The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, January 13th, 2014

IAP Mini-Course on Statistics, 1/20-1/24  

Second-year grad student Anthony Brohan will be teaching a five-day mini-course on statistical methods next week.

We will meet from 10-1PM at 56-167 from the 20th to the 24th. Below is a rough outline of the topics I plan on covering each day. The first half of every lecture I will cover some statistical concepts, and on the second half of the lecture will be focusing on hands-on R skills.

Day 1
Distribution tests; Tests for the mean; t-tests (paired and unpaired); Are the means the same?; Are the variances the same?; Linear regression; Interpreting p-values

Day 2
Non-parametric tests; Chi-square; Fischer’s exact test; Transformation and regression

Day 3
Handling Discrimination and Reaction time data; ANOVA

Day 4
Generalized Linear Models (building, interpreting and evaluating models)

Day 5
Linear mixed effects models

Along the way R skills will emphasize on data exploration, scripting and plotting, as well as implementing these tests. We’ll be using Baayen’s textbook as well as some materials from Jaeger’s lab about the use of mixed-effects models.


Latest book by Pesetsky published  

David Pesetsky’s book “Russian Case Morphology and the Syntactic Categories” has just been published in the Linguistic Inquiry Monographs.


Kotek and Erlewine to appear in LI  

Congratulations to fifth-year students Hadas Kotek and Michael Erlewine! Their paper “Covert pied-piping in English multiple wh-questions” has been accepted for publication in Linguistic Inquiry.


MIT at the LSA meeting  

MIT had a strong presence at this year’s LSA Annual Meeting, held Jan 2-5 in Minneapolis. The following talks and posters featured MIT presenters:

  • Michael Erlewine: Association with traces and the copy theory of movement
  • Michael Erlewine and Hadas Kotek: Morphological blocking in English causatives
  • Iain Giblin and Sam Steddy: Disambiguating the Scope of In-Situ Wh-Phrases with Telugu Prosody
  • Aron Hirsch and Martin Hackl: Presupposition projection and incremental processing in disjunction
  • Yusuke Imanishi: When ergative is default: Ergativity in Mayan
  • Patrick Jones: Cyclic evaluation of post-lexical prosodic domains: evidence from Kinande boundary tones
  • Hadas Kotek: Intervention effects follow from Relativized Minimality
  • Hadas Kotek and Martin Hackl: Wh-words must QR locally: evidence from real-time processing
  • Theodore Levin: Pseudo-Noun Incorporation is M-Merger: Evidence from Balinese
  • Miriam Nussbaum: The Interpretation of Indifference Free Relatives
  • Juliet Stanton: A cyclic factorial typology of Pama-Nyungan stress
  • Suyeon Yun : Two Types of Focus Movement

In addition Patrick Jones won a Student Abstract Award, for having one of the three highest-ranked abstracts authored by a student. Congratulations, Patrick!

Several recent alumni were also present:

  • Bronwyn Bjorkman (University of Toronto): Multiple Agrees: Towards a non-unified theory of feature valuation.
  • Claire Halpert (University of Minnesota) and Maria Stolen (University of Minnesota): Fixed aspect in Amharic Conditionals
  • Ora Matushansky (Utrecht University) and E.G. Ruys (Utrecht University): Some indefinites are degrees
  • Brian Buccola (McGill University) and Morgan Sonderegger (McGill University): On the expressivity of Optimality Theory vs. rules: An application to opacity
  • Ivona Kucerova (McMaster University) and Rachael Hardy (McMaster University): Two scrambling strategies in German: Evidence from PPs
  • Young Ah Do (Georgetown University): The asymmetrical base-inflected relation constrains child production and comprehension