Archive for October, 2008

Coming soon: Chicago mini-workshop on Basque linguistics

Monday, October 20th, 2008

The department is proud to announce the first Chicago Mini-Workshop on Basque Linguistics will be held on Monday, October 27. The program will include talks by Ricardo Etxepare of the University of the Basque Country on “Ways of building syntactic focus in Spanish and Basque”;  U of C’s Anastasia Giannokodou on “Contextual domain restriction across languages”; Vidal Valmala of the University of the Basque Country  on “Topic and focus as triggers for quantifier float”; and U of C’s Karlos Arregi on “Wackernagel effects in Basque verbs.” This half-day event will take place in Rosenwald Hall, Room 301. We hope to see many of you there! 

Chicago Linguistic Society site launch

Monday, October 20th, 2008

The highly anticipated and newly redesigned web page of the venerable Chicago Linguistic Society has now been launched, so please be sure to visit the new site for more information and updates from CLS 45!   

Wier awarded Fulbright-Hayes grant

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Thomas Wier was recently awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant to do dialectological study of morphological and syntactic feature hierarchies across six Georgian dialects and two other Kartvelian languages. He will begin his journey in Leipzig and move to Tbilisi for fieldwork in February. Congratulations, Tom!

Department welcomes new faces!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

A warm welcome to this year’s cohort of new graduate students as well as Luisandro Mendes de Souza, who is visiting us from Brazil. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

  • Carissa Abrego: “I come to Chicago after living in sunny Southern California for 21 years. My undergraduate years were spent first at UCLA and later Biola University, where I earned her B.A. in a self-designed Human Communication major in May 2008. My research interests lie in historical lx and sociolinguistics, syntax and pragmatics, and linguistics and literature. My “other” interests include musicology, 20th-century English and Spanish literature, going to concerts, and watching college football and basketball games.”
  • Rebekah Baglini: “I grew up in Philadelphia and attended Bryn Mawr College, where I studied linguistics and philosophy. I am particularly interested in the syntax and semantics of Mandarin Chinese, the syntax-phonology interface, psycholinguistics, language contact, genetic linguistics, and language documentation.   My non-academic interests include backpacking internationally, photography, cooking, documentary films, and writing fiction.”
  • Timothy Grinsell: “I graduated from Dartmouth College with degrees in cognitive science and Russian, and then I received a masters in logic from Carnegie Mellon.  I’m interested in semantics, formal pragmatics, and the philosophy of language.  Within these areas, I’ve worked on negation, aspect, modality, and context-dependence. “
  • Jonathan Keane: “I got my BA in linguistics from the University of Florida. I’m interested in Syntax, morphology, and computational linguistics.”
  • Martina Martinovic: “I studied Croatian language and literature & Phonetics at the Faculty of Philosophy, the University of Zagreb. My degree would be the equivalent of a Master’s degree. Phonetics is a separate field of study in Croatia, and it incorporates basically anything and everything that has something to do with voice, speech, rhetoric, speech and hearing pathology, etc. I did course work and research in different fields that have “real” voice and speech as a point of departure -neurophonetics, speech and hearing pathology, South Slavic accentology and dialectology. Through that, my interests have narrowed down to linguistics, with phonetics and phonology as fields of concentration, which I am hoping to supplement with knowledge from cognitive linguistics.”
  • Patrick Rich: “I recently graduated from the College with majors in Linguistics and French. I am coming back this year to complete a Master’s in Linguistics. His interests include Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, Romance and Germanic languages, Balkan/Caucasian languages, and language acquisition.”
  • Luisandro Mendes de Souza: “I’m PhD student at State University of Santa Catarina, Brazil (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina), my dissertation proposal is on the semantics of canonical comparative sentences in Brazilian Portuguese. I’m also interested in the syntax of comparative structures and Pragmatics.”
  • Julia Thomas: “I received an M.A. in French Linguistics from Indiana University in Bloomington.  I am interested in pursuing work on language contact and sociolinguistics, in general.  I am particularly interested in studying Michif. I am excited to join the department!”

Besides our new students, joining the faculty this year is Karlos Arregi. Karlos got his Ph.D. at MIT in 2002. His interests include syntax, the syntax-semantics, syntax-phonology interfaces, and morphology; he also specializes in Basque and Romance Linguistics.

LSA and SSILA Acceptances

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Chicago will be well-represented at the upcoming Jaunary LSA and SSILA in San Francisco! Congratulations to the following students and faculty for their acceptances!


  • Peter Alrenga: Stipulated vs. Asserted Anaphora.
  • Adam Baker: Phonology as Compression: Capturing Vowel Harmony.
  • Tommy Grano: Predicating gradable adjectives in Mandarin Chinese: Should we posit POS?
  • April Grotberg: The prosody of overt case marking in Coptic. (Poster)
  • James Kirby: Comparative-induced event measure relations.
  • James Kirby and Alan Yu: Morphological paradigm effects on vowel articulation.
  • Stefanie Kuzmack:  Origin and its connotations: A cline of semantic degrammaticalization.
  • Jason Merchant and Jerry Sadock: Case, agreement, and null arguments in Aleut.
  • Nassira Nicola: DIRE N’IMPORTE-Q: Evidence for polarity in Quebec Sign Language.
  • Alice Lemieux: Evidence from Hindi for Proximity as a Consistent Temporal Relation. (Poster)
  • Susan Rizzo: Harmonic Grammar and Grandfather Effects: A New Approach to an Old Problem. (Poster)
  • Eleni Staraki: Turkish Loanwords in Greek: A New Framework of Loanword Theory. (Poster)
  • Morgan Sondereger: Rhyme graphs, sound change, and perceptual similarity.
  • Morgan Sondereger and Alan Yu: A rational account of perceptual compensation for coarticulation.
  • John Sylak (BA, 2008):  Lak Reduplication: Neither Phonological Nor Morphological Fixed Segmentism.


  • Juan Bueno-Holle: Lexical tone in Isthmus Zapotec.
  • Amy Dahlstrom: Second’ objects with no first object:  a typology of Meskwaki objects.

Jerry Sadock will also be giving one of a small series of talks celebrating the career of Ellen Prince, present president of the LSA, who will not be able to attend the conference for reasons of health.