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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Syntax of Givenness Add Dissertation
Author: Ivona Kucerova Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Completed in: 2007
Linguistic Subfield(s): Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Czech
Director(s): Danny Fox
Alec Marantz
Sabine Iatridou
David Pesetsky

Abstract: The goal of this thesis is to account for distributional patterns of given
and new items in Czech, especially their word order. The system proposed
here has four basic components: (i) syntax, (ii) economy, (iii)
interpretation, and (iv) reference set computation. The approach belongs to
the family of interface driven approaches.

The syntactic part of the thesis introduces a free syntactic movement
(G-movement). The movement causes very local reordering of given elements
with respect to new elements in the structure. G-movement is licensed only
if it creates a syntactic structure which leads to a semantic
interpretation that would not otherwise be available. The economy condition
interacts with the way givenness is interpreted. I introduce a recursive
operator that adds a presupposition to given elements. The distribution of
the operator is regulated by the Maximize presupposition maxim of Heim
(1991). The reference set for purposes of this evaluation is defined as the
set of derivations that have the same numeration and the same assertion.

Finally, I argue that the licensing semantic conditions on givenness in
Czech are not identical to the licensing conditions on deaccenting in
English. The givenness licensing conditions are stronger in that they
require that for an element to be given it must not only have a salient
antecedent but also satisfy an existential presupposition.