Continuing recent work on Meso-American languages, several WLMAns will be presenting their work at the 22nd Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americans (WSCLA), from April 21-23 at the University of British Columbia. There will be two talks by current UCSC students and faculty:

Jason Ostrove “Severing PRO from its silence”
Steven Foley, Nick Kalivoda & Maziar Toosarvandani “Gender Case Constraints in Zapotec”

The program can be found here.


Last quarter, we alerted you to the existence of a new reading group, WLMA, which focuses on the languages of Meso-America. Ever organized, the WLMAns have provided us this update on activities taking place in Spring Quarter and the summer.

Pranav Anand and Maziar Toosarvandani recently received a Board Opportunity Fund award from the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. Thanks to this award as well as the Linguistics Department and the Institute of Humanities Research, WLMA will be holding a one-day workshop on Monday, June 12, bringing together researchers here with three invited speakers:

Emiliana Cruz (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), a linguistic anthropologist concentrating on Chatino.

Eric Campbell (UC Santa Barbara), a morphosyntactician working on Zapotec and Chatino.

Christian DiCanio (State University of New York, Buffalo), a phonetician studying Trique and Mixtec.

The Board Opportunity Fund award will also allow us to continue development of the technical infrastructure to support ongoing fieldwork by WLMAns in several Mixe, Mixtec, Zapotec languages spoken in the Monterey Bay area.

We are also happy to announce that Andrew Hedding and Jason Ostrove have been selected as UC Public Scholars for 2017-2018, thanks to support by the UC Santa Cruz Institute of Humanities Research and the Mellon Public Scholars Program at the UC Davis Humanities Institute. The awards will enable Andrew and Jason to devote time during Summer 2017 toward their respective fieldwork on Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec Mixe and San Martín Peras Mixtec as well as to language and culture documentation for community members and the general public.


Next week, on Wednesday, March 15th, Ivy Sichel will be giving this quarter’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture for Stevenson College. The talk begins at 4:30pm in the Stevenson Fireside Lounge, with a reception to follow. Her lecture is entitled “Ideology and Identity in the Revival of Spoken Hebrew”, and you can read more about it in the blurb below.

The revival of Spoken Hebrew took place in Palestine in the early 20th century, and is often seen as a historically unique example of successful language revival. In this talk I suggest that Hebrew is also exemplary, of the ways in which our languages speak through us. What is special about Hebrew is that key properties of the revival process – its rapidity and recency – make it possible to track mechanisms by which broader ideologies (of nation, ancestry, class, gender, etc.) come to be embedded in the languages we speak. The talk will focus on East-West diasporic dynamics in the negotiation of accent for the new spoken Hebrew, and on the shifting values of authenticity and sincerity in the construction of the new native-born speech style.


The program for the next SALT (Semantics and Linguistic Theory) meeting is live, and Pranav Anand and alumnus Chris Barker (now Professor and Chair of Linguistics at NYU) are among the four invited speakers for the meeting. SALT 27 is to be hosted by the Linguistics Department of the University of Maryland, College Park, and it will take place on May 12 through May 14, 2017. For more info, see the website here.


Sandy‘s distinguished faculty lecture, “Language Through the Lens of Diversity,” was well-received by linguists and non-linguists alike. One linguist in attendance had this to say: “Sandy’s distinguished faculty lecture was a prime example of a master teacher and dedicated field worker packaging complex data for a general audience. She warned against both exoticization and false equivalency in research on an understudied language, presenting Chamorro data with reverence and a touch of humor.” Congratulations again, Sandy!


The most recent issue of Language to hit the newsstands (Volume 92, Number 4) includes Maziar Toosarvandani‘s paper ‘The temporal interpretation of clause-chaining in Northern Paiute’. The paper argues for a coordination-like analysis of the clause-chaining structures used in Northern Paiute to express what is expressed in English by way of subordinators like before and after. The paper is available for download here.


A recent paper by Donka and former LRC visitor Floris Roelofsen (Amsterdam), entitled ‘Division of Labor in the Semantics of Declaratives and Interrogatives’ has recently been published in the Journal of Semantics. The paper concerns the semantic and discourse effects of different types of declarative and interrogative sentences. You can check it out here.


The 51st Annual Faculty Research Lecture will be delivered by our own Professor Sandra Chung, on Tuesday February 7, 2017 at 7pm at the Music Recital Hall. Professor Chung’s lecture is entitled “Language Through the Lens of Diversity.” A reception in the lobby will immediately follow the lecture. Doors open at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. More info is available here.