Donald A. Burquest

Selected Publications


These first three items are a series of papers co-authored with E. Lou Hohulin that investigate the interlocking of modules of phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse in accounting for the various levels of structure in Tuwali Ifugao, a language of the Philippines:

[1] "Morphophonology in Tuwali Ifugao." Philippine Journal of Linguistics 38(1): 1-38, 2007.

This paper presents generalizations regarding the various verb forms that are possible in TI and their morphological and phonological make-up. Such verb forms make use of prefixes, suffixes, circumfixes, infixes, reduplication, consonant gemination, and various combinations of these to provide a rich and finely-grained array of form-meaning correlations.

[2] "Verbal Morphology, Cross-referencing and NP Positioning in Tuwali Ifugao." In Loren Billings and Nelleke Goudswaard (eds.), Piakandatu ami Dr. Howard P. McKaughan, 140-149. Manila: Linguistic Society of Philippines and SIL Philippines, 2007.

This paper details the correlations holding between the various verb forms possible in TI (presented in the preceding paper) and the syntactic structures in which those verb forms occur. Particular attention is paid to the cross-referencing system that aligns specific forms of NPs with the verbs (the so-called "focus" system characteristic of languages of the Philippines), and corresponding variations of ordering of constituents within the sentence that may result.

[3] "The Rhetorical Function of Morphosyntactic Variation in Tuwali Ifugao Narrative." To appear.

This paper investigates the use in TI narrative structure of the various verb forms correlated with their associated NPs and constituent ordering (presented in the preceding paper), and the discourse function of such patterns in managing the flow of information in text.

The remaining items reflect some of my other work from the last several years.

[4] "Joint Attention and Early Word Learning in Ngas-speaking Infants in Nigeria." Journal of Child Language 34(2): 199-225, 2007. (Co-authored with Jane B. Childers and Julie Vaughan)

This study examines infants' joint attention behavior and language development in a rural village in Nigeria. The quality and quantity of behaviors produced by these Nigerian children was similar to those found in other cultures. In analyses of children's noun and verb comprehension and production, parents reported proportionally more verbs than nouns, perhaps because Ngas has some linguistic characteristics that are similar to languages in which a noun bias is not seen. An examination of the interrelations of joint attention and language development revealed that joint attention behaviors were related to both noun and verb development at different times. The set of results is important for understanding the emergence of joint attention in traditional cultures, the comprehension and production of nouns and verbs given the specific linguistic properties of a language, and the importance that early social contexts may have for language development.

[5] Phonological Analysis: A Functional Approach, 3rd edition. Part of the LinguaLinks Linguistics Bookshelf CD collection for linguistics fieldworkers. Dallas,TX: SIL International, 2006. (Available in an electronic version in Spanish.)

This book presents the fundamental principles governing phonological structure in language and details a series of suggested procedural steps to facilitate phonological analysis by linguistic fieldworkers. A series of natural-language problems is associated with each chapter to provide opportunity for application of the principles covered.

[6] "Interpreting Nominals in Hausa Narrative Discourse." TEXT 21(3): 269-302, 2001.

This paper investigates forms of reference used in Hausa narrative to track participants. A number of explicit principles are proposed to detail the rhetorical function of indefinite NPs, definite NPs, pronouns and anaphors, and null reference.

[7] A Field Guide for Principles and Parameters Theory. Part of the LinguaLinks Linguistics Bookshelf CD collection for linguistics fieldworkers. Dallas, TX: SIL International, 2001.

This field manual summarizes the major syntactic modules that within Principles and Parameters Theory function together to provide an account for grammaticality, and demonstrates how the principles they reference can be applied to natural language as an aid in fieldwork. By way of illustration data from English (SVO), Ngas (SVO), Korean (SOV), and Isnag (VSO) are each analyzed in turn (the other three language types characterized by word order are, of course, mirror images of these). Appendices suggest how a theory of morphology might be incorporated into syntax (Appendix A); how word ordering differences among languages may be seen as the result of parametric settings (Appendix B); how text analysis and formal syntactic theory may be seen to tie together (Appendix C); and how requirements corresponding to some of the interface conditions at PF and LF serve to constrain the output of the grammar (Appendix D).