02 March 2014

Meg Grant in Bhatt's seminar

Meg Grant will give a talk entitled `Subset Comparatives’ in Bhatt's degree seminar tomorrow, Monday March 3, in the Partee Room at 2:30.

Cruz at PRG tomorrow

Ivy Hauser and Coral Williams write:

PRG will be meeting this Monday, March 3 at 7p at Ivy's place. We will be hearing from Emiliana Cruz over dinner. Parking is available along Fruit St. Everyone is welcome!

SRG tomorrow: Overfelt, Bhatt and Keine

Stefan Keine writes:

Here is a quick update on the SRG meeting this Monday, March 3. At 7pm we will have food and drinks (see below) and Jason will present his WCCFL poster to us. At 7:45 Rajesh and I will give our practice talk. It is supposed to take no more than 20 minutes plus questions so the overall meeting should not end too late.

Regarding foods and drink, we will have Hungry Ghost pizza and Rajesh will provide wine. There will be vegetarian pizzas and in addition I am planning on getting one gluten-free pizza from Joe's. If you plan to attend SRG and have dietary restrictions that I have not taken into account, please let me know asap.

Sean Kang at Brown Bag

Alexandra Jesse writes:

This is just a reminder that Sean Kang is giving a talk this week in our Brown Bag (Wednesday, Tobin 521B, 12-1:15). The title of the talk is "Applying Cognitive Science Principles to Promote Durable and Efficient Learning".

The abstract is:

Do tests only measure learning, or can they also promote learning? Should students review/practise the material they are trying to learn soon after they encounter the material or should they wait a while? During practice, should items of the same type/topic be grouped together or should they be interspersed among items of other types/topics? How we learn best may not correspond to how we think we learn best. I will talk about how basic research in cognitive psychology has yielded (nonobvious) principles about human learning and memory that have practical implications for instruction.

Margreet van Koert at LARC

Magda Oiry writes:

Please join us to hear Margreet van Koert, a graduate student visiting from the Netherlands, on

The Quantificational Asymmetry: A Comparative Look.

This LARC meeting will be happening Thursday, March 6,  at 9:45 in the Partee room.

Everyone welcome!

Pilar Chamorro gives Hispanic Linguistics Talk on Friday

Meghan Armstrong writes:

We invite you to join us for the next event in our Hispanic Linguistics Talk Series.

Pilar Chamorro, University of Georgia
On the Plurality of Western Iberian Romance Periphrastic Pasts
Friday, March 7 @ 3pm
301 Herter Hall

Linguistics Outreach Fund

Lisa Selkirk writes:

The Linguistics Outreach Fund (LOF) provides small grants to support research on understudied and/or endangered languages that contributes to a theoretically informed description or analysis of the language, and is carried out under the mentorship of faculty in the Linguistics Department at UMass Amherst. To be eligible for LOF grants, you must be:

(i) a recent or current undergraduate, M.A. or Ph.D. student, either at UMass or elsewhere, who is a native speaker of an understudied language or dialect or member of an understudied language community OR

(ii) a graduate student in the Linguistics Ph.D. program at UMass who intends to carry out original field research on an understudied language or dialect in the community where the language or dialect is spoken.?

If you are interested, you should continue reading the full LOF.

Students and faculty are urged to think about the availability of funding through the Linguistics Outreach Fund in connection with relevant research plans for coming years.

Interested students and faculty who would like to apply in Spring 2014 for funding for a project to be carried out in the next half year or so should contact me. The March 15 deadline for applications mentioned in the document will be extended to April 15 this year, to facilitate planning for an application.

Extended Submission Deadline: Models in formal Semantics and Pragmatics

New Submission Deadline: March 08, 2014

Models in formal Semantics and Pragmatics

Workshop held at ESSLLI 26
August 18-22, Tuebingen, Germany



* Magdalena Kaufmann, University of Connecticut
* Stefan Kaufmann, University of Connecticut

Invited Speakers:

* Michael Glanzberg, Northwestern University
* Stanley Peters, Stanford University
* Thomas Ede Zimmermann, Frankfurt University

Workshop Information:

Whatever happened to "model-theoretic" semantics? Since Montague's
groundbreaking work and throughout much of its history, the field of
formal semantics (and later pragmatics) was characterized by the use
of models - abstract mathematical structures in which linguistic
expressions are interpreted and which serve as the backdrop for
stating generalizations about their semantic properties and relations.

Over the last couple of decades, however, the once-prominent status of
models has been eroding. In the research literature, explicitly
defined fragments and models were the norm in the early days (Partee
1975, 1976; Dowty, 1979), but are now the exception rather than the
rule. In teaching, one of the most widely used textbooks, Heim and
Kratzer (1998), makes no mention of models, in stark contrast with
early standard works like Dowty, Wall and Peters (1981). Aside from
such signs of waning interest, there is a small but formidable body of
work which actively questions the status of models and finds them to
be of limited use at best (Lepore 1983; Higginbotham 1988; Zimmermann
1999, 2011; Glanzberg, t.a.).

Such explicit reflections are rare, however. The overall decline of
models in the field is not driven by a general debate, let alone
consensus. Nor is the turn away from models a turn towards some
non-model-theoretic alternative. What we do see instead is a tendency
to stay loosely within the model-theoretic framework, but to enrich it
with notions and tools whose formal properties remain largely implicit.

The goal of this workshop is to promote and generate discussion of the
past, present, and future of models in natural-language semantics and
pragmatics, specifically the implications of their apparent demise for
the foundations and goals of the field. Topics for discussion include,
but are in no way limited to the following:

* What are models, anyway? Commitments about language, reality, and
the nature of meaning that a model-theoretic approach to semantic
analysis implies. The (special?) status of possible worlds and their
relationship to extensional models.

* What are models good for? Linguistic phenomena or aspects of meaning
in whose analysis a model-theoretic approach has been, or would be,
crucial or at least beneficial. The (potential) use of models in
treating meaning as variable (e.g., in the analysis of uncertainty
about language, or in cross-linguistic and diachronic comparative

* Where do models get in the way? Desiderata for semantic theory and
limitations of the model-theoretic approach. Risks and side effects
of specific methods associated with the model-theoretic approach
(e.g., meaning postulates).

* Are we safe without models? Advantages and potential pitfalls of
innovative uses of formal techniques or metalinguistic expressions,
whose repercussions are underexplored (various kinds
of states and events, partial functions, etc.)

* What are the alternatives?

Workshop Format:

The workshop is part of ESSLLI and open to all ESSLLI participants. It
will consist of five 90-minute sessions held over five consecutive
days in the second week of ESSLLI. The three invited talks are
allotted one hour each, including discussion. On the first day, the
workshop organizers will give a 30-minute introduction to the
topic. This leaves room for eight submitted papers of 30 minutes each,
including discussion.

Submission Procedure:

Authors are invited to submit an abstract of up to three pages,
including examples and/or references (single-spaced, at least 11pt
font, on US letter of A4 paper with margins at least 1in or 2.5cm on
all sides, in .pdf, .txt, .doc or .odt format). Abstracts must be
submitted by February 15, 2014, electronically at the following


Authors who are unable to comply with these requirements are welcome
to contact the organizers.

Call for symposia: BUCLD 39



Keynote Speaker: Richard Aslin, University of Rochester
Plenary Speaker: Katherine Demuth, Macquarie University

We are soliciting proposals for 90-minute symposia for the Boston University Conference on Language Development on any topic likely to be of broad interest to the conference attendees. The symposium format is open, but has frequently included 2-3 speakers presenting research from differing angles on a common theme.  We anticipate including two such symposia in the schedule, one being the Saturday lunchtime symposium, the other closing the conference on Sunday.  
 Proposals should include a list of the participants and a specification of the format, and should name at least one organizer who will be able to work with the BUCLD organizing committee in setting up the symposium.  Submissions can be sent by email to langconf@bu.edu with "Symposium proposal" indicated in the subject line.  Please limit symposium proposals to 1000 words or fewer.

DEADLINE: April 15, 201

Decisions on symposia will be made by June.

NOTE: Submissions of abstracts for 20-minute talks and poster presentations are not being solicited at this time. The deadline for those will be 8:00 PM EST, May 15, 2014.

General conference information is available at: http://www.bu.edu/bucld

UMass at SALT 24

The schedule for the annual Semantics and Linguistic Theory conference has been released, and UMass is well represented. The conference will take place at NYU on May 30-April 1, and is preceded by a conference on “Formal Semantics Beyond Spoken Language.” The following UMass papers are on the schedule.

“Interpreting DP-modifying modal adverbs,” by Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten.

“All notional mass nouns are count nouns in Yudja” by Suzi Lima.

“Presuppositions are fast, whether hard or soft — evidence from the visual world paradigm,” by alumnus Florian Schwarz.

And UMass posters include:

“The Grammar of discourse: the case of ‘then’,” by alumna Maria Biezma.

“Indexicals and the long-distance reflexive ‘caki,” by Yangsook Park

“Is `more possible’ more possible in German?,” by alumna Aynat Rubinstein and Elena Herburger.

with poster alternate:

“Extreme modality,” by Paul Portner and alumna Aynat Rubinstein

Second Call: ESSLLI 2014 Student Session

*2nd Call for Papers*

Held during the 26th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information

Tübingen, Germany, August 11-22, 2014

*Deadline for submissions: April 1st, 2014*

The Student Session of the 26th European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information (ESSLLI) will take place in Tübingen, Germany on August 11-22, 2014. We invite submissions of original, unpublished work from students in any area at the intersection of Logic & Language, Language & Computation, or Logic & Computation. Submissions will be reviewed by several experts in the field, and accepted papers will be presented orally or as posters and will appear in the student session proceedings by Springer. This is an excellent opportunity to receive valuable feedback from expert readers and to present your work to a diverse audience.

Note that there are two separate kinds of submissions, one for the oral presentations and one for the posters. This means that papers can be directly submitted as posters. Reviewing and ranking will be done separately. We particularly encourage submissions for posters, as they offer an excellent opportunity to present research in progress.

All authors must be students, and submissions may be singly or jointly authored. Submissions should not be longer than 8 pages for an oral presentation and 4 pages for a poster presentation (including examples and references). Submissions must be anonymous, without any identifying information. More detailed guidelines regarding submission can be found on the Student Session website: http://www.kr.tuwien.ac.at/drm/dehaan/stus2014/.

Please direct inquiries about submission procedures or other matters relating to the Student Session to dehaan@kr.tuwien.ac.at.

ESSLLI 2014 will feature a wide range of foundational and advanced courses and workshops in all areas of Logic, Language, and Computation. For further information, including registration information and course listings, and for general inquiries about ESSLLI 2014, please consult the main ESSLLI 2014 page: http://www.esslli2014.info/.

Preregistration available for Penn Linguistics Conference

The 38th Annual Penn Linguistics Conference will take place March 28-30, 2014 at the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Our keynote speaker this year is Professor John Ohala.

Pre-registration for the 38th Penn Linguistics Conference is now open and accessible from the PLC 38 website.

A lower pre-registration fee will apply for those who register by Saturday, March 1: $45 for students and $55 for faculty and others. The registration fee increases by $10 after the pre-registration period.

A preliminary program has also been posted on the website. For other detailed information about the conference, please refer to our website.

UMass at the Second East Asian Psycholinguistics Colloquium

The Second annual East Asian Psycholinguistics Colloquium takes place at the University of Chicago on March 8. The invited speakers include UMass alumna Amy Schafer and UMass faculty Brian Dillon. Dillon’s paper is “Locality and ant-locality effects in the comprehension of long distance anaphors” and Schafer’s is “Prosody and information structure in discourse processing: Evidence from Korean, English, and Japanese/Korean learners of English.” For a full program, go here.

Barbara Partee in Palo Alto

Barbara made a trip from Moscow to Palo Alto for an all-day meeting on Saturday February 22 of the Editorial Board of the new journal Annual Review of Linguistics, of which she and Mark Liberman are the inaugural editors, to plan the invitations for articles for Volume 2. Articles for Volume 1 are still being written; Volume 1 is expected to appear in February 2015. 

NASSLLI 2014 Student Session deadline extended

The deadline for submitting papers to the 2014 North American Summer School for Logic, Language and Information has been extended to March 14. Here’s the new call:


June 23-27, 2014
University of Maryland, College Park

The North American Summer School for Logic, Language and Information (NASSLLI) welcomes paper submissions for presentation at its Student Session. Submissions may be in any of the fields related to the school (logic and language, logic and computation, or language and computation) and should represent original, unpublished work by individuals who will not yet have received their Ph.D. by the time of the conference.

The Student Session will co-occur with NASSLLI and provides students an excellent opportunity to present their work to experts in their field as well as to a broader, well-informed interdisciplinary audience. All submissions will be reviewed by at least three specialists who will provide commentary on the paper regardless of its acceptance status. Select accepted papers will also be considered for inclusion in a potential volume of the conference’s proceedings.

Submissions should be prepared for blind review (i.e., should not contain any information identifying the author) and should be uploaded as a .pdf file to the Student Session’s EasyChair site. Submissions should not exceed 10 pages and should be formatted standardly (11 or 12 point font, 1 inch margins).

No more than one-single authored and one co-authored paper should be submitted by an
individual. (All co-authors should also be students.) Authors whose submissions have been
accepted and who intend to present will be required to register for NASSLLI.

Submissions due: March 14, 2014 (by midnight)
Notifications: April 21, 2014

Submissions: https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=stusnasslli14
NASSLLI 2014: http://www.nasslli2014.com/