Francesca Di Garbo

Francesca Di Garbo


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för lingvistik
Telefon 08-16 23 49
Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 C, plan 2-3
Rum C 256
Postadress Institutionen för lingvistik 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Postdok i allmän språkvetenskap

Finansieras av Anna Ahlströms och Ellen Terserus stiftelse

Mina forskningsintressen inkluderar synkron och diakron typologi, morfosyntax, nominal klassificering, genus- och numerussystem, evaluativ markering (diminutiva och augmentativa konstruktioner), språkkomplexitet, och afrikanska språk.

Forskningsprojekt som jag har jobbat/jobbar med inkluderar: genussystem och språkkomplexitet, sociohistoriska korrelat i omstruktureringen av bantuspråks genusmarkeringssystem, evaluativ morfologi och temperaturuttryck i selee (kwaspråk, Atlant-Kongo).

Mitt nuvarande projekt fokuserar på pluralkongruens i kushitiska (afroasiatiska) språk. Projektet undersöker möjligheten att kushitiska språks utveckling och användning av pluralkongruens kontrolleras av en hierarki av semantisk och lexikal pluralitet. Denna hypotes testas med hjälp av empiriska tvärspråkliga data och experimentella metoder.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2018. Francesca Di Garbo, Yvonne Agbetsoamedo. Non-Canonical Gender Systems, 176-210
  • 2016. Francesca Di Garbo. Linguistic Discovery 14 (1), 46-85

    This paper proposes a set of principles and methodologies for the crosslinguistic investigation of grammatical complexity and applies them to the in-depth study of one grammatical domain, gender. The complexity of gender is modeled on the basis of crosslinguistically documented properties of gender systems and by taking into consideration interactions between gender and two other grammatical domains: nominal number and evaluative morphology. The study proposes a complexity metric for gender that consists of six features: “Gender values”, “Assignment rules”, “Number of indexation (agreement) domains”, “Cumulative exponence of gender and number”, “Manipulation of gender assignment triggered by number/countability”, and “Manipulation of gender assignment triggered by size”. The metric is tested on a sample of 84 African languages, organized in subsamples of genealogically related languages. The results of the investigation show that: (1) the gender systems of the sampled languages lean towards high complexity scores; (2) languages with purely semantic gender assignment tend to lack pervasive gender indexation; (3) languages with a high number of gender distinctions tend to exhibit pervasive gender indexation; (4) some of the uses of manipulable gender assignment are only attested in languages with a high number of gender distinctions and/or pervasive indexation. With respect to the distribution of the gender complexity scores, the results show that genealogically related languages tend to have the same or similar gender complexity scores. Languages that display exceedingly low or high gender complexity scores when compared with closely related languages exhibit distinctive sociolinguistic profiles (contact, bi- or multilingualism). The implications of these findings for the typology of gender systems and the crosslinguistic study of grammatical complexity and its distribution are discussed.

  • 2014. Francesca Di Garbo (et al.).

    This dissertation investigates interactions between gender and number and gender and evaluative morphology in a sample of 100 African languages, and provides a method for assessing the role that these interactions play in the grammatical complexity of gender systems. The dissertation is organised around three research foci.

    First, the dissertation surveys patterns of interaction between gender and number along the following dimensions: exponence, syncretism, indexation, correlations in type of marking, and gender assignment. The study provides evidence for the possibility that nominal features are organised in a relevance hierarchy. In addition, the study shows that animacy and lexical plurality play a crucial role in the distribution of special patterns of plural indexation. The study also shows that pervasive indexation systems in the language sample always involve both gender and number. Finally, the study shows how gender assignment can be used as a means for encoding variation in the countability properties of nouns and noun phrases.

    Second, the dissertation surveys patterns of interaction between gender and evaluative morphology in the languages of the sample. Two types of interactions are found. The study shows that the distribution of the two types depends on three factors: the type of gender system, the number of gender distinctions and the possibility of assigning a noun to more than one gender.

    Third, the dissertation investigates the role that interactions of gender and number and gender and evaluative morphology play in the absolute complexity of gender. The study proposes a metric for gender complexity and uses this metric to compute complexity scores for the languages of the sample. The results suggest that the gender systems of the language sample lean toward high complexity, that genealogically related languages have the same or similar complexity scores, and that the distribution of the outliers can often be understood as the result of language contact.

  • 2018. Kaius Sinnemäki, Francesca Di Garbo. Frontiers in Psychology 9

    In this article we evaluate claims that language structure adapts to sociolinguisticenvironment.We present the results of two typological case studies examining the effectsof the number of native (=L1) speakers and the proportion of adult second language (=L2)learners on language structure. Data from more than 300 languages suggest that testingthe effect of population size and proportion of adult L2 learners on features of verbal andnominal complexity produces conflicting results on different grammatical features. Theresults show that verbal inflectional synthesis adapts to the sociolinguistic environmentbut the number of genders does not. The results also suggest that modeling populationsize together with proportion of L2 improves model fit compared to modeling themindependently of one another. We thus argue that surveying population size alone maybe insufficient to detect possible adaptation of linguistic structure to the sociolinguisticenvironment. Rather, other features, such as proportion of L2 speakers, prestige andsocial network density, should be studied, and if demographic numeric data are used,they should not be used in isolation but rather in competition with other sociolinguisticfeatures. We also suggest that not all types of language structures within a givengrammatical domain are equally sensitive to the effect of sociolinguistic variables, and thatmore exploratory studies are needed before we can arrive at a reliable set of grammaticalfeatures that may be potentially most (and least) adaptive to social structures.

  • 2019. Francesca Di Garbo, Matti Miestamo. Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity, 15-60

    This paper proposes to integrate the diachronic dimension to the typological study of gender complexity, and focuses on the morphosyntactic encoding of gender distinctions via agreement patterns. After investigating the processes of language change that foster the reduction, loss, expansion and emergence of gender agreement in a sample of fifteen sets of closely related languages (N= 36 languages), we discuss how gender agreement systems in decline and on the rise pattern in terms of complexity. We show that declining and emerging gender agreement systems may exhibit increase or decrease in complexity and discuss how this relates to the fact that they represent transitional stages between absence of gender and full-fledged gender systems. In our analysis, we make use of typological implicational hierarchies in the domain of agreement as a tool to account for diachronic variation and for the patterns of simplification/complexification in the agreement systems of the sampled languages.

  • 2019. Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson, Bernhard Wälchli.
  • 2019. Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson, Bernhard Wälchli.
Visa alla publikationer av Francesca Di Garbo vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 26 oktober 2019

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