Empson, Ma, Weingartz and Wu in Semantic Fieldwork Methods

Posted on October 18, 2021 by



Many congratulations to our recent UG graduates Alice Empson, Jiayin Ma, Siena Weingartz, and Xiaoye Wu for their publication in Semantic Field Work Methods! Their paper “Exploring comparison constructions in Ndebele and Mandarin: The storyboard The Twin Dilemma” presents a method for eliciting comparative constructions in semantic fieldwork, using a storyboard. This work originated in the project “Visual Storytelling for Language Documentation” that was part of the UG Scholars 2019-­20 programme, supervised by Dr Vera Hohaus and Dr Margit Bowler.

The abstract is below and the paper can be found here.

This paper introduces the storyboard “The Twin Dilemma”, which was created to investigate how languages encode comparisons, and in particular, the comparative. The storyboard aims to elicit different kinds of comparison constructions to inform linguistic analysis. We present two narrations of the storyboard, first from Ndebele (Niger-Congo, S. Nguni; Zimbabwe), and then from Mandarin Chinese, along with some initial hypotheses as to the syntactic and semantic analysis of the comparative in these languages.