a deaf person faces and those who are looking for a new perspective on the importance of language and communication.

And finally, our column The Daily Linguist about language related movies, documentaries, blogs, applications and events.

LingUU 3.2 out now!

LingUU 3.2 is out now! The fifth issue of LingUU Journal features articles on various linguistic topics, written by students from different BA and MA programmes. Download the entire issue, browse through the contents, or order a paper copy (while supplies last).

Walther Glödstaf (RMA Linguistics) discusses long distance case assignment on Finnish direct objects. It has been argued that they violate the Phase Impenetrability Condition, stating that operations cannot take place across multiple phases (Brattico, 2014). He proposes an analysis to show that this is actually not the case using data from Finnish relative clauses.

Sanne Ditewig (RMA Linguistics) proposes a study on children with ALI (Autism Language Impairment) and their knowledge of the constraints on the binding of reflexives. Previous research has shown that children with ALI do not have full knowledge of the constraints on the binding of reflexives, however  this was only tested for the c-command constraint of Principle A. Sanne suggests to also look at the locality constraint of Principle A, in order to investigate the nature of this impairment.

Judith Brinksma and Nelleke Jansen (RMA Linguistics) report on their study on phonetic convergence of students who are originally from Limburg and now live in Utrecht. They compare these students’ pronunciation of two phonemes, /ɣ/ and /v/, with that of students who are raised in Utrecht in two tasks: reading a word-list out loud and a socio-linguistic interview. Factors affecting the differences in convergence found between the participants are also discussed. 

Milou Leeijen (MA Meertaligheid en Taalverwerving)  examines
non-standardized dialects in Northern Brabant. Leeijen focuses primarily on morfo-syntactic similarities and differences between the Noord-Meierijs and Kleverland dialects. Topics discussed include: doubling of the subject, double negation, adjectives, the inflection of pronouns and the inflection of articles. This should result in either finding a clear boundary between both dialects or discovering that both dialects have influenced each other.

Dylan Bonga (RMA Linguistics) analyzes two programs which can be used to classify errors that second language learners make in the correct use of prepositions. He suggests that while these programs both perform quite well, their recall levels constitute something that might be improved upon. To solve this problem, Bonga proposes to incorporate the effect of native language transfer into error classification programs.

The guest paper by Nizar Hirzalla (MSc Artificial Intelligence, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) discusses the linguistic characteristics of social media text messages from populist parties. Through a computational analysis using different kinds of Natural Language Processing (NLP), the rhetorical and linguistic patterns have been detected. The analysis is based on a comparison between two Dutch populist parties, PVV and Identitair Verzet and an upcoming party, The Yellow Vest Movement. 

Janna van Egmond (MA Taal- en Spraakpathologie) interned at the UMC in Utrecht where she worked on data collection for research on speech in various psychiatric disorders. During this time she also worked on her own Bachelor’s thesis about language in schizophrenic patients.

Roos Kerrebijn (BA Dutch Language and Culture & BA Linguistics) discusses The Infinite Gift by Charles Yang which is about the impressive language abilities of children. Roos invites all to read the book because of its writing style and Yang’s knowledge of his field and adjacent fields.

Finally, we have a little surprise: this issue contains our brand new section,The Daily Linguist!