Archive for January, 2008

Merchant on “a couple of”

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Jason Merchant’s theory on “a couple of” was discussed in William Safire’s recent musing on the different usages of “of”. To see why Safire wants to “fall off of” his chair, here’s the full article.

Submission deadline reminders

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Phonologization symposium: January 15

WCCFL: January 15

  • This year’s WCCFL will be held at UCLA on May 16-18. The two special session topics are as follows:
    • Experimental Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics
    • Explaining Phonological Typology: Channel or Analytic Bias?

UN General Assembly Proclaims 2008 International Year of Languages

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

The year 2008 has been proclaimed International Year of Languages by the United Nations General Assembly. UNESCO, which has been entrusted with the task of coordinating activities for the Year, is determined to fulfill its role as lead agency.

The full text of a message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the celebration of 2008, International Year of Languages can be found here.

Welcome back and Happy 2008!

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

BLING is finally back after a short winter hiatus. Not doubt many of you will have interesting new developments you would like to share. So please don’t forget to send us news you’d like to see appearing on the pages of BLING.

Just a reminder, BLING is updated weekly, so keep those news and other interesting bits of linguistics you’d like to share coming!

Ernestus Colloquium on Thursday

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Gradient phonological generalizations in speech processing

Mirjam Ernestus
Radboud University Nijmegen &
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Thursday Jan. 10, 2008
Cobb 201, 3.30-5 pm

Abstract
Several studies have shown that speakers are sensitive to the absolute and statistically gradient phonological patterns in their mental lexicon. Participants prefer words conforming to these patterns, and they are slower in producing morphologically regular word forms violating the patterns. In this talk I will discuss two series of experiments that further investigate the role of gradient patterns in speech processing. The first series suggest that generalizations based on intraparadigmatic relations, between the forms of single word, have a stronger effect than those based on interparadigmatic relations, between the same types of forms of different words. The second series of experiments shows that phonologically gradient patterns affect also speech comprehension, even when listeners are focusing on content instead of form. This shows that gradient generalizations play a role in everyday language processing.