Larry Horn has been elected to serve on the LSA Executive Committee for the coming three years. He will be Vice-President during 2020, President in 2021, and Past President in 2021. Yale Linguistics is delighted that Larry’s many years of outstanding service to the field are being recognized by the LSA in this way, and we are very grateful for all of the knowledge and energy that Larry brings to the department.
Veneeta Dayal will give an invited talk “On the role of Skolem functions in modeling multiple wh- dependencies” at a workshop on multiple wh-constructions to be held at the University of Nantes, France on November 25-26, 2019.
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:
Veneeta Dayal will give a plenary talk at SALA 35 (the 35th South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable) later this month. The conference will take place in Paris, hosted by the National institute of oriental languages and civilizations (INALCO). Veneeta’s talk is entitled “The Multiple Faces of Hindi-Urdu bhii,” and argues that the particle bhii in Hindi-Urdu is closer to the meaning of English also than it is to English even, as has been argued in previous influential work.
Every year the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) elects a number of fellows “who have made distinguished contributions to the discipline.” The fellows for 2020 are “nine of the field’s leading linguists,” one of whom is Professor Claire Bowern. The Yale Linguistics Department joins the LSA in congratulating Claire on this achievment, which is more than well-deserved considering her high-quality research, teaching, mento
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.
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.
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.
Rikker Dockum and Claire Bowern have a new paper in the open access journal Language Documentation and Description, entitled “Swadesh lists are not long enough: Drawing phonological generalizations from limited data.” They look at the amount of data (e.g. number of words in a wordlist) required to accurately recover phonological inventory distributional generalizations and show that the typical 100-word or 200-word Swadesh lists frequently used by linguists are not usually sufficient.
Professor Veneeta Dayal will teach a course on comparative semantics at the 5th African Linguistics School (ALS5) at Rhodes University. From June 30 to July 13, the two-week African Linguistics School will take place at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Veneeta Dayal will teach a semantics course on noun phrases, entitled “Comparative Semantics: The Noun Phrase Across Languages.”
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.
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.
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.
Prof. Claire Bowern will be hosting a Peabody Science cafe conversation with Geology & Geophysics graduate student Daniel Gaskell on environmental adaptation on April 30, 2019. The title of this event is “A linguist and a paleontologist walk into BAR” and will be hosted at BAR at 7PM. The description of the event from the Peabody is below:
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.
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.
Professor Veneeta Dayal, the newest member of the department’s ladder faculty, has been appointed the Dorothy R. Diebold Professor of Linguistics. This endowed professorship was most recently held by Professor Emeritus Steve Anderson, who retired in 2017. Read the University’s announcement here.
Prof. Jason Shaw gave an invited talk at Brown University’s Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. The title of the talk was “Phonological control of time”. In it, he presented how the theory of Articulatory Phonology accounts for language-specific patterns of speech timing and two new challenges for the theory.
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.
Claire Bowern adds an article on the origins of Pama-Nyungan to The Conversation.
A lesson by Claire Bowern on the basics of historical linguistics and the origins of the English language has been turned into a TedEd animation. Watch and listen to the animation to see English has evolved through generations of speakers. (Director: Patrick Smith; Narrator: Addison Anderson.)
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.
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.