Several UCSC linguists flew into Hawaii for the 25th Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference. The Accent Research Group — Junko Ito, Armin Mester, Nick Kalivoda and Jeff Adler (in absentia) — presented their work (with a talk and poster) on the endangered Japanese dialects of Kagoshima at the satellite workshop on prosody and prosodic interfaces. They met up with familiar Santa Cruz-related folks — Haruo Kubozono (NINJAL), former LRC visitor and workshop organizer, and Larry Hyman (UCB), the workshop commentator. Kohei Nishimura, former LRC visiting graduate student also gave a talk based on the NINJAL corpus of Spoken Japanese. At the main conference, they were joined by Hitomi Hirayama, who gave both a poster on “Discourse effects of biased questions in Japanese” at the main session and a talk (joint with Adrian Brasoveanu) at an East Asian Psycholinguistics satellite workshop on “Expressing ignorance in Japanese: contrastive wa vs. sukunakutomo.”

Pictured above: Hitomi Hirayama, Nick Kalivoda

Pictured above: Haruo Kubozono, Nick Kalivoda, Larry Hyman, Armin Mester, Junko Ito





Graduate student Erik Zyman‘s paper “Quantifier Float as Stranding: Evidence from Janitzio P’urhepecha” has been accepted for publication in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. The paper argues that Janitzio P’urhepecha quantifier float (cf. The girls are all reading) is derived by movement that splits up an underlying nominal (cf. all the girls), stranding the quantifier—challenging the view that floated quantifiers are (always) adverbials adjoined to some clausal projection. One of the main arguments comes from Janitzio P’urhepecha’s strikingly wide array of DP positions (most of them subject positions): whether an ordinary DP is possible, impossible, or marginal in a given position, a floated quantifier behaves the same way in that position. The large array of subject positions uncovered in this investigation lends new support to the “distributed” view of subjecthood. A preprint version of the article may be found here.


Congratulations to Jake Vincent, who successfully defended his first qualifying paper on 9/28, titled “D-raising in Chamorro relative clauses and other A’ constructions”. The main goal of the paper is to motivate an analysis for Chamorro internally headed relative clauses, a construction in which the noun phrase being modified by a relative clause surfaces as an argument inside that relative clause. Jake proposes an analysis in which the head noun phrase is a DP headed by a null operator that undergoes long head movement, stranding the head noun phrase inside the clause. The analysis is motivated by other A’ constructions in Chamorro in which overt determiners raise independently of their nominal restrictor. His committee consisted of Sandy Chung (chair), Matt Wagers, and Maziar Toosarvandani.


Our official first week back culminated in a lovely reception catered by none other than our beloved Viva’s, where we welcomed old and new to the department.

Two new faculty members have joined the department:

Ryan Bennett (Ph.D. UCSC, 2012) comes to us from Yale, where he has been Assistant Professor, and joins the department as Assistant Professor.

Amanda Rysling (Ph.D. UMass, Amherst, 2017) joins us as Assistant Professor as well.

Our incoming graduate class for Fall 2017 consists of two Ph.D. students and four M.A. students:

Jeremie Beauchamps received his B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa. His thesis was on posture locatives and existential expressions in Mẽbengokre. This reflects both a broader interest in the syntax-semantics interface, and commitment to original fieldwork on Mẽbengokre and other Jê languages.

Benjamin Eischens received a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, after which he served with AmeriCorps. He has investigated Northern Azeri – the focus of his senior thesis being its light verb constructions. He is primarily interested in syntax, with broader interests in Turkic and Semitic.

Joining us as new MA students are Richard Bibbs (B.A. with honors in Linguistics, UC Santa Cruz, Spring 2017), Dhyana Buckley (Former B.A./M.A.), Lydia Werthen (Former B.A./M.A.), and Anissa Zaitsu (Former B.A./M.A.).

Welcome also to the newest members of the BA/MA Program: Jacob Chemnick and Anny Huang (both of whom you may remember from their past presentations at LURC).

At the reception we also had the opportunity to welcome four undergraduate exchange students from ICU in Tokyo, Japan.


Our congratulations to Karen Duek, who successfully defended her dissertation “Sorting a complex world: an experimental study of polysemy and copredication in container and committee nominals” at the beginning of the summer (June 19th). Many who were present at the defense followed Karen to an after-party, where her success was celebrated with an Oreo Ice Cream Cake. We are happy to see Dr. Duek move ahead, but we will also miss her.