25 January 2015

Lyn Frazier in Tübingen

Lyn Frazier gave an invited talk, “An act apart: processing not at issue content,” last Thursday (January 22) at a workshop at Tübingen University called “The Division of Labor: A View from Syntax, Semantics, Information Structure and Processing." You can learn more about her talk here, and more about the workshop here.

PRG on Wednesday

Ivy Hauser and Coral Hughto write:

The first meeting of PRG will be next Wednesday, 1/28 at 7pm.  Sang-Im has volunteered to host us at her place in Northampton.  If you would like to discuss or present something let us know, otherwise we will work on planning the rest of the semester and have a popcorn paper discussion (no preparation necessary).  
Also please RSVP so we know how much food to get.

Roeper, Sevcenco and Pearson at LARC on Friday

Jeremy Hartman writes:

Please join us for the first LARC meeting of the semester on Fri, Jan 30 at 11:30AM in N400.  Everyone is invited!  We'll hear from Tom, presenting work with Barbara and Anca:

Tom Roeper (with Anca Sevcenco and Barbara Pearson):Update on Recursion: New insights, ideas, and approaches from the Holyoke Museum  

Friday, Jan 30 @ 11:30AM, Room N400 ILC

Call for paper: Workshop on the Morphological, Syntactic and Semantic Aspects of Dispositions

University of Stuttgart, Germany

25 June – 27 June 2015


The goal of this workshop is to explore questions about the
morpho-syntax, semantics and underlying ontology of words and
constructions used to describe dispositions. The central aim of the
workshop is to develop a better understanding of how existing and novel
insights from different approaches to dispositions can be integrated
into a single theory of dispositions and their linguistic descriptions.

Invited Speakers:
Artemis Alexiadou (Stuttgart)
Elena Castroviejo (Madrid)
Ariel Cohen (Ben Gurion)
Bridget Copley (Paris)
Nora Boneh (Jerusalem)
Hans Kamp (Stuttgart)
Marika Lekakou (Ioannina)
John Maier (Cambridge, TBC)
Christopher Piñón (Lille)
Stephan Schmid (Berlin)
Barbara Vetter (Berlin)

Questions to be addressed by the Workshop:
1. What are the truth conditions of dispositional statements?
2. How are these truth conditions determined compositionally?
3. In what ways can dispositions be linguistically expressed?
4. What are linguistic tests for dispositionality?
5. Are there distinct notions of ‘disposition’ between which a
linguistic theory of disposition description should distinguish?
6. Among the words that can be used to express dispositionality are
nouns, adjectives and verbs. What systematic connections are there
between the ways in which different parts of speech do this, in
particular between deverbal nouns and adjectives and the underlying verbs?
7. What role do temporal and aspectual sentence constituents play in the
verbal expression of dispositions?
8. How do dispositional statements differ from habitual and frequency
9. What relations are there between dispositions and causality?
10. One of the constructions that can be used to describe dispositions
are middles. (An example: the German sentence `Dieser Satz liest sich
leicht’ (‘This sentence is easy to read’)). Is ‘middle’ a
morpho-syntactic or a notional concept? Where do the argument positions
of disposition-expressing middles come from? What is the
syntax-semantics interface for these constructions?

For a more detailed outline of the Workshop, please consult the Workshop


Call for Papers:
We welcome submissions for a 20 minute talk (followed by 10 minutes of
discussion) or a poster on any topic relevant to the goals of the
workshop. We particularly welcome contributions addressing the
linguistic relevance of philosophical insights on dispositions or the
philosophical relevance of linguistic insights on dispositions.
All submitted abstracts should be written in English and be limited to
two single-spaced pages, complete with examples and bibliography. All
texts should fit within two A4 pages, with 2,54 cm/1-inch margins all
around. Each abstract should start with the title (centered) at top,
above the main text. Use font size 12 throughout (except for examples),
preferably in Times or Times New Roman. The abstract should be
camera-ready. Authors may submit at most one individual and one
co-authored abstract.
Save your abstract as a PDF. Name your abstract with your last name
followed by the suffix pdf (e.g., huang.pdf). Submit your abstract via
the EasyChair Conference, online submission system:


Please leave your name and affiliation out of the abstract. Please
indicate whether your abstract is for a talk, a poster or both.

Deadline for submissions: March 1st, 2015
Notification of acceptance: March 31st, 2015

Contact: dispositions.workshop@gmail.com

Stefan Keine's paper appears

Stefan Keine’s paper “Differential argument encoding by impoverishment,” co-authored with Gereon Müller has now appeared in the volume “Scales and Hierarchies,” edited by Ina Bornkessel-Schleswsky, Andrej Malchukov and Marc Richards.

Congratulations Stefan!

WCCFL Schedule

WCCFL 33 will be at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver March 27-29, and its program has just been released. UMass is well represented:

Stefan Keine presents the paper “Locality Domains in Syntax: Evidence from Processing"

Robert Staubs presents the paper “Computational modeling of non-finality effects on stress typology"

Anisa Schardl presents the poster “Two Kinds of Partial Movement: Evidence from Dholuo and German Wh-Questions."

Jon Ander Mendia presents the poster “Typicality Effects and Distributivity"

Alex Drummond (with Dave Kush) presents the poster “Decomposing the Spanish Causative Reflexive Passive"

In addition, there are many UMass alumnae talks or posters, including:

Elliot Moreton, Jennifer Smith, Amy Rose Deal, Andrew Mckenzie, Ana Arregui, Karen Jesney, and Rose-Marie Déchaine.

Call for papers: International Conference on Prominence in Language

Date: 15-Jun-2015 - 17-Jun-2015
Location: Cologne, Germany
Contact Person: Jakob Egetenmeyer
Meeting Email: prominence.conference@gmail.com
Web Site: http://prominence-conference.phil-fak.uni-koeln.de/

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics; Phonology; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 01-Mar-2015

Meeting Description:

Prominence relations establish a ranking between linguistic units, such as prosodic units, arguments of a verb and discourse referents. Prominence is therefore one of the key notions in language and communication: it accounts for prosodic highlighting and the building of linguistic structure and discourse representations. Accordingly, the study of prominence requires an interdisciplinary linguistic approach, involving phonology and phonetics, syntax, semantics and discourse pragmatics. Our conference aims to foster the understanding of the notion of prominence.

The conference will feature plenary talks in the fields of phonetics-phonology, morphosyntax-semantics and discourse by three keynote speakers:

Sónia Frota (Universidade de Lisboa)
Manfred Krifka (ZAS/Humboldt Universität)
Hannah Rohde (University of Edinburgh)

Hosted by the Cologne Center of Language Sciences (CCLS), the conference will take place on the University of Cologne campus from 15 to 17 June 2015. The event is sponsored by the Emerging Group “Dynamic Structuring in Language and Communication” (DSLC), funded by the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne (ZUK 81/1).

Organizing Host:

Christiane Bongartz  (chair; CCLS, University of Cologne)

Organizing Committee:

Jakob Egetenmeyer (CCLS, Universität zu Köln)
Jacopo Torregrossa (DSLC, Universität zu Köln)


Martin Becker (Romanistik, Universität zu Köln)
Christiane Bongartz (Anglistik, Universität zu Köln)
Martine Grice (IfL-Phonetik, Universität zu Köln)
Klaus von Heusinger (IDSL, Universität zu Köln)
Nikolaus Himmelmann (IfL, Universität zu Köln)
Beatrice Primus (IDSL, Universität zu Köln)

Call for Papers:

We invite contributions employing quantitative and qualitative research methods, a synchronic or diachronic perspective, as well as psycho- and neuro-linguistic approaches.

A (non-exhaustive) list of topics to be addressed may include the following:

i) The encoding of prominence at the phonetics-phonology interface
ii) Language-specific and universal prominence scales (animacy scale, referentiality scale, thematic role hierarchy, topic scales, etc.)
iii) Factors determining the ranking of entities in discourse (e.g., accessibility, salience, activation, topicality)
iv) Psycho- and neuro-linguistic underpinnings of prominence relations

We ask for the submission of abstracts for oral presentations and posters on prominence-related phenomena by March 1, 2015. Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author or two joint abstracts per author. Abstracts should be written in English and not exceed 500 words. Figures, examples and references might be additionally included, but abstracts must not exceed two A4 pages. Please use Times New Roman, 12pt font, single line spacing, and 2.5cm margins. Abstracts should be submitted via EasyChair at the following address:


Important Dates:

March 1, 2015: Submission of abstracts
April 1, 2015: Notification of acceptance
April 30, 2015: Registration open
June 15-17, 2015: Conference

Call for posters: Theory of mind and language

The Laboratoire Parole et Langage (LPL CNRS UMR 7309, Aix-Marseille University) will be hosting a conference on the theory of mind and language on March 20, 2015. The program for the conference can be found here. They are accepting submissions of abstracts for posters "on any area of scientific domains (experimental psychology, cognitive neurosciences, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics) with a view to improve our understanding of the relationship between ToM and Language. Abstracts should be written in English or French and not exceed 250 words. An extra page may be added for figures and references. Submissions must be sent with the author’s name(s), affiliation(s) and e-mail address(es).” Registration and abstract submission can be found at:


The deadline for abstracts is February 15, 2015, and notification of acceptance is February 20, 2015.

Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech seeks recent PhDs in rhetoric, composition, technical communication, literature, film, linguistics, visual rhetoric/design, and related humanities fields for the 2015-2016 Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship, renewable up to three years, includes a 3/3 teaching assignment, Instructor rank, and full faculty benefits.

Candidates with experience in writing and communication center research, pedagogy, and/or practice may be offered positions that combine work in the program’s communication center with a 2/2 teaching assignment. Special consideration will be given to candidates who have conducted writing center research and scholarship.

Teaching: Fellows design courses informed by their research interests within a framework of common programmatic outcomes. Writing and Communication Program courses include first-year composition, business communication, and technical communication. All courses emphasize rhetoric, process, multimodality, digital literacy, and humanistic perspectives in a technological world.

Research: Fellows are expected to continue their scholarly agenda and are encouraged to extend it to include research in areas such as pedagogy, multimodality, digital humanities, instructional innovation, and assessment.

Professional Development: Fellows are supported in their professional development toward academic and non-academic career paths through projects such as programmatic assessment, grant writing, administration, publishing, and public relations.

Service: Fellows serve on and chair committees that act as change agents to help shape programmatic initiatives in areas such as innovative technologies, special events, digital publication, curriculum development, ELL and cross-cultural challenges, and community outreach.

Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, teaching portfolio (minimally, a teaching statement, sample syllabi, sample assignments, and summary of course evaluations/comments; additional elements are acceptable), and three letters of recommendation to hiring@lmc.gatech.edu. Only digital applications will be reviewed. Review of applications begins on February 1, 2015, and continues until all positions are filled, though earlier applications receive more consideration.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The Writing and Communication Program is especially interested in considering applications from minority candidates.