05 October 2014

First Symposium on Intonation and Tone in the Spanish speaking World

Meghan Armstrong writes:

We hope you can join us for the 1st Symposium on Intonation and Tone in the Spanish-speaking World (InToSpan) on October 10 and 11. 

Plenary talks:

Friday @ 9:45am: José Ignacio Hualde "Perception of Prosodic Prominence in Spanish"

Saturday @ 1:00pm: John Kingston "Otomanguean tones: Typology, Phonology and Phonetics"

You can find more information, including the conference program, on our webpage: http://intospan2014.weebly.com

The Symposium will take place in N400 of the Integrative Learning Center. We hope you can join us!

Roeper talks at LARC on Friday

Jeremy Hartman writes:

Tom Roeper will speak in this week's LARC meeting at 11:30 on Friday in N451.  The title of his presentation is:

"Update Common Ground, Presupposition Failure, Question-under-discussion, and but-implicatures: How does the child get it all co-ordinated"

All are welcome! 

National Linguistics Outreach Committee Co-chaired by Barbara Pearson

Barbara Pearson writes:

Joan Maling, of NSF and LSA, and I have put together a "Linguistics for Everyone" group with members from around the country who have complementary expertise in linguistic outreach activities.  Our goal is to inspire and provide practical advice to colleagues to find venues and create their own outreach activities.

Group members are

Cecile McKee, University of Arizona,

Colin Phillips, University of Maryland, and

Laura Wagner of Ohio State University

--and their colleagues and students.

We have lined up two venues for this academic year where the members of the group will disseminate their successful models to other linguists.  At third meeting, as part of  a general science conference with an established outreach component, we will bring our activities directly to the general public.

--A poster symposium at BUCLD (sessions on November 7 and 8) in Boston

--A session at the LSA (January 9) in Portland, LFE: Tools and Tips for Do-It-Yourselfers (a panel, demos, and associated poster session and "office hours")

--A booth at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Family Science Days (Feb 14 and 15) in San Jose

--"Language for Everyone," hands-on activities to engage attendees from age 5 to 95.

Student participation will be supported by an NSF grant supplement administered by the University of Maryland. Over the course of the project, we will collect materials for the LSA Resource Hub.

Poole at MIT Ling-Lunch on Thursday

Ethan Poole is giving a talk at MIT's Ling-Lunch on Thursday, 9 October entitled "Deconstructing quirky subjects."

Oiry at RALFe

Magda Oiry will be giving a talk, “French embedded clefts,” at the Rencontres d’Automne de Linguistique formelle in Paris on Friday, October 1. (For more information about the conference, go here.) An abstract of her talk follows.

I am arguing for the copula analysis in the cleft construction presented below produced by speakers of Spoken French:

1.     Paul imagine que c’est quoi que Marie a acheté?                  
        P. imagine that it-is what that Marie has bought
        ‘What does Paul believe Marie bought?’

I show that the embedded cleft is not a case of partial movement because the wh-word is base generated and the relative clause restricts its denotation. We have a real cleft in (1) which has exhaustivity and uniqueness requirements, differing in that respect from embedded wh-in situ. I will present that the construction exhibits intervention effects parallel to the ones observed with wh-in situ, and also triggers subjunctive 'spreading', raising the question of the relation between the copula and the relative clause. Finally, data from French native speakers on a forced two-choice task I will present, demonstrate that the presupposition denoted by the cleft, because embedded under a verb, can be suspended.

Position at San Francisco State University

The Linguistics Program in the English Department at SFSU seeks a generalist in theoretical linguistics with a specialization in syntax and preferably, computational linguistics. The position is tenure-track at the assistant professor level. 


Ph.D. in Linguistics, or assurance that degree work will be completed by August 1, 2015.

Areas of Specialization and Teaching Range 

Candidates should be able/willing to teach graduate seminars in syntax and ideally, corpus linguistics, as well as undergraduate courses in phonology/morphology, syntax, and introductory linguistics.  Ideal candidates could develop courses in computational linguistics/NLP.  Additionally, ideal candidates will demonstrate:

·         Teaching ability at the undergraduate level minimally.

·         Evidence of outstanding research (or research potential).

·         Experience (or appreciation for) working with a diverse student population, including international students, first generation college students, and students from disciplines other than linguistics, namely TESOL and English Education.

Aside from teaching and research, duties will include supervising MA theses, and general advising of graduate/undergraduate linguistics students.  The teaching load at SFSU is 3/3.  SFSU is an equal opportunity employer.

Rank and Salary

Assistant Professor; salary competitive, commensurate with qualifications.  SFSU, as part of the California State University system, provides generous health, retirement, and other benefits, including domestic partner benefits. 

The Department 

The Department of English offers four undergraduate degrees, four graduate degrees, and three certificates.  For further information, please see our website:  http://english.sfsu.edu

The University

San Francisco State University, a member of the California State University system, serves a diverse student body of 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The mission of the University is to promote scholarship, intellectual accomplishment, excellence in instruction, freedom, and human diversity. SFSU’s faculty must excel in teaching and demonstrate professional achievement and growth through continued research, publications, and/or creative activities.   The University is an Equal Opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity and encourages applications from women, members of all ethnic groups, veterans, and people with disabilities.   

To Apply 

Deadline:  November 12, 2014. 

Submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, 3 recent letters of recommendation, and 2 samples of scholarly work to: Dr. Sugie Goen-Salter, SFSU Chair, Department of English Language and Literature (Attn: Linguistics Search Committee), recruite@sfsu.edu. Pdf. files are preferred.

Initial interviews of top candidates will take place at the Linguistic Society Conference in Portland, Oregon, January 8-11, 2015.

SNEWS website is up

Jon Ander Media writes:

The website for SNEWS 2014 is up. You  can access it here.

As a short reminder, SNEWS is an annual workshop for graduate students  in Linguistics to present their work in an informal setting. Topics of  presentation generally fall within semantics/pragmatics and any related topics (experimental and psycholinguistic investigations,  syntax/semantic interface, etc.). It's a friendly venue for graduate  students (although faculty are welcome to attend!) and it's meant to  encourage the development and exchange of ideas as well as for to meet  people from the neighboring universities.

Call for Papers: Formal Semantics meets Cognitive Semantics

Workshop: Formal Semantics Meets Cognitive Semantics
January 22-23, 2015, Nijmegen

Semantics is a divided discipline. On one side we have Formal Semantics, which has its roots in logic and analytical philosophy (Frege, Montague). Meaning here is viewed as a relation between language and external reality, formalized in terms of reference, truth, possible worlds, etc. On the other side we have Cognitive Semantics, a central part of the Cognitive Linguistics movement, which grew out of dissatisfaction with formal linguistics (in particular, formal semantics and generative syntax) in the seventies (Fauconnier, Lakoff, Talmy). In this framework meaning is primarily a relation between language and the mind, described in terms of mental spaces, conceptual schemata, frames, etc.

Today, the split between the two is as wide as ever. Both are evidently thriving disciplines, but in almost complete isolation from each other. Given the apparent overlap in subject matter - natural language meaning - this lack of interaction is surprising.

In this workshop we want to bring together researchers from both sides who contribute to bridging the gap in some way.

More specifically, we solicit submissions dealing with, for instance,

* Formal semantic approaches to phenomena typically reserved for cognitive linguistics, such as metaphor, polysemy, perspective, narrativity -- especially when they explicitly engage with existing cognitive semantic approaches.

* Cognitive semantic approaches to phenomena typically associated with formal semantics, such as anaphora, quantification or intensional operators -- especially when they explicitly engage with existing formal semantic approaches.

* Hybrid frameworks that combine aspects of both, such as cognitive interpretations of Discourse Representation Theory, or Gärdenfors' Conceptual Semantics.

* Philosophical, foundational and/or historical investigations of the opposition between formal and cognitive semantics.


-Arie Verhagen (Leiden)

- Henk Zeevat (Amsterdam)

- Nicholas Asher (Toulouse) (to be confirmed)


We invite submissions of anonymous two-page abstracts (including references etc.) via Easychair. Go to https://sites.google.com/site/formcogsem/


Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands


- Workshop: Thu, January 22, 2015 -- Fri, January 23, 2015

- Deadline for abstract submission: Friday, November 21, 2014- Notification: December 1, 2014


- Lotte Hogeweg (Nijmegen): l.hogeweg@let.ru.nl

- Emar Maier (Groningen): emar.maier@gmail.com

Introduction to Quechua

The Spanish & Portuguese program will offer a new Quechua language class for Spring 2015:

Introduction to Quechua Language and Culture

Instructor: Carlos Molina-Vital


MWF 10:10-11:00

Prerequisite: Span 240 or Instructor's permission

Contact cmolinavita@spanport.umass.edu for more information. 

Tom Roeper and Bart Hollanbrandse at Drongo

Tom Roeper writes:

Maaike Verripps (former UMass visitor) every year runs a large Multilingualismfestival in the Amsterdam Public library with a hundred booths and activities. The whole thing attracts 8,000 people. (You can see the description if you google Drongo).

Bart and I decided to do something on recursion — using materials on an iPad (with help from Jon Nelson in Spanish) —- moveable animals made act-out possible.  But we had a lot of trouble getting the program, the ipads, our protocols organized. We did much of it the hour before it started.

Much of what transpired was pretty foggy to me since it was in Dutch, but we slowly got 20 kids to participate.  At the end, with a band and stand-up bilingual comedian, a trio of people started talking and Bart said they asked the audience of 300 presenters if anyone understood the title "Can you put somethinginside itself,” and only 3 people raised their hands (one was Bart). A lot of laughter ensued. Then after a long speech I did not understand, they called us to the stage and said we had won the prize for the best hands-on activity and we are invited to do a two week experiment at the big Science Museumin Amsterdam!

Kind of Amazing — and a good thing for formal linguistics and reaching out to the public.

You can see more here.


Roeper in Berlin

On Sept 29-30, Tom Roeper attended a Workshop on Adversitives in Acquisition at ZAS inBerlin and gave a talk entitled:

"Update Common Ground, Presupposition Failure, Question-under-discussion, and but-implicatures: How does a child get it all co-ordinated?"