Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Publications From Our Department

Publications From Our Department

Lasersohn, P. 2017. Subjectivity and Perspective in Truth-Theoretic Semantics. Oxford University Press.

Published: Wed, 08 Feb 2017

This book explores linguistic and philosophical issues presented by sentences expressing personal taste, such as Roller coasters are fun, or Licorice is tasty. Standard semantic theories explain the meanings of sentences by specifying the conditions under which they are true; here, Peter Lasersohn asks how we can account for sentences that are concerned with matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. He argues that a truth-theoretic semantic theory is appropriate even for sentences like these, but that for such sentences, truth and falsity must be assigned relative to perspectives, rather than absolutely. The book provides a detailed and explicit formal grammar, working out the implications of this conception of truth both for simple sentences and for reports of mental attitude. The semantic analysis is paired with a pragmatic theory explaining what it means to assert a sentence which is true or false only relativistically, and with a speculative account of the functional motivation for a relativized notion of truth.  https://global.oup.com/academic/product/subjectivity-and-perspective-in-truth-theoretic-semantics-9780199573684?cc=us&lang=en&#

Abunasser, Mahmoud and Elabbas Benmamoun. 2016. Quantifying lexical and Pronunciation variation between three Arabic varieties. Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXVII. Stuart Davis and Usama Soltan, eds. John Benjamins, 187-212

Published: Thu, 08 Dec 2016

AkkuĊŸ, Faruk and Elabbas Benmamoun. 2016. Clause Structure in Contact Contexts: The Case of Sason Arabic Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXVIII. Youssef Haddad and Eric Postdam, eds. John Benjamins, pp. 153-172

Published: Thu, 08 Dec 2016

Benmamoun, Elabbas and Abdulkafi Albirini. 2016. Is Learning a Standard Variety Similar to Learning a New Language? Evidence from Heritage Arabic Speakers. Studies in Second Language Acquisition

Published: Thu, 08 Dec 2016

This study examines heritage speakers’ knowledge of Standard Arabic (SA) and compares their patterns of SA acquisition to those of learners of SA as second/foreign language (L2). In addition, the study examines the influence of previously acquired language varieties, including Colloquial Arabic (QA), on SA acquisition.1 To this end, the study compares 35 heritage speakers, 28 L2 learners, and 16 controls with respect to sentential negation, an area where SA and QA diverge significantly. The participants completed five oral tasks targeting negation of eight different clause types. The findings showed that L2 learners and heritage speakers performed comparably, encountered similar difficulties, and produced similar patterns of errors. However, whereas L2 learners did not display clear transfer effects from L1 (English), heritage speakers showed both positive and negative influence of L1 (QA). The results shed light on the dynamics of the interaction between the spoken heritage languages and their written standard counterparts with specific focus on diglossic contexts.


doi:10.1017/S0272263116000383

Benmamoun, Elabbas. 2016. Verbal and Nominal Plurals and the Syntax Morphology Interface. Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXVII. Stuart Davis and Usama Soltan, eds. John Benjamins, pp. 59-74

Published: Thu, 08 Dec 2016

DOI: 10.1075/sal.3.03ben