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jeu. 05/01/2023 Séminaire bilinguisme de Dendy En ligne https://univ-lyon1.webex.com/meet/sophie.kern

Présentation Christophe dos Santos: bilinguisme et autisme; Daniela Valente: bilinguisme et fonctions exécutives


jeu. 05/01/2023 Réunion Interne
Séminaire Bilinguisme de l'axe DENDY
Online - https://univ-lyon1.webex.com/meet/sophie.kern

mar. 17/01/2023 [Séminaire DiLiS] Size matters? Probing for size effects in gender assignment in East Caucasian languages
MSH-LSE, salle Elise Rivet (hybride)
Conférence de :
  • Michael Daniel

dans le cadre DILIS



Rita Popova, Anton Buzanov, Ekaterina Voloshina & Michael Daniel (HSE University, Moscow & Collegium de Lyon)


Kibrik et al. (1977) suggests that in Archi, Lezgic, assignment of nouns to the non-human genders 3 and 4 is at least partly based on referent size. The idea has been echoed in Corbett (1991) and Corbett & Fedden (2018) who suggest, more specifically, that, in Archi, big entities are assigned to Gender 3. For Lak, another East Caucasian language, in his discussion of the reconstruction of the proto-Lak gender assignment, Zhirkov (1955) proposes that historically Gender 3 was assigned to all animals, natural phenomena, round-shaped and also large objects. To our knowledge, for other Lezgic languages that are genealogically related to Archi and show a similar four-way classification (i.e. have two non-human genders in addition to feminine and masculine), no such effects have been reported. It is a priori unclear whether this is because size effects in these languages are weaker or absent altogether. The aim of this talk is to statistically test the hypothesis of referent size effects for Lak, Archi, Rutul, Tsakhur, Kryz, Budukh and Khinalug. What we want to see is whether Archi is indeed so different in this respect from its sister Lezgic languages, and whether it is similar to Lak, its more distant cousin and neighbour.

We start with a theoretical discussion that helps us to put forward a falsifiable hypothesis. We argue that three different types of size effects can be expected, including absolute size effects observed in the lexicon at large (as formulated by Corbett and Zhirkov), categorial size effects observed within specific conceptual domain (such as animals, as argued by Kibrik) and, finally, flexible gender assignment based on referent being conspicuously smaller or larger than expectations (see e.g. Aikhenvald 2012, Di Garbo 2014), the latter functionally akin to diminutives and augmentatives.

Next, we will propose a method to detect such effects in a statistically meaningful way. Unlike categories of shape ('is.round') or kind (e.g. 'is.human'), size is not based on a (nearly) categorical judgment, but is a relational scalar category based on judgments like ‘is.bigger’ or ‘is.smaller’. It is not immediately clear how to manually annotate referent size or establish thresholds for entities to be judged big or small in an absolute way. We build several datasets based on our own experimental data and the data from McRae et al. (2005) and Binder et al. (2016). To test for correlations between being small and Gender 4 and being large and Gender 3, we mapped the concepts of the datasets onto nominal vocabularies of the four languages.

Our results are as follows. We observe size effects in gender assignment in Archi and probably Lak, confirming observations by Kibrik and Zhirkov, but not in other Lezgic languages, for which indeed no such observations have been made. In particular, we observe categorial size effects in Archi for some but not other tested conceptual domains.

We conclude by suggesting that our methodology (including our datasets themselves) allows checking for size effects not only in the seven languages in the analysis, but also, in principle, for any language.

Aikhenvald, A. Y. (2012). Round women and long men: Shape, size, and the meanings of gender in New Guinea and beyond. Anthropological Linguistics, 54(1), 33–86.
Binder, J. R., Conant, L. L., Humphries, C. J., Fernandino, L., Simons, S. B., Aguilar, M., & Desai, R. H. (2016). Toward a brain-based componential semantic representation. Cognitive neuropsychology, 33(3-4), 130–174.
Corbett G. (1991). Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Di Garbo, F. (2014). Gender and its interaction with number and evaluative morphology: An intra-and intergenealogical typological survey of Africa (Doctoral dissertation).Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University.
Fedden, S., & Corbett, G. G. (2018). Extreme classification. Cognitive Linguistics, 29(4).
Kibrik, A., Olovjannikova, I., & Samedov, D. (1977). Opyt strukturnogo opisanija archinskogo jazyka [Structural description of Archi] (Vol. 1). Izd-vo Moskovskogo universiteta.
McRae, K., Cree, G. S., Seidenberg, M. S., & McNorgan, C. (2005). Semantic feature production norms for a large set of living and nonliving things. Behavior research methods, 37(4), 547–559.
Zhirkov, L. (1955). Lakskij jazyk [Lak Language]. Fonetika i morfologija. M.: Izd-vo AN SSSR

lun. 23/01/2023 Réunion Interne
Conseil de laboratoire
MSH-LSE salle Elise Rivet

[Note: réunion interne. Seuls sont concernés les 15 membres élus, nommés ou de droit du Conseil de Laboratoire de DDL. Note: internal meeting. Only the 15 elected, appointed or ex-officio members of the Conseil de Laboratoire are concerned.]


jeu. 02/02/2023 DENDY 'n Science: Universal constraints and phonological repairs in auditory perception in children learning to read (POSTPONED from Jan 19)
GAIA 303 (86 rue Pasteur 69007) + online (https://ujmstetienne.webex.com/meet/kasia.pisanski)
Conférence de :
  • Norbert Maionchi Pino (Université de Clermont-Ferrand )

dans le cadre DENDY



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