08 November 2015

Howard Lasnik gives department colloquium on Friday

Howard Lasnik (University of Maryland) will give the department colloquium on Friday at 3:30 in ILC N400. The title of his talk is "Clause-mates, Phases and Two Families of Questions.” An abstract is here.

Partee, Green and Harris honored at the LSA

Alyson Reed, Executive Director of the Linguistic Society of America, writes:

I am pleased to inform you that three current members of the faculty at UMass Amherst, will be honored at the Linguistic Society of America’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. 

·        Dr. Barbara Partee will receive the Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award

·        Dr. Lisa Green will be inducted as a Fellow of the LSA

·        Dr. Alice Harris will begin her term as the 92nd President of the LSA (at the conclusion of the meeting) 

We have already notified the recipients of these awards, but wanted to be sure their colleagues in the department are also made aware of these important honors. For additional background information on the award, please visit our website: http://www.linguisticsociety.org/about/who-we-are/lsa-awards.

Congratulations to Barbara, Lisa and Alice!

David Erschler at Hampshire College

David Erschler will be giving a talk entitled “Spoken Yiddish and Theoretically-Oriented Fieldwork” at Hampshire College on Wednesday, November 18 at noon in Adele Simmons Hall. An abstract follows.


Spoken Yiddish and Theoretically-Oriented Fieldwork

I will discuss the importance of doing theoretically-oriented linguistic field work and the urgency to perform such field work on modern spoken Yiddish (Hassidic Yiddish). I will illustrate this via a discussion of two phenomena from Yiddish syntax: the position of the finite verb (the so called "verb-second") and the structure of relative clauses in Yiddish.

Barbara Partee on the road!

Barbara Partee writes:

On Wednesday, November 4, I was in Wrocław, Poland as an invited speaker in a surprise event honoring Bożena Rozwadowska on her 60th birthday: “Bożena’s Birthday: A Special Linguistic Workshop”. Bożena was our Ph.D. student here 1984-87, and she would have completed her Ph.D. here (on thematic roles in Polish nominalizations, especially nominalizations of psych-verbs and other verbs with interesting argument structure) if she had been able to get a fourth year of leave of absence from her teaching obligations at the University of Wrocław. I still consider her one of my Ph.D. students even though she had to complete her Ph.D. in Poland instead. I gave an invited  talk: “Polish influences in the History of Formal Semantics”. The next day I flew home, and on Nov 6 and 7 was at the Hornucopia workshop in honor of her UCLA Ph.D. Larry Horn at Yale, as reported in the last WHISC, where we couldn’t report Bożena’s event for fear of spoiling the top-secret surprise, which was indeed a real surprise. 

Call for Papers: SALT


The 26th Semantics and Linguistic Theory conference will take place on May 12–15, 2016, at The University of Texas at Austin. There will be keynote presentations by:

  • Sigrid Beck, University of Tübingen
  • Edit Doron, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Rick Nouwen, Utrecht University
  • Kristen Syrett, Rutgers University

In addition to the regular sessions of SALT 26 there will be a one day special session on Presupposition, with presentations on theoretical, experimental, fieldwork-based, or corpus-based approaches to presupposition, presupposition triggering, or presuppositional inference. We are happy to announce three further invited speakers for this session:

  • Lauri Karttunen, Stanford University
  • Stanley Peters, Stanford University
  • Judith Tonhauser, The Ohio State University

Call for Papers

We invite submission of abstracts for 30-minute oral presentations (with an additional 10 minutes for questions) or posters on any topic in natural language semantics with relevance to linguistic theory. The special session on presupposition has the same submission and reviewing process as the main session.

Submission Details

Deadline: December 20, 2015, 11:59 pm Central Standard Time (UTC-6)

As with SALT 25, there will be a short period for authors and reviewers to exchange feedback. Author feedback is scheduled for February 5–12, 2016.


Abstracts must be anonymous. The main text should be at most 3 pages (US Letter or A4) in length, including examples, with an optional fourth page for references. The abstract should use a 12pt font and 1 inch margins (for US Letter) or 3 cm margins (for A4) on all four sides. The abstract must be submitted as a single PDF file. These limitations will be strictly enforced. In addition to the intellectual merit of the abstract, clarity and readability will also be taken into account in reviewing.

SALT 26 will feature a poster session. Poster presentations will be published as regular papers in the proceedings. Poster presenters will be asked to give a short “lightning round” presentation prior to the poster session.


Authors may be involved in at most two abstracts and may be the sole author of at most one abstract.

SALT does not accept papers that at the time of the conference have been published or have been accepted for publication. In addition, preference will be given to presentations that are not duplicated at other major conferences.

If the work or a close variant of it is under submission to or accepted for publication or presentation in any other major venue (such as a national or international conference or a journal/book chapter), we request that the authors create a small section titled “Additional Submission” after the references at the end of the paper. This section should include the other venue(s) for which the work has been submitted, the status of those submissions, and an indication of any major aspects of the SALT abstract not submitted elsewhere. We require that authors update us by email if/when there is a relevant change in the status of other submissions.


All papers presented at the main or the special session of the conference will be published in a SALT 26 volume following the conclusion of the conference, edited at Cornell University and published by the Linguistic Society of America.

Easychair Instructions

On the EasyChair submission page, there are several additional options to pay attention to:

  1. A checkbox to indicate if you want your abstract to be considered for poster presentation (if you do not check this, your paper will be considered only for oral presentation).
  2. A checkbox to indicate if you would like your abstract to be considered for the Special Session on Presupposition.
  3. An extensive (but not comprehensive) list of topics that will be used to help assign reviewers. Select all topics relevant to your paper (we estimate most papers will select 1-3 topics).
  4. You may use the Keywords textbox to prioritize or add additional topics.

Submit your abstract here: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=salt26