16 November 2013

Call for abstracts: Penn Linguistics Conference

The 38th annual Penn Linguistics Conference will take place on March 28-30 at the UPenn campus in Philadelphia. The conference hosts posters and 20 minute talks on any topic in linguistics and associated fields. This is a very good venue for student papers. The deadline for abstracts is MONDAY, November 18. For more information about the conference, go here. For information about submitting an abstract, go here.

Gajewski gives department colloquium on Friday

Jon Gajewski (UConn) will give the department colloquium on Friday, November 22, at 3:30 in Machmer E-32.  A title and abstract follow.

NPIs in definite descriptions

This talk will examine in detail the issue of licensing negative polarity items in the restrictors of definite descriptions.  According to a somewhat standard view (Lahiri 1998, Cable 2003, Guerzoni & Sharvit 2007), (i) NPIs such as 'any' and 'ever' are licensed in plural definite descriptions and not in singular definite descriptions and (ii) this can be explained using Strawson entailment and a slight modification of the downward entailing analysis of NPI licensing.  Questions have been raised both for the utility of Strawson entailment in licensing (Homer 2010) and for the empirical generalization about number (Hoeksema 2008, Rothschild 2009).  Cases of licensing in singular definites and failure to license in plural definites have been discussed.  In this talk I will argue that to arrive at a better analysis of licensing in definites, more attention must be paid to the compositional structure of the relevant examples.  In particular, we must identify what is responsible for licensing - the definite article itself, the environment in which the definite occurs (argumental, predicative, distributive/collective) or some combination. 

Psych evening on Wednesday

Brian Dillon writes:

Psych evening meeting will meet (at least) one more time this semester. Please join us Wednesday, 11/20, at 7:30pm. We'll meet at Adrian's house. Adrian is interestd in presenting, and getting feedback on, a new analysis for visual world eye-movement data that he and John Kingston have been using to analyze some of their recent eye-tracking data. No reading is required, but Adrian has suggested the following articles for people who want to get some background on the issues that he'll be discussing:

Barr, D. J. (2008). Analyzing ‘visual world’ eyetracking data using multilevel logistic regression. Journal of memory and language, 59(4), 457-474.

Mirman, D., Dixon, J. A., & Magnuson, J. S. (2008). Statistical and computational models of the visual world paradigm: Growth curves and individual differences. Journal of memory and language, 59(4), 475-494.

Sakshi Bhatia and Jyoti Iyer in LISSIM Working Papers

Sakshi Bhatia and Jyoti Iyer, with their co-author Gurmeet Kaur, have a paper “Comparatives in Hindi-Urdu: Puzzling over ZYAADAA” appear in the online Linguistics Summer School in the Indian Moutnains Working Papers. Take a look here.

Congratulations Jyoti and Sakshi.

Call for Abstracts: Workshop on Co-Distributivity

Workshop on (Co-)Distributivity

The workshop will be held
Fri 14 February 2014
CNRS Pouchet, 59 rue Pouchet 75017 Paris.

Conférences invitées / Invited speakers :

-  Adrian Brasoveanu (UC Santa Cruz)
-  Jakub Dotlacil (Leiden)

Submission deadline: 5 Dec 2013
We encourage submissions exploring the linguistic means used to establish distributive dependencies, including, but not limited to, questions like the following:

- the syntax and semantics of markers of distributive keys (e.g. distributive quantifiers) or distributive shares (e.g. Hungarian reduplicated numerals)
- multiplication effects for indefinite singulars (e.g. He eats a sandwich for breakfast.)
- distribution effects for plurals (e.g. dependent plurals: Here professors wear ties.)
- distribution effects over times (e.g. A lot of people have been dying of this disease lately).

We welcome work on formal syntax and semantics on distributive dependencies (distributivity and co-distributivity) in spoken and sign languages.

We invite submissions for 25-minute presentations (plus ten-minute discussions).

Abstracts should be at most 2 pages in length (including examples and references) written in French or English.

Abstracts must be anonymous and should be sent by e-mail (plain ASCII, rtf, ps or pdf) to : pcabredo //AT// univ-paris8.fr

Please write the (first) author's name plus the word 'abstract' in the subject line of your message (e.g., 'Dupont abstract'), and include author name(s), affiliation, contact information and the title of the abstract in the body of the email. For co-authored papers indicate the email address that we should use for correspondence.

For more information :
Page www/ Website :
E-mail : pcabredo //AT// univ-paris8.fr

Abstract Submission Deadline : 5 Dec 2013
Notification of Acceptance : 20 Dec 2014
Workshop : Fri 14 February 2014

Dillon, Clifton and Frazier in "Language and Cognitive Processes"

Dillon, Clifton and Frazier's article "Pushed aside: Memory, Processing, and Parentheticals" has been accepted for publication at Language and Cognitive Processes.

Call for Papers: Semantics and Philosophy in Europe

7th Colloquium Semantics and Philosophy in Europe — SPE 7

Hosted by Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS) in Berlin in cooperation with Institut für Philosophie and Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik  at Humboldt University Berlin

 Place:    Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin

Date:     June 26-28 , 2014 (conference),  June 25, 2014 (tutorials)

WEB:     www.zas.gwz-berlin.de/fileadmin/spe7

The Semantics and Philosophy in Europe colloquia provide a forum for presenting research in the interface between linguistic semantics and various areas in philosophy (philosophy of language, philosophy of mind/cognition, metaphysics etc.). In addition to the general session, SPE 7 will feature two special sessions and offer two preconference tutorials.

 Special sessions:

  • Conceptual structures and truth-conditional semantics
  • Attitudes towards questions


  • Questions: from embedded clauses to speech acts (Manfred Krifka, ZAS)
  • Evaluative predicates (Friederike Moltmann, CNRS, Carla Umbach, ZAS)

The submission deadline is 1. February 2014.  
For submission details cfwww.zas.gwz-berlin.de/fileadmin/spe7/call.html

Hot Chocolate Run

Hannah Greene writes:

There is officially a "Linguists and Friends" team participating in this year's Hot Chocolate Run, to be held on the morning of Sunday December 8th. There are options for both a 2K walk and a 5K run. Right now, we have a group that will be jogging the 5K at a non-competitive pace.
The registration costs are $18 students/seniors and $27 for others.
I would encourage you to go ahead and register at the following link:
Please let me know if you register so I can set up a rendezvous point for linguists.

Between Feet!


Noah gets the Fish

Congratulations to Noah Constant, who successfully defended his dissertation,  “Contrastive Topic: Meanings and Realizations” on Friday.


10 November 2013

Noah Constant's dissertation defense

Noah Constant defends his dissertation, “Contrastive Topic: Meanings and Realizations,” Friday, November 15 at 3:30 in Machmer E-37.

Steven Foley talks on Friday, Nov. 15

Steven Foley from NYU will give the following talk at 2:30pm in the Partee Room on Friday, November 15.

Relative Clauses in Georgian

Georgian is notable for exhibiting many relativization strategies.
Relative clauses may contain a wh-phrase, or the complementizer rom,
which occurs in a non-initial position; they may occur directly after
the modified nominal head, extraposed to the right edge of the matrix
clause, or preposed in a correlative construction; the nominal head
may appear inside the relative, outside it, or both. Despite this
variation, I propose that all relative clauses in Georgian are derived
from a single underlying structure, with the relative CP generated as
the complement of D/N (Kayne 1994, Hulsey & Sauerland 2006). The whole
array of relative clauses and their asymmetries are derived through a
combination of an articulated left periphery and movement through
escape hatches provided by Phase extension (Bobaljik & Wurmbrand
2005). Such a unified account challenges analyses of very similar
phenomena in Hindi by Mahajan (2000) and Bhatt (2003).

Elliott Moreton, phonology guru

Phonology guru Elliott Moreton has arrived, and will be leading three sessions this week.

On Wednesday in Tobin 207 from 10:10 - 11:25, he will lead a discussion in Joe Pater and Lisa Sanders' seminar of the following paper:
Moreton, Elliott (2012). Inter- and intra-dimensional dependencies in implicit phonotactic learningJournal of Memory and Language 67 (1):165-183. [Draft (pdf), December 2011] 
On Thursday at 4 he will give a general audience talk on "Biased learning in phonology and elsewhere” in Machmer W-15.
On Friday, he will talk in the sound workshop about some affordances of the weightless MaxEnt learner described in this paper:
Moreton, Elliot, Joe Pater and Katya Pertsova. 2013/in submission. Phonological concept learning. Ms, University of North Carolina and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Submitted versionCurrent draft.

UMass: A Radical Idea

WGBY will be airing a documentary about UMass tonight (Sunday, November 10) at 8PM. The trailer can be found here.

Call for abstracts: GLOW

GLOW (Generative Linguistics in the Old World) Workshop Series
The semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages (TripleA) 1

Date: June 11-13, 2014
Call deadline: January 7, 2014
Notification of acceptance: February 2014
Location: Tübingen, Germany

::: Meeting Description :::

The Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam are proud to announce TripleA 1, a workshop focusing on the cross-linguistic formal semantics of understudied languages from Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania.

::: Invited Speakers :::

Miriam Butt (Universität Konstanz)
Manfred Krifka (ZAS/ Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Kilu von Prince (ZAS, Berlin)
Walter Bisang (Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz) -to be confirmed-

::: Call for Papers :::

We invite submissions for 30-minute talks plus 10 minutes for discussion. Submissions should present original formal semantic or pragmatic work on any interpretive aspect of the languages under discussion, ideally originating from own fieldwork. We particularly encourage Ph.D. students to apply.

Abstracts must be anonymous, in PDF format, 2 pages (A4 or letter), in a font size no less than 12pt, and with margins of 1 inch/2.5cm. Please submit abstracts via Easy Chair (see link below) no later than January 8, 2014.

::: Abstract submission link ::::


::: Organizing Committee :::

Sigrid Beck (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
Polina Berezovskaya (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
Vera Hohaus (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
Anna Howell (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
Pritty Patel-Grosz (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
Konstantin Sachs (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
Mira Grubic (Universität Potsdam)
Anne Mucha (Universität Potsdam)
Malte Zimmermann (Universität Potsdam)

Keine in Morphology

Stefan Keine’s paper “Syntagmatic Constraints on Insertion” has appeared in Morphology. Congratulations Stefan!

Call for papers: AFLA in May

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
will host the 21th annual meeting of the Austronesian Formal
Linguistics Association (AFLA) on 23-25 May, 2014.  AFLA is an
organization which promotes the study of Austronesian languages from a
formal perspective. More information about the conference can be found
at the conference website (http://www2.hawaii.edu/~afla21/).

We will elicit talks on all aspects of formal linguistics (e.g.
language acquisition, morphology, phonology, phonetics, semantics,
syntax) of Austronesian languages. In addition to promoting the formal
study of Austronesian languages, we especially encourage work by
speaker-linguists and junior scholars.

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute talks (plus 10 minutes for
discussion) on any aspect of formal linguistics (morphology,
phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics) of any Austronesian
language(s). Abstracts on experimental or psycholinguistic research of
any Austronesian language(s) are also invited. Submission limitations
are one singly-authored abstract and one jointly-authored abstract, or
two jointly-authored abstracts per applicant. Abstracts should be
limited to a maximum of two Letter-sized (or A4) pages (for text,
examples, trees, tableaux, and references), with margins of one inch
and in 12 pt font.

Abstracts should be submitted online by January 13, 2014 at the
following URL: http://linguistlist.org/confservices/afla21

Contact person: Yuko Otsuka (afla21@hawaii.edu)

Acquisition of Quantification across the Atlantic

Tom Roeper writes:

Our acquisition of quantification conference was so successful, that Angeliek van Hout and Bart Hollebrandse reproduced the conference in Holland, since there were a lot of Dutch contributors---more than half of whom were from UMass too: Bill Philip, Ken Drozd, Bart Hollebrandse, Angeliek van Hout.