Linguistics Colloquium: MA & PhD student presentations

15/06/2021 - 14:00 - 15:30

There will be three presentations by the following students:


Emily Judds

Title: On the Grammatical Status of the Korean Plural Morpheme Deul


The Korean particle deul has been the subject of much debate among linguists. Although by native speakers it is typically considered to be a plural marker, deul exhibits several interesting properties that are generally atypical of other plural morphemes. Among these are deul’s sensitivity to animacy and its ability to be suffixed to non-nominal grammatical elements. Drawing on the atypical behaviors and distribution of Korean deul, I seek to investigate whether or not deul can actually be considered a morphosyntactic marker of plurality. I propose that Korean deul is not the overt realization of a formal syntactic feature. Additionally, given the evidence seen through deul’s sensitivity to animacy, I also propose that animacy may be moving towards grammaticalization in Korean.


Muna Abd El-Raziq

Title: Morpho-syntactic development in Palestinian-Arabic speaking children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 


Morpho-syntactic deficit is not a core Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impairment. Children with ASD show a large heterogeneity of profiles (e.g., Kjelgaard & Tager- Flusberg, 2001). Research on ASD in Arabic is still in its infancy. The current study aimed to assess morpho-syntactic skills of  Palestinian-Arabic speaking children with and without ASD.

Two groups of children aged 5-10 participated: children with ASD (n=76) and children with TLD (n=87). A Palestinian-Arabic Sentence Repetition (SRep) task (Saiegh-Haddad, Halabi, & Armon-Lotem, 2019) based on LITMUS SRep Tasks (Marnis & Armon-Lotem, 2015) was used to assess morpho-syntactic skills.

The results showed that by age 5 children with TLD acquire most of the morpho-syntactic structures of the spoken vernacular. As a group, children with ASD scored significantly lower compared to their TLD peers. The analysis of individual profiles confirmed that some children with ASD have a comorbid morpho-syntactic impairment, while others have intact morpho-syntactic skills and perform on a par with their TLD peers. Developmental patterns of typical and atypical structural language development in Palestinian-Arabic will be discussed.


Alina Bihovsky

Title: Quantitative and qualitative differences in language mixing in the two languages of bilingual Russian-Hebrew speaking patients with aphasia

Language Mixing (LM) occurs among non-brain damaged bilinguals as well as in bilingual patients with aphasia (BiPWA) (Goral et al., 2019; Lerman et al, 2019; Neumann et al., 2017). There is no agreement on the exact underlying mechanisms of LM in BiPWA. LM in BiPWA has been attributed to linguistic impairment and/or cognitive control (Abutalebi et al., 2009). The current study aimed to contribute to the literature on the underpinnings of LM in L1 and L2 in BiPWA by examining the relationship between LM and background linguistic factors, language skills, and cognitive control abilities in a group of Russian-Hebrew speaking BiPWA (n=20). LM frequencies and patterns were analyzed for each participant in three picture-sequence descriptions and three personal stories, in L1 and L2. The results show quantitative and qualitative differences in LM frequencies. The patterns of LM are related to the language profiles of the patients before and after the onset of aphasia, rather than to cognitive control deficits caused by aphasia. Production of words in a non-target language in BiPWA compensates for lexical access difficulties and serves to increase efficiency of communication and to enhance speech fluency in the weaker language.


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