16 February 2014

Sokolowski gives Commonwealth College Alumni talk on Tuesday

UMass alumnus Peter Sokolowski will give a talk entitled “Dictionary as Data: What the Online Dictionary Tells us about English” on Tuesday, February 18, at 5:30 PM Events Hall-East, Commonwealth College. Mr. Sokolowski is Editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster.

Fava at Cognitive Colloquium on Wednesday

Alexandra Jesse writes:

This is just a reminder that Eswen Fava is giving a talk this week in our Brown Bag (Wednesday, Tobin 521B, 12-1:15). The title of the talk is "Examining how environment and experience influence speech processing during infancy".

The abstract is:
We will examine how speech and visual perception and processing are influenced by different types of experiences and environments. The bulk of the talk will discuss a series of neurophysiological studies that explore how infants process different types of complex auditory stimuli, including speech and music.  We will discuss what neural resources are used to process these stimuli and the role biological maturation and experience.  Finally, we will explore current data and future directions that employ longitudinal training paradigms that enable us to examine how specific types of experiences with speech influence visual perception and attention.

Kamiya speaks at LARC on Thursday

Magda Oiry writes:

Please join us for the presentation by Masaaki Kamiya (Hamilton College) at the LARC meeting on Thursday in the Partee room:
Investigations in the representation and acquisition of negative quantifiers in nominalizations

NBnew time, we will start promptly at 9:45.
Everyone welcome!

Rohena-Madrazo gives Hispanic Linguistics talk on Friday

We are pleased to announce the second of three talks in the Hispanic Linguistics Talk Series this year:

Marcos Rohena-Madrazo (Middlebury College)

Talk title: Diagnoses of a completed sound change: phonetic and phonological evidence for /ʃ/ in Buenos Aires Spanish

When: Friday, February 21st at 4pm

Where: 301 Herter Hall

See abstract below.

In this talk, I present a sociolinguistic analysis of the voicing variation of /ʃ/: [ʒ~ʃ] in Buenos Aires Spanish (BAS), which has been characterized as a sound change in progress from  /ʒ/ > [ʃ]. For example, in BAS the middle consonant in the words "allá" or "oyó" used to be generally pronounced with a voiced postalveolar fricative [ʒ], like the <s> in English "vision", but now many BAS speakers pronounce it with a voiceless postalveolar fricative [ʃ], like the <sh> in English "fishing". In order to determine for which speakers or social groups the devoicing change has reached completion, I implement a novel method that not only compares the percentage voicing levels of /ʒ/ to the inherent voicing variation of /s/, but also compares the phonologically conditioned affrication patterns of /ʒ/ to those of /s/. If the voicing levels of /ʒ/ are not significantly different from those of /s/ and the /ʒ/ no longer exhibits allophonic affrication tendencies, regardless of position, then one can conclude that the speaker's underlying postalveolar fricative is /ʃ/; they are a '’devoiced.'' The sociolinguistic results suggest that the younger, middle class speakers are ‘'devoicers"; however, other social groups also have "devoicers” and "non-robust voicers," which seems to indicate that the /ʒ/ devoicing change is still progressing and perhaps nearing conclusion.

Partee in Utrecht

Barbara Partee was in Utrecht Feb 13 -15 to participate in Lisa Bylinina’s Ph.D. dissertation defense on Feb 14 and to take part in a defense-day workshop that also included talks by Lisa, by her advisor Rick Nouwen, and by fellow committee member Louise McNally. Barbara’s talk was “On the history of the question, ‘Are meanings in the head?’ ”.

Psych EM on Tuesday

Brian Dillon writes:

Wondering and worrying where Psych EM was this semester? Never fret! Psych EM rides again in the Winter 2014 semester. We'll start up our semi-regular evening meetings this semester by meeting on Tuesday February 25th at 8pm in Packard's in Northampton (we'll be reserving a larger, private back room. That way we can have beer AND privacy).

John and I are going to lead discussion of a recent paper called 'Modeling accuracy as a function of response time with the generalized linear model' by Davidson & Martin. A copy of it can be obtained here.

Check it out if you can, and come join us at Packard's for a rousing discussion of the joint analysis of reaction time and accuracy data!

Tentative PRG Schedule

Coral Williams and Ivy Hauser write:

Here is the tentative meeting schedule for the rest of the semester.  Please note that we are NOT MEETING THIS COMING MONDAY, February 17.  Instead, we will meet the week after, on February 24. Stay tuned for  further information.

Meeting Schedule:
February 24 - Jeremy's WCCFL practice talk
March 3 - We will hear from Emiliana. Hosted at Ivy's house.
March 31 - Open House Aftermath, hosted at Claire's place
April 14 - Possibly reading? Hosted at Brian's
April 28 - Possibly reading? Hosted at Ivy's

Hosts and presenters: please let us know if you will be unable to host  or present on the day you are scheduled so we can make any necessary  arrangements. If anyone wants to volunteer to host a meeting, or has  anything they want to talk about at PRG, or has any comments or  concerns, we'd love to hear from you!

CUNY conference program available

The 27th annual CUNY conference on Human Sentence Processing, which will take place March 13-15 at Ohio State University, has recently published its schedule. UMass is well represented:

Brian Dillon, Josh Levy, Adrian Staub and Charles Clifton: Linear order effects in agreement: Evidence from English wh-questions

Jesse Harris and Katy Carlson: “The local contrast expectation in ‘let alone’ coordination"

Suzi Lima: “Language affects quantity judgments in bilingual Yudja speakers"

Amy Schafer, with Kitaek Kim and Theres Grüter: “Effects of morphological and prosodic focus cues on topic maintenance in Korean"

Michael Walsh Dickey, with Evelyn Milburn and Tessa Warren: “No lexical boost: verb-based information does not facilitate prediction over and above event-based knowledge in the visual world"

Jesse Harris: “Shifting viewpoints and discourse economy"

Florian Schwarz: “Soft and hard presupposition triggers are fast in online processing"

Jesse Harris and Katy Carlson: “Focus preferences for focus-sensitive particles (and why)"

Florian Schwarz, with Cory Bill, Jacopo Romoli and Stephen Crain: “Indirect scalar implicatures are neither scalar implicatures nor presuppositions (or both)"

Brian Dillon “Locality in filler-gap dependencies: Evidence from extraposition"

Glynis MacMillan and Iiia Kurenkov, with Wing Yee Chow, Shefali Shah, Ellen Lau and Colin Phillips: “Partial use of available information in early stages of verb prediction."

Brian Dillon, with Akira Omaki, Takuya Kubo, Manami Sato and Hiromu Sakai: “Anti-locality preference in the processing of Japanese reflexive binding."

Florian Schwarz, with Dan Grodner: “Pragmatic narrowing in reference resolution: Domain restriction and perspective taking"

Katy Carlson, with Michael Frazier: “Prosodic and syntactic effects in gapping interpretation"