01 February 2015

Chuck Kisseberth talks on Wednesday

Lisa Selkirk writes:

Pioneering phonologist and pioneer in the study of the syntactic conditioning of tonal and segmental phenomena in the sentence in Bantu  languages, Chuck Kisseberth will give a talk on Prosody, Phonological  Phrasing, and Focus in Chimiini next Wednesday in Kristine Yu's  Phonological Theory class in Room N-458 in the ILC.  

For more  information about Kisseberth, please consult  http://www.linguistics.illinois.edu/people/ckissebe.

In order to provide a normal length time slot for a talk of this sort,  it will get an early start at 12:15 (instead of 12:20). The main  presentation will last roughly an hour, until 1:15, and there will be  a half an hour for discussion, ending at roughly 1:45.  Given the  constraints of normal class schedules and the unusual time slot, it's  understandable that people may have to leave during the discussion  session after the talk. Feel free to bring your lunch to the talk.

Julie Legate gives department colloq

Julie Legate (University of Pennsylvania) will give the department colloquium Friday, February 6, at 3:30 in ILC N400. The title of her talk is “Restrictive Phi in a Partial Typology of Noncanonical Passives,” and an abstract follows.

In this talk, I investigate the syntactic structure of noncanonical passives, focusing on the role played by phi-features that restrict rather than saturate the external argument position. Building on previous work by myself and others, I show that voice is encoded in a functional projection, VoiceP, which is distinct from, and higher than, vP. I demonstrate that microvariations in the properties of VoiceP and in the location of restrictive phi-features explain a wide range of noncanonical passives, including agent-agreeing passives, restricted agent passives, accusative object passives, impersonals, and object voice. The analysis draws on data from a typologically diverse set of languages.

Kristine Yu at MIT on Friday

Kristine Yu will give the department colloq at MIT on Friday, February 6 at 3:30 in room 32-141. The title of her talk is “Tonal marking of absolutive case in Samoan,” and an abstract follows.

This paper argues that the ergative-marking Austronesian languageSamoan has a high boundary tone that occurs on the last mora of theword preceding an absolutive argument, and that the source of thistone is inflectional morphology and not lexical representations,pragmatics, syntax, semantics, or phonology. In short, the claim isthat Samoan has an absolutive high boundary tone case morpheme. Thisclaim is surprising for two reasons. First, Samoan is not a tonelanguage. Second, regardless of the source of the absolutive tone,positing it: (1) introduces a boundary paradox since it groups anabsolutive case head with the prosodic constituent preceding theabsolutive argument, and (2) implies that the presence of anabsolutive induces a new phonological constituent.  Nevertheless, Ishow that inflectional morphology must be the source of the absolutivehigh tone based on a converging body of evidence from: (1) thedistribution of the rarely discussed ia particle that optionallyprecedes absolutive arguments and (2) the phonetic and phonologicalanalysis of intonational patterns in the spoken utterances of asystematically varied set of syntactic structures. I also address thepuzzles that the presence of an absolutive tonal case morpheme inSamoan raises.

Postdoc at Leiden University

Aniko Liptak from Leiden University writes:

For the NWO project ‘Ellipsis licensing beyond syntax’, which will start later this year in Leiden, Lisa (Cheng) and me are looking for a PhD student and a postdoc in the field of syntax & prosody – see the two job advertisements on the Leiden University website, here and here .

Call for papers: ACED-17

The English Department of the University of Bucharest will hold its 17th Annual Conference from 4–6 June, 2015. This year our invited speakers are: 

ALESSANDRA GIORGI – University of Venice

GIULIANA GIUSTI – University of Venice 

Papers are invited in:

General Linguistics

Linguistic Theories

Theoretical Linguistics (syntax, phonology, semantics and the interfaces)

Language acquisition

Applied Linguistics 

Presentations should be in English, and will be allocated 25 minutes each, plus 5 minutes for discussion. Prospective participants are invited to submit anonymous abstracts in both Word and Pdf formats. Proposals should be one A4 page (plus an additional page for examples and references), Times New Roman 12, single spaced. Please include name, affiliation and title in the body of your message. 

Conference fee: 50 euro (or equivalent in Romanian Lei)

(covering lunches and refreshments during the conference, but not evening meals)

Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2015

Notification of acceptance: 15 April 2015

Please send proposals (and enquiries) to the following e-mail address: 17.ACED@gmail.com

Annual Review of Linguistics now available

A new online journal, Annual Review of Linguistics, is now available. An introduction to the journal by co-editors Mark Liberman and Barbara Partee can be found here. The table of contents for the first volume is here. A brief description of the goals of the journal follows. Online access is free through January 2016!

The goal of the Annual Review of Linguistics is to offer access to significant developments across our increasingly diverse field, including all scientific approaches to the study of speech, language, and communication, as well as significant applications of linguistics in technology, medicine, law, education, and public policy. Articles are written for an audience that is centered on the core disciplines of academic linguistics, but extends to researchers, teachers, and students in all fields that are concerned with the forms and functions of human language. If we succeed in our mission, articles should be of benefit to both specialists and nonspecialists, to experts as well as to students, to teachers of introductory courses, and to scholars in neighboring fields.