16 March 2014

Call for abstracts: Sinn und Bedeutung 2014

The 19th annual meeting of Sinn und Bedeutung will be held at the Georg August University at Göttingen from September 15 to 17, 2014.

From 1871 to 1873, Göttingen was the home of Gottlob Frege who first formulated the hypothesis that the content of natural language sentences is computed in a compositional manner. Proving the success of his vision, Sinn und Bedeutung 19 offers a platform for current research in natural language semantics, pragmatics, the syntax-semantics interface, psycholinguistic studies of meaning, and the philosophy of language.

The invited speakers are

Ashwini Deo (Yale)
Sabine Iatridou (MIT)
Sophia Malamud (Brandeis)
T. Ede Zimmermann (Frankfurt/M.)

Special session: Formal Theories of Meaning Change

Over the past years, there has been a rising interest in the connection between formal theories of semantics/pragmatics and language change. Certain phenomena such as the emergence of functional morphemes and words can be best investigated and understood in terms of semantic theories that allow for an explicit treatment of semantic composition. Another trend in meaning change is the change from situation-dependent meanings to situation-independent meanings, for instance when verbs of possession turn into future markers. Again, this trend can be put to test concisely in intensional semantics, where possible worlds are a visible parameter. The special session aims to intensify exchange between synchronic and diachronic investigations of meaning, and to explore new and fruitful connections.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is April 15, 2014. Please view the call for papers for details.

Barbara and Vladimir in Moscow

Vladimir Borschev and Barbara Partee will be presenting papers at the Formal Approaches to Russian Linguistics Workshop at Moscow State University on Thursday, March 20. This workshop is part of the larger conference, “The Russian language: Historical Destiny and the Present.” Vladimir will present a talk entitled “On the integration of formal and lexical semantics,” and Barbara will present a talk entitled “On the bleaching of `lexical verbs’ in Russian negated existential sentences."

NY-St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics

John Bailyn writes:

Please tell your advanced Linguistics UG students and graduate students about the incredible opportunity to study with some of the world's leading linguists while gaining invaluable overseas experience at the NY-St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture (NYI-2014), which will be held this summer for the 12th year in St. Petersburg, Russia. The NYI dates are July 14-August 1, 2014.  

NYI's lineup of Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology faculty for summer 2014:

John F. Bailyn (Stony Brook University)

Thomas G. Bever (University of Arizona)

Jonathan Bobaljik (University of Connecticut)

James Hurford (University of Edinburgh)

Sabine Iatridou (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Evie Malaia (University of Texas)

Philippe Schlenker (NYU & Institute Jean Nicod, Paris)

Irina Sekerina (CUNY Graduate Center)

Sergei Tatevosov (Moscow State University)

Susi Wurmbrand (University of Connecticut)

***All seminars are in English***  

This year's Linguistics/Cognitive Studies program features seminars in:

• Generative Syntax

• Formal Semantics

• Experimental Cognitive Psychology

• The Semantics of Focus

• Evolution of Language

• Information Theory in Linguistic Analyses

• Morphological Theory

• Sign Language Semantics

• Language Universals

(There are also 8 faculty in Cultural and Media studies, see website for details)

• There are two ways US/Canada-based students can participate:

i)  Through Stony Brook's 4-week Study Abroad Program, students can earn 3-9 transferable credits.  Russian language and culture courses are provided, in addition to Linguistics, Cognitive and Cultural Studies Courses at NYI, a cultural program, optional trip to Moscow and other program highlights.  4-week Study Abroad Program dates are July 5-August 3, 2014.  For more information:  http://www.stonybrook.edu/studyabroad/shorts_russia.html  

The application deadline is April 1, 2014

ii)  Through NYI's "Direct Linguistics Participation Program", US Linguistics students may attend the 3-week NY Institute program without paying US tuition, taking 4-5 Linguistics/Cognitive Studies seminars of their choice.   This option does not provide any transferable credits, but students receive a Certificate of Completion from NYI.  Direct Participation Program dates are July 11-August 3, 2014. 

The application deadline is April 10, 2014

Students interested in NYI's Direct Participation Program should contact NYI program Coordinator Alecia Barbour directly at alecia.barbour@stonybrook.edu for details. 


In a recent UMass Magazine; linguists!


Amanda matt

Barbara at Moscow State University

Barbara Partee will be giving the invited talk in the seminar “Applications of mathematical methods in linguistics,” led by V.A. Uspensky, M.R. Pentus and P. Arkadiev this Saturday, March 22. Her talk is entitled “The Starring Role of Quantifiers in the History of Formal Semantics."


The 6th North American Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (NASSLLI 2014), a bi-annual summer school loosely modeled on the long-running ESSLLI series in Europe, will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park, June 23 - 27, 2014. In addition, we will run three intensive introductory courses ("bootcamps") on Saturday and Sunday, June 21-22. Additional events will be held during the weekend following the summer school, June 28-29.

The summer school will consist of 18 courses, scheduled in five parallel sessions throughout the week. Courses will meet for 90 minutes on each of five days. The instructors are prominent researchers who volunteer their time and energy to present work in their disciplines. NASSLLI courses are aimed at graduate students and advanced undergraduates in any of the fields represented at the summer school, but will also be of interest to post-docs and researchers in those fields. Courses are designed with an interdisciplinary audience in mind, by instructors who enjoy addressing students and colleagues from a wide range of disciplines.

For the full program of courses, see http://www.nasslli2014.com/program.


We are working to keep the registration fee low for NASSLLI participants. The expected registration fee is $175.00 for students and academics, $50.00 for UMD affiliates and $400 professional rate. The exact costs and online registration will be available on the NASSLLI website in mid-March.


NASSLL is located on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park. The University of Maryland is located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and is accessible by Metro from downtown Washington DC.  


All NASSLLI participants are responsible for securing their own accommodations during their stay in College Park. However, NASSLLI participants may request accommodation in the South Campus Residence Hall on the University of Maryland, College Park campus.  There are also a number of hotels located in College Park within walking distance of the campus. Details on both dorm and hotel accommodations will be available on the NASSLLI website around mid-March.