The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, October 27th, 2008

Ling-lunch 10/30 - Norvin Richards

Please join us for this week’s ling lunch:

Norvin Richards
“Beyond Strength and Weakness 2: EPP and head-movement”
Thursday, Oct. 30

In an earlier paper, “Beyond Strength and Weakness”, I attempted to develop a theory that could predict whether wh-movement would be overt or covert in a given language, on the basis of observable properties of the language’s word order and prosody. This talk is the sequel to that paper; I will try to predict whether languages should exhibit EPP effects or not, and (time permitting) how far their verbs move, again on the basis of observable properties. As in the earlier paper, the goal will be to do away with syntactic diacritics like ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ (and, for that matter, ‘EPP’), by allowing the syntax to make more direct reference than usual to the phonological representation. We will see more evidence bearing on the nature of that reference, helping us to understand how much syntax knows about phonology.

No Phonology Circle this week

Phonology Circle will return next week (Wed Nov 12) with a presentation by Hrayr Khanjian.

Fun link of the week

An illustration of the effects of visual information on auditory processing.

Modularity Reading Group update

The Modularity Reading Group has changed the time and place of their meetings.
From now on, the group will meet Friday mornings, 10am-12pm, in 24-402.

To keep up to date with what’s happening in the group, see their website at:

SULA 5 Announcement

The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and the Department of Linguistics at Harvard will host SULA 5 (Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas) during the week-end of May 15-17 2009.

The call for papers is open, the deadline being January 20, 2009.

More information on the conference can be found on its website: