Tid: Torsdag 17 oktober 2013 kl. 15–17 OBS: seminariet innehåller två föredrag
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Linguistic Profiles for Investigations of Form and Meaning

kl. 15:00–16:00

Getting published in linguistics

kl. 16:10–17:00

Abstract

Linguistic Profiles for Investigations of Form and Meaning

I offer “linguistic profiles” as a suite of methodological ideas bridging the gap between key theoretical issues in linguistics and quantitative models. Collectively linguistic profiles make it possible to operationalize theoretical questions about the structure of languages so that data can be collected and analyzed. As linguists we should strive to create investigative resources that are portable across languages and have multipurpose applications for language pedagogy and support of endangered languages in addition to linguistic research. The Big Questions I focus on are:

  1. What is the relationship between form and meaning?
  2. What is the relationship between lexicon and grammar?
  3. What is the structure of linguistic categories?
  4. What is the structure of linguistic constructions?

All of these issues are controversial in linguistic theory. While some linguists separate form from meaning, others insist that there is no form without meaning, which means that there are no semantically empty forms, and that difference in form necessarily reflects difference in meaning, with the entailment that there are no true synonyms. A distinction between lexicon and grammar is assumed in theories that assign various phenomena to one or the other, however other theories view lexicon and grammar as parts of a single continuum lacking a clear boundary. Crucially, it is asserted that meaning is not the exclusive privilege of the lexicon, but that grammatical categories such as case, aspect, person, etc. have meaning as well. Although it has been presumed since Aristotle that linguistic categories are discretely bounded, many linguists now believe that categories may be fuzzy and overlapping, structured around prototypes. Grammatical constructions can be modeled as hierarchical structures, often diagrammed as trees, but there is growing evidence that grammatical structure is flat, relying on locally-available sequential cues (Frank et al. 2012).

These Big Questions are not in themselves quantifiable. Linguistic profiles make it possible to approach these questions empirically and from a variety of angles. These include:

  1. Grammatical profiling -- examining the relationship between the frequency distribution of grammatical forms and grammatical and lexical categories (Janda and Lyashevskaya 2011, Eckhoff and Janda forthcoming);
  2. Constructional profiling -- examining the relationship between the frequency distribution of grammatical constructions and meaning (Sokolova, Janda and Lyashevskaya 2012);
  3. Collostructional profiling -- examining the relationship between a construction and the words that most frequently fill its slots (Kuznetsova 2013);
  4. Semantic profiling -- examining the relationship between meanings (measured by independently assigned semantic tags) and forms (morphemes, words; Janda and Lyashevskaya forthcoming);
  5. Radial category profiling -- examining differences in the frequency distribution of uses across two or more near-synonyms (Nesset et al. 2011, Endresen et al. 2012).

Linguistic profiles aim at the Big Questions, but are themselves agnostic about both the theory involved and the statistical methods used. Profiles are a way of organizing measures that can be evaluated in many ways, including: chi-square, Fisher test, hierarchical clustering, componential analysis, regression, conditional inference trees and random forests, and naive discriminative learning.

All linguistic profiling methods take the form-meaning relationship as their point of departure. We should create open-source resources for languages that will make it possible to extract the data needed for linguistic profiling. These resources will include disambiguators and parsers and can be modeled after the Giellatekno language technology resources at the University of Tromsø (http://giellatekno.uit.no/). In addition to facilitating linguistic research, these resources can serve multiple purposes in the building of tools for language pedagogy, (real, not statistical) machine translation, and documentation and revitalization for minority indigenous languages.

References
Some key previous works on linguistic profiling:
Divjak, Dagmar and Stefan Th. Gries 2006 Ways of trying in Russian: Clustering behavioral profiles. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 2, 23–60.
Firth, John R. 1957. A synopsis of linguistic theory 1930–1955. In Philological Society (eds.), Studies in Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell, 1–32.
Geeraerts, D., S. Grondelaers, D. Speelman. 1999. Convergentie en divergentie in de Nederlandse woordenschat. Een onderzoek naar kleding- en voetbaltermen. Amsterdam.
Gries, Stefan Th. and Dagmar Divjak. 2009. Behavioral profiles: a corpus-based approach towards cognitive semantic analysis. In Vyvyan Evans and Stephanie S. Pourcel (eds.), New Directions in Cognitive Linguistics, 57-75. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Hanks, Patrick. 1996. Contextual dependency and lexical sets. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 1, 75–98.
Harris, Zellig S. 1970. Papers in structural and transformational linguistics. Dordrecht: Reidel.
Speelman, D., S. Grondelaers, D. Geeraerts. 2003. Profile-Based Linguistic Uniformity as a Generic Model for Comparing Language Varieties. Computers and the Humanities 37(3), 317-337.

CLEAR-group’s works on profiling:

Grammatical profiles
Janda, Laura A., Olga Lyashevskaya. 2011. Aspectual pairs in the Russian National Corpus. Scando-Slavica 57(2), 201-215.
Janda, Laura A., Olga Lyashevskaya. 2011. Grammatical profiles and the interaction of the lexicon with aspect, tense and mood in Russian. Cognitive Linguistics 22(4), 719-763.
Janda, Laura A., Hanne M. Eckhoff. Forthcoming. Grammatical Profiles and Aspect in Old Church Slavonic. Transactions of the Philological Society.
Kuznetsova, Julia. 2013. Linguistic Profiles. Correlations between Form and Meaning. Chapter 3: Grammatical profiling and gender stereotypes. PhD Dissertation, University of Tromsø.

Semantic profiles
Janda, Laura A., Olga Lyashevskaya. 2013. Semantic Profiles of Five Russian Prefixes: po-, s-, za-, na-, pro-. Journal of Slavic Linguistics 21(2), 211-258.
Kuznetsova, Julia. 2013. Linguistic Profiles. Correlations between Form and Meaning. Chapter 4: Semantic profiling, predictability and prototypicality. PhD Dissertation, University of Tromsø.

Constructional profiles
Janda, Laura A., Valery Solovyev. 2009. What Constructional Profiles Reveal About Synonymy: A Case Study of Russian Words for sadness and happiness. Cognitive Linguistics 20(2), 367-393.
Kuznetsova, Julia. 2013. Linguistic Profiles. Correlations between Form and Meaning. Chapter 5: Constructional profiling and aspectual pairs. PhD Dissertation, University of Tromsø.
Sokolova, Svetlana. 2012. Asymmetries in Linguistic Construal: Russian Prefixes and the Locative Alternation. PhD Dissertation, University of Tromsø.
Sokolova, Svetlana, Laura A. Janda, Olga Lyashevskaya. 2012. The Locative Alternation and the Russian ‘empty’ prefixes: A case study of the verb gruzit’ ‘load’. In: D. Divjak & St. Th Gries (eds.). Frequency effects in language representation (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs. 244.2), 2012, 51-86. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Radial category profiles
Antonsen, Lene, Laura A. Janda, Berit Anne Bals Baal. 2012. Njealji davvisámi adposišuvnna geavahus [The Use of Four North Saami Adpositions]. Sámi dieđalaš áigečála v. 2.
Baydimirova [Endresen], Anna. 2010. Russian Aspectual Prefixes O, OB, OBO: A Case Study of Allomorphy. MA Thesis, University of Tromsø.
Endresen, A., L .A. Janda, J. Kuznetsova, O. Lyashevskaya, A. Makarova, T. Nesset, and S. Sokolova. 2012. Russian “purely aspectual” prefixes: Not so “empty” after all? Scando-Slavica. 58(2), 231-291.
Janda, Laura A., Lene Antonsen, Berit Anne Bals Baal. Forthcoming. A Radial Category Profiling Analysis of North Sámi Ambipositions. Forthcoming in High Desert Linguistics Society Proceedings, Volume 1.
Nesset, Tore, Anna Endresen, Laura A. Janda. 2011. Two ways to get out: Radial Category Profiling and the Russian Prefixes vy- and iz-. Zeitschrift für Slawistik 56(4), 377-402.

Collostructional profiles
Kuznetsova, Julia. 2013. Linguistic Profiles. Correlations between Form and Meaning. Chapter 6: Collostructional profiling. PhD Dissertation, University of Tromsø.

Historical profiles
Kuznetsova, Julia. 2013. Linguistic Profiles. Correlations between Form and Meaning. Chapter 7: Diachronic profiling of two constructional allomorphs. PhD Dissertation, University of Tromsø.

Additional references:
Frank, Stefan L., Rens Bod and Morten H. Christiansen. 2012. How hierarchical is language use? Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Published online 12 September 2012.

Additional Websites
Laura Janda’s homepage:
http://ansatte.uit.no/laura.janda/

Data management horror story:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2zK3sAtr-4

Abstract

Getting published in linguistics

Authors often find the submission and peer-review process at scholarly journals both mysterious and frustrating. This talk is based on nearly 25 years of experience as associate editor of the journal Cognitive Linguistics (which is among the top-ranked linguistics journals in the world). I will explain how the process works and give authors advice on how to succeed in getting their articles accepted for publication. This talk is potentially useful for anyone who wants to publish in academic journals in linguistics or even in related fields.

Välkomna!

Ljuba Veselinova