Weijan Meng and Angus Wheeler: Linguistics Seminar

Speakers: Weijian Meng and Angus Wheeler (University of Sydney)

Part of the University of Sydney Linguistics seminar series, Semester 2 2020

Weijian Meng and Angus Wheeler will be presenting results from their research on two Indigenous languages of upland Laos, Saek and Bru.

Weijian will be presenting a semantic account for the distribution of manner adverbials in Saek.

Angus will be presenting an ignorative analysis of sentence final particles in Bru.


Meng: Manner adverbials in Saek (Northern Tai, Laos) may appear on either side of the verb that they modify. I argue that their distribution is governed by semantic principles. The position of a manner adverbial depends on the semantic dimension that it denotes, which then may be inverted conditioned by the aktionsart class of the main verb.

Wheeler: Sentence final particles are a class of words which occur in many languages, making a broad range of distinctions in meaning. Despite the predictable occurrence of sentence final particles at the end of a clause, many accounts propose that their semantic function is heterogeneous, some even suggesting that the category has no core function. Towards the goal of producing a descriptive grammar of Bru (Austroasiatic, Laos), I defend the idea that Wierzbicka’s (1980) notion of ‘the ignorative’ provides the conceptual structure for sentence final particles in Bru.

The seminar will take place over Zoom. Please see the seminar flyer for further information and details on how to access the seminar.

The event is finished.


18 Sep 2020


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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