12 April 2015

Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten at Semantics Workshop

Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten will be presenting in the Semantics Workshop, which meets this week tomorrow, Monday, April 13, at 9AM in N451.

Michael Wagner gives department colloquium

Michael Wagner (McGill University) gives the department colloquium this Friday (April 17) at 3:30 in N400. The title and abstract are below.
Additivity and the syntax of 'even'
Beaver & Clark (2003, 2010) observe that certain focus operators such as ‘only' and ‘even' differ in various ways from focus sensitive operators such as 'always'. This talk presents analysis that derives at least some of these differences from a difference in their syntax: ‘only' takes two syntactic arguments, a focus constituent which can be of any type, and a second argument, which has to compose with the first to form a proposition (following similar syntactic proposals in Rooth 1985, Mccawley 1995, Krifka 1996). The distribution of ‘only' is further constrained by a constraint that assures that the size of the focus constituent must minimized (potentially motivated semantically, as proposed in Wagner 2006). Adverbs like ‘always', by contrast, operate over a single argument. 
A challenges to this view is the syntax of ‘even', which seem to place it between the two categories of focus operators. We can get a better understanding of the syntax of ‘even' once we control for whether ‘even' is used additively or not. Whether ‘even’ carries an additive presupposition remains controversial. While Horn (1969), Karttunen and Peters (1979), Wilkinson (1996) and many others have argued that it does, Stechow (1991), Krifka (1992) and Rullmann (1997) reached the opposite conclusion. This talk identifies a new syntactic generalization about when ‘even' triggers an additive presupposition, which provides further evidence for the analysis of the syntax of focus operators advocated here. It also reconciles the contradictory findings about additivity in the earlier literature.  The analysis offers a new perspective on syntactic constraints on the distribution of related focus operators in German noted in Jacobs (1983) and Büring & Hartmann (2001). 

Professional Development Workshop: Research Ethics

As part of the Spring Professional Development Workshops, Alice Harris, John Kingston and Tom Roeper will give a presentation on Research Ethics this Friday, April 17, at 10AM.

Barbara at CUNY

Barbara Partee will give a linguistics colloquium at the CUNY Graduate Center on April 16 on "The Starring Role of Quantifiers in the History of Formal Semantics". While she is in New York, she will also do a few more interviews for her history of formal semantics project. 

UUSLAW on Saturday

The University of Connecticut Storrs hosts UUSLAW (UConn-UMass-Smith Language Acquisition Workshop) this Saturday, April 18. UMass is represented by:

Mike Clauss, who gives the paper “Generalized Move-Wh in Acquisition: Free Relatives and Embedded Wh"

Amanda Rizun and Jeremy Hartman, who give the paper “The `Question Under Discussion’ and the Interpretation of Quantifiers."

Andie Faber “Assigning and Producing Grammatical Gender on Novel Nouns in L1 and L2 Spanish."

Marcia Nascimento and Luiz Amaral, who give the paper “Experimental Ideas to Test the Acquisition of Evidentials in Kaingáng"


Barbara Pearson, who gives the paper "Cross-linguistic Ambiguity of Quantified Expressions: Implications for Mathematics Teaching and Testing of Bilingual Students."

If you are planning on going from UMass, and are looking for a ride, contact Andie Faber, Tom Roeper or Luiz Amaral.

Dissertation Writing Retreats

Dean John McCarthy writes:

I am writing to you to draw your attention to the dissertation writing retreats that will be offered this summer under the joint sponsorship of the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development and the University Writing Center. These week-long workshops offer extensive structured time to write, receive feedback, and develop effective writing strategies. Doctoral students who have already begun writing or who will be ready to begin writing by summer are welcome to apply. Three workshops are currently planned:

June 1-5, 2015 from 9am-4pm (CNS, Engineering, SPHHS, Nursing)

June 15-19 from 9am-4pm (SBS, Education, HFA, ISOM)

August 3-7 from 9am-4pm (Open to all disciplines) 

This is the second summer in which we have offered these workshops, and the results from last summer – writing blocks overcome, chapters finished, dissertations defended – demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. These workshops offer more than just a quiet place to write; they also provide expert guidance in the process of writing and how to increase productivity. 

Please urge your advisees to apply by April 17. They can find the application materials and further information here: http://www.tinyurl.com/summerdissretreats.

There is, of course, no charge to participants, and the Graduate School provides childcare scholarships of up to $150 to participants who need them.

Take Quechua!

Carlos Molina-Vital, lecturer in the Spanish and Portuguese department and visiting professor of Linguistics at Hampshire College, is teaching an introductory course on Quechua in the Fall. The course is in English, and there is a Quechua 2 planned for Spring 2016. Here is how the course is described:

Quechua is not hard to learn. It is spoken by more people in the Americas than any other indigenous language (10-12 million speakers). No irregular verbs, clear structures. A great way to start learning a less-common language! It gives you a gateway to the Andean world, past and present.Our studies will examine current Andean culture in its context. Topics include high-altitude agriculture, religious syncretism, social-organization. We will study the Quechua world through basic Southern Quechua grammar (spoken in the Southern Peruvian Andes and Bolivia).

It meets MWF 11:15-12:05, and you’ll find it in SPIRE as Spanish 397Q-01.

Dillon in Frontiers in Psychology

Brian Dillon’s paper “Teasing apart encoding interference and retrieval interference in the processing of anaphors,” as just been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Psychology. Congratulations to Brian, and his co-authors: L. Jäger, L. Benz, J. Roesler and S. Vasishth.

UMass at FASAL 5

The fifth meeting of Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages is meeting this weekend at Yale University. UMass is well represented. Sakshi Bhatia gives her paper "Causation in Hindi-Urdu: Agents and Subjects." Rajesh Bhatt and Vincent Homer give their paper "PPIs and movement in Hindi-Urdu." Mike Clauss and some of his friends were also in attendance. For more information, go here.

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