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.



On April 20-22, Ivy Sichel and Jake Vincent travelled to UCLA to participate in the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL)Maura O’Leary, former slug (BA ’13) and one of our recent visiting researchers, was one of the main organizers of WCCFL this year.

As an invited speaker, Ivy presented joint work on demonstratives with Martina Wiltschko (UBC) in a talk titled “Appraisal and Alternatives.”

Jake presented a poster on the research from his first QP about Chamorro internally headed relative clauses. He reports:

I had several helpful conversations that will help me push the research on that project forward. There were lots of interesting/inspiring talks and posters seeking to answer big theoretical questions. It was my first time visiting UCLA. Its campus is very different from UCSC’s, but is still very beautiful. Also, the inverted fountain is super cool.

The program is available here.


The week before last Ryan Bennett spent three very enjoyable days at MIT, where he gave a mini-course on the phonetics, phonology, and morphology of Kaqchikel, along with a colloquium on the unique behavior of subject pronouns under focus and ellipsis in Irish. Ryan was very grateful for the hospitality he received, as well as the many thought-provoking, challenging, and constructive comments made by MIT students and faculty at his presentations.


A paper by Ryan Bennett (PhD ’12 and current faculty member), Boris Harizanov (PhD ’14), and Robert Henderson (PhD ’12) has appeared in the latest issue of Linguistic Inquiry (LI). The paper, entitled “Prosodic Smothering in Macedonian and Kaqchikel,” proposes a novel analysis of dependent morphemes which idiosyncratically trigger prosodic restructuring of their hosts.

Another paper by Boris Harizanov appears in this issue, entitled “Word Formation at the Syntax-Morphology Interface: Denominal Adjectives in Bulgarian.” The paper seeks to understand mismatches between syntactic representations and corresponding morphological representations.

A paper by faculty member Ivy Sichel also appears in the issue, entitled “Anatomy of a Counterexample: Extraction from Relative Clauses.” The paper argues for an approach to extraction from RCs where locality is determined syntactically, in combination with a more fine-grained structure for RCs and a theory of how extraction interacts with the theory of locality.


On April 13-15, Maziar Toosarvandani and Jérémie Beauchamp traveled to Ottawa on the occasion of the 23rd Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas (WSCLA). As one of the keynote speakers, Maziar presented his work with Steven Foley on constraints on clitic combinations in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec. As for Jérémie, he presented on vowel epenthesis in Kĩsêdjê. Despite a threatening weather forecast and freezing rain on the last day, the crowd of fieldworkers created a warm atmosphere, engaging in interesting discussions about several aspects of a variety of South, North and Meso-American languages.


Jim McCloskey is this year’s recipient of the Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award in Humanities. Named in honor of Professor Emeritus John Dizikes, the award celebrates the Humanities faculty’s commitment to excellence in teaching and its transformative impact for students. The announcement of the award mentioned that “students and colleagues alike offered high praise for Prof. McCloskey’s ability to inspire and engage students over the years, and for creating an inclusive learning environment that challenges and encourages all students.” Jim joins several other linguistics faculty who have received the award in the past, including Pranav Anand (2016), Donka Farkas (2013), Jorge Hankamer (2011), and Jaye Padgett (2006). He will be presented with the award during the Celebrating the Humanities/Spring Awards event on Friday, June 8 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Cowell Provost House.