On Friday May 29, Parker Brody successfully defended his PhD dissertation. The defense, which was held virtually on Zoom, presented Parker’s dissertation entitled “Computational Phylogenetic Reconstruction of Pama-Nyungan Verb Conjugation Classes”, supervised by Claire Bowern. Congratulations, Parker!
The linguistics department sends warm congratulations to all of our students graduating this year! The graduating cohort consists of Rikker Dockum, Dolly Goldenberg, and Martín Fuchs. Congratulations to all of you! While the in person celebration will happen later, a virtual celebration will be hosted on the afternoon of May 18.
Last Friday Matt Tyler gave a colloquium talk at UMass Amherst entitled “Internal arguments disguised as external arguments: Lessons from an active alignment system”. Information about the talk, including an abstract, can be found on the UMass website: link to website.
Parker Brody has published an article in the most recent issue of Journal of Historical Linguistics. “Morphological exceptionality and pathways of change” explores the notion of analyzing cross-linguistically uncommon morphosyntactic structures in terms of their historical development. What may seem extraordinary in the synchronic snapshot of a language can often be clearly accounted for through diachronic considerations.
Matthew Tyler and Jim Wood have published an article in the most recent issue of Linguistic Variation. The article is entitled “Microvariation in the ‘have yet to’ construction”, and reports on results from the research of the Yale Grammatical Diversity project. The ‘have yet to’ construction refers to sentences like ‘I have yet to visit my grandmother’, meaning ‘I have not visited my grandmother yet’.
During the first week of February 2020, Martín Fuchs taught a course on meaning change and its cognitive and communicative underpinnings at the Buenos Aires Linguistics Summer School. The goal of the course was to introduce graduate students to theories of semantic change that aim at uncovering the forces that produce the regularities that are observed in this domain.
The Yale linguistics department is well-represented at the coming Annual Meeting of the LSA, January 2-5, 2020 in New Orleans. But apart from the many current members of the department who will be attending, we are also hoping to connect with previous department members. A meet-up will be organized, with more information below:
PhD Candidate Martín Fuchs will give an invited talk this coming Monday, December 9th, at Utrecht University, as part of the Leiden Utrecht Semantics Happenings (LUSH) Series.
Martín Fuchs and Josh Phillips presented their research at FoDS IV (Formal Diachronic Semantics IV) in Columbus, Ohio, a conference organized by former Yale faculty member Ashwini Deo. On Friday, November 15th, Josh gave a talk entitled “Negation, reality status & the Yolnu verbal paradigm: towards a formal account of the porousness of tense and modality”.
A group of Yale linguists traveled to Stony Brook to attend the Annual Meeting on Phonology earlier in October. There were a total of four Yale presentations, listed below with links to the abstracts:
At the 50th meeting of the North East Linguistic Society at MIT, PhD candidate Josh Phillips presented some of his work on privatives in Australian languages. Josh’s poster, entitled ““Privative case” : displacement & renewal in the negative domain”, discusses forms with a meaning like ‘without’ or ‘-less’ in several Australian languages.
Graduate student Samuel Andersson is presenting at the workshop on Segmental Processes in Interaction with Prosodic Structure (SPIPS) at the University of Tromsø next week. Their talk is entitled “Are There Boundaries between Segmental and Prosodic Phonology?”, and discusses their work on the segmental and prosodic phonology of Makah, an indigenous language spoken in Washington.
Many students, faculty, and alumni of Yale linguistics, as well as colleagues from nearby Haskins Laboratories, presented their work at the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this month. They contributed at least 14 talks and posters to the conference and enjoyed a full week of presentations about phonetics, connecting with colleagues and friends from all over the world.
Seven Yale linguists presented six posters and two invited talks, highlighting their own research as well as projects from CLAY.
The most recent issue of Natural Language & Linguistic Theory includes an in-depth article on Choctaw by PhD candidate Matthew Tyler. The paper is entitled “Absolutive Promotion and the Condition on Clitic Hosts in Choctaw.” This paper originated as his second Qualifying Paper, and has been extensively developed and revised since then, in part in connection with his dissertation work, which draws on original fieldwork he has been conducting in Mississippi on Choctaw.
The most recent issue of Studia Linguistica includes an article by PhD candidate Matthew Tyler. The paper is entitled “Choctaw as a Window into the Clitic/Agreement Split”. In this paper he draws on original fieldwork he has been conducting in Mississippi on Choctaw in connection with his dissertation work. He develops a series of tests, some specific to Choctaw, to argue that most “agreement” morphemes on the Choctaw verb are really clitics (essentially pronouns like I/you/we/etc. that are attached to the verb).
The most recent volume of Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax has published a paper by PhD student Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir, entitled “Syntax and Discourse - Case(s) of V3 orders in Icelandic with temporal adjuncts.” This paper discusses the results of some research she has been conducting as part of her PhD coursework (and was also recently presented at the 34th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop in Konstanz).
This past weekend (June 21-23), the 5th Workshop on Sound Change (WSC 5) took place at UC Davis. Yale Linguistics was represented by Professor Claire Bowern, PhD candidate Rikker Dockum, and graduate student Sarah Babinski, who all presented at the workshop. Claire Bowern gave a talk entitled “Language, Culture, and Australian Exceptionalism,” while Rikker and Sarah gave posters.
Graduate student Sigríður S Sigurðardóttir gave a presentation on Friday, June 14th at the 34th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop, hosted in Konstanz. Her presentation was titled “Icelandic V3 orders with temporal adjuncts: A comparison with Standard Dutch and West Flemish”, and presented the results of research she has been conducting as part of her PhD coursework. In Icelandic, like some other Germanic languages, the verb is usually ‘second’, meaning it comes immediately after the first phrase.
We send hearty congratulations to the four PhD graduates who received their doctorates at Yale’s Commencement ceremony on Monday: from L to R: Ryan Kasak, Sean Gleason, Luke Lindemann, and Alysia Harris. Their work on Mandan, Latin, Nepali, and African American English (respectively) has enriched our department and the field, and we wish them all the best.
Graduate students Sarah Babinski and Muye (Andy) Zhang have won IPA Student Awards for their submissions to the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 2019, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia from August 5-9. The 49 awards granted for this Congress are awards by the International Phonetic Association for the submitted conference papers based on reviews, of 368 student submissions, by the IPA Committee on Conference Sponsorships and Student Awards.
Graduate student Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir and her collaborator Thórhallur Eythórsson have contributed a chapter in the recent book The Determinants of Diachronic Stability, on stability and change in the history of Icelandic weather verbs. The paper was originally presented at the pre-conference workshop of DiGS 18 (19th Diachronic Generative Syntax conference) in Ghent, 2016. The abstract for this chapter is given below:
PhD candidate Martín Fuchs and Professor María Piñango recently published a paper in the proceedings of the last Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Their paper provides an account of the synchronic variation between the use of the Simple Present marker and the Present Progressive marker in the expression of the habitual reading in Modern Spanish.