The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, February 9th, 2009

Welcome Hedde and Sigrid, welcome back Tamina

This semester, we welcome several visiting faculty. Hedde Zeijlstra joins us from the University of Amsterdam. He will be co-teaching “More Advanced Syntax” with Sabine this semester. Sigrid Beck comes from the University of Tübingen. She will be co-teaching Topics in Semantics with Irene (on comparatives), and teaching Pragmatics. In addition, Tamina Stephenson (PhD 2007) will be joining us to teach 24.910 - the “capstone” course of our undergraduate major and minor.

hot off the press…

The most recent issue of Linguistic Inquiry contains an article by graduate student Jessica Coon entitled “Interrogative Possessors and the Problem of Pied-Piping in Chol”.

In addition, the most recent issue of Natural Language and Linguistic Theory contains an article by graduate student Marie-Christine Meyer with alum Uli Sauerland, entitled “A pragmatic constraint on ambiguity detection: A rejoinder to Büring and Hartmann and to Reis”.

Syntax was diagnosed

Norvin Richards and David Pesetsky are back from the workshop Diagnosing Syntax, held in Leiden and Utrecht, in the Netherlands. The conference was organized by Norbert Corver and alum Lisa Cheng. Also presenting at the conference were alums Hamida Demirdache, Chris Tancredi, Heidi Harley and Ora Matushansky, and a cast of thousands. Norvin and David report that it was an excellent workshop.

Phonology Circle 2/9-Hrayr Khanjian

Phonology circle resumes this week. Please note that we are returning to our usual Monday afternoon time slot!

Speaker: Hrayr Khanjian
Title: Stress-dependent vowel reduction
Time: Monday 2/9, 5pm
Location: 32-D831

Other student conference news

Hrayr Khanjian will give a talk at the Berkeley Linguistic Society next weekend on “Stress-Dependent Vowel Reduction”.

Claire Halpert’s paper “Superiority Effects in Zulu and Kinande Inversion” has been accepted for the workshop “Inversion constructions in Bantu” to be held in Tervuren, Belgium this March, immediately following the 3rd International Conference on Bantu Languages. (Rumor has it that she might also pay a visit to the local carillons while she’s there…)

MIT students, faculty, alums and friends to present at GLOW 2009

The 2009 GLOW conference, to be held in Nantes this year, will feature several talks by MIT students, faculty, recent alums and friends. Jeremy Hartman will be presenting a paper on “The Position and Variety of Traces with respect to MaxElide”. Patrick Grosz will be presenting “Movement and Agreement in Right-Node Raising Constructions”. A joint paper by Luka Crnic, Tue Trinh, and Yasutada Sudo on “Indefiniteness in Vietnamese” is an alternate for the GLOW semantics workshop. Recent alum Shoichi Takahashi (PhD 2006) will also be presenting, as will Elena Anagnostopoulou, who taught at MIT in Spring 2007. And finally…Danny Fox is an invited speaker.

(Pay no attention to the fact that clicking on the website for the conference currently produces an error screen with the message “site désactivé”. We have it on reliable authority that the conference will happen and will be great!)

Ling-Lunch 2/12-Joe Perkell

Ling lunch this week (February 12th) features a talk by Joseph Perkell

Title: “Movement goals and feedback and feedforward mechanisms in speech production.
Time: Thurs 12:30-1:45
Place: 32-D461

Next week (2/19), Pritty Patel, Patrick Grosz, Evelina Fedorenko and Ted Gibson will be speaking about “Restrictions on E-type pronouns: Making the case for Uniqueness”

Call for Presentations: ECO5 Syntax Workshop

This year’s ECO5 (East Coast 5) syntax workshop will be held at the University of Maryland on Saturday, April 4th. ECO5 is a yearly event and involves presenters from 5 east coast schools: MIT, Harvard, UMass, UMd, and UConn. It is an informal and friendly graduate student workshop and is a great place to present work and work in progress, get feedback from lots of people, and to get practice presenting.

This year they are looking for three presenters from each of the 5 schools. Titles and abstracts (for the program) will be due March 21st and we hope to have a preliminary list of presenters by March 7th. Abstracts are just for the program. Unless there is a huge amount of interest, you will be accepted to the conference just by sending an email to MIT’s ECO5 liaison, Jessica Coon.

Please let Jessica know if you have any questions and if you are interested in presenting or attending. It’s possible that we will be able to get a carpool together, so if you need or are able to offer a ride, please let her know as well. Also, flights are quite cheap right now (about $120), so that is another option.