Jess H.-K. Law, doctoral student in Linguistics at Rutgers University, will be joining the Department of Linguistics at UCSC as Assistant Professor in the coming academic year! Jess works in theoretical and experimental linguistics, with a focus on semantics and pragmatics. Specifically, she enjoys puzzling over distributivity, plurality, dynamic semantics, speech acts, bare noun phrases. She writes,
There is no better home for my research and teaching than Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz, and there is no better home for my family than the beautiful city of Santa Cruz. I eagerly look forward to working alongside all the brilliant linguists at the department to push the boundary of linguistics.
Hitomi Hirayama successfully defended her dissertation on February 27. The presentation investigated the interrogative use of the discourse particles wa and no(da) in Japanese, and it comprised a subset of her dissertation, entitled “Asking and Answering Questions: Discourse Strategies in Japanese.” Her committee consisted of Donka Farkas (co-chair), Adrian Brasoveanu (co-chair), and Ivy Sichel. The defense was followed by a lively celebration hosted by Donka, where members of the linguistic community came together to cheer on Hitomi’s achievements. Congratulations, Hitomi!
Junko Ito and Armin Mester have been successfully awarded a 2-year NSF grant for Syntax-Prosody in Optimality Theory (SPOT), an ongoing collaborative research project with Jenny Bellik, Nick Kalivoda, and Ozan Bellik, which aims to develop new tools for rigorously investigating the mapping from syntactic to prosodic structure in Optimality Theory.
SPOT has also received workshop funding as a Humanities Institute research cluster for 2018-19. The first SPOT workshop took place in Fall 2017.
Congratulations also to Nick Kalivoda, who will be holding a one-year postdoc position during 2018-19 on the SPOT NSF grant at UCSC.
The National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) is inviting poster submissions for the 5th NINJAL International Conference on Phonetics and Phonology (ICPP), which will take place at NINJAL on October 26-28, 2018. The three-day conference features the following two main topics: (a) sokuon, or geminate consonants (b) accent, tone, and intonation. UCSC’s Junko Ito and Armin Mester are invited speakers.
NINJAL invites abstracts for poster presentations related to at least one of the two main topics. If it is related, any presentation is welcome, even if it is not concerned with Japanese. Abstracts on the interface between lexical accent/tone and intonation will be particularly welcome. More information on abstract submission can be found here.
In the coming week (Friday April 27 – Saturday April 28) the department will host an international workshop on the theme of Pronouns and Competition. The theme of competition (between more and less ideal expressions of the same content) has appeared constantly in both the theoretical literature on anaphoric relations and in the psycholinguistic literature which explores the real-time expression and comprehension of such relations. This workshop aims to ask if the concepts of ‘competition’ at work here are the same or different and to re-evaluate the status of competition in both domains. Over the two days of the workshop there will be 12 oral presentations and seven poster presentations, by researchers from Santa Cruz, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Harvard, Rutgers, London, Amherst, Seattle, Leipzig, Göttingen and San Diego. More information is