University of Hawaii Department of Linguistics.

Picture of Yuko Otsuka

Yuko Otsuka, DPhil (Oxon)
e-mail: yotsuka(at)hawaii(dot)edu
Associate Professor, Sophia University
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Lingusitics, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Affiliate Faculty, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Book Review Editor, Language Documentation and Conservation

Research

My main research interests are syntactic theory (the Minimalist Program) and Austronesian languages, especially Polynesian. The focus of my work has been ergativity and other sytnactic phenomena in Tongan. I am also interested in language maintenance, especially in Polynesia and in Polyneisan diasporic communities.

Download my D.Phil. Thesis: Ergativity in Tongan

Publications

Journal articles

2011         
PRO and null SE: Case, tense, and empty categories in Tongan. Syntax 14(3): 265-296.
2010
NP ellipsis in Tongan: Is syntactic ergativity real? Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28(2): 315-342.
2007a
Fostering the growth of budding community initiatives: The role of linguists in Tokelauan maintenance in Hawai‘i. Language Documentation and Conservation 1(2): 240-256. (With Andrew Wong.)
2007b Making a case for Tongan as an endangered language. The Contemporary Pacific 19(2): 446-73.
2006a
Niuean and Eastern Polynesian: A view from syntax. Oceanic Linguistics.45: 429-56.
2006b
The phonetics and phonology of “definitive accent” in Tongan. Oceanic Linguistics 45: 33-53. (With Victoria Anderson.)
2001
Empty Categories in Tuvaluan: NP-trace, PRO, pro, or variable? A review of Tuvaluan, by Niko Besnier. Oceanic Linguistics 40: 342-365.
 
Book chapters

To
Appear
Ergative-absolutive patterns in Tongan: An overview. In Jessica Coon, Diane Massam, and Lisa Travis (eds.), Oxford handbook of ergativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2016a
Honorific speech register. In Hiroko Sato, Jake Terrell, and Joel Bradshaw (eds.), Introductory readings on Pacific Islands languages, 111-125. Department of Linguistics, University of Hawai‘i.
2016b
The typology of wh-words: An Austronesian perspective. In Collaborative Research Project “A diachronic contrastive study of Japanese interrogatives”, Research report (3), 174-195. National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics.
2015
On Tagalog relative clauses. In Hiroki Egashira et al. (eds.), In untiring pursuit of better alternatives, 78-87. Tokyo: Kaitakusha
2012
Passive morphemes in a passive-less language? In Thomas Graf, Denis Paperno, Anna Szabolcsi, and Jos Tellings (eds.), Theories of everything: In honor of Ed Keenan, UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics 167, 316-324.
2011
Neither accusative nor ergative: An alternative analysis of case in Eastern Polynesian. In Claire Moyse-Faurie and Joachim Sabel (eds.), Morphosyntactic aspects of Oceanic languages
2010
Genitive Relative Constructions and Agentless Transitives in Tongan. In Raph Mercado, Eric Potsdam, Joey Sabbagh, and Lisa Travis (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
2009
On the Eastern Polynesian 'direct object' marker i' In Alexander Adelaar and Andrew Pawley (eds.), Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history: a festschrift for Robert Blust, pp.247-266. Canberra: Pacific Lingusitics
2006         
Syntactic ergativity in Tongan: Resumptive pronouns revisited. In, Alana Johns, Diane Massam, and Juvenal Ndayiragije (eds.), Ergativity: Emerging issues, pp. 79-107. Dordrecht: Springer
2005a
Two passive-like constructions in Tongan. In I Wayan Arca and Malcolm Ross (eds.), The many faces in Austronesian voice system, pp.119-35. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
2005b
Scrambling and Information Focus: VSO-VOS Alternation in Tongan. In Joachim Sabel and Mamoru Saito (eds.), The free word order phenomenon: Its syntactic sources and diversity, pp. 243-279. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
2005c
Two derivations of VSO: A comparative study of Niuean and Tongan. In Andrew Carnie, Sheila Dooley-Collberg, and Heidi Harley (eds.), Verb first: On the syntax of verb initial languages, pp.65-90. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Conference Proceedings

2016        
Relative clause in Polynesian and the role of D. In Amber Camp, Yuko Otsuka, Claire Stabile, and Nozomi Tanaka (eds.), AFLA21: The proceedings of the 21st meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association, A-PL25, 237-259. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics.
2005      
Syntax and/or pragmatics: PP-scrambling in Tongan and the thematic hierarchy. In Jeffrey    Heinz and Dimitrios Ntelitheos (eds.), Proceedings of AFLA 12, UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics, pp.343-357.
2004
Consequential ‘o-clauses and licensing of a null anaphor. In Hans-MartinGärtner, Paul Law, and Joachim Sabel (eds.), Proceedings of AFLA 11, pp.203-217. Berlin: ZAS
2003a
VOS in Tongan: Passive or scrambling? In Anastasia Riehl and Thess Savella (eds.), Proceedings of AFLA9, Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 19, pp.122-136. Ithaca, NY: CLC Publications.
2003b
Phonetic correlates of length, stress and definitive accent in Tongan. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, pp. 2047–2050. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (with Victoria Anderson)
2002
Syntactic ergativity and the nature of pronouns in Tongan. In Andrea Rackowski and Norvin Richards (eds.), Proceedings of AFLA8, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 44, pp.197-210. Cambridge, Mass.: MITWPL.

Invited Talks

2016       
When wh-phrases must (not) move: A case study of two Austronesian languages. June 2016. LT Research Forum Series, Department of Linguistics and Translation, City University of Hong Kong.
2015
Generative approaches to ergativity: Is there an ergative parameter? Keio Linguistics Colloquium. December 2015. Keio Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies, Tokyo, Japan.
2014
Relative clauses in Polynesian and the role of D. Presented at the 21st annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2014. University of Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii.
2005
Tongan as an endangered language? A new look at language endangerment in Polynesia. Presented at Anthropology Colloquium Series, University of Hawai’i. April 2005. Honolulu, Hawaii.
2014
Relative clauses in Polynesian and the role of D. Presented at the 21st annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2014. University of Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Refereed Conference Presentations

2016       
Tagalog oblique relative clauses. Presented at the 23rd annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. June 2016. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan. (With Nozomi Tanaka).
2015a
Agreeing demonstratives in Wuvulu relative clauses. Poster presentation at the 22nd annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2015. McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
2015b
Ang-marked NPs in recent perfective in Tagalog. Presented at the 22nd annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2015. McGill University, Montreal, Canada. (With Emerson Lopez Odango).
2012a
Verb serialization in Tongan and why it is not raising or control. Presented at the 19th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. June 2012. Academia Sinica, Taiwan.
2012b
Lexical vs. syntactic causativization: A case of Amis causative pa-. Presented at the 19th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. June 2012. Academia Sinica, Taiwan. (With Cheng-Chuen Kuo)
2009
Inherent Case and symmetric voice in Eastern Polynesian. Presented at the 16th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2009. UC Santa Cruz.
2007a
Genitive relative constructions and agentless transitives in Tongan. Presented at the 14th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2007. McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
2007b
On the origin of the Eastern Polynesian “direct object” marker i. Presented at the 7th International Conference on Oceanic Linguistics. July 2007. Université de Nouvelle- Calédonie, Nouméa, New Caledonia.
2005
Syntax and/or pragmatics: PP-scrambling in Tongan and the thematic hierarchy. Presented at the 12th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2005. UCLA.
2004
Consequential ‘o-clauses and licensing of a null anaphor. Presented at the 11th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. April 2004. Centre for General Linguistics, Typology and Universals Research (ZAS), Berlin.LT
2003a
Two coordination patterns in Tongan: Is syntactic ergativity real? Presented at the 10th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. March 2003. University of Hawai‘i.
2003b
Complementizers in Niuean and Tongan. Presented at the 10th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. March 2003. University of Hawai‘i. (With Diane Massam)
2003c
Two derivations of VSO: A comparative study of Niuean and Tongan. Presented at the Workshop on the Syntax of Verb Initial Languages. February 2003. University of Arizona.
2003d
Phonetic correlates of length, stress, and definitive accent in Tongan. Presented at the Fifteenth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. August 2003. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. (With Victoria Anderson)
2002a
VOS in Tongan: Passive or scrambling? Presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2002. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
2002b
To raise or not to raise: a puzzle in Tongan. Presented at the 5th Conference on Oceanic Linguistics. January 2002. Australian National University, Canberra.
2002c
Passive, pro-drop, and scrambling in Tongan. Presented at the 9th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics. January 2002. Australian National University, Canberra.
2002d
Phonetic correlates of length, stress, and definitive accent in Tongan. Presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2002. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. (With Victoria Anderson)
2002e
Durational correlates of referential NPs in Tongan. Presented at the 5th Conference on Oceanic Linguistics. January 2002. Australian National University, Canberra. (With Victoria Anderson)
2002f
Syntactic ergativity in Tongan: Resumptive pronouns revisited. Presented at the Workshop on Ergativity. October 2002. University of Toronto.
2001
Syntactic ergativity and the nature of pronouns in Tongan. Presented at the 8th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. April 2001. MIT, Cambridge, MA.

Students

Ph.D
Jonathan Cheng-chuen Kuo
2015    Argument alternation and argument structure in symmetrical voice languages: A case study of transfer verbs in Amis, Puyuma, and Seediq (UHM Linguistics)
James Hafford
2014    Wuvulu grammar and vocabulary (UHM Linguistics)
Fumiko Yamada
2014    Maori as a phrase-based language (UHM Linguistics)
Mary Walworth
2014    The language of Rapa Iti: Description of a language in change (UHM Linguistics)
Akiemi Glenn
2012    Wayfinding in Pacific linguascapes: Negotiating Tokelau linguistic identities in Hawai'i (UHM Linguistics)
Christopher Baker
2012    A-class genitive subject effect: A pragmatic and discourse grammar approach to a- and o-class genitive subject selection in Hawaiian (UHM Linguistics)
Dorinda Tsai-hsiu Liu
2011    Complementation in three Formosan languages - Amis, Mayrinax Atayal and Tsou (UHM Linguistics)
Valerie Guerin
2008    Discovering Mavea: Grammar, texts, and lexicon (UHM Linguistics)

MA

Madonna Perez
2009    The perpetuation of the Chamorro language in Guam: An examination of government policies and Guam’s media (UHM Pacific Islands Studies)
Maihan Nguyen
2003    Phrase structure and empty categories in Vietnamese (UHM Linguistics)