Since the birth of sociolinguistics the localization of innovative speakers has been regarded as a key issue in the study of language change. For this purpose, researchers traditionally categorize the speakers of a speech community on the basis of demographic and socioeconomic features; however, these parameters prove not to be sufficient to identify innovative speakers in all cases. It may be argued, however, that the speaker’s implicit attitude towards linguistic innovations may also be captured and may be a good indicator of the speaker’s innovative linguistic behavior. This line of research is not yet well elaborated on, probably due to the complexity of the attitude construct (which makes the measurement of implicit attitudes a challenging task), and the difficulty of grasping attitude towards linguistic innovations as such. The present study aims at addressing the potentials present in this aspect of sociolinguistic investigation.
We review the psychological literature on the attitude construct and propose that a method borrowed from social psychology, the Implicit Association Test (IAT), may be adapted for the measurement of implicit attitude towards linguistic innovations if used with a linguistic variable that is subject to an ongoing language change as the test variable (or target). We report a pre-test conducted for variable selection for the adaptation of the IAT, and analyze data gathered by means of this newly created method for capturing implicit innovative linguistic attitude. We propose that this new IAT may be a useful tool in language change studies.
Keywords: IAT, implicit language attitude, language attitude, innovative attitude, language change, sociolinguistics
The aim of this paper is to investigate Mansi ditransitive constructions from a typological point of view. Mansi has an alternation of indirective (indirect object) and secundative (secondary object) ditransitive constructions. Also passivization plays an important role in alternation. In Mansi both constructions can passivize, although the passivization of the secundative construction is more frequent. The alternation is related to topicality, the choice between the two ditransitive constructions (and the conjugation types and voice of the verb) is made in order to express the relative topicality of the arguments.
Keywords: Mansi language, ditransitive constructions, ditransitive alternation
This paper reports on a psycholinguistic experiment investigating information used in incremental interpretation to assign grammatical roles to case-marked nouns. The three core grammatical cases in Estonian - nominative, partitive and genitive - are syntactically ambiguous, in that they may function in various grammatical roles depending on the context. Our study probed what grammatical functions Estonian speakers assign to nouns marked in these cases prior to any knowledge of the syntactic structure of the clause. We investigated the effect of animacy and number, in combination with case-marking, on grammatical role assignment of clause-initial nouns. Results show that these cases are underspecified, and that the interpretation of nouns, when presented without prior context, involves semantic cues like animacy and number, which interact with morphological case to guide the assignment of grammatical functions.
Keywords: grammatical relations, incremental interpretation, morphological case, Estonian