09 October 2011

Montrul speaks on Friday, gives workshop on Saturday

Silvina Montrul, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present two programs October 14-15, a guest lecture on Friday and an informal workshop on Saturday. Her visit is co-sponsored by LARC (Language Acquisition Research Center) with The Center for Latin America, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (CLACLS).

All are invited to attend.

Here is the information

Date  Friday, October 14, 2011

Title   “Attrition or Incomplete Acquisition in Heritage Language Speakers?"

Time  3pm to 5 pm

Location  Herter Hall 301

Complete abstract (and poster) at http://www.umass.edu/spanport/


Date:  Saturday, October 15, 2011

Title: Workshop on trends and future directions in bilingual acquisition

Herter Hall 301

10 am to 3 pm

Description of visit:

Montrul's talk on Friday will address the question in the title with data from Spanish, Hindi, and Romanian.  Complete abstract at http://www.umass.edu/spanport/.

Montrul is Professor and Chair in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese and is also in the Department of Linguistics.  She is the author of four books on linguistic theory and the acquisition of Spanish, with an emphasis on bilingual and heritage language speakers. She also directs the University Language Academy for Children and the Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab (SLAB)

Short abstract:  What language-internal and language-external factors contribute to the vulnerability of particular grammatical areas in the weaker language of a bilingual?  What do different heritage languages have in common at the structural level? What are their differences?  Montrul investigates the linguistic competence of heritage speakers in an aspect of the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface by focusing on knowledge of the morphology for differential object marking (DOM) in these three languages. Experimental evidence points to attrition in Spanish, but incomplete acquisition in Hindi and Romanian. She considers how language internal and language external factors contribute to the degree of intergenerational attrition of the DOM marker in these three languages..

The programs are open to the public.  All are invited to attend. For more information, contact Luiz Amaral (amaral@spanport.umass.edu), Tom Roeper (roeper@linguist.umass.edu) or Barbara Pearson (bpearson@research.umass.edu)

Roger Schwarzschild, semantics guru, arrives this week

Angelika Kratzer writes:

It gives me great pleasure to announce the arrival on October 11 of  our Fall Semantics Guru:



Roger will be delivering the colloquium on October 21. It will be about comparatives. He has also agreed to give a more explorative and specialized talk in my seminar on October 18: that talk will be on nouns as eventuality predicates and the mass/count distinction. I will announce the room for the seminar session in a later message: for now, mark your calendar - everyone is most welcome. 

The main function of a guru is to enlighten us individually. Roger will be using my office, and I am setting up a schedule for him. Please e-mail me for an appointment with him with your availabilities. Roger has worked on a wide range of topics, including plurals, givenness and focus, comparatives, and measure phrases.  He is easy to talk to and you can try out any topic on him.

Lisa Selkirk, Angelika Kratzer and Irene Heim elected Fellows of the LSA

Word has reached WHISC that Lisa Selkirk, Angelika Kratzer and UMass alumnus Irene Heim have been elected fellows of the Linguistic Society of America. A high-placed informant has leaked this portion of a message, reportedly from LSA's Executive Director, Alyson Reed:

On behalf of the LSA Executive Committee, it is my distinct pleasure to
inform you of your nomination and election as a Fellow of the Linguistic
Society of America. The induction ceremony for the 2012 class of Fellows
will take place on Friday, January 6, 2012 at the LSA Annual Meeting in

Congratulations Lisa, Angelika and Irene!

New prosody e-mail list

Kristine Yu writes:

I have started a new e-mail list for people interested in prosody for
announcements about meetings, conferences, etc.

You can subscribe at the link at the bottom of the webpage of the
departmental e-mail lists.


NELS 42 registration open

NELS 24 organizer Will Oxford writes:

We are pleased to announce that online registration for NELS 42 is now open and the preliminary program has been posted on our website:

Discounted early-bird registration rates are available until October 18. 
Special hotel rates are available until October 11; please visit our website
for details.

For those of you who are presenting, we ask that you check the posted
program to ensure that your information is correct.

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto!