University of Hawaii Department of Linguistics.

Picture of Yuko Otsuka

Department of Linguistics
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Office: Moore 582
Office phone: (808)956-5985
Department fax:(808)956-9166
e-mail: yotsuka@hawaii.edu

Yuko Otsuka
Associate Professor of Lingusitics
Affiliate Faculty, Center for Pacific Islands Studies
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

Recent Courses

Spring 2013
Morphology
Grammar
Linguistics 420
Linguistics 622
Fall 2012
Polynesian language family
Linguistics 445/640G
Spring 2012
Morphology
Areal linguistics: Polynesian
Linguistics 420
Linguistics 770
Fall 2011
Grammar
Issues in Austronesian sytnax
Linguisitics 622
Linguistics 750X
Spring 2011
Polynesian language family
Introduction to the Minimalist Program
Linguistics 445/640G
LInguistics 750X
Fall 2010 Morphology
Professional development in linguistics
Linguistics 420
Linguistics 750G


Recent 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

2011 Neither accusative nor ergative: An alternative analysis of case in Eastern Polynesian. In Claire Moyse-Faurie and Joachim Sabel (eds.), Topics in Oceanic morphosyntax, pp.289-318.  Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
2010
Genitive Relative Constructions and Agentless Transitives in Tongan. In Raph Mercado, Eric Potsdam, Joey Sabbagh, and Lisa Travis (eds.), Austronesian and theoretical linguistics, pp.117-140. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: 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

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-MartinGńrtner, 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 Aut˛noma 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.

Refereed Conference Presentations

2012a Verb serialization in Tongan and why it is not raising or control. Presented at the 19th 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 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 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 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. UniversitÚ de Nouvelle- CalÚdonie, NoumÚa, New Caledonia.
2005
Syntax and/or pragmatics: PP-scrambling in Tongan and the thematic hierarchy. Presented at the 12th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. May 2005. UCLA.
2004
Consequential ‘o-clauses and licensing of a null anaphor. Presented at the 11th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. April 2004. Centre for General Linguistics, Typology and Universals Research (ZAS), Berlin.
2003a
Two coordination patterns in Tongan: Is syntactic ergativity real? Presented at the 10th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. March 2003. University of Hawai‘i.
2003b
Complementizers in Niuean and Tongan. Presented at the 10th 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 Aut˛noma de Barcelona. (With Victoria Anderson)
2002a
VOS in Tongan: Passive or scrambling? Presented at the 9th 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 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.

  • Valerie Guerin (2008). Discovering Mavea: Grammar, texts, and lexicon.
  • Dorinda Tsai-hsiu Liu (2011) Complementation in Three Formosan Languages - Amis, Mayrinax Atayal and Tsou
  • Christopher Baker (2012) A-Class Genitive Subject Effect: A Pragmatic and Discourse Grammar Approach to A- and O- Class Genitive Subject Selection in Hawaiian
  • Akiemi Glenn (2012) Wayfinding in Pacific Linguascapes: Negotiating Tokelau Linguistic Identities in Hawai'i
  • James Hafford, in progress
  • Mary Walworth, in progress
  • Jake Terrel, in progress
  • Fumiko Yamada, in progress

MA

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