The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, June 15th, 2015

Congratulations graduating seniors!

Warmest congratulations to our graduating Linguistics majors Demetri Hayes, Lina Kyungeun Kim, Olivia Murton and Irina Onoprienko! We’ll miss you!!


Olivia, Lina and Demetri


Isaac Gould defends dissertation

Congratulations to Isaac Gould on his unambiguously successful defense of his dissertation entitled Syntactic Learning from Ambiguous Evidence: Errors and End-States — well done!!

photo credits: Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine



Bjorkman to Queen’s University

More exciting news! Bronwyn Bjorkman has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in morphosyntax at the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Bronwyn completed her PhD in 2011, and has been a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow and a Banting Fellow (Canada’s “Nobel Prize of post-docs”) at the University of Toronto. Congratulations, Bronwyn!!


Promotion for Jessica Coon

Congratulations to Jessica Coon (PhD 2010) on her promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure at McGill University. Super-great wonderful news!!


Erlewine to National University of Singapore

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in Linguistics at the National University of Singapore. Mitcho completed his PhD here in 2014 and has spent the past year as a post-doc at McGill. Congratulations mitcho!!!


PhDs hooded!

Three 2014 PhDs Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, Yusuke Imanishi and Hadas Kotek joined newly minted 2015 PhD Wataru Uegaki for the traditional conferring of graduate hoods as part of MIT’s Commencement cermonies.

Before the hooding 11426787_944114195608658_5211366533648850174_o

Special summer talk: Claire Halpert 6/17

Speaker:  Claire Halpert (University of Minnesota)
Title:        Raising Hell
Date:       Wednesday, June 17
Time:      3:30pm
Place:      32-D461

In this talk, I investigate cross-linguistic variation in raising constructions, proposing a unified account for the derivation of hyper-raising and standard raising. I argue that the presence or absence of these constructions in a given language can be determined by independent properties of CP and TP in the language, including: 1) whether CPs or infinitival phrases are phi-goals in the language and 2) the presence of an EPP effect on T and (and how it can be satisfied). I show that variation in these factors can capture the different raising profiles found in Zulu, Makhuwa, and English, and Uyghur.

Note: a previous version of this announcement mistakenly gave the month of this talk as July. It is happening in June!