Language Processing in Chamorro: Theoretical Lessons from a Language of the Pacific

Monday, 17 February 2014
Gold Coast (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Matt Wagers , University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
Language processing is usually investigated in university laboratories, severely limiting the range of languages and populations. We relate the challenges and implications of our onsite psycholinguistic research in the Mariana Islands, where we study sentence comprehension in Chamorro, an endangered language spoken by 45,000 people. In Chamorro, the verb comes early in the sentence and we show how its pattern of inflection guides speakers to predict the meaning of only partially heard sentences.