Senior Capstone Seminar

Past Readings
Dan Jurafsky

Senior capstone seminar. Joint readings in an annually varying topic, exploring the implications and importance of linguistic research for other domains of knowledge or practice.

Past Topics

Week Date Chair Topics
What counts as a language?
Idiolect Change
Diffusion of Lexical Change in the Internet Era
  • Gretchen McCulloch. 2019. Because Internet. Chapter 2, Language and Society.
  • Eisenstein, Jacob, Brendan O'Connor, Noah A. Smith, and Eric P. Xing. 2014. Diffusion of lexical change in social media. PloS one 9, no. 11 (2014).
Language and Thought
Discourse Theory & Information Structure
Grammatical Gender: Cognitive and Social Implications
  • Vigliocco, G., Vinson, D., Paganelli, F., & Dworzynski, K. (2005). Grammatical Gender Effects on Cognition: Implications for Language Learning and Language Use. Journal of Experimental Psychology 134.
  • Annabelle Timsit. The Push to Make French Gender-Neutral. The Atlantic. November 24, 2017.

Language and Modernity
Can AI 'understand' Human Language"?
Endangered Languages
  • Hale, Ken, Michael Krauss, Lucille J. Watahomigie, Akira Y. Yamamoto, Colette Craig, LaVerne Masayesva Jeanne, and Nora C. England. "Endangered languages." language 68, no. 1 (1992): 1-42. [read Watahomigie & Yamamoto, pg. 10-17, and optionally Hale, pg. 35-41]
  • Ladefoged, Peter. "Another view of endangered languages." Language 68, no. 4 (1992): 809-811
The Linguistics of Deception
  • Meibauer, Jörg. 2018. "The linguistics of lying." Annual Review of Linguistics 4: 357-375. Read sections 3, 4, and 5 (Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics)
  • Newman, Matthew L., James W. Pennebaker, Diane S. Berry, and Jane M. Richards. 2003. "Lying words: Predicting deception from linguistic styles.". Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, 5:665-675. Read whole paper
  • Sweetser, Eve. 1987. "The definition of lie." In Holland and Quinn (eds.), Cultural models in language and thought. Pages 43-66. Start reading on page 44 (section "a cultural model of language"), and read through page 48 (stopping at section "prevarication in a simplified world"), and take a look at figure 2.1
Accent/Variety Silencing and Languagelessness
Language Policies

Linguistics of Jokes and Humor
Orthographic Issues
Ethical Issues
Is there a moral obligation to protect endangered languages?
Language Revival: What does it mean for it to be successful?
Linguistics of Social Media
Are all languages equally complex?
  • McWhorter, John. 2001. The world's simplest grammars are creole grammars. Linguistic typology 5, no. 2/3 (2001): 125-166. Read 125-135, (skim 135-141), 141-143, 154-155 (section 4.4).
  • Trudgill, Peter. 2012. On the sociolinguistic typology of linguistic complexity loss. In Potentials of Language Documentation: Methods, Analyses, and Utilization, ed. by Frank Seifart, Geoffrey Haig, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, Dagmar Jung, Anna Margetts, and Paul Trilsbeek, pp. 90-95
  • Patrick Juola. 2007. Assessing Linguistic Complexity. In Miestamo, Matti, Kaius Sinnemaki and Fred Karlsson (eds.) Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change. Amsterdam : John Benjamins Press. Read pages 1-3, 12-15, 18-22, optional (but recommended) 22-35
Linguistics of Advertising and Branding
Language and Political Persuasion
Whorf: Language, Thought, and Culture
Laguage and Music
  • Slevc, L. Robert, and Akira Miyake. "Individual Differences in Second-Language Proficiency Does Musical Ability Matter?." Psychological Science 17, no. 8 (2006): 675-681.
  • Donnay, Gabriel F., Summer K. Rankin, Monica Lopez-Gonzalez, Patpong Jiradejvong, and Charles J. Limb. 2014. "Neural Substrates of Interactive Musical Improvisation: An fMRI Study of `Trading Fours' in Jazz." PloS one 9, no. 2 (2014): e88665.
  • Aniruddh D Patel. 2003. Language, music, syntax and the brain. Nature Neuroscience 6:7 674-681
  • Erin McMullen and Jenny R. Saffran. 2004. Music and Language: A Developmental Comparison. Music Perception Spring 2004, Vol. 21, No. 3, 289-311
Societal Implications of Language Learning
  • Hart, Betty, and Todd R. Risley. 1995. Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Paul H Brookes Publishing.
  • Fernald, A., Marchman, V. A. and Weisleder, A. (2012). SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months. Developmental Science.
Linguistics of Courtship and Sex
Linguistics, Literature and the Humanities
Linguistics of Deception
  • Larcker, David F., and Anastasia A. Zakolyukina. "Detecting deceptive discussions in conference calls." Journal of Accounting Research 50, no. 2 (2012): 495-540.
  • Ott, Myle, Yejin Choi, Claire Cardie, and Jeffrey T. Hancock. "Finding deceptive opinion spam by any stretch of the imagination." In Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies-Volume 1, pp. 309-319. Association for Computational Linguistics, 2011.
Linguistics and Decipherment
Historical Linguistics, Archaeology, Evolution
  • Sicoli, Mark A., and Gary Holton. "Linguistic Phylogenies Support Back-Migration from Beringia to Asia." PloS one 9, no. 3 (2014): e91722.
  • Gray, Russell D., and Quentin D. Atkinson. "Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin." Nature 426, no. 6965 (2003): 435-439.
  • J. Nichols and T. Warnow, "Tutorial on computational linguistic phylogeny." Linguistics and Language Compass, Vol. 2, Issue 5, September 2008, pages 760-820.
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