Jenny Bellik was in Vancouver May 19-21 for the Northwestern Phon{etics, ology} conference at UBC. Jenny reports that the program leaned toward the -etics, but she represented the -ology side with a poster “Danish stød in recursive prosodic words,” joint work with Nick Kalivoda, sparked by Junko & Armin’s paper 2015 “The perfect prosodic word in Danish.” BA/MA alumn John Alderete also presented a poster, “Drilling down into phonological well-formedness in the structure of speech errors.” She also notes that the campus and the weather were both beautiful!


Continuing the recent departmental trend of espousing our beliefs at UChicago were a trio of graduate student talks at the latest instantiation of the Chicago Linguistics Society, May 25-27. Jason Ostrove discussed the morphology-prosody interface in San Martín Peras Mixtec clitic doubling, Steven Foley rhapsodized on the Gender Case Constraint in Zapotec (joint work with Nick and Maziar ), and Tom Roberts contemplated the semantic nature of responsive predicates in Estonian. Under the omniscient eye of Ida Noyes, the conference was a great success, bringing together linguists of many different stripes for fruitful discussion, vigorous debate, and heartbreaking renditions of such karaoke klassics as Txoria Txori.


Congratulations to the following Linguistics and Language Studies students, who are graduating with honors this spring:

Brianna Barenberg, Linguistics
Richard Bibbs, Linguistics
Dhyana Buckley, Linguistics
Charlotte Daciolas-Semon, Linguistics
Heidi Hernandez, Language Studies/French
Alissa Trowbridge, Linguistics
Anissa Zaitsu, Linguistics


This weekend, Deniz Rudin was in the Windy City for the Subjectivity in Language and Thought workshop at the University of Chicago. Deniz objectively had these subjective thoughts to share on the experience:

“Various semanticists and philosophers gathered in a smoke-filled back room and participated in under-the-table deals guaranteed to define the landscape of the theory of subjectivity in natural language for years to come. Santa Crucians will be happy to hear that their lobby commands significant influence within the deep state—our own Deniz Rudin, in conspiracy with Phil Crone of Stanford University, presented on “Assessor-Relativizable Predicates”, and Pranav Anand’s work was on display via a talk delivered by co-conspirator Natasha Korotkova of Tübingen, titled “Acquaintance inferences and the grammar of directness.” Daniel Lassiter, an honorary Santa Crucian by virtue of his place of residence, delivered a polemical and compelling presentation about Mathematical counterfactuals. The ultimate testament to the iron grip our community exerts on the subterranean mechanisms of intellectual governance, however, is that the entire event was organized by PhD alum Chris Kennedy (who says hi), in conspiracy with Malte Willer, both of U. Chicago. Spirited debate was followed by communal indulgence in food and drink, graciously paid for by Neubauer Collegium, which helped us to set aside our differences and replace them with a feeling of primal solidarity.”


It’s the season of strawberries, cherries and defenses: Lauren McGarry defended her MA thesis on May 8th, entitled ‘Pragmatic conditions on non-polar responses’. The thesis is an in-depth investigation of the ways in which indeed and correct, used as responses, differ from polar particles (yes, no) and from one another. One of the results of Lauren’s work is showing that notion of relative epistemic authority (discussed in the formal pragmatics literature in Northrup 2014) is relevant to characterizing these responses. The committee (made up of Adrian Brasoveanu, Donka Farkas (chair), and Jim McCloskey) declared itself very satisfied indeed.


This week, we had not one, but two of our graduate students advance to candidacy by successfully defending their qualifying exams:

Kelsey Kraus defended her QE on April 17, entitled “Performance of English Discourse particles,” with committee Pranav Anand (chair), Donka Farkas, Grant McGuire, and Jean E. Fox Tree (Psychology).

Jason Ostrove defended his QE on April 20. His was entitled “Linear adjacency and case morphology in Scottish Gaelic”, with committee Sandy Chung (chair), Jim McCloskey, Jorge Hankamer, and Ruth Kramer (Georgetown).

Congratulations, Kelsey and Jason!