Computational & Mathematical Linguistics
A new article collection has been launched in Frontiers, co-edited by Maria Piñango, Anastasia Smirnova, Petra Schumacher (‘04) and Ray Jackendoff. This article collection is for high-level, data-grounded work in linguistics seeking to bridge linguistic, cognitive and computational approaches to linguistic structure and the architecture that supports it.
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!
Claire Bowern and Douglas Duhaime (from Yale’s Digital Humanities Lab) presented their recent work on a rapid prototype grant, using neural network models to identify similar photographs in a large collection of images. They talked about the Voynich manuscript and its background, as well as the digital project and recent work in digital humanities.
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:
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:
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.
Bob Frank has been awarded a grant by the NSF on the topic of “Inductive Biases for the Acquisition of Syntactic Transformations in Neural Networks.” This work, in collaboration with Tal Linzen of Johns Hopkins, will explore the degree to which explicit innate biases are needed to learn linguistic mappings, whether between linguistic forms (e.g., active/passive or declarative/interrogative) or between forms and meanings.
Members of the Pama-Nyungan lab recently published a write-up of their results on forced alignment algorithms. Their paper on “A Robin Hood approach to forced alignment: English-trained algorithms and their use on Australian languages” was recently published in the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. They show that for some purposes, English-trained models can be used without crucial loss of accuracy.
Many members of the Yale linguistics department made a mass exodus to the the recent LSA annual meeting in New York City, where they gave 19 oral and poster presentations at the main meeting, workshops, and sister society meetings. These included:
We are excited to work with Caitlyn Antal, Marisha Evans, Randi Martinez, and Jared Sharp as they pursue their graduate studies!
Results on syntax and phonology by Jim Wood, Matt Tyler, and Yiding Hao were showcased at the Penn Linguistics Conference in March.
Sixteen presentations and posters from current and former Yale faculty and students were showcased at the annual meeting of the LSA.
Graduate students from Stony Brook University, NYU, and CUNY came to Yale University’s main campus in New Haven, Connecticut.
The lecture is given each year by a Dartmouth alum who is currently engaged in linguistics research or related work.
Results on TAG parsing and finite-state Optimality Theory were presented at TAG+, FSMNLP, and EMNLP.
Two linguists were honored at this year’s Yale University Commencement.
Bob’s invited talk is ”Top-down, bottom-up or inside-out? Direction and grain size in syntactic derivation” and Raffaella’s talk is “The structure of presentatives.”
Matt’s talk is “In Choctaw, everyone’s a clitic.” Rikker’s is “Prosodic context in computational modeling of tone: citation tones vs. running speech.”
Rashad Ullah, Martín Fuchs, Josh Phillips, Andy Zhang, Dan Schwennicke, Yiding Hao, and Rikker Dockum presented their work at four different conferences and workshops.
Tomorrow, lecturer Hadas Kotek is giving a talk, undergraduate alumna Maria Kouneli is presenting a paper, and former faculty member Gaja Jarosz is delivering a plenary talk.
She is one of several authors on an article in Nature about the genomic history of Aboriginal Australia, and her contributions to that paper were profiled in Science.
Members of our department traveled all over the world for summer institutes, conferences, and fieldwork, and we hosted several visiting undergraduate researchers on campus.
One talk discussed computational modeling of Khamti tone, and the other examines how syntactic borrowing may explain similarities between Khmer and Thai numeral classifiers.
We are delighted to have Sarah Babinski (Swarthmore ’16), Yiding Hao (UChicago ’15), Dan Schwennicke (Oxford ’16), and Andy Zhang (Yale ’15) join our department.
Rikker will travel in May to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.