CLS Meeting Series - Lindsay Kay Butler-Trump (Penn State University)
Feb 06, 2015
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
|Where||127 Moore Building|
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Psycholinguistics and Yucatec Maya
Estimates suggest that fewer than 0.6% of the world’s languages have been studied in the context of controlled psycholinguistic investigations of sentence production; making matters worse, the languages that have been investigated are almost all typologically and genetically related. I present a number of recent field-based psycholinguistic studies of sentence production with speakers of Yucatec Maya. Not only do these studies expand the empirical base of sentence production research, but they also shed light on the nature of basic sentence production processes. These studies demonstrate that the influence of conceptual information diverges in its effects on the production of optional plural marking and numeral mention. Despite the clear role of conceptual factors, speakers show significant preferences for producing optional number agreement marking. I also discuss a number of related studies that reveal remarkable effects of education and literacy on the production of number morphology and incremental constituent ordering. Together these studies suggest the central importance of investigating populations with varying linguistic and demographic backgrounds.