• Tom Roberts spent much of the summer in Estonia conducting fieldwork, preparing an experiment for QP2, working on miscellaneous projects, exploring the country, and trying every item on the menu at Sõõrikukohvik. He rounded out his trip in his natural milieu–in the midst of semanticists and pragmaticians–with a talk at Sinn und Bedeutung in Potsdam, Germany, before descending once more on sunny Santa Cruz.
    • Kelsey Kraus spent the first part of the break in Göttingen at a summer school on Speech Acts and Historical Linguistics. After a bit of time back in Santa Cruz, she returned to Germany at the beginning of September, but this time to Konstanz, to present at the Questioning Speech Acts Workshop. She’ll be visiting there for most of the Fall quarter, where she will be working with the Questions at the Interfaces Research Unit on English and German discourse particles.
    • Deniz Rudin ventured to Germany to do semantics things. His account: “This summer I went to Berlin to hang out, eat döner, experience efficient public transportation, watch Thomas De Haven Roberts deliver the UCSC Linguistics Annual Second-Year Semanticist’s First QP Sinn und Bedeutung Talk, and drink on the street. Kelsey Kraus and I then drove in a rented car to Göttingen, whither retired linguist and future librarian Andreas Walker (a former UCSC visiting graduate student) had just moved that very week. He graciously allowed us to sleep among his un-unpacked boxes in his charming apartment accessible only via a giant hefty skeleton key. The three of us watched a movie set in NorCal together, and dreamt of home. My peripatetic colleague and I then drove to Konstanz (the Santa Cruz of Europe), where we each presented our (separate) work on the meanings of English intonational tunes at Sven Lauer & Regine Eckardt’s Questioning Speech Acts workshop. Much camaraderie was on display during the startlingly well-programmed sessions, in which excellent work was presented on a cluster of similar themes, and everybody was nice to everybody else despite nobody quite agreeing with each other.”
    • Jeff Adler, the most recent grad ghost of UCSC, participated in an informal workshop hosted by Shigeto Kawahara (UCSC/ICU undergrad alum), at Keio University in Japan, where he was also doing research. Participants included a group of UC Santa Cruz and ICU (International Christian University) people and alums. Jeff gave a talk on the work that he, Junko Ito, Armin Mester, and Nick Kalivoda have done on ‘Microvariation in Kagoshima pitch accent systems’.
      There was a group of to-be Santa Cruzers from ICU:
      Takahiro Asayma
      Shota Shibahashi
      Yoshika Kuroiwa
      Ayaka Sugioka

      Then, (sort-of) current UCSC people:
      Jeff Adler
      Armin Mester
      Junko Ito

      And finally, some other unrelated people:
      Yoko Sugioka (a former fellow grad student, and close friend, of Donka Farkas)
      Robert Daland
      Shinichiro Sano
      Manami Hirayma

    • Kelsey Sasaki spent a month in Hawai’i researching HC and visiting family, then a week in Alaska planting seeds for future HC research. She sliced melons and croissants for the Nido de Lenguas, and worked with our Zapotec consultants in LA. She also went to Minneapolis for a humanities/social sciences workshop. While there, she met Deniz Rudin’s best friend, but no Hedding brothers.
    • Erik Zyman presented on “XP- and X°-movement in the Latin Verb: Evidence from Mirroring and Anti-Mirroring” (joint work with Nick Kalivoda) at the Yale Syntax Reading Group, did a bunch of other syntax, had a blast at his fifth college reunion, and traveled to Blairsville, GA, to watch the eclipse from within the totality belt.
    • After a brief camping vacation in (a somewhat flooded) Yosemite, Jake Vincent spent the summer in Santa Cruz finishing up his QP research on Chamorro relative clauses. He also helped with the organization of the Nido de Lenguas, which was at the beginning of September. His highlight of that was getting to make a lotería board game to help event participants learn the sentence structure of Santiago Laxopa Zapotec and San Martín Peras Mixtec.
    • In early summer Donka Farkas participated in an Inquisitive Semantics workshop, organized by former LRC visitor Floris Roelofsen, in Broek in Waterland, Holland. The program is available here. She reports: “It was one of the best workshops I remember, both in terms of content and organization. The setting was idyllic but the atmosphere was intense, and the discussions incisive, generous and enlightening. Alumn Kyle Rawlins (Johns Hopkins) and department friend and neighbor Cleo Condoravdi (Stanford) were among the speakers. A second workshop will take place in December, in Amsterdam, right before the Amsterdam Colloquium. Note that one of the invited speakers there will be alumn Scott AnderBois (Brown).”
    • Maho Morimoto attended the ASA (Acoustical Society of America) Boston meeting, after which she had a precious experience at the six-day festival in Santiago Laxopa, Oaxaca, where she integrated to the local banda de viento, Banda Filarmonica Macedonio Alcalá. Her Immersion in the Oaxacan languages and culture continued as she worked towards the Nido de Lenguas with a team led by Maziar and Pranav. She concluded her summer travels with a trip to Tokyo, where she ran a production experiment using EMA.
    • Adrian Brasoveanu spent a good part of the summer modeling linguistic phenomena in a new implementation of the ACT-R cognitive architecture (pyactr, book in progress). One of the advantages of this new implementation is that it can be easily enhanced with a Bayesian estimation ‘backend’, which can be seen at work in a poster presentation on ‘Modeling lexical access in ACT-R’ at AMLaP. The poster as well as the research program and the underlying framework are the results of a long-term collaboration with former LRC visitor Jakub Dotlacil.
    • ​Jed Pizarro-Guevara flew to Lexington, KY to enjoy bourbon and present a paper based on his second qualifying paper at the Morphological Typology and Linguistic Cognition Workshop. After, he ​helped organize Nido de Lenguas​. ​Unfortunately, he wasn’t there for the actual event since he had to fly to Metro Manila to collect data for his QE at the University of the Philippines – Diliman. When he wasn’t working, he was sighted near food establishments in Quezon City, scarfing down enough food to feed an entire village.


Karen Duek will be defending her dissertation at 11:30am on Monday, June 19th, in HUM 1 Room 210. Karen’s dissertation is titled “Sorting a complex world: an experimental study of polysemy and copredication in container and committee nominals.” The committee consists of Adrian Brasoveanu (chair), Donka Farkas, and Pranav Anand.


The last week of the quarter saw a flurry of successful defenses:

  • Steven Foley defended his second qualifying paper, “The Subject Gap Advantage in a split-ergative language: Reading time evidence from Georgian” (Matt Wagers, chair, Sandy Chung, and Ivy Sichel)
  • Hitomi Hirayama defended her qualifying exam, “Expressing Ignorance in Japanese: Contrastive wa versus sukunakutomo” (Adrian Brasoveanu, chair, Donka Farkas, Ivy Sichel, and Junko Shimoyama (McGill))
  • Maho Morimoto defended her qualifying exam, “Listener adaptation to lexical stress misplacement in English” (Grant McGuire, chair, Jaye Padgett, Matt Wagers, and Molly Babel (UBC))
  • Jed Pizarro-Guevara defended his second qualifying paper, “An auditory masked priming study of nasal substitution in Dabaw Bisaya (Cebuano)” (Grant McGuire, chair, Jorge Hankamer and Brian W. Smith)
  • Tom Roberts defended his first qualifying paper, “The semantics of responsive predicates and their complements in Estonian” (Pranav Anand, chair, Donka Farkas, and Jim McCloskey)


Two graduating seniors in Linguistics, Dhyana Buckley and Alissa Trowbridge presented posters at the Koret Scholars Undergraduate Research Slam, which was held Friday, June 9, at McHenry Library. Dhyana’s poster was titled ‘Real world entailments: A semantic approach to improving machine learning’; Alissa’s poster was titled ‘Long-distance reflexivization in Sundanese’. Earlier this quarter, Alissa completed a senior thesis on anaphora in Sundanese. Dhyana, who is in the BA/MA program, will become an MA student in the Fall. The Research Slam was opened with remarks by Jaye Padgett in his role as Interim Vice Provost of Student Success.


Entering MA student Anissa Zaitsu spent the tenth week of the quarter as a participant in the MICHHERS program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She sent in this report about her time there:

“My time in Michigan has been intellectually enriching. I am one of a group of 24 students across 6 different disciplines in the humanities, one of just 4 linguistics students and the only student from UC Santa Cruz. I am working with Acrisio Pires, on my Why-VP research, and have been getting a lot of new feedback and guidance on the topic. Most importantly, I have to present this research to the entire cohort, most of whom are not linguists, so I have had to learn how to present technical linguistic work to people outside of our discipline in such a way that its importance and relevance is clear–a useful and difficult skill to acquire. Each day there is an interdisciplinary workshop and then a discipline-specific event. I have been involved in two linguistics seminars, one with Marlyse Baptista who does morphosyntax work on Creoles and more generally on language contact, and another with Sam Epstein on what it means to work in the generative tradition.

It has been amazing talking to young researchers like myself who do fascinating research across a number of disciplines, looking for ways to make connections between my theoretical work and theirs. This has been a real challenge but the experience has helped me dig deeper and gain perspective about what my own research is about and why it matters.

In addition, the program also has a strong diversity component, and so many of the students come from backgrounds which are underrepresented in graduate programs; the issues that this raises have been a big part of the discussion here.

Above all though, I am enjoying the sights and scenes in Ann Arbor. The weather has been beautiful and the streets are filled with lush greens. I am told it is not this way all year…”