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SEMINAR: Linguistics Seminar Series

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Today's date is Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Linguistics Seminar Series : Reference and the dynamics of discourse: The expanding function of null subjects in Kriol Other events...
Kriol is an English-lexified creole spoken throughout the northern regions of Australia. Relatively little is known about the structural features of the language, and a comprehensive description of the language is yet to be produced. In this talk I will present the research I have undertaken as part of my Honours year, which is a description and analysis of the expanding functions of null subjects in Kriol.

My description of null subjects will first distinguish between two broad categories: null subjects which are conditioned by syntactic constraints, and those that are conditioned by discourse constraints. I will then describe the specific environments these types of null subjects are located in and conclude that the two varieties of null subjects fundamentally differ in whether or not they are licensed through syntactic control in antecedent-anaphor relations. This description will then be followed by a quantitative analysis of null subjects constrained by discourse level factors, where I will demonstrate that null subjects that appear as discourse markers are licensed when they encode continued, non-ambiguous topics that occur episode medially or finally.

My presentation will then conclude by suggesting that this variation in the function of null subjects represents an apparent change in progress of null subjects expanding from syntactic to discourse environments, motivated by influence from Australian languages. In this discussion I will consider lexifier and substrate influences, as well as typological parallels in the function of null subjects in other Australian contact varieties.
Speaker(s) Connor Brown (Honours candidate)
Location Social Sciences building, seminar room 2.63
Contact Maļa Ponsonnet <maia.ponsonnet@uwa.edu.au>
Start Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:00
End Fri, 05 Oct 2018 12:00
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <ss@uwa.edu.au>
Last Updated Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:22
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