18 September 2011

Acquisition Lab/LARC Meeting on Monday

Everyone Welcome!

September 19, 2011

Monday 5: 15

Partee Room

Gustavo Freire [University of Sao Paolo]

"Perception and Causative Verbs and their Acquisition"

UMAFLAB meets this Thursday

Seth Cable writes:

The first full meeting of UMAFLAB (UMass Funny Languages Breakfast)  
will take place *Thursday*, September 22 at 9AM in *Bartlett 11* (note  
day and room change).

At this meeting, Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten will present some of the  
results of fieldwork this summer, examining modals in Navajo.

As noted above, the day and location of our meetings have changed. In  
order to accommodate everyone's schedule, our meetings will take place  
*Thursday* mornings at 9AM. Unfortunately, this means we won't be able  
to meet in the Partee room, since the McCarthy-Pater grant group meets  
there at that time. However, Brian Dillon has very generously offered  
up his lab meeting room, which is in Bartlett 11.

At today's organizational meeting, we put together the following  
schedule of meetings for the remainder of the term:

Thursday 9/22 (9AM, Bartlett 11):
Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten (Navajo Modals)

Thursday 10/6 (9AM, Bartlett 11):
Rex Wallace (A puzzle concerning Etruscan)

Thursday 10/20 (9AM, Bartlett 11):
Suzi Lima (Projects on Yudja and Kawaiwete)

Thursday 11/3 (9AM, Bartlett 11):
Jérémy Pasquereau (Projects on languages of Caucasus)

Thursday 11/17 (9AM, Bartlett 11):
Seth Cable (Tlingit Distributive Numerals or Multiple Tenses in Kikuyu)
[note: I'm happy to drop my slot if another student would like to  

Thursday 12/1 (9AM, Bartlett 11):
Emiliana Cruz (Projects on Chatino language)

Thursday 12/15:
Possible extra date, if we'd like to do it.

If you'd like to get on the e-mail list for future meetings, please  
just drop me an e-mail letting me know.

Psycho/Syntax Lab meetings

Brian Dillon writes:

This is just a quick note to announce that the Psycho/Syntax lab meetings for the semester have been scheduled, and that anyone who is interested in attending any or all of the meetings is more than welcome to come! Meetings are at 9am in 11 Barlett (space permitting). The schedule for Fall 2011 is:

9/29: Jason Overfelt (Tigrinya wh-in-situ, visual world eye-tracking)

10/13: Meg Grant (Extraction from comparatives)

10/27: Shayne Sloggett (German case attraction)

11/10: Magda Oiry (French wh-in-situ)

12/8: Rajesh Bhatt / Brian Dillon (Hindi agreement, Mechanical Turk for judgment studies)

The list can also be found at the XLUM blog: http://blogs.umass.edu/XLUM. Reminders will be sent to the "linguist-experimental" list, so if you'd like to continue getting more messages like this one, sign up for that list here: http://www.umass.edu/linguist/news/mailer.php.


Robots start talking in Australia!


NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes

Brian Dillon writes:

The NSF's East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for US graduate students program (EAPSI; http://www.nsfsi.org) is now accepting applications for their 2012 institute. The grants from this program support graduate students who want to go perform research in East Asia (construed very broadly, it includes Australia and New Zealand), and provides funding, travel and host arrangements, and good beginning experience with grant-writing for the NSF. Compared to other NSF programs there is a pretty high rate of success. I got a grant through this program to go to China for a summer to do research and it was definitely among the most useful things I did to advance my doctoral research. For linguists who want to work on East Asian/Pacific/Australian languages, it's usually fairly straightforward to put together a statement saying why Asia/the Pacific would be a good place to do research. I'd be happy to talk to people who are interested in pursuing one of these about how to put together an application.

The official call is copied below.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students (EAPSI) is a flagship international fellowship program for developing the next generation of globally  engaged U.S. scientists and engineers knowledgeable about the Asian and Pacific regions. The Summer Institutes are hosted by foreign counterparts committed to increasing opportunities for young U.S. researchers to work in research facilities and with host mentors abroad. Fellows are supported to participate in eight-week research experiences at host laboratories in Australia, China, Japan (10 weeks), Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan from June to August. The program provides a $5,000 summer stipend, round-trip airfare to the host location, living expenses abroad, and an introduction to the society, culture, language, and research environment of the host location.

The 2012 application is now open and will close at 5:00 pm proposer’s local time on November 9, 2011. Application instructions are available online at www.nsfsi.org. For further information concerning benefits, eligibility, and tips on applying, applicants are encouraged to visitwww.nsf.gov/eapsi or www.nsfsi.org.

NSF recognizes the importance of enabling U.S. researchers and educators to advance their work through international collaborations and the value of ensuring that future generations of U.S. scientists and engineers gain professional experience beyond this nation's borders early in their careers. The program is intended for U.S. graduate students pursuing studies in fields supported by the National Science Foundation. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply for the EAPSI. Applicants must be enrolled in a research-oriented master's or PhD program and be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents by the application deadline date. Students in combined bachelor/master degree programs must have matriculated from the undergraduate degree program by the application deadline date. 

The first Summer Institutes began in Japan in 1990, and to date over 2,400 U.S. graduate students have participated in the program.

Should you have any questions, please contact the EAPSI Help Desk by email at eapsi@nsfsi.orgor by phone at 1-866-501-2922.

Postdoc in Semantics and Pragmatics at University of Amsterdam

We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research fellow to work in the project "Indefinites and beyond: Evolutionary pragmatics and typological semantics" at the ILLC-Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam

For information on the project please visit the website at http://staff.science.uva.nl/~maloni/Indefinites/

Qualifications: The candidate must have a PhD in linguistics or philosophy or a related area
Starting date: Preferably 1 January  2012, but extensible to 1 March  2012
Total duration: 6-8 months
Closing date for applications:  1 November 2011

The gross monthly salary will be between €3195 and 4374 [‘Onderzoeker 3’; salary scale 11] in the case of a full-time position (38 hours/week). Depending on experience and date of completion of the PhD an appointment as ‘Onderzoeker 4’ (salary scale 10) may be necessary. Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include holiday pay and an end of year bonus.

Interested candidates are encouraged to get in touch at their earliest convenience with Maria Aloni  (m.d.aloni@uva.nl)

Please include the following documents in your application: CV, list of publications, names and contact details of two personal references

Our Worst Building is better than MIT's Worst Building

In the widely touted CNBC lists of worsts, UMass ranks better than MIT.


(Thanks to David Pesetsky and Angelika Kratzer for bringing this contest to WHISC's attention.)

Festschrift for Jorge Hankamer

Nick LaCara writes:

After nearly two years in the making, I am pleased to inform WHISC about a working papers/festschrift volume for which I was one of the editors. The volume is entitled Morphology at Santa Cruz: Papers in Honor of Jorge Hankamer (or MASC, for short). MASC grew out of the morphology seminar that Jorge Hankamer organized and taught in the fall of 2009 at UCSC which itself developed from the department's long-running morphology reading group. Many of the papers in the volume are revised versions of those originally written for that seminar. In addition to these, several others were solicited from UCSC alums and associates. A number of the papers, though not all them, are written in or about Distributed Morphology, and they focus on languages from Arabic and Bulgarian to Icelandic and Luiseño.

The volume has been published by the Linguistics Research Center at UCSC through the University of California's eScholarship website. It is available in its entirety and it's absolutely free: http://escholarship.org/uc/lrc_masc

Complexity Workshop

Fritz Newmeyer writes:

We are organizing a conference in Seattle next March on a topic that will be of interest to many of you. It's on 'Formal Linguistics and the Measurement of Grammatical Complexity'. Here's the url:


The basic idea is to probe whether 'formal linguistics' (broadly defined) has anything to contribute to the topic of relative overall complexity of languages.