LASC 2017!

Mark your calendars for this year’s edition of Linguistics at Santa Cruz (LASC), the annual UCSC linguistics research conference at which second- and third-year graduate students present their research. The all-day event will take place on Saturday, March 18th, in Hum 1, Room 210. Eight talks are on the slate this year, covering a diverse range of subfields, including syntax, semantics, pragmatics, morphophonology, psycholinguistics, and numerous combinations therein, and spanning such languages as English, Cebuano, Georgian, Estonian, Chamorro, Hawai’i Creole, and Japanese. This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Lecture be given by Kyle Rawlins (Johns Hopkins), entitled “Unary ‘or'”. The full program can be found here. Don’t miss it!


Also in north of the border news, BA/MA student Lydia Werthen was at the University of Toronto last weekend for the Toronto Undergraduate Linguistics Conference (TULCON). Lydia presented her recent findings in her research on Wh-Continuation. Featured at the conference were keynote speakers Naomi Nagy, who spoke about heritage language change and variation, and Alexandra Motut, who discussed results from eye-tracking experiments in non-obligatory control. Lydia reports that despite the below-freezing weather conditions, it was a wonderful and enlightening experience!


Last quarter, we alerted you to the existence of a new reading group, WLMA, which focuses on the languages of Meso-America. Ever organized, the WLMAns have provided us this update on activities taking place in Spring Quarter and the summer.

Pranav Anand and Maziar Toosarvandani recently received a Board Opportunity Fund award from the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. Thanks to this award as well as the Linguistics Department and the Institute of Humanities Research, WLMA will be holding a one-day workshop on Monday, June 12, bringing together researchers here with three invited speakers:

Emiliana Cruz (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), a linguistic anthropologist concentrating on Chatino.

Eric Campbell (UC Santa Barbara), a morphosyntactician working on Zapotec and Chatino.

Christian DiCanio (State University of New York, Buffalo), a phonetician studying Trique and Mixtec.

The Board Opportunity Fund award will also allow us to continue development of the technical infrastructure to support ongoing fieldwork by WLMAns in several Mixe, Mixtec, Zapotec languages spoken in the Monterey Bay area.

We are also happy to announce that Andrew Hedding and Jason Ostrove have been selected as UC Public Scholars for 2017-2018, thanks to support by the UC Santa Cruz Institute of Humanities Research and the Mellon Public Scholars Program at the UC Davis Humanities Institute. The awards will enable Andrew and Jason to devote time during Summer 2017 toward their respective fieldwork on Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec Mixe and San Martín Peras Mixtec as well as to language and culture documentation for community members and the general public.


On Thursday, February 9, graduate student Erik Zyman gave a talk at the University of Florida (in Gainesville) entitled “Raising out of Finite Domains: The View from P’urhepecha.” He reports that he received a warm welcome and a great many interesting questions and comments. The next day, before returning to California, he was taken to a local nature preserve, where he saw alligators, egrets, herons, and trees draped with epiphytic Spanish moss.


Last Sunday, the UCSC-Stanford Sentence Types Workshop, featuring students from Donka Farkas’s and Cleo Condoravdi’s sentence type seminars, was a roaring success. The presentations, including both over-the-hill linguists and philosophers and the home team of Deniz, Lauren, and Hitomi, were engaging and provoked vigorous discussion among all participants. Moreover, the veritable smörgåsbord of cheeses and glazed pear cakes didn’t stand a chance against the linguists as ravenous for snacks as for knowledge. If you’re interested in viewing any handouts from the workshop or the program, you can do so here.