Oral Presentations: Session II

1:20 PM – 2:35 PM | Merten Hall, Rooms 1202 and 1203

Tongue-Tied to Fluency: Decoding the Adventure of Language Learning
1:20pm – 2:35pm | Merten Hall, Room 1202

Discussant: Idée Edalatishams, Ph.D.

A Pragmatic Analysis of Word Order in Akuzipik Narrative Discourse

Arlee Jade Pearlswig (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)

This research sought to determine whether word order in the Akuzipik language is determined by the language’s pragmatic features rather than its syntactic ones while seeking to describe the syntax of the structure seen in written personal narratives. 14 narrative texts elicited from Della Waghiyi from the St. Lawrence Island Yupik Digital Corpus were analyzed using a morphological parser designed for Akuzpik and manual coding of the word order on the basis of subject (A/S), object (O), and verb (V) locations. Verbal arguments were then analyzed in separate categories determined by the specific verb’s transitivity, looking at verbs with all nominal arguments, transitive verbs with only one nominal argument, and holophrastic verbs with only morphological argument marking to determine their word order. Frequencies of varying word orders were measured to determine a possible neutral word order, and similar word orders were compared to search for pragmatic commonalities, such as coreference and topicality. The only transitive verb with both its nominal subject and object found in these contexts is in AOV order, and the most common intransitive order is SV. For transitive verbs with no nominal arguments, OV is most common order, and holophrastic verbs are the most common overall argument structure. Arguments surfacing as nominals rather than solely morphological marking appear to stem from novel reference, lexical distinction, specification, and partitives. Verb final structures are potentially more pragmatically neutral, reflecting a possible topic-focus typology.

A Grammatical Sketch of Negation in Hawrami

Nilima Hakim Mow (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Hawrami, also known as Horami, Awromani, or Avromanu, is an endangered and severely under-documented language/variety within the Kurdish language group. Spoken in both western Iran and northeastern Iraq, Hawrami has approximately 23,000 speakers. In 2010, UNESCO classified it as a “definitely endangered” language. Previous research, as noted by Mackenzie (1966), considered Hawrami to be the most archaic and well-preserved among its dialect group. However, limited efforts have been made to document and preserve this language. This study aims to provide a grammatical sketch of negation in the Hawrami language. Negation is a common grammatical construction in Hawrami, as in many other languages. To explore the negation patterns in Hawrami, this research examines occurrences of negation in various contexts. The investigation includes negation in both main and subordinate clauses, and on the phrasal level. Different sentence structures with varying subjects and tenses are examined to understand how negation is expressed. Additionally, data is collected on negation in imperative sentences to identify any specific patterns. Interrogative-negative sentences are also considered, along with an exploration of negative polarity in Hawrami. The findings of this study contribute to our knowledge of the Hawrami language, providing valuable insights for further research in Kurdish linguistics. Moreover, this research contributes to the understanding and preservation of the linguistic heritage of the Hawrami language/variety, addressing the need for documentation and revitalization efforts.

Radical and Word Entanglements: Take “女” as an Example

Pu Meng (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)

The relationship between the part and the whole has been a concern of people since the emergence of logic. In linguistics, the relationship between radical and the word has been vaguely summarized as follows: as a part of the word, radical endows and affects semantics. To give a more scientific and rational explanation to the long-standing problem, this study collected 477 words containing radical “女” from the latest edition of Xinhua Dictionary. The clustering data is divided into 6 classes by meaning and corresponding extracted contextual word embeddings from a Chinese BERT model. This unsupervised machine learning observes the relationship between classifiers in terms of distribution, joint probability, and usage. In addition, the number distribution of 6 semantic classes, the position of radical, and the number of strokes in the word are also analyzes to help prove the research results: words with radical “女” can be divided into classes of “female”, “Quality”, “Movement”, “Name”, “Emotion”, and “Phenomenon”, and the word distribution should be affected by the frequency of use. The study also has broader implications for the language type distribution for computational research.

Climatic Chronicles: Exploring the Wonders and Woes of Studying Earth’s Climate
1:20pm – 2:35pm | Merten Hall, Room 1203

Discussant: Lucas Henneman, Ph.D.

Observed Changes of Poleward Energy Transport for Northern Hemisphere Winter Extratropical Cyclones: An Eulerian Approach

Austin Reed (College of Science)

Diagnosing how global warming has impacted the seasonal poleward transport of heat and moisture, as well as that by Extratropical Cyclones (ETCs), remains an open question. This work uses an Eulerian approach to quantify if the role of Northern Hemisphere transient eddies (and by proxy, ETCs) in this poleward transport of the largest terms (Dry Static Energy, DSE, and Latent Heat, LH) has changed from 1980-2022 during the cool-season (November-March), where ETCs are often stronger and more impactful. Previous studies indicate a ‘tug of war’, as the melting of sea ice has led to a faster rate of warming in the Arctic, along with an expansion of the tropical Hadley cell. Although the net effect seems to reduce low-level baroclinicity (and, by proxy, ETC activity), other studies indicate an increase in upper-level baroclinicity. The critical role of more moisture in the atmosphere with warming further blurs the future of ETCs, since fewer or weaker ETCs in the midlatitudes may be necessary to achieve the same poleward transport of moisture. However, this comes at the expense of greater Latent Heat Release, which may lead to more intense ETCs when they do form. Key results indicate a reinforcement by ETCs in the weakening of the total DSE between 45-75 N, as well as a counteracting trend by ETCs to the total strengthening of the equatorward LH transport in the tropics. A poleward shift is found in the mid-latitude location of maximum LH transport, where ETCs contribute nearly 50% to the seasonal climatology.

Fine particulate matter and ozone variability with regional and local meteorology in Beijing, China

Shreya Guha (College of Engineering and Computing), Lucas R.F. Henneman Ph.D.

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and surface ozone air pollution have severe health consequences. Since China implemented the nationwide Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) in 2013, annual average PM2.5 concentrations have decreased while O3 concentration have increased in Beijing. It is unclear, however, to the extent that short-term meteorological variability has influenced these trends. To separate the influence of meteorology from long-term emissions-induced changes, we quantify the portion of the long-term PM2.5 and O3 concentration signals associated with short-term meteorological variability. Considering the regional nature of pollutant variability, we incorporate both locally observed meteorology and average regional reanalysis. We isolated sub-seasonal variability using the Kolmogorov-Zurbenko filter. Next, we trained and compared the utility of three statistical models of varying complexity (a linear model, a general additive model with splines, and a random forest) in their ability to predict out-of-sample daily concentrations. The random forest model yields the best predictive capability in holdout tests and predicts changing meteorological contributions to PM2.5 and ozone concurrent with changing concentrations across the study period. Results show an overall decrease in meteorology induced PM2.5 concentration variability at daily scales since 2013, but variability from meteorology has increased relative to mean PM2.5 concentrations. In contrast, O3 shows the opposite trend, with increasing meteorology-induced variability (meteorology-induced variability normalized by mean observed O3 has decreased). Our results show the importance of including regional meteorology in explaining local PM2.5 and O3 variability and quantify links between long-term policy implementation and short-term meteorological contributions to pollutant concentrations.

Evaluating the 1940 Exposures: A Modern Projection and Comparison

Xiaorong Shan (College of Engineering and Computing), Joan Casey, Lucas Henneman

Given the absence of direct air pollution measurements from the 1940s, assessing the potential impact of historical air pollution levels on public health presents a significant challenge. To assess the potential impact of historical air pollution levels on the incidence of dementia, we employ a variety of exposure metrics and data sources to simulate past air exposure. In our endeavor to simulate the air exposure for 1940, this study applies exposure metrics such as disperseR, Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW), and the box model. The historical simulation leverages a variety of data sources including modeled emissions and historical concentrations from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), records of power plant and Oil & Gas Well locations, and information on automobile emissions. We further corroborate our findings using census tract data and road length records from 1940. By comparing the recreated air quality metrics from 1940 with current day measurements and model results, and applying statistical evaluation methods such as correlation and root-mean-square error, we extracted air quality trends and correlated them with dementia incidence data. This process enabled us to explore the potential long-term health implications of early life exposure to air pollution. We anticipate that the results from this study will augment our understanding of the connection between air pollution and dementia, offer insights into the efficacy and limitations of various air exposure metrics, and identify fruitful avenues for future research.