Ideophone constructions in Siwu

The canonical syntactic home of ideophones in Siwu is toward the end of the clause. A finer analysis of patterns of occurrence in the corpus reveals a number of constructions in which ideophones can occur. The five most common constructions, together accounting for 95 % of ideophone tokens, are shown here.

This type of visualization —a table with horizontal bar plot— has no name as of yet. It uses the same logic as E.J. Tufte’s sparklines, which also display numerical information inline.

Dingemanse, M. (2017). Expressiveness and system integration. On the typology of ideophones, with special reference to Siwu. STUF - Language Typology and Universals, 70(2), 363–384. doi: 10.1515/stuf-2017-0018 PDF

Properties and formats of repair

Using elementary properties of interactional resources, we can capture commonalities and differences between repair formats in principled and precise ways. For instance, to capture the distinctions between four repair initiation formats in English (as presented in Sidnell 2010), we can use the following three properties: Question (is there a content question word?), Repetition (does the repair initiator repeat some material from the prior turn?) and Confirmation (does the repair initiator make confirmation relevant in next turn?).

Dingemanse, M., & Enfield, N. J. (2015). Other-initiated repair across languages: towards a typology of conversational structures. Open Linguistics, 1, 98–118. doi: 10.2478/opli-2014-0007 PDF

Noun classification in Siwu

Nouns in Siwu come with noun class prefixes that also mark number (singular, plural, or mass). Most grammars present such classes as simple SG/PL class pairings, making it hard to see underlying regularities. In this diagram, line thickness shows relative frequency. This kind of visualization is helpful for learners but also for linguists, who may be able to use it in work on grammaticalization and change.

Dingemanse, M. (2011). The Meaning and Use of Ideophones in Siwu [PhD dissertation, Radboud University].