25 March 2012

Magda Oiry gives two talks this week

Magda Oiry will give the following two talks this week.

"Input and Universals in Developing Grammars" at 4:30 tomorrow, Monday March 28, in Dickinson 209

"Acquisition of long-distance questions at the syntax-semantics interface" at 4:30 on Wednesday March 30, in Herter 217.

Judith Tonhauser, semantics Guru, takes up residence

Seth Cable writes:

Judith Tonhauser (http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~judith/) will be visiting us as our semantic guru from March 29th (next Thursday) to April 7th (the following Saturday).

Judith's has done pioneering work investigating cross-linguistic semantic variation through both fieldwork and experimental methods, including the application of experimental methods to understudied indigenous languages. Her semantic interests cross-cut a variety of domains, including tense, modality, evidentials, focus and presupposition. She is also a highly experienced fieldworker, and has worked 'in the field' on Yucatec Mayan and Paraguayan Guarani since 2001.

Needless to say, we're very fortunate to have Judith visiting with us, and we should all make the absolute most of this opportunity.

Over the next few days, I'd like to draw up a preliminary schedule of meetings with Judith between both students and faculty. Whenever you can, please let me know on what days/times you'd like to meet with Judith.

As always, students are highly encouraged to meet with the guru. Please do not feel in any way hesitant to discuss your work, and please do not worry about whether or not your work relates to the guru's interests. It does. Even if you think your work is more 'syntactic' than 'semantic', or is more about 'processing' than about 'semantics' - or whatever - I guarantee that you will have a fruitful and enjoyable time talking with Judith about it.

So, whenever you're able to draw yourself away from this fantastic weather, just let me know what days and times would work best for you!

Anne Pycha goes to the University of Wisconsin

Anne Pycha has accepted a position of assistant professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, starting in Fall 2012.

Congratulations Anne!

Judith Tonhauser gives department colloq on Friday

Judith Tonhauser, semantics guru, will give the department colloquium Friday, March 30, at 3:30 in Machmer E-37. The title of her talk is "Cross-linguistic semantics: The view from research on presuppositions and other projective contents."

UMass at Penn Linguistics Colloquium

Martin Walkow presented his paper "Choosing between Persons: Articulated Probes and the Ultra-Strong PCC" at the Thirty Six annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Linguistics Colloquium at UPenn this weekend. There were also a raft of UMass alumni at the conference, including:

Aynat Rubinstein who presented "Figuring out what we 'ought' to do"

Cherlon Ussery who presented "A Taxonomy of Agreement in Icelandic: Agree vs. Multiple Agree, Syntactic vs. Post-Syntactic"

Maria Biezma who presented "Only one at least: Refining the role of Context in Building Alternatives."


Florian Schwarz, along with Dimka Atanassov and John Trueswell who presented "On the Processing of 'might' "

Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten goes to SULA and CLS

Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten will give papers at the upcoming SULA and CLS conferences. At the Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas conference, held May 4-6 at Cornell, she will present "Conjectural questions in Navajo: the case of daats'i." And at the Chicago Linguistics Society meeting on April 19-21 she will present "Slightly Coerced: Processing evidence for adjectival coercion by minimizers."

Congratulations Elizabeth!

Barbara and Volodja on the road

Barbara Partee writes:

Volodja and I have been in Israel since March 16. I gave a talk, "Cardinal and proportional readings of quantifiers: MANY, MNOGO,
MNOGIE" at a small Slavic Linguistics Workshop at Bar-Ilan University,
organized by Susan Rothstein. We've had discussions and/or visits with
Susan, Fred Landman, Hana Filip, Nirit Kadmon, Yael Greenberg, and several other Israeli linguists. The trip has included visits to family and friends of Volodja's, and visits to several interesting sites that show off Israel's wonderful combination of archaeological and natural history, including good spring birdwatching. Returning to Moscow March 26.

Chris Davis takes up position at the University of the Ryukyus

Chris Davis writes:

I wanted to report that I have a permanent position (starting at Assistant Professor level) at the University of the Ryukyus, Faculty of Law and Letters, starting next month. 


The position involves three components: English language, Linguistics, and fieldwork on Ryukyuan Languages. I will be using the position to continue the fieldwork on Southern Ryukyuan languages that I began last year as a JSPS postdoc.

Congratulations Chris!

Register for Formal Approaches to Heritage Language

Luiz Amaral writes:

As you may know, LARC is organizing a conference on Formal Approaches to Heritage Language on April 21st and 22nd at the Campus Center.

The program is now available online at:


There will be 30-minute talks, a poster session, and three keynote talks:

Ana Perez-Leroux (University of Toronto)
Acrisio Pires (University of Michigan)
Maria Polinsky (Harvard University)

Non-presenters are welcome to attend, and registration is free until March 31st. To register, please visit:


UMass at SALT

The program for the 22nd annual meeting of Semantics and Linguistic Theory is now available, and it features presentations from two members of the UMass community. These are:

Noah Constant will present his paper "Witnessable Quantifiers License Type-e Meaning: Evidence from CT, Equatives and Supplements"

Aynat Rubinstein will present a poster, co-authored with Paul Portner and Graham Katz: "Ordering Combination for Modal Comparison"

For more information, see http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/salt22/