18 September 2013

Psych! Evening on Wednesday

Brian Dillon writes:

Just a reminder that Psych! Evening Meeting #1 is tonight, at 7:30. Address is 181 Main Street, Apt C, Northampton (next to the Haymarket). The paper we're going to be discussing is " Towards a model of grammaticality judgments" by Markus Bader and Jana Häussler. For our first meeting we'll try and do a little planning for the semester, and then we'll have an informal discussion of the Bader and Häussler paper. It's a useful paper to read and think about for people using acceptability judgments in their work (which is an awful lot of us!)... and it raises enough interesting questions that there should be plenty to talk about. I'll provide beer, wine, and snacks.

15 September 2013

Ivan Sag 1949-2013

It is with sadness that WHISC notes the passing of Ivan Sag this week. Ivan was professor of linguistics at Stanford, where he had been since 1979. He graduated from MIT with a dissertation on Ellipsis in 1976. He died on Tuesday, September 10, after a three year battle with cancer. Stanford hosted a workshop in honor of Ivan's forty years in the field last Spring, and there are a series of tributes to him that can be found at the workshop's website.

Barbara Partee gives keynote at Princeton

Barbara Partee writes:

On Sept 14-15 I will be one of the keynote speakers at a conference at Princeton organized by a group of philosophy students there; the name of the conference is taken from the name of a 1979 paper of Barbara’s, “Semantics – Mathematics or Psychology?”. [https://sites.google.com/site/crnap2013/]. My talk will be “Changing Perspectives on the  “Mathematics or Psychology” Question”. (The question alludes to the clash between the Fregean and Chomskyan traditions.) The other keynote speaker will be Paul Pietroski of the University of Maryland. The conference is under the aegis of The Collaborative Research Network in Analytic Philosophy (CRNAP), a collaboration among Princeton, Oxford, the Jean-Nicod Institute, and Australian National University.

Workshop on the Acquisition of Quantification in October

On October 4-5 the department will host a Workshop on the Acquisition of Quantification, co-sponsored by LARC, ICESL, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Attendance is free if one registers before Sept, 27.
Information and a program can be found at http://blogs.umass.edu/moiry/workshop-quantification/

Workshop at Yale

A free mini-workshop on Imperatives, embeddability and politeness will be hosted by the Linguistics Department at Yale on October 17. The Workshop starts at 9:15 and runs to 5:30. The three talks are:

"Typology of Root Phenomena" by Shigeru Miyagawa

"Speech Style in Root and Embedded Imperatives" by Miok Pak, Paul Portner and Raffaella Zanuttini

"Embedded imperatives across languages: Too rare to expect, too frequent to ban" by Magdalena Kaufmann

If you plan on attending, write to raffaella.zanuttini@yale.edu for more information.

Suzi Lima is defended

Suzi Lima defended her dissertation on Monday, August 26 with flying colors. Her dissertation, "Counting and Measuring in Two Tupi Languages," passed the muster of this outsized committee: Seth Cable, Gennaro Chiercia, Chuck Clifton and co-chairs Angelika Kratzer and Lyn Frazier. 


Call for papers: Semantics and Philosophy in Europe 7 in June

The seventh "Semantics and Philosophy in Europe" colloquium (SPE 7) will be hosted by the Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)  in Berlin on June 26-28 , 2014. The deadline for abstracts is February 1. For more information click here.

Gennaro Chierchia has a birthday

Barbara Partee writes:

On September 6, there was a surprise 60th birthday party for UMass PhD Gennaro Chierchia at Harvard (his birthday was Sept 10; by the time this note is published it should be safe to reveal that there will have been another surprise event in honor of his birthday, at Sinn und Bedeutung in the Basque Country during the week.) Gennaro was presented with a festschrift edited by his former students Ivano Caponigro and Carlo Cecchetto entitled From Grammar to Meaning:The Spontaneous Logicality of Language, including articles by Partee, Chomsky, Rizzi & Belletti, and others, and including as an appendix a play written at UMass in 1984 by Ray Turner and Kathy Adamczyk, dramatizing Gennaro and Ray's stormy collaboration on property theory.
At the party, Gennaro was presented with copies of the book inscribed by Chomsky and by Partee.  UMass faculty attending the celebration besides me were Lisa Selkirk, Angelika Kratzer, Tom Roeper, Lyn Frazier, and adjunct faculty member Vladimir Borschev.

The party turned out to be a complete surprise to Gennaro, even though Gennaro's wife Isa Orvieto was one of the planners, together with Ivano and Carlo. 

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