20 March 2016

Amy Rose Deal gives department colloquium

Amy Rose Deal (UC, Berkeley) will give the department colloquium on Friday, March 25 at 3:30 in ILC N400. A title and abstract of her talk follow.


Shifty asymmetries: toward universals and variation in shifty indexicality


Indexical shift is a phenomenon whereby indexicals embedded in speech and attitude reports depend for their reference on the speech/attitude report, rather than on the overall utterance. For example, in a language with indexical shift, "I" may refer to Bob in a sentence like "Who did Bob think I saw?". The last 15 years have seen an explosive growth in research on indexical shift cross-linguistically. In this talk, I discuss three major generalizations that emerge from this work, and present a theory that attempts to explain them. The account that I develop concerns the syntax of indexical shift along with its semantics, and has consequences for the linguistic encoding of attitudes de se. Throughout the talk I will exemplify indexical shift primarily, though by no means exclusively, with data from original fieldwork on Nez Perce.

Bernhard Angele at Cognitive Brown Bag

Bernhard Angele of Bournemouth University (UK) will give the Brown Bag presentation on Wednesday March 23 from 12-1:20 in Tobin 521B. A title and abstract of his talk follows.


They’re onto us! The phenomenon of participants detecting display changes and what it can tell us about the reading process


In the boundary change paradigm (Rayner, 1975), when a reader's eyes cross an invisible boundary location, a preview word is replaced by a target word. Readers are generally unaware of such changes due to saccadic suppression. However, some readers detect changes on a few trials and a small percentage of them detect many changes. I will present three experiments which combined eye movement data with signal detection analyses to investigate display change detection. On each trial, readers had to indicate if they saw a display change in addition to reading for meaning. On half the trials the display change occurred during the saccade (immediate condition); on the other half, it was slowed by 15–25 ms (delay condition) to increase the likelihood that achange would be detected; we also manipulated the properties of the parafoveal preview word. Using this new paradigm, we found that subjects were (1) highly sensitive to display change delays, and (2) more sensitive to display changes which involved a change of letter identity (e.g. jNxVa to gReEn) than to display changes which involved a change of visual features, but kept letter identity constant (e.g. gReEn to GrEeN). Finally, (3) subjects were significantly more sensitive to display changes when the change was from a non-wordlike preview (xbtchp to garden) than when the change was from a wordlike preview (puvtur to garden), but the preview benefit effect on the target word was not affected by whether the preview was wordlike or non-wordlike. Additionally, we did not find any influence of pre-boundary wordfrequency on display change detection performance. Our results suggest that display change detection and lexical processing do not use the same cognitive mechanisms. We propose that parafoveal processing takes place in two stages: an early, orthography-based, pre-attentional stage, and a late, attention-dependent lexical access stage.

Post-baccalaureate research positions at University of Maryland

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, is looking to fill up to four full-time positions for post-baccalaureate researchers. 

Starting date for all positions is Summer/Fall 2016. Salary is competitive, with benefits included. The positions would be ideal for individuals with a BA degree who are interested in gaining significant research experience in a very active research group as preparation for a research career. Applicants must already have permission to work in the US, or be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and should have completed a BA or BS degree by the time of appointment. The ability to interact comfortably with a wide variety of people (and machines) is a distinct advantage. Applicants may request to be considered for all four positions. 

The positions are open until filled. For best consideration, applications should be submitted by April 1st, 2016. However, review of applications will begin immediately.

Positions #1–#2: Baggett Research Fellowships

Baggett Fellowships are full-time positions. Fellows can pursue research in linguistics, cognitive (neuro-)science of language, language acquisition, or computational modeling. 1–2 positions are available for 2016-2017. Positions are for one year and are not renewable.Contact: Dr. Andrea Zukowski (zukowski -at- umd -dot- edu) Application requirements

Further details on just the Baggett positions

Position #3: Research Assistant in Psycholinguistics/Cognitive Neuroscience

This person will be involved in all aspects of studies of language comprehension using behavioral and neuroscientific techniques, including electrophysiological brain recordings (training provided). The person will also contribute to Maryland's Language Science program. Previous experience in (psycho)linguistics preferred. 1 year initial appointment, possibility of extension.Contact: Dr. Colin Phillips (colin -at- umd -dot- edu) Application requirements

Position #4: Research Assistant in Syntax and Morphology

This person will be involved in all aspects of syntactic analysis of several languages, some of which are new to the study of linguistics, using methods of morpho-syntactic analysis and corpus construction (training provided). The person will also assist in bibliographical research and website construction.The person will also contribute to Maryland's Language Science program. Previous experience in linguistics preferred. 1 year initial appointment, possibility of extension.Contact: Dr. Maria Polinsky (mpolinsky -at- gmail -dot- com)  Application Requirements

Call for papers: Sinn und Bedeutung

Sinn und Bedeutung 21 will take place in Edinburgh, from Sun 4th-Tues 6th September 2016.

Confirmed invited speakers:

-Sigrid Beck (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

- Paul Elbourne (Magdalen College, Oxford)

We invite abstract submissions for oral presentations or posters, devoted to natural language semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, and psycholinguistic investigations related to meaning. Oral presentations will be scheduled for 40 minute slots (30 minutes talk + 10 minutes discussion).

Abstracts should contain original research that, at the time of submission, has neither been published nor accepted for publication. One person can submit at most one abstract as sole author and one abstract as co-author (or two co-authored abstracts).

Abstracts must be anonymous, in PDF format, 2 pages (A4 or letter), in a font size no less than 12pt, and with margins of 1 inch/2.5cm. Please submit abstracts via EasyChair (see link below) no later than March 31, 2016.

Abstracts should be submitted via EasyChair, using the following link:

For further information, please contact Rob Truswell (rob.truswell@ed.ac.uk).

Call for papers: IATL

We are pleased to announce the 32nd annual conference of the Israel Association for Theoretical Linguistics (IATL), which will take place at the Language, Logic and Cognition Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, October 25-27, 2016. The conference will consist of a general session as well as a special session on experimental and historical approaches to semantics.

General Session:

We invite submissions of abstracts for 30 minute presentations of previously unpublished research in all areas of theoretical linguistics.

Special Session – Experimental and historical approaches to semantics:

Research into issues in natural language semantics from experimental, on the one hand, and historical perspective, on the other hand, has been gaining in prominence in recent years, not least because it provides new ways of evaluating extant linguistic hypotheses as well as impetus for the development of new ones. We invite submissions of abstracts on experimental and historical studies that will expand the empirical domain of, and be informed by, formal semantic theory.

Invited Speakers:

Cleo Condoravdi (Stanford)

Uli Sauerland (ZAS)

Abstract Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts should be no longer than two pages, including examples and references. Page format: A4, 2,54cm (one inch) margins on all sides, 12-point font, single line spacing. Submissions are restricted to at most one single-authored and one co-authored abstract.

Please submit abstracts to the IATL EasyChair site:

Please register at the site as an author, and when you receive a password, you can enter the site and submit your abstract. The abstract should be submitted in PDF format through the 'Upload Paper' section near the bottom of the page. (Note: Higher up on the page, in the 'Title and Abstract' section, there is a box for a plain-text abstract. Since we do not require a shorter abstract, you may simply retype the title of the paper in the abstract box and the intended session.) When submitting your abstract, please indicate on the top of the abstract whether you intend your paper to be considered for the general session or the special session (or both) (say, in parentheses following the title).

Deadline: March 31, 2016

Important Dates:
March 31, 2016: Abstract submission deadline

Late May, 2016: Notification of acceptance to authors

October 25-27, 2016: IATL 32 Conference

IATL 32 web site: http://www.iatl.org.il/?page_id=970

If you have questions or encounter any problems, please contact Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal ebas@mail.huji.ac.il or Luka Crnic luka.crnic@mail.huji.ac.il.

Call for papers: NISM 2016

NISM 2016: New Ideas in Semantics and Modeling 

Paris, September 7-8 2016


We are very pleased to announce the first edition of the new series New Ideas in Semantics and Modeling 2016 (NISM2016), which will take place in Paris, September 7 and 8, 2016.

The conferences New Ideas in Semantics and Modeling resume the Journées de Sémantique et Modélisation (JSM 2003-2010), targeting the renewed community in Formal Semantics and Pragmatics. Papers from any theoretical framework are welcome, granted that new empirical data are clearly complemented with a formal analysis.

This year, the conference will feature a thematic session on definites, indefinites, demonstratives and referential terms, in honor of Francis Corblin, founder of the JSM.

Talks will be 35 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for discussion.

In addition to the general session, submissions are also invited for the special session on definites, indefinites, demonstratives and referential terms.The conference will also feature a poster session.

Invited Speakers

Elizabeth Coppock (Gothenburg University & Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study)

Henriette de Swart (Utrecht University)

Paul Portner (Georgetown University)

François Recanati (Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS-EHESS-CNRS)

Abstract submission:

Papers in formal semantics and pragmatics are welcome. Experimental papers are welcome, granted that they provide a formal analysis of the data.

Abstracts (neither submitted nor published elsewhere) are limited to two per author, with at most one paper being single-authored.
Abstracts, including references and data, should be limited to two single spaced pages (A4 or US Letter) with one inch margins, minimum font size 12pt (Times New Roman). They must be in PDF format. Examples should be interspersed throughout the text.
Abstracts can be submitted in English or French, but the language of the conference will be English.

Anonymous abstracts must be submitted online at http://nism2016.sciencesconf.org, by March 31, 2016.

Abstracts will be triply blind-reviewed.

We plan to publish the proceedings of the conference.


Claire Beyssade (Structures Formelles du Langage, Paris 8 University)

Alda Mari (Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS-EHESS-CNRS)

David Nicolas (Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS-EHESS-CNRS)

Deadline for abstract submission: March 31, 2016

Notification of acceptance: May 31, 2016

Conference : 7-8 September 2016

Computational Phonology position at NYU


Department of Linguistics

Graduate School of Arts and Science

New York University

The Department of Linguistics at New York University invites applications for a one-year visiting assistant professor position in computational phonology, beginning September 1, 2016 (pending administrative and budgetary approval). Applicants should have a strong research record and a demonstrated ability to teach. We seek outstanding scholars who employ computational methods in investigating phonological questions, phonological learning, and/or the psycholinguistics of speech processing or perception. Responsibilities include teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, and supervising student research.

Applicants should submit an application including a description of their research program; a teaching statement; curriculum vitae; three references; and work samples. Linguists that work on endangered languages and/or under-researched languages are encouraged to apply.

An application is "complete" as soon as all required documents have been uploaded and the required number of referees have been identified. Note that files can still be updated even after an application is complete.Review of application materials will begin on April 1, 2016, and any recommendation letters received by April 15, 2016, will receive full consideration.


For further information about this position, please contact Professor Chris Barker (chris.barker@nyu.edu).

UMass at PLC 40

The University of Pennsylvania hosted the 40th meeting of the Penn Linguistics Conference this weekend. UMass was represented by:

Alumna Gillian Gallagher, who gave the invited talk “Categorical Phonotactics and Language Universals"

Alumnus Martin Walkow, who gave the poster “Syntactic Parallels between Verbal and Nominal phi-Morphology in (Classical) Arabic."

Alumna Anne-Michelle Tessier who gave the talk “Weigh(t)ing the Evidence: Avoidance and Constraint Interaction in Phonological Development."


Brian Dillon, who gave the Keynote Address: “Grammatical Illusions in sentence processing: At the interface of performance and competence."

You can learn more here.