The newsletter of the Linguistics Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
03 April 2011
Syntax Guru Klaus Abels arrives
Klaus will be here just a few short weeks, so be sure to take advantage of his wisdom early. He can be reached at email@example.com.
John McCarthy named Special Assistant to the Provost
On April 1, John McCarthy became Special Assistant to the Provost, and will spend the next year in that capacity working on the merger of Humanities and Fine Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. As a consequence, he has stepped down as department head, a post he has tirelessly labored at for the past two years. During his short tenure as head, the department has seen a dramatic improvement in its finances, has made two important hires, has gained, at least on paper, a new home, has seen the founding of ICESL, has increased funds available to graduate students, and has acquired a renovated WHISC.
We are grateful for his leadership and wish him luck with his new endeavor.
UUSLAW meets April 9
The schedule is below.
Peggy Speas assumes Headdom of Department
Peggy Speas has become Head of the linguistics department, assuming that august title from John McCarthy.
Workshop on Multidominance meets Friday and Saturday
For more information, go the Workshop website: Workshop on Multidominance
Digital Humanities Initiative Spring Seminar Series
The second event in the Digital Humanities Initiative Spring Seminars is a Presentation and Discussion with Luiz Amaral and Patricia Gubitosi,
Professors of Hispanic Linguistics at UMass entitled:
"The New England Corpus of Heritage and Second Language Speakers"
Monday, April 11, 3:30 - 4:30pm
in the UMass Digital Humanities Lab (at the back of the Translation
Center in the basement of Herter Hall).
Refreshments will be provided!
A description from the notice follows.
Corpora have become an intrinsic component of research in language. In the area of second and heritage language acquisition the development of new corpora has allowed researchers to document the language spoken by different multi-lingual communities throughout the world, and to study the linguistic development of individuals that speak more than one language. Although New England is the home of a large population of Spanish and Portuguese heritage and L2 speakers, there is currently very little data available about their linguistic diversity, and there is not a single corpus that documents the language varieties spoken in this region.
Amaral and Gubitosi's project will address this need by developing an online corpus of oral and written production of heritage and L2 speakers of Spanish and Portuguese in New England. The development of this corpus will help to document the linguistic pluralism of New England, and allow future generations to study language change by heritage populations in this region. It will also contribute to the growing number of projects worldwide that are gathering and classifying L2 language production.
Amaral and Gubitosi's talk will use their project as a springboard to a broader discussion about the practical and theoretical issues around using digital databases and corpora in humanities scholarship.
The Experimental Phonology Working Group meets on Tuesday
On Tuesday April 5th, the Experimental Phonology Working Group will meet at 10 am to discuss "Bayesian Analysis of Non-native Cluster Production" by Colin Wilson and Lisa Davidson. The paper can be found at:
Terue Miyashita and Frances Burns talk at Acquisition Lab meeting Monday
At the Acquisition Lab Meeting Monday April 4 at 5:15 in the Partee Room:
"The Economy of Encoding and Anaphoric Dependency with Relational Nouns:Evidence from Child Grammar"
Terue Miyashita----CLS Practice Talk
Preterite had production in typically-developing AAE speakers and AAE speakers with specific language impairment
UMass Swarms GLOW
Here are papers by UMass alumni, faculty, students and past and present visitors that can be found at GLOW:
Martin Walkow and Rajesh Bhatt
"Locating Agreement in Grammar"
"Functional Categories: FLN or FLB?"
"Some Formal Conditions on Logical Syntax"
"A New Argument for Small Clauses"
"Agent-Oriented Adverbs = Individual-Level Predicates"
"The Composition and Interpretation of 'tough' Movement"
"Piecing Together Predicate Transfer"
"Towards a Unified Analysis of Modal Existential wh-Constructions and Purpose Clauses"
poster: "Syntax Drives Morphological Impoverishment of Clitics"
More information can be found here.
LSRL program schedule posted
The full program can be found at: http://www.lsrl41.com/LSRL41Program.pdf
Franck Salameh talks on Tuesday, April 5
Franck Salameh from Boston College will give a lecture entitled "Language and Identity Formation in the Middle East: The Case of Arabic" on Tuesday at 7PM in Herter 301.
Elie Kedourie--a pillar of modern Middle East Studies--once described
his academic field as a "bore," a narrative that claimed there to be
no non-Arab "others" in the Middle East, and no cultures, languages,
or histories beyond those of Arabs. This talk seeks to unpack these
prevalent assumptions, parse the language and ideologies behind them,
and demonstrate that despite its many religious, cultural, and
linguistic similarities, the modern Middle East--like its ancient Near
East precursor--lacks the requisite historical uniformity and
continuity to warrant the reductive--and ultimately
misleading--appellation "Arab world."
Franck Salameh is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Arabic,
and Hebrew in the Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and
Literatures at Boston College. This talk is partly based on his new
book, Language, Memory and Identity in the Middle East: The Case of
Lebanon (Lexington Books, 2010).
Fulbright Israel Post-Doctoral Fellowship deadline: August 1, 2011
The United States-Israel Educational Foundation and the Fulbright commission for Israel offers eight fellowships to American post-doctoral researchers. More information can be found in the flyer below.