Adrian Brasoveanu gave a talk at BLS 44 on Friday, February 9 about “Quantitative Comparison for Generative Theories: Embedding Competence Linguistic Theories in Cognitive Architectures and Bayesian Models”. The abstract and slides are available here and here. It was a very nice conference, with many alumni and friends of our department among the organizers and the audience.
The most recent issue of Linguistic Inquiry (Volume 49, Number 1) just hit the streets and in it can be found a paper by Jorge Hankamer and alumna Line Mikkelsen, who is now associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at Berkeley. Jorge and Line’s paper is Structure, Architecture, and Blocking and it deals with the complex conditions governing the realization of the definite determiner in Danish as a post-nominal suffix or as a pre-nominal article. The paper can be downloaded here.
The 2nd Crete Summer School of Linguistics will take place in Rethymnon, Crete, during the second two weeks of July 2018. The school will feature both introductory courses and advanced seminars on syntax, phonology, sign language, morphology, semantics, syntax-semantics interface, phonology-syntax interface, language evolution, animal communication and historical linguistics. One of the distinctive features of the school has been its emphasis on co-teaching and one of this year’s courses (on Ellipsis) will be team-taught by Jim McCloskey and Tim Stowell of UCLA. Students who would like to take advantage of the opportunity to do high-end theoretical linguistics in the Mediterranean sun should apply here before April 1st. All relevant information is available on the school’s website.
An article by Junko Ito, Haruo Kubozono, and Armin Mester titled “A prosodic account of consonant gemination in Japanese loanwords” has recently been published in a series called The Phonetics and Phonology of Geminate Consonants (eds. Keren Rice and Andrew Nevins, Oxford Studies in Phonetics and Phonology). The paper is a study of the distribution of geminate consonants in Japanese loanwords, which differs in significant ways from their distribution in native words. Both prosodic markedness and faithfulness to the source word plays a central role. Sometimes, such as in loanwords from Italian, geminates are preserved as such. But usually, as in loanwords from English, gemination is a way of preserving word-final coda-hood in the source word. Whether or not a given consonant is geminated depends on a host of complex segmental factors that are the result of a whole family of anti-gemination constraints, ranked at different points within the constraint hierarchy of an optimality-theoretic grammar. Finally, significant higher-level prosodic factors that are part of the native system are at work, and explain many details of the gemination pattern that are rooted neither in faithfulness to the source word nor in segmental features.