07 September 2014

Workshop on Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships this Thursday

The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for students in the humanities and social sciences offers up to $38,000 to support the final year of dissertation writing.  The Graduate School Office of Professional Development is hosting a panel session and optional proposal writing workshop to help students take control of the application process and develop a competitive application.
Panelists include:

·        Dr. Nick Bromell, Professor of English, who has served on fellowship faculty review panels
·        Dr. Emiliano Ricciardi, Assistant Professor in Music History and recipient of a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
·        Heidi Bauer-Clapp, Coordinator of Grants and Fellowships, Office of Professional Development
·        Kathleen Baldwin, Coordinator of Graduate Writing, Office of Professional Development
·        Lauren Goodman, Graduate Writing Consultant, Office of Professional Development
The optional workshop (1:30-2:30 pm) will focus on developing the proposal portion of the application. Participants will have the opportunity to receive peer feedback on a proposal draft, which could include anything from the full five-page proposal to a list of bullet-points to address in the proposal. To participate in the writing workshop, bring a hard-copy of the proposal draft on Sept. 11th.
Fellowship applications are due October 22nd.  For more information see their website:

Sessions later this month will target fellowships from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Ford Foundation – stay tuned!

LARC meets on Friday

Jeremy Hartman writes:

I'm pleased to announce that this semester's first LARC (Language Acquisition Research Center) meeting will be held next Friday, Sept 12, at 11:30 in room N451, ILC.  

All are welcome to attend. We'll use the first meeting to make introductions and plan a presentation schedule for future meetings. If you're interested in presenting this semester but can't make it next Friday, let me or Tom R. know.

This is the last email that will go out to the ling-dept email.  To subscribe to the ling-acquisition mailing list, go here:


S Reading Group

Leland Kusmer writes:

It's time to kick off this year's Syntax/Semantics Reading Group (SRG)! (Or maybe that should be SSRG?)

SRG is an informal meeting of S-siders to talk about the field, practice presentations, talk over preliminary projects, and more. We usually meet about every other week and rotate between hosts in Northampton. The GLSA generously provides dinner.

I'd like to have our first meeting next week, and then roughly every other week after that. I've set up a Doodle poll to figure out what nights of the week might work on an on-going basis.


Also, I'm looking to establish a roster of potential hosts for SRG. If you're interested in hosting even once this semester, please let me know. Hosts get to pick the food for the evening!

Psycho Workshop meets this Thursday

The first meeting of the Psycho Workshop will be Thursday, September 11, in ILC N451.

Kristine Yu in JASA

Kristine Yu’s  article, "The role of creaky voice in Cantonese tonal perception)," has been published online in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Vol.136, No.3). The article can be accessed through the issue's table of contents here.

Congratulations Kristine!

Call for papers: GALANA 6

Abstract submissions are welcomed for the 6th bi­annual conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition ­- North America (GALANA 6). GALANA 6 will take place on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, MD on February 19­-21, 2015. This conference aims to provide an outlet for cutting edge work on language acquisition, relating results in first and second language acquisition to detailed hypotheses about developing grammatical representations, the mechanisms by which these representations are acquired, and the information processing mechanisms through which these representations are engaged in real time language use by first and second language learners. Invited speakers include Liliana Sanchez (Rutgers) and Antonella Sorace (Edinburgh, Bilingualism Matters). For the general session, abstracts are invited for original, unpublished generative research in all acquisition subfields: L1 acquisition, L2 acquisition, bilingualism, creoles and pidgins, and language disorders.

In addition to the general session, there will be a special session entitled “Learning in generative grammar: 50 years since the Evaluation Metric”. It has been 50 years since the publication of Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, which first introduced the idea of an evaluation metric as a way for learners to choose between alternative grammars that were compatible with their exposure. In the intervening years, conceptions of Universal Grammar (UG) have changed, and our understanding of children's grammatical knowledge at various ages has similarly advanced, but theories of how children use UG to interpret the data and how they use the data to select a grammar from UG have not been at center stage. In recent years, however, there has been a steady increase in work returning to this question, asking how different models (including rule learning, parameter setting, constraint ranking) of UG might help learners to use the input effectively to acquire a grammatical system. Invited speakers for this special session include Janet Fodor (CUNY Graduate Center), Lisa Pearl (UC Irvine), Bruce Tesar (Rutgers), and Charles Yang (UPenn). We also invite abstracts submissions for several additional talks that address the question of how a given grammatical formalism or set of grammatical principles helps to solve particular learnability problems in linguistics.

Abstract submissions should be anonymous and should be uploaded as .pdf attachments to the EasyChair site (not typed into the text box). Submissions should fit on one page with 1” margins and 12­ point font, with an extra page allowed for examples, tables, figures and references.


Submissions due: October 6th, 2014 at 5pm Eastern Standard Time.

Notifications by: November 21, 2014


GALANA 6: https://sites.google.com/site/2015galana/

EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=galana6

Has Randall Munroe, author of xkcd, read John Ross's Dissertation?

the evidence.

Dissertation Research Grants

The Graduate School is now accepting Spring 2014 proposals for the Dissertation Research Grant program for doctoral students who have achieved candidacy. The program offers up to a maximum of $1,000 fordissertation research related expenses. Grants are awarded once per semester through a competitive proposal process. The submission deadline for fall semester is Tuesday, 14th October 2014. A subcommittee of the Graduate Council will review proposals and determine awards. Detailed information on the program including allowed and prohibited expenses, submission and eligibility requirements and process can be found here.

Commonwealth College Research Assistant Fellowships

Commonwealth Honors College students who are currently sophomores or juniors and have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher are eligible to apply. These Fellowships are working fellowships that pay $9.00 per hour (in accordance with 1/1/15 increase in Mass. minimum wage) up to a maximum of $1,000 for students to work on a faculty member's research project. The program is designed to provide supplemental financial assistance, to give students an opportunity to gain experience in their academic field, and to help prepare them to undertake their own research.

Students must submit an application jointly with a faculty member.

For application guidelines and a link to the online application system (FGS), please go to the Commonwealth Honors College website or paste the direct link into your browser:


Students must register and submit their essay online.  Since applications may not be revised online, students and their faculty sponsors must communicate regarding revisions before the student submits their essay.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

Commonwealth College grants

Grants of up to $1,000 are available to junior and senior Commonwealth Honors College students, with priority given to seniors working on honors thesis research.  Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher and must submit a six-page proposal outlining their project accompanied by an endorsement from their faculty sponsor. Every recipient is asked to present his or her work at the statewide Undergraduate Research Conference in spring
2015. These grants of up to $1,000 are for direct costs only and do not provide a stipend or wage.

For application guidelines and a link to the online application system
(FGS), please go to the Commonwealth Honors College website or paste the
direct link into your browser:


Students must work with their faculty sponsor on their proposal and submit the completed proposal online.  Proposals may not be revised online, therefore, students and their faculty sponsors must communicate regarding revisions before the student submits the proposal.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

CEU fellowship applications

The CEU Institute for Advanced Study (CEU IAS) is pleased to invite applications for its fellowships for the academic year 2015/2016. CEU IAS fellows spend 6-10 months in Budapest and pursue their own research in the lively intellectual community of the other fellows, the university and the city of Budapest. CEU IAS Fellowships are highly competitive and will be awarded on the basis of scholarly excellence.

Calls are open for the fellowships listed below. You may apply for all or any of the fellowships at the same time but the application process and the requirements are not the same.

SENIOR AND JUNIOR CORE FELLOWSHIPS- about 15 awarded each year


THYSSEN@CEU IAS FELLOWSHIPS - 2 awarded each year

Application deadline for all three is October 19, 2014.

More information can be found here.

Call for papers: WSCLA

We the WSCLA planning committee are pleased to announce that the University of Arizona will host the Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of the Languages of the Americas this spring, from January 23-25, 2015.

This conference is a unique event that brings together linguists working with any of the indigenous languages of North, Central and South America. This will be the first time it is hosted at the University of Arizona (and high time too!) and also the 20th anniversary of this wonderful conference.

Abstracts are invited for papers in any area of formal linguistics (including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) within any theoretical framework. We welcome papers that address diachronic, sociolinguistic, or applied topics from a formal perspective, and we are especially interested in papers seeking to correlate the interests of formal linguists and the concerns of indigenous communities.

Abstracts should be submitted to the EasyChair website at this link:

Abstract submission guidelines:

Please submit your abstract for a paper in .pdf format at  https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=wscla2015, following the requirements listed below, before midnight PST on October 10, 2014.

Abstracts should be anonymous. Author name(s) should not appear in the abstract or file name. Abstracts should not exceed 2 pages in length including references and examples (minimum 12 pt font size, 1 inch margins). Submissions are limited to two abstracts per author, including at most one single-authored abstract. (In other words, you may contribute to two co-authored abstracts, or one co-authored abstract plus one single-authored abstract.)

Please write to wscla2015@gmail.com with any questions.

BU Language Acquisition Conference program

The program for the 39th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development has been released. The conference meets from November 7-9. The  keynote speaker is Richard Aslin (University of Rochester) who will deliver the talk “From sounds to words to grammatical categories: The role of distributional learning,” The Plenary Speaker is Katherine Demuth (Macquarie University) whose talk is “Prosodic effects on the emergence of grammatical morphemes: Evidence from perception and production.” Our own Barbara Pearson has, with Joan Maling, organized the poster symposium “Linguistics for Everyone: Engaging a broader public for the scientific study of language acquisition.”

Pre-registration starts on September 1 and closes on October 28. For more information about registering, go here.

The UMass linguistic community is represented by the following posters:

A. Aravind and Jill de Villiers: “Implicit alternatives insufficient for children’s SIs with some"

Valentina Brunetto and Tom Roeper: “Are rare constructions late in acquisition? The case of near-reflexivity"

Alumna Suzi Lima, with P. Li and J. Snedeker: “Acquiring the denotation of object-denoting nouns in a language without partitives."

Jill de Vliiers, with A. Pace, P. Yust, A Iglesias, M. Wilson, K Hirsh-Pasek, R. Golinkoff, A Takehesu Tabori, K. Strother-Garcia, K Ridge: “Examining the Validity of a Compuater-based Language Assessment for Preschool Children."

Alumna Anne-Michelle Tessier, with S. Shittu: “Perceptual attrition of lexical tone among L1 Yoruba-speaking children in Canada."

Michael Clauss: “The Syntax and Semantics of Free Relative Clauses in Child English."

Alumni Angeliek Van Hout and Bart Hallebrandse, with C Lindenbergh: “The acquisition of sentence ellipsis in Dutch preschoolers."

Alumnus Terue Nakato: “Gender Information of Possessive Pronouns: How does it work in Child English?"

Alumna Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux, with A. Catilla-Earls, T Peterson, D. Massam and S. Behar: “Children’s acquisition of complex modification."

Alumna Angeliek Van Hout, with I Strangmann, and A. Slomp: “Context and the acquisition of Dutch eh-questions: The effect of topicality and thematic roles."

Barbara Pearson: “Linguistic and pragmatic ambiguity in quantified expressions: Implications for mathematics teaching and test of monolingual and bilingual students."

The complete schedule can be found here.