Margaret Winkler-Kehoe: An acoustic study of schwa syllables in monolingual and bilingual German-speaking children
There is little known on the acoustic characteristics of schwas in young children although schwa poses challenges for children in development and also in the acquisition of a second language. This study examines the acoustic correlates of schwa in German-speaking monolingual and bilingual children, aged 2;7 to 3;1. It provides acoustic data on different types of schwa syllables (schwa-only, R-colored schwa, syllabic consonants) in words of differing length (two-syllable vs. multisyllabic) and across different phrase positions (phrase-final vs. non-final), as well as examines whether bilingualism influences the production of schwa. Duration and formant frequency measures were conducted on over 700 productions of schwa syllables extracted from spontaneous speech recordings of three monolingual and three bilingual children. Results indicated significant effects of schwasyllable type on duration and formant frequency measures as well as some differences due to phrase position. There were few differences pertaining to bilingualism with the exception of an increased rate of vowel epenthesis in the production of target syllabic consonants by the bilingual children. The discussion focuses on the acoustic challenge of acquiring schwa-only in comparison to other schwa syllables, which may relate to its reduced length and its variable formant frequency realization.
Inghild Flaate Høyem: Zur Syntax und Semantik absoluter mit-Sätzchen im Deutschen
The present article is concerned with so-called absolute, i.e. non-selected, small clauses headed by the preposition mit (in one of its homonymous uses). Drawing on observations and data in Businger (2011), but contrary to his analysis, I argue for a unified syntactico-semantic analysis of ‚absolute‘ small clauses headed by the preposition mit (‚with‘) and haben-clauses (‚have‘) in German as double subject-predicate structures. Based on Bowers’ (1993, 2001) PrP-analysis, I analyze absolute mit-SCs as adjunct PrPs (PrPadjunct) headed by mit with PRO in Spec and a PrP complement (PrPcomplement), consisting (minimally) of a dative DP and a predicative XP, cf. (1):
(1) [PrP/adjunct PRO mit [PrP/complement DPdat […] XP]]]
Regarding the interpretation of PRO in these adjuncts, I argue that PRO displays the obligatory control (OC) properties described by Landau (2013): 1) the controller must be an argument of the adjunct’s matrix clause (usually, but not always, a subject), 2) long-distance and arbitrary control are ruled out, 3) OC PRO only allows a sloppy reading under ellipsis, and 4) PRO’s antecedent is not restricted to [+human], but also can also be [-human]. Finally, these adjuncts are syntactically and semantically underspecified in the sense that they are not inherently temporal, causal or manner, but are interpreted as such in the corresponding adverbial adjunct positions (cf. Frey & Pittner 1998, 1999 and Pittner 1999).
Frans Plank: Ist gendern bio?
Lena Straßburger, Hanna Weiland-Breckle, Lara Muhtz & Petra B. Schumacher: Seamantix – ein Brettspiel ohne Worte zum Erwerb semantischer Terminologien
In order to enhance students’ intrinsic motivation and learning achievement in the field of semantics, we developed the board game Seamantix, which supports teaching in introductory semantics through autonomous learning. Seamantix focuses on basic semantic knowledge including semantic relations, propositional logic, truth-conditional semantics, semantic roles and verb classifications. Players of Seamantix explain semantic notions without speaking by positioning tokens on pictograms and thereby provide their fellow players with critical cues. An evaluation of the learning curve via a practice test presented before and after exposure to the board game revealed that students who played the game showed a significant improvement compared to a non-playing control group. Furthermore, the majority of the players rated the design and material associated with the game positively and indicated that they enjoyed playing it.
Patrick Brandt: Rezension
Kertész, András (2017): The Historiography of Generative Linguistics. Tübingen: Narr.