Veneeta Dayal has published a chapter entitled “Singleton Indefinites and the Privacy Principle: Certain Puzzles” in the 2019 book “The Semantics of Plurals, Focus, Degrees, and Times: Essays in Honor of Roger Schwarzschild” (D. Altshuler and J. Rett eds., Springer). The chapter discusses definiteness and specificity by examining bare nominals in multiple languages, as well as markers of specificity such as the word certain in a certain puzzle.
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.
Veneeta Dayal will teach a mini-course on “The Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics of Asserting, Asking and Answering” at the University on Aug 19-21 at the University of São Carlos, Brazil. She will also be giving and invited talk on “When does a clause become a question?” at the 3rd Referential Semantics Colloquium on August 22-23, also at the University of São Carlos. The program can be found online.
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).
Professor Veneeta Dayal has given presentations on “The Fine Structure of the Interrogative Left Periphery” in the US and the Netherlands. In April, she gave a colloquium talk on this topic at UMass Amherst, as well as an invited presentation at a meeting of the Semantics Group at NYU.
Raffaella Zanuttini attended “Person & Perspective 2019: A workshop honoring the work of María Luisa Zubizarreta” held at USC, May 3-4, 2019. She presented a talk entitled “Person, politeness and the embeddability of imperatives”, joint work with Paul Portner and Miok Pak.
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.
On Friday, April 5th, Jim Wood spoke at the 2nd Princeton Symposium on Syntactic Theory (PSST), organized by Byron Ahn and Laura Kalin. The theme for the meeting is “counterexamples”. Jim Wood’s talk, entitled “Prepositions, Nominalization and Allosemy,” connects with this theme through the lens of his recent research on Icelandic deverbal event nouns, and what such nouns tell us about the interaction between syntax and lexical meaning.
Raffaella Zanuttini gave an invited talk last week at a workshop at NYU entitled “Antisymmetry and Comparative Syntax: Celebrating 25 years of antisymmetry and 75 years of Richard S. Kayne,” more informally referred to as “RichieFest.” The workshop celebrate’s Richard Kayne’s 75th birthday, as well as the 25th anniversary of his highly influential 1994 monograph The Antisymmetry of Syntax.
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:
Prof. Jim Wood will give an invited talk at the ninth European Dialect Syntax Workshop (Edisyn IX) in Glasgow, Scotland. The title of his talk is “Microvariation and the set of possible grammars.” In it, he will discuss the work of the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project broadly, along with some specific results and case studies, including verbal ‘rather’, the ‘have yet to’ construction, personal datives and dative presentatives.
Prof. Raffaella Zanuttini and her co-authors Paul Portner (Georgetown) and Miok Pak (GWU) have a paper in the most recent issue of Language, “The Speaker-Addressee relation at the syntax-semantics interface”.
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:
Ph.D. candidate Matthew Tyler has recently published two journal articles concerning his work on clitics in Choctaw (Muskogean). One, published in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, is titled “Absolutive Promotion and the Condition on Clitic Hosts in Choctaw”; this article proposes a morphosyntactic analysis of Choctaw clitics.
We are excited to work with Caitlyn Antal, Marisha Evans, Randi Martinez, and Jared Sharp as they pursue their graduate studies!
Sean’s dissertation, supervised by Professor Raffaella Zanuttini, investigates the accusativus cum infinitivo construction in Latin.
Jason is now responsible for overseeing review processes for academic departments as well as ladder faculty tenure and appointments.
PhD candidate Rikker Dockum presented at the 28th meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS), where he discussed his fieldwork on Khamti, a language spoken in Myanmar and India. Rikker has spent a substantial amount of time in the region documenting various languages, as he conducts his dissertation research on tone systems in Tai-Kadai, a family of languages that includes Khamti and Thai.
The two graduate students spoke about syntax in Choctaw and prosody in Southern East Cree, respectively.
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.
At a workshop honoring Liliane Haegeman, Raffaella discussed her research on presentatives.
Bob Frank visited the University of Leipzig to attend a dissertation defense and speak about sluicing.