14 May 2014

WHISC goes to the beach

This will be the last posting of WHISC for the season. We’ll return, tanned and thin, in the Fall.


NOVEMBER 7-9, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Richard Aslin, University of Rochester
“From sounds to words to grammatical categories: The role of distributional learning”

Plenary Speaker: Katherine Demuth, Macquarie University
“Prosodic effects on the emergence of grammatical morphemes: Evidence from perception and production”

Submissions of abstracts for 20-minute are now being accepted at:

DEADLINE.  All submissions must be received by 8:00 PM EST, May 15, 2014.

Submissions that present research on any topic in the fields of first and second language acquisition from any theoretical perspectives will be fully considered, including: Artificial Languages, Bilingualism, Cognition & Language, Creoles & Pidgins, Dialects, Discourse and Narrative, Gesture, Hearing Impairment and Deafness, Input & Interaction, Language Disorders, Linguistic Theory, Neurolinguistics, Pragmatics, Pre-linguistic Development, Reading and Literacy, Signed Languages, Sociolinguistics, and Speech Perception & Production.

A suggested format and style for abstracts is available at:

General conference information is available at:

Weir goes to Ghent

Andrew Weir writes:

As of this June I will be taking up a post-doctoral position at Ghent University, working with Liliane Haegeman and the Generative Initiatives in Syntactic Theory project, in the "Layers of structure and the cartography” project. I'll be researching left-dislocation structures in Scottish English and beyond, with an eye on how these integrate into cartographic models of the left periphery, as well as how left-dislocation structures mesh with Haegeman's recent 'intervention' proposals for the availability of A'-movement in adverbial clauses.

Congratulations Andrew!

Workshop on computational skills on May 19

Presley Pizzo writes:

There will be a workshop on computational skills on May 19th in the Partee Room starting at 11, ending probably sometime around 2. We'll have a break for lunch provided by the department, so please let me know soon if you plan to come so we can get enough food.

The theme is "answers to questions you didn't know to ask."

We'll cover:
- how to avoid bugs

- tools and tricks to save you time

- what to do if your code is too slow

- comparison of programming languages and styles

We won't cover:
- an intro to any particular language

- any particular computational linguistics techniques

Programming experience is not required but would give you a concrete sense of how the advice applies.

Frazier at MIT

Lyn Frazier gives a talk this Friday in Ted Gibson's lab at MIT entitled: "Syntactic restoration:  When errors are more acceptable than grammatically licit forms and interpretations."

Lima goes to Rio

Suzi Lima writes:

I have very good news to share: I got a permanent job position at Federal University in Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro - UFRJ). I was hired as a psycholinguist and I will keep doing experimental semantics and pragmatics.

Congratulations Suzi!

UMass at LabEx-EFL

Lyn Frazier and Joe Pater are giving courses as International Chairs in the LabEx-EFL project in Paris. Lyn’s is on “Processing at the Syntax-Discourse Interface,” and Joe’s is on “Complexité structurelle dans l’apprentissage de la phonologie.” For more information, go here.

UMass at SULA

The Eighth annual meeting of Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas meets this coming weekend at the University of British Columbia. UMass is well-represented, with invited talks by Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten (“The Decomposition of Belief and Desire”) and Seth Cable (“The Tlingit Decessive and the Nature of Discontinuous Past") as well as alumnus Andrew McKenzie (University of Kansas: “On the Emergence of Discourse-Functions in With-Reference and Topic Dislocation"). In addition, alumna Amy Rose Deal (USCS) is giving a talk entitled “Mass and count in Nez Perce.”  Commenters include our own Angelika Kratzer and alumnus Keir Moulton (Simon Fraser). For more information, go here.

Harris in the Basque Country

Alice Harris is giving a seminar “Approaches to Historical Morphology and Syntax” at the University of the Basque Country. Her seminar is part of a series of research seminars on Non-Indo-European linguistics. 

Cable in Alaska

Seth Cable will be conducting NSF-supported fieldwork on Tlingit from June 19 to July 3, along with UBC PhD student James Crippen.

Kratzer at NASSLLI 2014

Angelika Kratzer is teaching a course on modality at NASSLLI from June 21-29 at the University of Maryland. For a full schedule of courses, go here.