A DOUBLE-HEADER OF TALKS BY CHUNG

On Thursday, April 6, Sandy Chung drove to Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose to speak at a workshop organized by the school’s Linguistics Club. She and the other two speakers (Arto Anttila and Roula Svorou) were astonished at the large audience, which included over 35 students. Among the Linguistics Club’s organizers are Suzanne Golshanara and Eliza Kolmanovsky, both of whom plan to major in Linguistics when they enter UC San Diego in the Fall. The following week, Sandy traveled to Evanston to give a colloquium at Northwestern on the work she and Matt Wagers are doing on Chamorro anaphora. While there, she had a most enjoyable conversation with M.A. alum Tommy Denby, who is now a fourth year Ph.D. student there, about to embark on a dissertation in phonetics and phonology.

ITO & MESTER COLLOQUIUM

This Friday, April 14th, at 2:40pm in Hum 2 Room 259, we’re kicking off this quarter’s colloquium series with our own Junko Ito and Armin Mester (UCSC). Their talk is entitled “Pitch Accent and Tonal Alignment,” and the abstract is given below.

Recent work (Kubozono 2009, Ito and Mester 2016, among others) has established that the metrical foot plays an irreducible role in the accent pattern of Japanese and its dialects. Here we make a complementary point: Some features of pitch accent systems are irreducibly tonal in
nature, and follow from the constraints aligning tonal melodies with prosodic structure. As a warm-up, we show that the autosegmental well-formedness conditions, recast as OT constraints on tonal alignment and tonal faithfulness, allow for a simple analysis of the recessive accent pattern of Ancient Greek, which has resisted a successful analysis in terms of foot structure (Steriade, Golston, Kiparsky), but follows directly in an account squarely centered on the rightward alignment of the word melody HL+L.

In the main part of the talk, we present some results of the Santa Cruz Accent Project (Adler/Ito/Kalivoda/Mester) on the microvariation in the pitch accent systems of the dialects of Kagoshima Prefecture: the main Satsuma dialect, and the separate dialects of Koshikijima island and the southernmost Kikaijima island (close to the Ryukyu archepelago). All these dialects, except for the main Satsuma dialect, are in serious decline in terms of numbers of speakers. We show that the accentual microvariation in Kagoshima Japanese is due to a simple reranking of the basic constraints aligning the accentual melodies HL and H. The difference in TBU between dialects (syllable- vs. mora-counting behavior), difficult to analyze as a parameter setting, follows from the ranking of constraints against tonal contours on moras and syllables.

ITO IN JAPAN

During the spring break, Junko Ito traveled to Japan to give a keynote talk (in collaboration with Armin Mester) at a workshop honoring the 60th birthday of Haruo Kubozono (former LRC visitor, and currently the President of the Linguistic Society of Japan). In the audience, and asking good questions, was UCSC Ph.D. alum Philip Spaelti, who is now Department Chair at Shoin University. The work that Junko presented is part of the Santa Cruz Accent Project (Adler/Ito/Kalivoda/Mester), which we will be able to hear about at the colloquium this Friday.

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER LASC

On Saturday, March 18th, the department hosted Linguistics at Santa Cruz (LASC), which was a resounding success, featuring talks on linguistic topics of all shapes and sizes on languages both near and far. The day of talks by second- and third-years was rounded out by distinguished UCSC alumnus Kyle Rawlins’s talk on “Unary ‘or'”. The evening was then capped off with a feast and commensurate levels of merrymaking at the Cowell Provost House. Thanks to everyone who helped make LASC happen–in particular, Lisa Hofmann, our LASC paparazzo, who provided us with this photo of the LASC presenters:

LASC 2017 presenters

Back row: Matt Wagers (LING 290 instructor), Margaret Kroll, Tom Roberts, Steven Foley, Jed Pizarro-Guevara, Jake Vincent
Front row: Hitomi Hirayama, Lauren McGarry, Kelsey Sasaki, Kyle Rawlins

MAIN EFFECT OF GOOD TIMES AT CUNY

Matt Wagers and Steven Foley recently attended CUNY2017 at MIT. The weather was wet and icy, but this induced minimal interference with the conference atmosphere, which – to no one’s Surprisal – was productive and collegial.

Steven delivered his poster on Georgian relative clause processing, while Matt was there for his paper on applying signal detection theory to the analysis of acceptability judgments (joint work with several UMass’ans: Brian Dillon, Caren Rotello and UCSC Linguistics alumna Caroline Andrews [BA ‘11]).

Many other Slugs were in attendance, including 2 other undergraduate alumni: Jeff Runner [BA ‘89] & Shayne Sloggett [BA ‘10]; and 2 MA alumni: Katia Kravtchenko [MA ‘13; currently Saarland University] and Adam Morgan [MA ‘13; currently UCSD]. Sloggett, Kravtchenko and Morgan each delivered a spoken presentation!

An excellent feature of this year’s conference was YouTube streaming of all talks; and poster/slide PDFs deposited via Open Science Foundation. You can view Steven’s poster here or listen to Dillon, Andrews, Rotello & Wagers here.

WLMA + UCSC = WSCLA

Continuing recent work on Meso-American languages, several WLMAns will be presenting their work at the 22nd Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americans (WSCLA), from April 21-23 at the University of British Columbia. There will be two talks by current UCSC students and faculty:

Jason Ostrove “Severing PRO from its silence”
Steven Foley, Nick Kalivoda & Maziar Toosarvandani “Gender Case Constraints in Zapotec”

The program can be found here.

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!