28 September 2014

PRG on Monday

Ivy Hauser and Coral Hughto write:

PRG will be held tomorrow night at 7:30pm.  We will meet at Presley's place in Northampton.  Ivy will be discussing a couple papers she has read in pursuit of a GP topic and talking about potential ideas.  As always, dinner is provided!

Call for papers: Computational Phonology Workshop

The implications of computation and learnability for phonological theory

Crystallizing a feeling widespread in the field, Mark van Oostendorp (2013) writes: ''It is fair to say that we know much more about sound patterns in human language than people did at the beginning of the 20th Century. At the same time, many phonologists seem to feel that we have not yet reached the standards of some of the ‘hard’ sciences.'' An obstacle to progress seems to be the fact that competing phonological theories are underdetermined by sheer typological and linguistic data. Moving beyond descriptive adequacy, Alan Prince thus proposes that ''rational arguments about two theories’ comparative success […] depend on a broad assessment of their properties.'' Among the formal properties of a phonological theory which are crucial for its comparative assessment are its computability and learnability properties. 

This workshop thus aims at investigating the implications of computation and learnability for phonological theory. The issues addressed include (but are not limited to): the computability/intractability of phonological grammars and the debate among derivational, representational, and constraint-based frameworks; learnability guarantees and the debate between competing modes of constraint interaction; the characterization of phonological patterns within the sub-regular hierarchy and the expressive power of phonological formalisms; the learnability filter and its implications for the evaluation of the typologies predicted by competing phonological theories; methods for constraint induction and the phonetic grounding of the phonological constraints; statistical methods, probabilistic grammars and the divide between categorical and gradient models of phonological competence; the learnability of phonological processes conditioned by prosodic domains and its implications for the syntax/phonology interface. The workshop adopts an inclusive perspective, open to any computational approach and any phonological framework. 

Invited speakers:

Paul Boersma (University of Amsterdam)

Bruce Tesar (Rutgers University)

Important dates:

abstract submission deadline: December 1st, 2014

notification of acceptance: February 15th, 2015

workshop date: April 18th, 2015


We invite abstracts for a 20 minute oral presentation followed by a 10 minute discussion. Abstracts should be anonymous and should not exceed 2 pages in length (A4 or letter-size, in 12 pt. font, with 1-inch/2.5-cm margins), including examples and references. The language of the workshop is English. Abstracts should be submitted through the GLOW 38 Easychair page (https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=glow38), specifying that the submission should be considered for the workshop.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/2015glow/home


Joaquim Brandao de Carvalho,

Mohamed Lahrouchi,

Giorgio Magri,

Michela Russo

Assistant Professor Position at McGill

The Department of Linguistics, McGill University, invites applications for a tenure-track position in phonetics and related areas of experimental linguistics at the rank of Assistant Professor, effective August 1, 2015. Applicants should have a research agenda that connects to the existing strengths of the Department. General qualifications are a PhD in linguistics or a related field and demonstrated excellence in research and teaching in the area(s) of specialization. Duties will include undergraduate and graduate teaching, graduate research guidance and administrative responsibilities. 

Deadline for applications: November 7, 2014.  

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. 

McGill University is committed to diversity and equity in employment. It welcomes applications from: women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, and others who may contribute to diversification. 

Interested candidates should submit an application consisting of a letter of introduction, a curriculum vitae, a research statement, a teaching statement, samples of research and teaching evaluations. Applicants should also arrange for three referees to submit letters of reference. The application and the letters of reference must be uploaded directly at https://academicjobsonline.org (position ID:McGill Linguistics ASSTPROF #4520).  To ensure full consideration, all materials should be submitted by November 7, 2014.  

Hot Chocolate Run

Anisa Schardl writes:

For the past 7 years, linguists have participated in the annual Hot Chocolate Run.  Let's make it 8!

The Hot Chocolate Run is a 3K walk or 5K race or 5K fun run, followed by consumption of hot chocolate.  You pay money to register, and this money goes to Safe Passage, an organization that helps domestic violence survivors in the area.  And you get a commemorative mug to keep.

HCR website: http://www.hotchocolaterun.com/

Safe Passage website: http://safepass.org/

This year's HCR is on Sunday morning, December 7th.  They are expecting registration to sell out in only about 6 weeks this year, so we'd better get on it!

Here's what you do: Go to the website and register.  You have to say whether you're walking or running, but you can change your mind later, so don't worry too much about that.  When you register, you are welcome to join the team Linguists & Friends.  Then, email me and tell me that you're participating, and I can arrange for us to meet up.

Here's the registration site: http://www.hotchocolaterun.com/register/

If you can't make it, but you still want to support Safe Passage, feel free to sponsor one of us!  You can just go to this website and search by name or by team.  (Our team is "Linguists & Friends”.) https://www.pledgereg.com/

Call for Papers: Workshop on (Co)Distributivity

Workshop on (Co-)Distributivity 2015 

26-27 February 2015

CNRS Pouchet, Salle de conférences

59 rue Pouchet, 75017 Paris

Workshop organised by the project (Co-)distributivity of the Fédération Typologie et universaux du langage (CNRS FR 2559)

Invited speakers :
Donka Farkas (UC Santa Cruz)

Viola Schmitt (Wien)

We encourage submissions exploring the linguistic means used to establish distributive dependencies, including, but not limited to, questions like the following :

- the syntax and semantics of markers of distributive keys (e.g. distributive quantifiers) or distributive shares (e.g. Hungarian reduplicated numerals)

- multiplication effects for indefinite singulars (e.g. He eats a sandwich for breakfast.)

- distribution effects for plurals (e.g. dependent plurals : Here professors wear ties.)

- distribution effects over times (e.g. A lot of people have been dying of this disease lately).       

We welcome work on formal syntax and semantics on distributive dependencies (distributivity and co-distributivity) in spoken and sign languages.

We invite submissions for 25-minute presentations (plus ten-minute discussions).

Abstracts should be at most 2 pages in length (including examples and references) written in French or English.

Abstracts must be anonymous and should be sent by e-mail (plain ASCII, rtf, ps or pdf) to: codistr@pouchet.cnrs.fr 

Abstract Submission Deadline : 7 Dec 2014

Please write the (first) author’s name plus the word ’abstract’ in the subject line of your message (e.g., ’Dupont abstract’), and include

- author name(s),

- affiliation, 

- contact information and 

- the title of the abstract in the body of the email. 

For co-authored papers indicate the email address that we should use for correspondence.

For more information: 

Website : http://www.umr7023.cnrs.fr/Journee-Co-Distributivite-2015.html

E-mail : codistr@pouchet.cnrs.fr

Abstract Submission Deadline : 7 Dec 2014 

Notification of Acceptance : 20 Dec 2014 

Workshop : Thur 26 - Fri 27 February 2015

Post Doc at the University of Göttingen

At the Courant Research Centre “Text Structures” at the University of Göttingen a full post-doc position is available starting from *Dec. 01,  2014* or as soon as possible within the junior research group “Theoretical Linguistics". The salary is in accordance with the German TV-L 13 regulations. The contract shall expire on *Sept. 30, 2016*. 

The successful applicant has a PhD in linguistics, research experience including publications in syntax/semantics/pragmatics and in particular research interest in at least one of the following fields: 

- the syntax, semantics and pragmatics of indefinite NPs, 

- the syntax, and semantics of conditionals, 

- the syntax and semantics of questions and the pragmatics of answers, 

- information structure, 

- syntax and semantics of tense and aspect.  

The applicant will be expected to get involved in collaborative research projects at the University of Göttingen and at the Courant Research Centre “Text Structures” including interdisciplinary research. A research record in mathematical or in experimental linguistics are of advantage. Moreover, experience with computational linguistics, programming and statistics as well as proficiency in German constitute an advantage but are no strict requirements. 

The University of Göttingen attempts to increase the number of female researchers and therefore explicitly invites women to apply. Disabled candidates will be preferred in case of similar qualification. 
Applications in English or German should be submitted before *November 1, 2014* to:

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 

Courant Forschungszentrum “Textstrukturen” 

Edgar Onea / Julia Busse

Nikolausberger Weg 23 D-37073 Göttingen 

E-Mail: edgar.onea@zentr.uni-goettingen.de

Yesterday's Open House

John Kingston writes:

Yesterday's open house and house warming in the Linguistics Department's new space in the north wing of the fourth floor of the Integrative Learning Center was crowded with linguists and guests, adults and infants, current students and old. Dean Julie Hayes spoke to us about the new space, the Department's new endowment, and the future of our old space in South College. We lunched, had a poster session, slide show, and tour, including gazing out the window at the top of the stairs at the green roof, then spent a long time in N400 looking at photos of past and present members of the department, and finally wound up with stronger drink and appetizers. (The posters will remain up until they can be updated with newer evidence of the great linguistics we're doing. Reading them is a great way, too, to find out what your colleagues in other areas are doing.) A new game was even introduced, Gobblets.

I'd like to especially thank the students who helped hang posters, display slides, get the rooms shipshape to show off, bring the food and drink, and do everything else that made the day a success. They are:

Caroline Andrews

Sakshi Bhatia

Michael Clauss

Ivy Hauser

Leland Kusmer

Coral Hughto

Jyoti Iyer

Jon-Ander Mendia

Claire Moore-Cantwell

Amanda Rysling

Shayne Sloggett

Megan Somerday

Robert Staubs

UMass at CGSW

The Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop was hosted by York University over the weekend. In addition to Nick LaCara’s paper “Why is there no verb stranding in mainland Scandinavian,” UMass alumnus Andrew Weir presented the paper “The cartography of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in West Flemish” with Liliane Haegeman.

Cable's paper appears in Language

Seth Cable’s paper “Distributive Numerals and Distance Distributivity in Tlingit (and Beyond)” has appeared in the latest issue of Language.  Congratulations Seth!

NELS 45 program is out

MIT will host the forty-fifth meeting of the North East Linguistic Society October 31-November 2. The program for the conference is now available here. UMass is well represented:

Alumna Amy Rose Deal, now at UC, Santa Cruz, will give the paper “Properties of probes: Evidence from New Perce complementizer agreement."

Alumnus Shigeto Kawahara, with Aaron Braver, is giving the poster “Modeling incomplete neutralization: Paradigm Uniformity and a phonetics with weighted constraints."

Jason Overfelt is giving the poster “Cyclic Linearization and constraints on remnant movement."

Aleksei Nazarov is giving the poster “Non-maximal feet as reduction domains in Dutch."

Ethan Poole is giving the poster “Deconstructing quirky subjects."

Anisa Schardl is giving the poster “Partial movement in eh-questions: An analysis involving Q"

Andrew Weir presents the paper “Fragment answers in English: A PF-movement account."

Alumnus Florian Schwarz, with many colleagues, presents the paper “Scalar implicatures vs. presuppositions: The view from Broca’s aphasia"

Seth Cable presents the poster “Semantics of graded tense in complement clauses: Evidence that future is not a tense."

Alumnus Keir Moulton, with Nino Grillo, presents the poster “Pseudo-relatives: Big but transparent."

Megan Somerday is presenting the paper “(Some) partial reduplication is full reduplication."

Alumna Karen Jesney is presenting the paper “Counterbled-Counterfeeding in Harmonic Grammar."