06 March 2011


WHISC has found a new home, with a new look and feel. The tired old WHISC can still be found at http://web.linguist.umass.edu/~whisc/. Go there for all the tired, old, posts.

Why has WHISC moved?

Because the hardworking (and other) staff of WHISC have decided that WHISC's former blogging software -- Moveable Type -- was just too hip.

Also Moveable Type's manual exceeded the legendary attention span of the WHISC staff member charged with reading it.

We are now "powered" by Blogger.

WCCFL Program announced

The 29th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics has just sent out acceptances, and two UMass denizens are among them. Nick Lacara will present ""Predicate Which Appositives" (a paper on parenthetical relative clauses containing verbal anaphora), and Martin Walkow will present "Locating Agreement in Grammar" (co-authored with Rajesh Bhatt) as well as the poster "Syntax Drives Morphological Impoverishment of Clitics."

WCCFL meets this year at the University of Arizona in Tucson, April 22-24. For more information, go to:

WCCFL 29 | 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics at the University of Arizona

McCarthy in latest Linguistic Inquiry

WHISC reported in a previous issue that Seth Cable's squib "A New Argument for Lexical Decomposition: Transparent Readings of Verbs" had appeared in the latest issue of Linguistic Inquiry, but our researchers have only now read further down into the issue to find that John McCarthy's squib "Perceptually Grounded Faithfulness in Harmonic Serialism" appears in this very issue as well.

Congratulations Professors Cable and McCarthy.

Workshop on South Asian Syntax and Semantics

UMass's linguistics department will host a Workshop on South Asian Syntax and Semantics at the end of Spring Break: March 19th and 20th. All talks will be held in Herter 301 (The French Lounge). The workshop is free, and all are welcome.

The invited talk is by Ashwini Deo, whose lecture, "The Particular-Generic Copular Contrast in Indo-Aryan," starts at 5:30 on Saturday, March 19.

A program can be found here.

The workshop is the handiwork of Rajesh Bhatt.

RUMMIT Date Announced

R(utgers)UM(ass)MIT will occur on May Day, 2011.

P-Workers Unite!

ICESL Deadline: March 12

The Institute for Computational and Experimental Study of Language is an interdisciplinary research group that spans the departments of Communications Disorders, Computer Science, Language, Literatures and Cultures, Linguistics and Psychology. Its launch workshop is April 1, and speakers include new Linguistics faculty Kristine Yu and Brian Dillon, as well as Alexandra Jesse from the Psychology department.

Joe Pater writes:

This is a reminder of two important deadlines involving ICESL, both falling on March 12.

1. Poster submissions for the launch workshop, held April 1. If you would  like to present a poster, just send us a list of authors and title by March 12. The poster session will be followed by a catered dinner for all presenters at the workshop. The list of presenters will give us a head count for the dinner. The poster does *not* have to present new work -- it's perfectly fine, and in fact encouraged, to present work from another conference. The goal is to give us all a sense of the full range of computational and experimental work on language being done on campus.

2. Seed grant proposals. Small grants, usual maximum $2000, with sponsors from 2 departments in ICESL. Further guidelines are here:



Call for Papers: Experimental and Theoretic Advances in Prosody

The second meeting of Experimental and Theoretical Advances in Prosody (ETAP) will meet at McGill University on September 23-25, 2011.  The first meeting of ETAP was at Cornell in 2008, and had many of the leading lights in prosody, including our own Lisa Selkirk, and alumni Katy Carlson and Masako Hirotani. The papers of ETAP 1 were published in a special issue of Language and Cognitive Processes, and the same will happen with ETAP 2.

The conference webpage says:

A special focus of this year’s ETAP are contextual influences on prosody. Examining the effects of context on the prosody of an utterance – for example, the context-dependent changes in the duration and prominence of different words or the grouping of words into larger prosodic/meaning units – provides a powerful tool for understanding syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and discourse-level factors and their interplay in language production and comprehension.

Mara Breen, from UMass's Psychology department, is one of the invited speakers.

Student travel stipends are available.

Deadline for submissions is May 15. For more information, go to: call

Ernie Lepore at Hampshire College

Rajesh Bhatt writes:

There will be two interesting talks next week by Ernie Lepore at
Hampshire College. Ernie Lepore is a distinguished philosopher and
cognitive scientist. He teaches at Rutgers
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Lepore) and is known to be an
engaging speaker. His talks are on the language of racial slurs and contextualism.

1. Slurring Words
Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm, West Lecture Hall, Franklin
Patterson Hall, Hampshire College

2. Context and Shared Content
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at Noon, Adele Simmons Hall Lobby, Hampshire College

Details at: http://helios.hampshire.edu/~dgaCS/lepore@hampshire.pdf