WHISC mistook last week’s warm snap for summer. We have returned to wait for proper beach weather.
The newsletter of the Linguistics Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
23 May 2014
Partee: Doctor of Humane Letters
Although the University of Chicago hasn’t announced it yet, we’ve been given permission to share on WHISC the news that Barbara Partee will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Chicago at their commencement ceremony on June 14.
Call for papers extended: InToSpan 2014
UMass is hosting the First Symposium on Intonation and Tone in the Spanish-Speaking world October 11-12. John Kingston is one of the invited speakers. Abstracts for oral presentations and posters are being accepted until June 7. For more information about the conference, go here. For information about submitting abstracts, go here.
Call for Abstracts: Phonology 2014
MIT will host Phonology 2014 on September 19-21, and is accepting abstracts for papers until June 5. Abstracts should be anonymous and no more than 2 single-spaced pages in 12 point font. Abstracts can be submitted here.
UMass alumna Gillian Gallagher (NYU) is one of three invited speakers.
For more information, go here.
Staubs defends dissertation on July 30
Robert Staubs will defend his dissertation, “Computational Modeling of Learning Biases in Stress Typology” on Wednesday, July 30, from 2-4PM in Machmer E33. Congratulations Robert!
One year position at College of William and Mary
Hashimoto defends dissertation on August 29
Masashi Hashimoto will defend his dissertation, “Experiencing in Japanese: The Experience Restriction Across Clausal Types,” on Friday, August 29, at 3PM in Machmer E-33. Congratulations Masashi!
Call for papers: Acoustical Society of America
The deadline for submission of abstracts for the fall 2014 meeting of the Acoustical Society of America is Monday, 23 June 2014.
The meeting will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, 27-31 October 2014, at the Indianapolis Marriott Hotel. Please refer to the call for papers for information and instructions for submitting abstracts and making hotel reservations. Full details can be found on the Indianapolis meeting website.
The call for papers describes the special sessions that are being organized by the ASA Technical Committees as well as other events such as a tutorial lecture on musical acoustics, a short course on electroacoustic transducers, hot topics papers, a gallery of acoustics, and an undergraduate student research exposition. Technical tours are being planned to the Center for the Performing Arts, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the 3M Acoustics Facilities. The tutorial lecture will also be preceded by a tour of the Hilbert Circle Theatre. Social events will include two socials, the Women in Acoustics Luncheon, the Society Luncheon and Lecture, and the Jam Session.
Student events will be organized by the Student Council including the Student Orientation, Student Meet and Greet, and the Student Reception. An International Student Challenge Problem in Acoustic Signal Processing is also offered. First and second place awards of USD$500 and USD$250 will be made and the winners will be invited (but not obligated) to present a poster at the Indianapolis meeting.
Limited travel support to attend the meeting will be available to the winning entrants. Full details are described at acousticalsociety.org.
Accompanying persons are welcome at the meeting and a program of activities will be organized.
Student Transportation Subsidies and Young Investigator Travel Grants are offered as well as Best Paper Awards for Students and Early Career Acousticians. See Meeting Information for details about applying for these subsidies and awards.
A new meeting feature, the ASA Resume Help Desk, will be organized for this meeting. The desk will be staffed by ASA members who are experienced in hiring and who will be available to look at your CV, cover letter, and research and teaching statements to provide suggestions.
We hope that you will consider presenting a paper or attending the meeting to participate in the exchange of ideas and the latest research developments in acoustics and to meet with your colleagues.
Visiting Phonologists next year
Joe Pater writes:
We will discuss two principal ways of incorporating phonetic biases into the frequencies of phonological typology. The first is phonetically-driven phonology (e.g. in Hayes et al. 2004), which adds phonetic effects into more typical generative models. The second is Blevins’ (2004) Evolutionary Phonology, which instead seeks to explain phonological typology as originating only from phonetic effects paired with general principles of analogy.
In addition to phonetic concerns, we will look at models which seek to explain typological frequencies based on generative models themselves. Our main departure will be representations in Optimality Theory-like grammars. We will first discuss approaches such as Coetzee (2002) and Riggle (2010/in prep.) based on counting the number of rankings describing a pattern, then compare this approach to one based in formal learnability as discussed e.g. by Moreton & Pater (2012).
Finally, we will consider learning-based approaches which are comparatively divorced from grammatical theory, in particular the work of Kirby and colleagues on iterated learning and the emergence of structure across generations of language learning. We will ask what this work, typically focused on non-phonological domains, has to say about “emergence" in a phonological context.
This graduate seminar investigates how evidence from articulation and acoustics can provide insights into phonological patterns. Focusing on the importance of empirical evidence, we will review articles that employ ultrasound imaging and other articulatory methods as well as various acoustic techniques in order to examine the phonetic bases of phonological phenomena. In addition, the contribution of morphological structure to both phonetic data and phonological patterns will be introduced to probe the interaction between various linguistic factors that are responsible for the emerging phonological patterns.
While familiarizing students with the current experimental methodology that can be used to effectively address phonological questions, the seminar ultimately aims to help students develop their own research questions and determine viable methodologies to test their hypotheses.
Annual Fall Picnic: September 6
Barbara Partee writes:
Linguists and friends -- the annual Fall Potluck Picnic to welcome new students, faculty, visitors to the department, including undergraduates (please spread the word to them), and including linguists in or visiting other departments -- will be held on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, September 6, rain or shine, at 50 Hobart Lane in Amherst (Barbara and Volodja's house). Please mark your calendars. A fuller announcement will come around in mid to late August.
Schedule of Tone Workshop at UMass in June
An tentative schedule for the tone workshop at UMass on June 2-3 has become available.
MONDAY, JUNE 2
9:30-10 Breakfast + coffee
10-11 Mark Liberman: Tone without pitch
11-12 Jianjing Kuang: The covariation between pitch and phonation:the case of creaky voice in Mandarin tones
12:30-2 Lunch (served)
2-3 John Kingston (Something on Oto-Mangeuan)
3-4 Christian DiCanio (Something on Oto-Mangeuan)
TUESDAY, JUNE 3
9:30-10 Breakfast + coffee
10-11 Bert Remijsen (University of Edinburgh): Further evidencefor contrastive alignment in falling contours
12:30-2 Lunch (served)
2-3 James Kirby (University of Edinburgh): TBA
3-4 Yi Xu (University College London): Toward parametricrepresentation of tone: Articulatory dynamics and computationalmodeling
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.
New Department Housewarming: September 27th
John Kingston writes:
This summer, the Linguistics Department will with great joy move into a new building, one called the Integrated Learning Center for the time-being. The department will at last have space for all our faculty, all our graduate students, a considerable number of visitors, and all the laboratories, on the fourth floor of the new building. We will inaugurate our occupation of this new space on 27 September 2014 with a variety of festivities, and perhaps the annual Freeman lecture. So please plan to join us that day to make a joyful noise in celebration of the move and all the opportunities it creates for us.
More details will be forthcoming as they are firmed up.
Graduate Program in nominal modification at Goethe University
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, offers full funding for 12 graduate students who aim for a PhD in the domain of nominal modification. These 12 PhD positions will be part of the newly approved graduate program "Nominal Modification", funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), designated director Prof. Dr. Caroline Fery.
The particpating disciplines are: Semantics, Syntax, Phonology, Phonetics, Psycholinguistics, Language Acquisition, English Linguistics, Romance linguistics, Historical Linguistics, and Typology.
For further information, go here.
Deadline for applications: June 30, 2014
New Journal: Semantics-Syntax Interface
There's a new international journal starting up, Semantics-Syntax Interface, published in Iran. The editor is Negin Ilkhanipour; the first call for papers went out last August on Linguist List: here.
By invitation, Barbara Partee has the first article in the first issue, which is just about to appear. Partee, Barbara H. 2014. A brief history of the syntax-semantics interface in Western formal linguistics. Semantics-Syntax Interface 1.1:1-20. (A preprint is on her website.)
UMass at Speech Prosody 7
Trinity College in Dublin is hosting the seventh Speech Prosody conference this week (May 20-23). UMass is represented by Kristine Yu, who will be presenting “Intonational phonology in Bengali and English infant-direct speech,” joint work with Sameer Ud Dowla Khan and Megha Sundara, and by Meghan Armstrong, who presents “The acquisition of multimodal cues to disbelief,” joint work with Nuria Esteve-Gilbert and Pilar Prieto.
UMass at Exploring the Interfaces 3
On May 8-10, McGill University hosted Exploring the Interfaces, a conference devoted to the stuff between syntax, semantics, phonology and morphology. Invited speakers included UMass alumna Emily Elfner (who also co-organized the conference) and UMass faculty Kristine Yu. Emily’s talk was entitled “Syntax-prosody mismatches in Irish and English verb-initial structures," and Kristine’s talk was entitled “Tonal marking of absolutive case in Samoan.” Lisa Selkirk also presented a talk, with Seunghun Lee (CCSU) entitled “Structural restrictions on H tone spread in Xitsonga.” And UMass alumna Molly Diesing, with Draga Zec, gave the paper “Getting in the first word: Prosody and predicate-initial sentences in Serbian.” WHISC has also learned that UMass students Jeremy Pasquereau and Leland Kusmer were also present. For a full schedule, go here.