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Linguistics 1A03 Project 1 due Friday Oct 8, 6:00 pm

Question 1 The following links tell stories of how people behave with language. Choose one of the links and write a response to it from a linguistic perspective. Your job is not to express your personal opinion, but to apply the linguistic principles from Chapter 1 to respond to the issues that arise in the story. (5 points: consult Rubric for details)

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• Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports

• Complaints pour in about next Governor General’s lack of French

• Black, Deaf, and Extremely Online

• Could face masks affect children’s language development?

• An AI won a crossword tournament

• South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Will Now Be Called Gqeberha

Question 2 You’ve probably heard of the app DuoLingo, which helps beginning language learners practice learning vocabulary, pronunciation, morphology and syntax for a wide variety of spoken languages. Imagine that you want to create a similar-style app to help children with atypical language development practice particular language skills. What kinds of functionalities would this app need to have? Use your linguistics vocabulary to describe at least three things the app would have to do to be effective. (6 points: consult Rubric for details) Note: For the sake of simplicity, assume you’re working with a vocal (spoken) language, not a sign language. Also assume that the technological constraints aren’t relevant. In other words, concentrate on the linguistic functions of this app, not the technical specifications.

Ling 1A03 Fall 2021 Project 1 Page 2 of 4

Question 3 In the Pokémon game, players collect creatures called Pokémon. With enough training and points, creatures can evolve into a bigger, stronger versions. When a Pokémon evolves, it also gets a different name. Your job is to discover some of the linguistic patterns in the evolution of Pokémon names. (12 points) Here’s an example:

Charmander evolves into Charmeleon Pidgey evolves into Pidgeotto Paras evolves into Parasect In this set, when each Pokémon evolves, its name adds a syllable. There are also some vowel changes, but these are not consistent across the set. What is consistent across all three names is that the evolved name is one syllable longer than the unevolved name.

For each of the following three sets of names, your job is to discover and describe the pattern of name changes that is common across the set. Note: you won’t get very far if you focus on very narrow details such as, [p] turns into [ɹ]. Instead, you should look for patterns across groups of similar sounds. For each pattern that you find, explain the pattern using at least two examples from the set. Set A:

Pikachu evolves into Raichu Espeon evolves into Umbreon Snubbull evolves into Granbull Meditite evolves into Medicham Kricketot evolves into Kricketune

Set B:

Kabuto evolves into Kabutops Ratatta evolves into Raticate Togepi evolves into Togetic Hitmonlee evolves into Hitmonchan Stunky evolves into Skuntank Mudbray evolves into Mudsdale Cacnea evolves into Cacturne Zorua evolves into Zoroark

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Set C: Dragonair evolves into Dragonite Duskull evolves into Dusclops Helioptile evolves into Heliolisk

Question 4 Researchers looking at a large database of Pokémon names in Japanese found a tendency for the names of evolved Pokémon to include more voiced obstruents than the names of unevolved ones.

a. Look up the term obstruent in one of these dictionaries of linguistics: Cambridge Dictionary of Linguistics Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics What concepts from Chapters 1 and 2 does this term relate to? (2 points)

b. We learned that most word forms in most languages are arbitrary, while occasionally words that describe sounds are iconic (such as crash, boom, tick). How does the pattern found in Japanese Pokémon names relate to the idea of arbitrariness/iconicity? Explain your reasoning. (4 points)

Question 5 LSQ (Langue des Signes Québecoise) is the sign language used most widely in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is a different language from ASL. Go to the dictionary of LSQ and look up the following signs. Note: The Dictionary presents translations of LSQ signs into French so you’ll have to search for the French words, given here in ALL CAPS, to look up the signs; the English meaning for each is given in italics here:

a. POMME (apple), TOMATE (tomato), CERISE (cherry) b. LAIT (milk), LAPIN (rabbit) c. RENARD (fox), LOUP (wolf), VIEUX/VIEILLE (old) d. CITRON (lemon), VINAIGRE (vinegar)

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For each pair or set of signs, make a table that lists the five sign language parameters. For each set, describe each parameter, being as specific as you can, and noting which parameters are the same across the signs in the set and which parameters differ from each other. (12 points)

Question 6 The image below depicts a waveform of a spoken word. Time is plotted on the x-axis (horizontal), and sound energy on the y-axis (vertical). So from left to right, this waveform depicts the change in sound energy that makes up this spoken word. The waveform is divided into six regions. You’ll notice that in Regions 3 and 5, the waveform shows a lot of energy with fairly smooth vibrations. Region 1 has a lot of very turbulent energy, less smooth than 3 and 5. Regions 2 and 4 are short and almost entirely silent. And Region 6 has smooth vibrations but not quite as much energy as 3 and 5. For each of these six regions, make a guess as to what kind of speech sound is represented in the waveform. Pay attention to what the waveform tells you about attributes like sonority, voicing, and manner of articulation. Explain your guess for each region. (12 points) What English word might this waveform represent? Make a guess! (1 bonus point)

Submitting your Assignment • Save your assignment in PDF format. • Upload the pdf file to the Project 1 Submissions Folder

(under Assessments | Assignments) before the deadline.

Question 1 Link

1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/indigenous-traditional-names-passport-1.6064850

2. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/bilingualism-complaints-governor-general-canada-1.6108443

3. https://global-factiva-com.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/ga/default.aspx

4. https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/children-masks-language-speech-faces-1.5948037

5. https://slate.com/technology/2021/04/american-crossword-puzzle-tournament-dr-fill-artificial-intelligence.html

6. https://www.npr.org/2021/03/23/980234491/south-africas-port-elizabeth-will-now-be-called-gqeberha

Question 4 Links

1.https://discovery.mcmaster.ca/iii/encore/record/C__Rb3891370?lang=eng

2.https://discovery.mcmaster.ca/iii/encore/record/C__Rb3705933?lang=eng

3.https://discovery.mcmaster.ca/iii/encore/record/C__Rb4268360?lang=eng

Question 5. Link https://www.macvideo.ca/media/Ling+1A03+Fall+2021+Project1+Question+5+%28LSQ%29/1_ej7n5qbw

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