04 December 2011

Tom Roeper at Ling Club meeting on December 7

Jeremy Cahill writes:

Tom Roeper will be speaking on acquisition for Ling Club 5 PM on Dec. 7 in the Partee room. Everyone is invited  and there'll be pizza as always.

You can RSVP now or when I send out the reminder email. RSVP email: jccahill@student.umass.edu


Barbara Partee on the road

Barbara has had two recent trips. She gave a colloquium talk for the Linguistics Program at Princeton November 16, “The History of Formal Semantics: Influences from and to Linguistics and Philosophy”.  While there, she spent the next two days interviewing linguists and philosophers for her history project, and consulting with Stephanie Lewis about her archive of David Lewis’s correspondence.

Now she is in Wrocław for the conference Generative Linguistics in Poland (GLIP) 7, Dec 2-4, hosted by the Institute of English Studies of the University of Wrocław. She is giving the keynote talk: ''The History of Formal Semantics.'' She’s visiting with our former student Bożena Rozwadowska while she’s there.

Barbara and Volodja will be in Amherst until February 14, when they return to Moscow.


Call for papers: Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop

The 27th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop will take place at Yale University from 31 May to 1 June, 2012. Angelika Kratzer is one of the invited speakers!

Here is the official notice:

Call for Papers:

CGSW has established a long tradition of bringing together researchers in Germanic syntax for fruitful and constructive interaction. As the name of the workshop suggests, the focus has been on the comparative syntax of the Germanic languages. In recent years, the range of work presented has been productively extended to include diachronic change and the interface between narrow syntax and other components of the grammar. CSGW27, which is being organized jointly by the Yale and UConn Linguistics Departments and held at Yale, will continue in this tradition, and we invite abstracts on these topics. In addition, this year’s workshop aims to expand both outward and inward: looking outward, we invite submissions that profitably compare the syntax of Germanic and non-Germanic languages. Looking inward, we encourage submissions on micro-syntactic variation in the dialects of American English, and we anticipate holding a special session on this topic.

Talks will be 30 minutes in length with 10 additional minutes for discussion.  For details on abstract submission via EasyChair, see the CGSW27 website at http://whitney.ling.yale.edu/cgsw27.

Invited Speakers

Marcel den Dikken (CUNY Graduate Center)
Caroline Heycock (University of Edinburgh)
Angelika Kratzer (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Submission deadline: 15 January 2012
Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2012


Jonathan Bobaljik, Gísli Rúnar Harðarson, Susi Wurmbrand (UConn)
Bob Frank, Mike Freedman, Tim Hunter, Sabina Matyiku, Dennis Storoshenko, Raffaella Zanuttini (Yale)

Masters program at the University of Amsterdam

The MSc Logic, offered by the the Institute for Logic, Language and
Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam, is a two-year
Master's programme providing intensive interdisciplinary research
training for excellent students with a first degree in Mathematics,
Computer Science, Philosophy, Linguistics, or a related discipline.

*Courses*: We offer a unique combination of over 40 courses in
Mathematical Logic, Theoretical Computer Science, Artificial
Intelligence, Philosophical Logic, Formal Semantics and Pragmatics,
Philosophy of Language, Computational Linguistics, Cognitive Science,
and Mathematical Economics. You will be guided by an academic mentor
to design your own personal programme of study out of this pool of
courses, supplemented with a number of small individual research
projects. The final semester is devoted to the writing of a Master's
thesis, which in the past has often lead to scholarly publications.

*Language*: All courses are taught in English. At any given time, the
programme hosts students from at least 25 different countries.

*Career opportunities*: Most of our graduates embark on an academic
career and continue with a PhD, often at top universities all over the
world. Other career opportunities include the software industry and
management consulting.

*Application*: The application deadlines for September 2012 entry are
1 April 2012 for students from European countries and 1 February 2012
for all others.

Please visit http://www.illc.uva.nl/MScLogic/ to find out more.

Summer Research at Harvard for Undergraduates

Margarita Zeitlin from Harvard Univeristy writes:

Each summer, the Laboratory for Developmental Studies at Harvard University
offers a limited number of internships for college undergraduates, under
the supervision of Dr. Susan Carey and Dr. Jesse Snedeker. Interns will
gain experience with current techniques for investigating conceptual and
language development in infants and children.

The internship will start on June 4, 2012 and go through August 10, 2012.
This is a full-time research position and interns are expected to be
available from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. A stipend of $1500 may be
awarded for a full time commitment, but applicants are encouraged to apply
for funding from external sources.

Because of the nature of the internship, it is essential that interns be
mature, articulate, and comfortable with parents and children. They should
also be highly organized and reliable. Desirable background experience
would include the following: coursework in developmental or experimental
psychology or linguistics, basic computer skills and previous research
and/or experience with children.

For more information about this opportunity or to find out how to apply,
please visit our website:

The application deadline is March 9, 2012. We do have an early
deadline on February
10, 2012 for those who are applying for external funding.


The UUSLAW acquisition workshop, was held at UConn this Saturday, December 3rd. There were several talks by members of the UMass community, including:

"The Collective-Distributive reading of 'each' and 'every' in Language Acquisition, by Rama Novogrodsky

"Language and the concept of like events," by Jill de Villiers

"Investigating events and propositions in child language," by Gustavo Freire

"Quantity judgments in Yudja (Tupi)" by Suzi Lima

"Syntax of possession: Accounting for optional and obligatory possessive marking in African American English acquisition," by Tracy Conner

You can see more about the workshop at their website:


Postdoc on Prosody

Proposition de post-doctorat à Aix-en-Provence (France), 
à partir de février 2012, pour une durée de 1 an renouvelable 1 fois.
ANR MINPROGEST Rôle de la théorie de l’esprit dans la construction du sens

L'objectif général du projet ANR MINDPROGEST est de déterminer, en français, quel rôle joue l'attribution des états mentaux (intention, croyance, connaissance) aux autres - encore appelée théorie de l'esprit (ToM) ou mindreading – dans la construction du sens.

Une approche multidisciplinaire (linguistique, psychologie, neurosciences et santé mentale) sera adoptée pour étudier la contribution des mécanismes linguistiques et cognitifs à la construction du sens.

La conversation étant le site fondamental de l'utilisation du langage, un défi majeur consistera à déterminer ce rôle de la ToM dans le contexte de l'interaction sociale chez des individus atteints de schizophrénie et des personnes sans pathologie. On connaît le rôle majeur que joue la prosodie dans la construction du sens et notamment dans l’expression et la reconnaissance des intentions (via sa fonction attitudinale). L’intérêt pour le sens, de plus en plus manifeste aujourd’hui dans les études en prosodie, se traduira par l’exploration plus spécifique de la dimension intonative de la prosodie. Dans ce projet, il s’agira donc d’étudier les contours intonatifs en tant qu’ils véhiculent des informations relatives à l’attribution et la reconnaissance d’états mentaux à l’autre en vue de construire le sens.

Mots-clés: prosodie, sens de l’intonation, contours intonatifs, pragmatique, théorie de l’esprit, schizophrénie.

Profil du/de la canditat(e) : Pour ce projet multidisciplinaire, le/la candidat(e) sera titulaire d’un doctorat en prosodie (de préférence sur la prosodie du français). La maîtrise (quasi) native du français est requise. Une bonne connaissance des approches phonologiques de l’intonation et de la problématique du sens de l’intonation ainsi que la maîtrise des méthodes expérimentales d’investigation de ces questions seront déterminantes.

Le dossier de candidature comprendra :
a) Un CV 
b) Une lettre de motivation décrivant les intérêts de recherche du/de la canditat(e) 
c) 2 lettres de recommandation et/ou le nom et les coordonnées de 2 personnes référentes

Financement : subvention ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche)
Salaire : selon les normes du CNRS

Contact : 
Maud Champagne-Lavau 
email: maud.champagne-lavau@lpl-aix.fr
Laboratoire Parole et Langage 
UMR 6057, CNRS 5 Av. Pasteur B.P. 80975 
13604 Aix-en-Provence, France Téléphone : (33) 04 88 78 57 07
Laboratoire Parole et Langage

Call for Papers: Roots of Pragmasemantics

Linguists, logicians, and philosophers are invited to join the 13th conference on the Roots of Pragmasemantics. The focus of this year's convention is on discourse particles. Discourse particles are situated at the semantics-pragmatics interface, they relate utterances to other utterances in the discourse but also to different kinds of background knowledge (shared or individual). Experimental as well as theoretical approaches to the problem are welcome. We especially invite submissions related to this topic, but welcome also contributions relevant to any of the more classical subjects of this workshop series. We particularly encourage the presentation of innovative ideas, even if they are still in need of later refinement.
We invite anonymous submission of abstracts of no longer than 500 words in PDF, to be sent tomarkus.egg@anglistik.hu-berlin.de
Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:
* Expressive and other non-truth-conditional aspects of discourse particles
* Discourse particles and management of the common ground and interlocutors’ backgrounds (Theory of Mind)
* Discourse particles in interaction with sentence types and speech acts
* Information structure of discourse particles
* Crosslinguistic studies of discourse particles

*Invited Speakers:
Peter Bosch (confirmed)
Peter Gärdenfors (confirmed)
further invited speakers to be confirmed

Deadline for submissions: January 15th 2012
Notification of acceptance: January 31st 2012
Workshop: February 23d-27th 2012.
Location: Szklarska Poręba, Poland

Markus Egg (chair, program)
Reinhard Blutner (accommodation, finances)
Peter beim Graben (program, finances)
Henk Zeevat (program)
Ewa Rudnicka (local organization)
Maria Spychalska (local organization)

For further details check the webpage:
http://szklarska2012.hlotze.com/ (coming soon)