My research is concerned with the formal linguistic properties of morphology and syntax. Much of my research has involved theoretical analyses of Inuktitut and other languages with syntactically complex morphology. It is of interest mainly to other linguists.
In 2006 our book Ergativity: Emerging Issues
appeared with Springer.
I. Selected publications
II. Downloadable papers
I. SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
- Johns, A. (2006). Ergativity and Change in Inuktitut. In Ergativity: Emerging Issues, eds. A. Johns, D. Massam and J. Ndayiragije. Springer (formerly Kluwer).
- Johns, A. (2001). Ergative to Accusative: Comparing Evidence from Inuktitut. In Changing Relations, ed. by Jan Terje Faarlund. In Language Companion Series, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 205-221.
- Johns, A.(2001). An Inclination towards Accusative. Linguistica Atlantica, 127-144.
- Johns, A. (2000). Ergativity: A Perspective on Recent Work. In the First GLOT International State-of-the-Article Book: The Latest in Linguistics, eds. L. Cheng and R. Sybesma, 47-73. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Johns, A. (1999). On the Lexical Semantics of Affixal Meaning ‘want’ in Inuktitut. International Journal of American Linguistics 65:2, 176-200.
- Johns, A. (1999). The Decline of Ergativity in Labrador Inuttut. In Papers from the Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Native American Languages, eds. L. Bar-el, R. M. Déchaine, and C. Reinholtz, MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics 17, 73-90.
- Johns, A. and B. E. Dresher (1996). Rigolet and Phonological Change in Labrador. Etudes/Inuit /Studies 20:1, 113-121.
- Johns, A. and B. E. Dresher (1996). The Law of Double Consonants in Inuktitut. Linguistica Atlantica 17, 79-95.
- Johns, A. (1996). The Occasional Absence of Anaphoric Agreement in Labrador Inuttut. Chapter in Micro-Parametric Syntax and Dialect Variation., ed. by J. Black and V. Motapanyane. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 139. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 121-143.
- Johns, A. (1996). On Some Mood Alternations in Labrador Inuttut. Chapter in Grammatical Relations: Theoretical Approaches to Empirical Questions, ed. by C. Burgess, K. Dziwirek, and D. Gerdts, Center for the Study of Language and Information, CA [distributed by Cambridge University Press], 131-151.
- Johns, A. (1993). Symmetry in Labrador Inuttut. In MIT Working Papers in Linguistics: Papers on Case and Agreement I, Cambridge, Mass, 43-57.
- Johns, A. (1992). Deriving Ergativity. Linguistic Inquiry 23:1, 57-87.
- Johns, A. and J. T. Jensen (1989). The Morphosyntax of Eskimo Causatives. Chapter in Theoretical Perspectives on Native American Languages, eds. D. Gerdts and K. Michelson, SUNY Press, N.Y., 209-229.
II. DOWNLOADABLE PAPERS
- to appear. Alana Johns and Ivona Kučerová. On the morphosyntactic reflexes of the information structure in the ergative patterning of the Inuit language. In The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity, eds. J. Coon, D. Massam, and L. Travis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- to appear. Noun incorporation. In The Companion to syntax, eds. M. Everaert and H. van Riemsdijk. Wiley Blackwell, 2nd edition.
- to appear. Anaphoric arguments in Unangax and Eastern Canadian Inuktitut. In Studies in Linguistics in Honor of Michael Fortescue, eds. Anna Berge and Lawrence Kaplan. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center.
- 2016. Raigelee Alorut and Alana Johns. The use of the dual in some Inuit dialects: The importance of tirliaq. In Amerindia: 38 [special issue on topics in Inuit semantics], 111-128.
- 2013. Derivational Morphology in Eskimo-Aleut. To appear in Rochelle Lieber and Pavol Štekaur (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- 2010. Raigelee Alorut and Alana Johns. Atautsikkut: When two actions happen together (2011). Presented at the 17th Inuit Studies Conference Oct. 28-30, 2010. Proceedings found here.
- 2008. Additional Facts about Noun Incorporation in Inuktitut. This article appeared in Lingua online in February 2008 and in print in February 2009. The DOI link is here. The article outlines a number of issues about noun incorporation which are either not known, or discussed, e.g. passive morphology can follow the incorporating verb. A general point of this article is that there is a need for more fieldwork.
- 2006. Ergativity and Change in Inuktitut. This is a prepublication version of an article which was published in 2006 in Ergativity: Emerging Issues (eds. A. Johns, D. Massam and J. Ndayiragije) pp. 293-315. Published by Springer.
- 2005. Restricting Noun Incorporation: Root Movement. This is an older version of a paper which appeared in Fall 2007 in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. It shows that the phenomenon in Inuktitut is i. based on the verbs in question all being light verbs and ii. that the language requires that a root be moved in all words. These two requirements force the nominal complement of a light verb to move to satisfy the root requirement. I further claim that all instances of obligatory noun incorporation crosslinguistically involve light verbs. The DOI link is here.
- 2000. Movement and Languages with Complex Morphology. This paper appeared in the University of Maryland Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 10, 113-125. It argues that some languages manifest syntax through the substitution of morphemes, rather than through displacement.
Linguistics and Language Maintenance
- Inuit Sea Ice Terminology in Nunavut and Nunatsiavut (2009 draft), in SIKU: Knowing Our Ice, ads. I. Krupnik, C. Aporta, S. Gearheard, G. Laidler and L. Kielsen Holm, 401-412. Springer.
- Verb Alternations in Modern Welsh (Aug. 2005) with Alex Adams, Sarah Clarke, Annette Evans, and Benjamin Flight. It appeared in the Proceedings of the 2005 Canadian Linguistic Association Annual Conference. This paper proposes that, under certain circumstances, the periphrastic verb construction in Modern Welsh conveys evidentiality.
- Language healing in Nunatsiavut. 2010. Susan Chatwood, Pamela Orr and Tiina Ikäheimo, eds, Proceedings of the 14th International Congress on Circumpolar Health. Circumpolar Health Supplements 7, 414-417. Proceedings link found here.
- Developing intermediate language learning materials: a Labrador Inuttitut story database (2009). With Joan Dicker and Ewan Dunbar. In J. Reyhner, ed., Indigenous Language Revitalization: Encouragement, Guidance and Lessons Learned. Flagstaff, Arizona: Northern Arizona University, 155-166. The paper may be found here.
- A Community Grammar of Labrador Inuttitut (2009). With Christine Nochasak. Presented at the 1st International Confernece on Language Documentation & Conservation March 12-14, 2009 in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Powerpoint and audio of presentation now available here.
- Labrador Inuttitut: Speaking into the Future [with Catharyn Andersen, Torgnâsok Cultural Centre, Nain] This is a prepublication version of an article that appeared in 2005 in Études Inuit Studies Vol. 29, 187-205.