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Are Dolphins' Clicks Used for Communication?
Artur Stepanov, 2023, professional article

Keywords: živalstvo, biologija, komunikacija, jezikoslovje
Published in RUNG: 13.07.2023; Views: 284; Downloads: 1
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Raba dvojine glede na stavčno funkcijo samostalnika in ohranjenost dvojinskih oblik v šestih slovenskih narečjih
Matic Pavlič, Artur Stepanov, Penka Stateva, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Izvedli smo psiholingvistični eksperiment izražanja, in sicer opis slike dogodka s prehodnim stavkom na osnovi treh ključnih besed. Na ta način smo v šestih slovenskih narečjih raziskali rabo dvojinskih oblik samostalnika in glagola. Rezultate smo primerjali s tipologijo narečij glede izgube dvojine v slovenščini, ki jo predstavljajo geolingvistične karte v Jakop (2008) na osnovi podatkov iz Slovenskega lingvističnega atlasa. Ugotovili smo, da raba dvojine ni povezana z ohranjenostjo dvojinskih samostalniških oblik v jezikovnih sistemih slovenskih narečij, ampak le s stavčno funkcijo samostalnika. S slednjim smo prvič eksperimentalno potrdili domnevni vpliv (Tesnière 1925) glagolskega ujemanja na izražanje dvojine v slovenščini.
Keywords: dvojina, samostalnik, glagol, ujemanje, slovenščina, psiholingvistika
Published in RUNG: 12.06.2023; Views: 331; Downloads: 7
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What's in the middle? Reflections on Brown et al. (2001)
Artur Stepanov, unpublished conference contribution

Keywords: intermediate acceptability rating, experimental syntax, multiple wh-question, Superiority effect
Published in RUNG: 03.05.2023; Views: 349; Downloads: 0
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Measuring free word order: Some empirical and modeling perspectives
Artur Stepanov, invited lecture at foreign university

Abstract: Languages manifesting flexibility of word order (within the sentence's compositional meaning) have always presented a challenge for modern theories of syntax requiring any deviation from the canonical word order to be grammatically motivated. Parasyntactic motivations such as information structural or stylistic requirements may account for some portion of this flexibility, but not all of it. In addition, native speakers do not necessarily accept canonical and non-canonical word orders to an equal extent. In fact, the latter typically receive lower acceptability scores than the former, albeit above the subjective threshold for what would count as "ungrammatical". Some of the combinatorially possible word orders are not acceptable at all. In this experimental study we scrutinize different word order sequences in a free word order language (Serbo-Croatian) and attempt to isolate independent displacement factors responsible for various elements of the sentence appearing away from their canonical structural positions. We explore differential and cumulative effects of these independent factors to predict speakers' acceptability scores.
Keywords: Free word order, experimental syntax, Serbo-Croatian, sentence acceptability task
Published in RUNG: 11.02.2021; Views: 2053; Downloads: 0
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How good a cue is a resumptive pronoun? Processing relative clauses in Slovenian
Matic Pavlič, Artur Stepanov, 2020, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: We explore the time course of processing Slovenian subject and object relative clauses (SRC and ORC, respectively) and the role of resumptive pronouns (RP). Participants (adult native speakers of Slovenian, Exp1: N=37; Exp2: N=33, Exp3: N=35) read the sentences in the self-paced mode, followed by a comprehension question after each sentence. In Exp.1 we ask whether the basic SRC/ORC processing asymmetry obtains in Slovenian, despite the presence of an RP. Results: The RC verb was read longer in ORCs compared to SRCs, and postverbal NPs were read longer than preverbal NPs (Figure 1). Both observations are likely to reflect integration effects, suggesting that the presence of RP does not cancel the stand-ard SRC/ORC processing asymmetry. In Exp. 2, we ask whether this asymmetry depends on the structural position of the RC within the sentence. We manipulated RC type and structural position (center-embedded, right-peripheral), across four conditions. Results: similarly to Exp.1, a SRC/ORC asymmetry was observed at the RC verb as well as between the postverbal vs. preverbal NPs, independently of the structural position of RC. The main clause predicate was read slower in sentences with center-embedded RCs compared to those with right-peripheral RCs, in accordance of predictions of metric-based theories of integration cost. Questions following ORCs took somewhat longer to answer than those following SRCs. At the same time, all RCs were read slower in the right-peripheral position than in the center-embedded position, and questions following right-peripheral RCs were answered significantly less accurately than those following center-embedded RCs. We attribute the greater complexity associated with the right-peripheral position to availability of a competitive parse based on a pseudo-relative structures. In Exp.3, we investigate how the feature structure of an RC head and its corresponding RP may affect retrieval of the RC head with the ORC subject as a featural intervenor. Design: by crossing values for number (sg., pl.) and gender (masc.,fem.) between the RC head, RP and the ORC subject we created a continuum of feature matching across four conditions. Results: the integration effect at the RC verb was significantly greater in the conditions with non-matching gender, but not those with non-matching number, suggesting that an RP does not cancel the intervention effect caused by featural similarity, while supporting the conjecture that different patterns of processing nominal features may correlate with their grammatical status (e.g. semantic vs. morphological).
Keywords: relative clause, Slovenian, resumptive pronoun, self-paced reading, structural complexity, psycholinguistics
Published in RUNG: 02.09.2020; Views: 2063; Downloads: 0
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When a Wh-Word Refuses to Stay in Situ
Artur Stepanov, Ali Al Moussaoui, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Richards (2010, 2016) suggests that a language’s choice between the wh-movement option and the wh-in-situ option is made on the basis of language-specific prosodic properties that determine whether or not a prosodic wh-domain containing both the interrogative C and the wh-phrase can be established. A wh-domain in this sense roughly corresponds to a piece of prosodic structure in which these two key elements are separated by as few prosodic boundaries as possible, ideally zero. Prosodic boundaries demarcate structural units of the sentence, known as Minor or Intermediate Phrases that may trivially or nontrivially correspond to syntactic constituents.
Keywords: prosodic domain, Minor Phrase, wh-in-situ, wh-movement, Lebanese Arabic, French, Italian
Published in RUNG: 01.04.2020; Views: 2814; Downloads: 253
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