The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, November 10th, 2014

Ling Lunch 11/13 - Isabelle Charnavel

Speaker: Isabelle Charnavel (Havard)
Title: Perspectives on Binding and Exemption
Date/Time:Thursday, Nov. 13, 12:30-1:45pm
Location: 32-D461

Some anaphors are exempt from Condition A regardless of how it is formulated. Drawing on French and English data, I will propose a way to draw the line between exempt and non-exempt anaphors and I will argue that exempt anaphors are in fact bound by covert logophoric operators. These operators code three kinds of perspective centers: attitude holders, empathy loci and deictic reference points.

Lectures by Emmanuel Chemla

Emmanuel Chemla (CNRS) will be giving a series of four lectures starting this Friday:

  • Friday 11/14; 3-6PM; 32D-461
  • Tuesday 11/18 5-8PM; room to be announced (check this page)
  • Wednesday 11/19; 3-6PM; 32D-461
  • Tuesday 11/25; 5-8PM; room to be announced (check this page)

Below is the abstract and information for the lectures:

We will ask how simple psycholinguistic methods can be relevant for the study of various questions in linguistic theory. We will start by discussing the case of scalar implicatures, where many illustrations can be found, both in terms of questions and methods, without a perfect alignement between the two, however. We will quickly move to other topics including questions, scopal relations, cumulative/distributive readings of plurals. The methods we will discuss include truth value and acceptability judgments, basic “priming” studies and response time studies. The hope is to demonstrate that these methods are useful and simple to deploy.

MIT Linguists at BUCLD

The 39th BU Conference on Language Development (BUCLD 39) took place this past weekend at Boston University. The following MIT students and faculty gave talks or presented posters:

  • Second year student Athulia Aravind, and Jill de Villiers (Smith College): Implicit alternatives insufficient for children’s SIs with some.
  • Fifth year student Ayaka Sugawara, and Martin Hackl: Question-Answer (In)Congruence in the Acquisition of Only
  • Ayaka Sugawara and K. Wexler: Japanese children accept inverse-scope readings induced by scrambling, but they do not accept unambiguous inverse-scope readings induced by prosody

Award to Michel DeGraff from the Haitian Studies Association

Michel DeGraff has received the “Award for Excellence” from the Haitian Studies Association at their 26th annual conference at Notre Dame University this weekend. (Read the citation in the photos below.) Great news, Michel!




Alumni bookshelf

Congratulations to five of our 21st-century alumni on the recent publication of their books!!

  • Heejeong Ko’s (PhD 2005) Edges in Syntax was published by Oxford University Press. Heejeong is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Seoul National University.
  • Márta Abrusán’s (PhD 2007) book Weak Island Semantics has been published by Oxford University Press.  Márta is a CNRS Research Scientist at the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse.
  • Omer Preminger’s (PhD 2011) Agreement and its Failures was published by MIT Press. Omer was an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University during the writing of this book, and is now Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland.
  • On the Grammar of Optative constructions by Patrick Grosz (PhD 2011) has been published by Benjamins in their series  Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today.  Patrick is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tübingen.
  • Young Ah Do’s (PhD 2013) dissertation on Biased learning of phonological alternations was published by MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (MITWPL).  Youngah is Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University.