Colloquium: Joyce McDonough

Paradigmatic relations in Navajo morphology: learnability and the lexicon

Join us for a colloquium on Friday, March 6! Dr. Joyce McDonough from the University of Rochester will be presenting on “Paradigmatic relations in Navajo morphology: learnability and the lexicon” at 1pm in Humanities 134. ASL interpretation provided on request.

The Navajo ‘verb’ is a verbal complex constituting a complex ‘polysynthetic’ inflectional system that carries significant information. These verbal complexes reside dense neighborhoods of closely related forms that differ from each other in systematic and clearly learnable ways. Thus the relationship among these word forms must be reliable, and organized in ways that facilitate reliable patterns between a known word form and a related form. The goal of this research is to investigate the patterns that whole words participate in, to identify any constituent parts, and to provide a reliable description of the structure of verbal complex based on these patterns, and crucially not on decompositional morphemic analyses (i.e. templates), that may serves as a realistic working model of the organization of a native speaker’s lexicon.

Joyce McDonough is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Rochester in Rochester New York. She is a phonologist and phonetician working on the sound structure of Navajo and its sister Athabaskan languages to understand a speaker’s knowledge of word structure, based on the understanding that speech is the primary means of communication and learning.

Friday, March 6th, 2020

1:00 PM

Humanities Building Room 134

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