25 September 2011

SRG events this week: Andrew on Thursday, Gennaro on Saturday

Anisa Schardl writes:

SRG is having a busy week this week!  On Thursday, Andrew will be talking
about modality in English double object constructions, at Rajesh's house,
starting around 6:30pm.  There will be dinner.

Then, on Saturday, Gennaro Chierchia will be visiting us at Barbara's house
at 10am.  Topics of discussion are TBD, but we believe there will be coffee
and bagels.

Food at SRG: We determined last week that we like to have dinner-type food
at SRG.  However, since SRG has no budget, we ask that SRG attendees who
intend to eat please bring a small amount of money to pay back the food
buyers.  BYO dinner is also perfectly acceptable.  Thanks!

Special Lecture in Semantics Seminar on Tuesday

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Spanish "algunos" and dependent plurality
2:30 p.m., Herter 209
Special invited lecture for LINGUIST 720 Semantics seminar. Everyone is welcome.

Ling Club Interest Meeting: This Thursday

Jeremy Cahill writes:

The first Ling Club meeting is going to be Thursday, 9/29, at 6 in the
linguistics lounge. There'll be pizza.

It won't be particularly long -- we don't have any programming yet,
we're just going to be talking about club ideas, organizational stuff,
and all that. We can talk about better times and sexier spots for
meetings, but only if you show up to this one.

Email me at jccahill@student.umass.edu about pizza preferences and any
topics you want brought up in the meeting. You obviously don't need to
RSVP, but if you do, I'll have a better idea of how much pizza to get
and we won't run out.

To get to the linguistics lounge after hours:

Come in Entrance A (the one on the right if you're looking at South
College from the library) and head upstairs. Turn right at the top of
the stairs. You should already have your animal sacrifice prepared at
this point for safe passage. Take the next set of stairs to the third
floor and go down the hallway. The lounge is at the end, most of the

Some doors might be locked; I'm told they sometimes respond to sweet
nothings whispered into their doorknobs.

If you can't get in, don't know where to go, or find yourself in a
field of poppies instead of the linguistics lounge, my phone number's
857 201 9473. You could also shout really loudly to nobody in
particular. Throwing rocks at windows is discouraged.

LARC/Acquisition Lab Meeting tomorrow!

The next LARC/Acquisition Lab Meeting is Monday Sept 26, in the Partee Room at 5:15.  The presentations are:

"A new approach to preschool language assessment"
Jill deVilliers

"An overview of the LARC-UFRJ-UFRR (Brazil) collaboration in two
projects with native Brazilian languages"
Luiz Amaral

There is a potluck afterwards at Tom Roeper (and Laura Holland's) house
149 High ST Amherst--- bring something if you'd like--but we will
have plenty of food--

All are welcome!

(rides should be available--it is about a 15 minute walk--directions
at the meeting)

Chierchia talks at the department colloq on Friday

On Friday, September 30, at 3:30 in Machmer E-37, Gennaro Chierchia (Harvard University) will present:

Title: Some parameters of epistemic and free choice indefinites

Abstract: In this talk I explore a quadrant of the system of polarity sensitive
items, namely the existential one, that includes items like Italian 'uno
qualunque' and 'un qualche', German 'irgendein', Spanish 'algun', Rumanian
'vreun'. The attempt is to identify the generative matrix at the basis of
typological generalizations on the behavior of such items. The concept of
'implicature' and a characterization of the ways in which implicatures may get
'grammaticized' through an alternatives based semantics play a key role in this

Join us at Barbara's house (50 Hobart Ln.) for dinner afterwards.

PHLING at University of Maryland

PHLING, a graduate student research group in philosophy and linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park, is hosting its first interdisciplinary research symposium, PHLINC (Philosophy & Linguistics Colloquium) on //events//. 

We hope to bring together young researchers working on events in philosophy, linguistics and psychology. We aim to relate the discussion of events in these fields, bringing into conversation the work in ontology, logic, semantics, and perception. We will also have two invited speakers: Achille Varzi, of Columbia University, and Paul Pietroski, of the University of Maryland.

Submissions are open to graduate student researchers only. 10 students will have 30 minutes to present their work, followed by 15 minutes for round-table discussion. The symposium will take place over the weekend of the 31st of March and the 1st of April, in College Park MD. Each day, we will reserve some time for closing discussion.

We are accepting two varieties of submissions for consideration to participate in the symposium, depending on the author's preferences:

TYPE 1 - Abstract - maximum 1 page of text single-spaced, 12pt font, with 1 additional page for examples, figures, and references.

TYPE 2 - Paper - maximum 4000 words, double-spaced, 12pt font, suitable for a 30 minute presentation. Please include references.

All abstracts/paper submissions will be considered by an interdisciplinary audience. Ideally, the composition of speakers will reflect in equal parts contributions from Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology. As the goal of the symposium is to bring together researchers with a strong focus on interdisciplinary cognitive science, reviewers will be looking for evidence in abstract/paper submissions that the author(s) are able to communicate effectively to individuals outside of their primary field.

We will be accepting abstract/paper submissions until January 7th, 2012, and final selections will be made by February 4th, 2012. Abstracts/papers should be sent to phling@umd.edu, with "Events - Abstract" or "Events - Paper" as well as your name in the title of the email.

Note that as this is a graduate student symposium, we will make special efforts to help with accommodations in College Park or Washington, D.C., and transportation to the university. Details will be provided closer to the date on our website,http://phling.umd.edu/symposia.html

Richard Schmierer is Ambassador to Oman

Peggy Speas writes:

Oh the places you might go - Belated kudos to alumnus Richard Schmierer, who
we recently learned was appointed US Ambassador to Oman in 2009.  After
receiving his Ph.D. in Linguistics at UMass in 1977, Dr. Schmierer embarked
on a career in the foreign service, which has taken him to Germany, Saudi
Arabia, Iraq, Washington DC and now Oman.  In addition to being a diplomat,
he has taught at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and
is the author of the 2007 book *Iraq:  Policy and Perceptions.*  Next time
someone asks what one can DO with a degree in Linguistics, point them to Dr.
Schmierer's Wikipedia page!