Archive for October, 2009

Autumn 2009 colloquia

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

On October 8, our 2009-2010 Colloquium Series kicked off with a fascinating talk by Johanna Nichols (UC Berkeley) on lexical type-shift from Proto-IE to Proto-Slavic. Today, the fall series continues with a talk by Maria Polinsky (Harvard), who will be speaking on “Ergativity, Again” (abstract here).  Join us at 3:30 in Cobb 201, to be followed by department tea at 5:00.

The rest of the fall schedule:

November 5: James Yoon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

November 19: Katherine Kinzler, University of Chicago

U of C representin’ at LSA

Friday, October 16th, 2009

At long last—the (ostensibly) comprehensive list of U. Chicago representation presenting at LSA 2010:

Max Bane: “A Combinatoric Model of Variation in the English Dative Alternation”

Matthew Carlson, Colleen Balukas, Chip Gerfen (Psychology): “Suffix productivity and stem allomorph markedness in Spanish derivations with alternating diphthongs”

Andrew Dombrowski (Slavic & Linguistics): “Vowel Harmony Loss in West Rumelian Turkish”

James Kirby: “The role of probabilistic enhancement in phonologization”

Peter Klecha: “Context Dependence in English Futures”

Yaron McNabb: “Apparent Pharyngealization in French Loanwords in Moroccan Arabic”

Jason Riggle and Max Bane: “Choosing the right constraints (and the right theory of how they interact)”

Osamu Sawada: “The multidimensionality of the Japanese minimizers sukoshi/chotto ‘a little’”

Morgan Sonderegger and Partha Niyogi (Computer Science): “Combining data and mathematical models to study change: An application to an English stress shift”

Chris Straughn: “Grammaticalization without Grammaticalization: The Case of Uzbek Complementation” (poster)

Additionally, Jerry Sadock will be commenting on the talk by Alana Johns at the SSILA symposium on derivational morphology, while Lenore Grenoble (Slavic) co-organized a session with Doug Whalen on findings from targeted work on endangered languages. The session will lead off with their talk, “Leveraging small grants for maximum linguistic discovery: The Endangered Language Fund experience,” on Sunday morning.

Finally, Nassira Nicola‘s organized session, entitled “Interdisciplinarity and Current Trends in Undergraduate Linguistics Education,” was also accepted to the LSA. Very exciting!

Congrats to all of you, and enjoy Baltimore in January!

ICGL comes to Chicago

Friday, October 16th, 2009

For the first time in its nine-year history, the annual meeting of the International Conference on Greek Linguistics will be hosted stateside, and the University of Chicago Department of Linguistics is proud to be the first American host for this important gathering!

The conference will take place on campus in the International House (on 59th Street) from October 29-31. Registration is free for ALL students, and talks (and Halloween candy!) should be plentiful.

Among the in-house presentations at ICGL are the following:

Eleni Staraki: Temporal anchoring in the DP: the case of na

Suwon Yoon: Metalinguistic comparatives from Greek to Korean

Anastasia Giannakidou & Stella Grylla: Intonation in Greek n-words

Jason Merchant: Ενας ψηλότερός της άντρας: Implications of clitic standards of comparison in Greek

Busy months ahead for Chicago linguists

Friday, October 16th, 2009

More fun stuff to report:

Second-year student Rebekah Baglini presented her paper “Modeling Variation and Change in Raddoppiamento Sintattico” at the Fifteenth Mid-Continental Workshop on Phonology (McWOP) at Indiana University last Sunday, October 11.

Alice Lemieux‘s paper “Small but significant: Body part incorporation in Washo” has been accepted for presentation at the 15th Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas (WSCLA), Feb. 5-7 2010, in Ottawa, Ontario.

Linguistics faculty member Karlos Arregi will present “The Syntax of Comparative Numerals” at NELS 40, to be held at MIT November 13-15.

Slavic/Linguistics joint-Ph.D. student Andrew Dombrowski will be giving a paper entitled “On Vowel Contraction in Macedonian” at the 7th Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies, which will be held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, November 5-8. He will also participate in a roundtable entitled “Macedonian Language Contact – from Linguistic League to Diaspora” at the national convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS), in Boston from November 12 – 15. Slavic faculty member Victor Friedman is likewise scheduled to give papers at the MNACMS and AAASS, as well as AATSEEL and a special conference on linguistic minorities in Turkey and Turkish minorities outside Turkey at the University of Cyprus.

An “average” publication

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Did you know the average professor publishes 0.7 journal articles per year? That’s what we hear, anyway. Our department chair Chris Kennedy, however, just had an entire paper (coauthored with Jason Stanley at Rutgers) come out in the philosophy journal Mind. Congratulations!

Fieldwork frenzy

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Ph.D. student Jackie Bunting, currently ABD, has received a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation. She’ll spend three months in Suriname conducting fieldwork for her thesis, entitled “English to Sranan: An Assessment of Structural Similarities and Differences,” starting on October 18th. Hope you have an enjoyable, fruitful trip!

Also this year, Thomas Wier is continuing his Fulbright-Hayes fieldwork documenting dying Georgian dialects/languages, looking for evidence of different kinds of morphological blocking processes. While abroad, he has also given two talks:  (1) The Case In and Across Languages conference in Helsinki, Finland: “Morphosemantax and case-marking in Georgian” and (2) The Tbilisi Forum on Language and Logic, in Bakuriani, Georgia, where he spoke about “Nonconfigurationality in Georgian.”

Slavic summer with Swedish runes and Sven

Friday, October 16th, 2009
Kelly Maynard, a historical linguist in the Slavic department, shares two recent publications which came out over the summer.
  • 2009. ‘I want to buy it’ in the Albanian glossary of Arnold von Harff.  Transactions of the Philological Society. Volume 107: 2: 231-252.
  • With Şerife Geniş.  Formation of a Diasporic Community: The History of Migration and Resettlement of Muslim Albanians in the Black Sea  Region of Turkey.  Middle Eastern Studies.  Volume 45: 4: 553-569.

Meanwhile, here is a photo from Kelly’s summer jaunts:

Kelly makes friends with a Swedish runestone

Kelly makes friends with a Swedish runestone

She explains: “The stone is two fragments of a 10th century runestone fromSigtuna, Sweden that have been re-attached. According to a nearby plaque, translated into English it reads, ‘Sven had this stone set up in memory of his father and Frödis in memory of her husband Ulv. God help his soul.’ The script employed is the younger futhark, popular in Scandanvian stone carving between 800-1100. One way you can tell it’s the younger runes is by looking at the rune by the knuckles in my right hand near the crack. It is a vertical line with two horizontal lines going all the way across. This is the rune for [o].”

Fun stuff. Thanks, Kelly, for sharing!

Stensrud defends her dissertation

Friday, October 16th, 2009

BLING and the entire department would like to congratulate Kjersti Stensrud for her successful defense of her thesis “Aspects of Event Composition in Norwegian and English,” which happened on September 16.  Belated felicitations, Kjersti! Best of luck!