Jim McCloskey traveled (semi-successfully) to Boston this weekend to be the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremonies of Boston University’s Linguistics Department. It was an auspicious time to be there since Linguistics at BU has just achieved full departmental status and has added a new PhD program to its degree offerings (the initial cohort of students just completed their first year in the program).  It was a particular point of pleasure for Jim that alumna Emmy Digirolamo was among the MA graduates.  Emmy completed the BA in Linguistics at UCSC in Spring 2018 and graduated from the one-year MA program on Saturday. Jim was also able to catch up with alumna Sabrina Tran, who graduated from UCSC in Spring 2017 and completed the MA in Linguistics at BU a year ago.


Last week Sandy Chung made a quick trip to Saipan, which is still recovering from the effects of Typhoon Yutu. While there, she spent several days doing fieldwork, gave a presentation on Chamorro orthographies and dictionaries to the Public School System’s language teachers, and did some work with the editors of the community-based revision of the Chamorro-English dictionary. She and Matt Wagers will be back in the CNMI in June for their next experiment.


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.

Congratulations, Jess!


Donka Farkas will spend the 2019-2020 academic year as the Kelley Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. Donka writes:

I will teach two courses during the year, one in semantics, and one in pragmatics.  I am looking forward to joining colleagues in the Linguistics Program there, as well as in the Philosophy department.  After a year on the East Coast I will be, I am sure, eager to return home to Santa Cruz.
Congratulations, Donka!


Faculty member Amanda Rysling was recently awarded a Faculty Research Fellowship from The Humanities Institute at UCSC for her project, “Prediction in speech processing,” which she describes below:

It seeks to understand the types of cues that listeners do and do not use to form predictions in prosodic parsing, and when during the course of listening they do so. The project encompasses registered replications and novel extensions of previous sentence length prediction studies, replications and extensions of phoneme monitoring studies of accent prediction, and a critical re-evaluation of the literature on speech processing in light of (so far) systematic failures to find previously-reported results.

Congratulations, Amanda!


On Friday, December 7, a team of students, faculty, and friends was honored to present a Festschrift celebrating the remarkable careers of Junko Ito and Armin Mester, two of the world’s leading theoretical phonologists and one of the most enduring collaborative research teams in our field:

Festschrift editor Jaye Padgett writes:

It is impossible to do justice to the variety and depth of Armin and Junko’s work, or to adequately express our regard for them as colleagues and friends. But we hope this volume goes some way toward doing both.

The editors of the Festschrift are Ryan Bennett, Andrew Angeles, Adrian Brasoveanu, Dhyana Buckley, Nick Kalivoda, Shigeto Kawahara, Grant McGuire, Jaye Padgett.

Pictured from right to left: Grant McGuire, Adrian Brasoveanu, Armin Mester, Jaye Padgett, Junko Ito, Ryan Bennett, Andrew Angeles, and Nick Kalivoda.


A paper by assistant professor Ryan Bennett has recently appeared in Glossa. The paper, entitled “Recursive prosodic words in Kaqchikel (Mayan),” argues that the prefixal phonology of Kaqchikel provides evidence for unbounded recursion of the prosodic word ω. The paper can be accessed here.