Congratulations to Margaret Kroll, who successfully defended her second Qualifying Paper on April 28. The paper, entitled “Is working memory sensitive to at-issueness? Experimental evidence from at-issue appositives”, examines a curious asymmetry between how long restrictive relative clauses and long appositive relative clauses differentially impact sentence complexity. In a series of acceptability judgment studies, she demonstrates that it is not due to the variable relationship of the appositive relative clause to the discourse, contra existing proposals in the literature. Her committee consisted of Adrian Brasoveanu, Donka Farkas and Matt Wagers (chair).
For those who are of such a mind, there will be a summer school on historical/diachronic linguistics, with a particular focus on sentence types/speech acts. (One might surmise that having done a recent seminar on such topics could be relevant here.) The summer school will take place in Göttingen, Germany (site of Max Planck’s grave) from July 24th-August 4th, and is free including accommodation for University of California students. The deadline for application is February 28th.
On Tuesday, January 31st, Hannah Sande (UC Berkeley) will be giving a colloquium at 1:30pm in Hum 1, Room 210. Her talk is entitled “Modeling the morphology/phonology interface: Evidence from process morphology in Guébie”, and the abstract is below.
Work on the relationship between morphology and phonology has long been split between two views: 1) phonological phenomena occur due to the concatenation of underlying items, or 2) phonological phenomena occur due to the application of some process (Hockett, 1954; Anderson, 1992).
Here I present novel data from Guébie, an endangered Kru language spoken in Côte d’Ivoire, which bears on the crucial question of whether morphology involves item arrangement or processes. I describe two distinct phenomena in Guébie–scalar tone shift and phonologically determined agreement–which demonstrate that not all morphology involves affixation (contra Trommer and Zimmermann, 2014; Zimmermann 2016). I present a unified analysis of these two phenomena, in which morphological processes are modeled with cophonologies (Ito and Mester, 1995; Anttila, 2002; Inkelas and Zoll, 2005) that can apply in phrasal as well as in lexical contexts (cf. McPherson 2014, McPherson and Heath 2016).
Depending on when you read this, Nate Arnett either will defend or has defended his dissertation today (Monday, November 21st) at 10am in Humanties 1, Room 210. His talk is entitled “Interference and complexity effects in subject retrieval.”
The Brandeis M.A. Program in Computational Linguistics, offered by the Department of Computer Science, is an accessible, intensive two-year curriculum for students with a linguistics, language, computer science, mathematics, or science background, including students without prior study of computer science or linguistics. It features individualized curriculum plans and close teaching/mentoring relationships with faculty and boasts high placement rates in industry jobs and PhD programs. Visit the program website for more information.
This week’s Phlunch meeting (Friday, 11:00 in the LCR) will feature joint work by Nick Kalivoda and Jenny Bellik with their ongoing project ‘SPOT’ (Syntax-Prosody-in-OT). This bold new endeavor of theirs aims to develop software that will allow for typological research in the syntax-prosody interface within an OT framework.
Vincent Homer and Rajesh Bhatt of UMass Amherst contacted us asking us to help get the word out about a workshop on obligatoriness that they are organizing in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia on September 22nd 2015, as part of TbiLLC 2015: Eleventh International Tbilisi Symposium on Language, Logic and Computation. The title of their workshop is How to make things happen in the grammar: the implementation of obligatoriness and the abstract deadline is May 21st 2015. Invited speakers include Omer Preminger of Maryland and Ivy Sichel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. The questions that the conference hopes to shed light on are (i) whether a unified treatment of obligatoriness is possible (ii) whether the different kinds of obligatoriness we find might correlate with the part of grammar we are dealing with. More detailed information and a Call for Papers can be found at the workshop web-site and also here.