PublikationerI urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
2016. Bernhard Wälchli. Baltic Linguistics 7, 53-135
Opportunistic perception verbs (‘see’, ‘hear’, as opposed to explorative perception verbs, ‘look’, ‘listen’) express the opportunity for perception and are condition-oriented (exposure, i.e. the perceiver’s exposure to a percept), not participant-oriented, in their aspectual structure. The Baltic languages, as other languages in Central, East, and Northern Europe, have specific perception verbs, which are a subtype of opportunistic perception verbs, for the expression of restricted exposure. The lexical character of specificity in Baltic—unlike Russian where it is integrated into a rigid grammatical aspect system—is more favorable for uncovering the underlying semantic factors of specificity, which differ across perceptual systems. Restrictedness of exposure is a scale rather than a dichotomy, and cross-linguistic comparison in parallel texts reveals that specificity is a scale with much variation as to where the borderline between specific and non-specific perception verbs is drawn in the languages of the area. Obscured perception verbs, which emphasize difficulty in discrimination, are another set of condition-oriented perception verbs in Baltic and Russian and are closely related to specific verbs synchronically and diachronically.
This paper describes non-specific, specific, and obscured perception verbs in the Baltic languages and attempts to capture their variability within six dimensions (morphology, area, diachrony, specificity, modality, obscured verbs). A precondition for this endeavor is a critique of earlier approaches to the semantics of perception verbs. Nine major biases are identified (nominalism, physiology, discrete features, vision, paradigmatic modelling, aspectual event types, dual nature models, participant orientation, and viewing activity as control). In developing an alternative, the approach greatly profits from Gibson’s ecological psychology and Rock’s theory of indirect perception.
Artikel Perfects and iamitives2016. Östen Dahl, Bernhard Wälchli. Letras de Hoje 51 (3), 325-348
This paper investigates the grammatical space of the two gram types – perfects and iamitives. Iamitives (from Latin iam ‘already’) overlap in their use with perfects but differ in that they can combine with stative predicates to express a state that holds at reference time. Iamitives differ from ‘already’ in having a higher frequency and showing a strong tendency to be grammaticalized with natural development predicates. We argue that iamitives can grammaticalize from expressions for ‘already’. In this study, we extract perfect grams and iamitive grams iteratively starting with two groups of seed grams from a parallel text corpus (the New Testament) in 1107 languages. We then construct a grammatical space of the union of 370 extracted grams by means of Multidimensional Scaling. This grammatical space of perfects and iamitives turns out to be a continuum without sharp boundaries anywhere.