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Data collected on the 17 languages spoken in the Banks and Torres Islands (northern Vanuatu) reveal strikingly diverse vowel systems, differing both in the quality and the quantity of their phonemes. Except for Mota, which still perpetuates the ²ve vowels of Proto-Oceanic, the languages of this area have historically increased their inventories to as many(More)
Building upon the model of Semantic Maps (Haspelmath 2003), which typologists have designed mainly for grammatical semantics, this chapter discusses methodological issues for a model in lexical typology. By breaking up polysemous lexemes of various languages into their semantic 'atoms' or senses, one defines an etic grid against which cross-linguistic(More)
The number of languages spoken on the planet has oscillated up and down throughout the history of mankind. 1 Different social factors operate in opposite ways, some resulting in the decrease of language diversity, others favouring the emergence of new languages. Thus, languages fade away and disappear when their speakers undergo some pressure towards(More)
Here we offer a brief introduction to this special issue on argument-encoding systems of the little-known languages of Bolivian Amazonia, a region extremely rich linguistically. After providing some information on the sociolinguistic settings and the history of linguistic research in this area, we focus on the domain of argument-encoding systems in those(More)
Since Bossong (1985), referential hierarchies have proven useful in accounting for patterns of differential object marking (DOM) in monotransitive clauses. More recent studies (Siewierska 1998; Haspelmath 2005; Bickel 2008; papers in this volume) have also shown the relevance of such hierarchies in explaining the alignment patterns of ditransitive verbs –(More)
Refractometric sensors based on optical excitation of surface plasmons on the side of an optical fiber is an established sensing architecture that has enabled laboratory demonstrations of cost effective portable devices for biological and chemical applications. Here we report a Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) configuration realized in an Exposed Core(More)
The platform presented here was devised to address the unmet need for real time label-free in vivo sensing by bringing together a refractive index transduction mechanism based on Whispering Gallery Modes (WGM) in dye doped microspheres and Microstructured Optical Fibers. In addition to providing remote excitation and collection of the WGM signal, the fiber(More)
Among the seventeen languages spoken in the Banks and Torres groups of north Vanuatu, eleven share a TAM category whose functions include sequential, generic, subjunctive, prospective and imperfective. This aspect, labeled here " aorist " , also displays cross-linguistic formal similarities: everywhere, the aorist marker shows allomorphic variation(More)