- [From Florian Jaeger - one of our agents working
underground in a psychology department in San Diego, but only until
January, when he enters the Big Chill somewhere in upstate New York:]
This week [the week of 19 Nov. -Ed.], two Stanford Linguistics
grad students (Philip Hofmeister and Neal Snider) visited UCSD and
gave talks at the linguistics experimental syntax group (Philip) and
the Center for Research in Language (Neal). Both talks stimulated a
lot of interest, with unusually long and engaged Question and Answer
sessions. I heard from several people that they really liked the talks
and that they are `impressed by the quality of Stanford grad
students'. Philip's talk was on memory-encoding effects on the
processing and acceptability of island constructions. Neal (and I)
talked about implicit surprisal-based learning of syntactic structure
and how it accounts for syntactic priming.
[Editor's Note: Hmmm... Do you think our agent is biased?]
- Ashwini Deo and Devyani Sharma have a paper in the forthcoming issue of
Typology: Typological variation in the ergative morphology of
- Alumna Alert: Bond Art and Science Welcomes Hyo
(aka Hyoyoung) Yeon as Senior Partner [PR Newswire press
release]. Hyo has an M.B.A from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of
Management at Northwestern University, a Post Baccalaureate degree
from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a B.A. in design
and linguistics from Stanford University (1985). Check her
For those of you who weren't around in 1985, let me remind you that that year
we also graduated:
So where are the rest of these folks? Any ideas? The New Sesquipedalian will listen...
- Marcia Leigh Hunt
- Thomas James Kearney
- Jerome Kelly (first sax player in Dead Tongues!)
- James William Kohn
- Marc David Moss
- Atty Thomas Mullins, on the research staff at The Santa Fe Institute.
- Lisa Nakamoto
- Jose Fernando Pena
- Benjamin C. Pierce, Professor, Department of Computer and Information
Science, University of Pennsylvania.
- Philip Neil Sanders
Stanford Blood Center: Shortage of
O-, A, B-, and AB-. For an appointment:
http://bloodcenter.stanford.edu/ or call 650-723-7831. It only takes
an hour of your time and you get free cookies.
No one was caught in the act doing anything this week... How boring!
Please report all newsworthy incidents to the Sesquipeditor!
It is unfortunate that a publication so reputable and prestigious as the
Sesquipedialian should engage in such East-Coast 1980s Chomskyan
anti-functionalist propaganda as your `Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax' bit. For
your information, Dogrib has at least 50 words for `caribou', which can be
provided upon request. Has Mr. Pullum ever been to the Arctic? I am
fuming in my igloo.
[Dear Igloo Man: Some might say that accusing Mr. Pullum of being
`Chomskyian' is like accusing the pope of being `pro-abortion' or
accusing Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of being `zionist', or Albert
Einstein of being `feminist'. However, the Sesquipeditor demurs,
knowing full well that Mr. Pullum, if true to form, will reply of his
The following piece was first published in the December 3, 1992 issue of the
FINNISH: A WORLD LANGUAGE?
Part Two of Three
Original text: Richard Lewis. Swedish translation: Gunnel Stenberg.
Translated back from Swedish by Tomas Riad. Post-editing: Kyle
Wohlmut. Additional Finnish consulting: Arto Anttila.
NOUNS AND THEIR CASES
Remember, self-confidence is the key to success. Never hesitate.
When you are about to use a noun, always reflect according to the
After you have contemplated this during the proverbial fraction of a
second, take a deep breath and pronounce the first half of the noun in
a huge, booming voice. Then gradually weaken the voice so that by the
time you pronounce the case ending, it is only in a hoarse whisper.
This method of demonstrating your mastery of case usage is completely
safe since, although you cannot prove that you were right, nobody,
Finn or otherwise, can ever prove that you were wrong. Above all,
- which is the corresponding noun in Finnish?
- singular or plural?
- what case? Nominative, accusative, genitive, essive, partitive,
translative, inessive, elative, illative, adessive, ablative,
allative, abessive, comitative or instructive?
- is it possible to avoid using the noun?
Superficially, there are few similarities between the Finnish and
English systems. For example:
A closer inspection, however, reveals the following facts that are
useful to the beginner:
|kaksi || `two'|
|kolme || `three'|
|viisi || `five'|
|kuusi || `six'|
|kymmenen || `ten'|
Other cues for the acquisition of numerals:
- `kolme' and `three' each have five
- `viisi' and `five' are both formed around the letter `v';
- `seitsemaen' and `seven' seem to share a common root (apparently a
word beginning with `s').
- Forget the English numerals altogether. This done, you will have
to learn the Finnish ones in order to tell the time. If you should
run into problems when using English at a later stage you can consult
a Finnish-English dictionary, or, when you need numerals up to twenty,
make use of fingers and toes.
- Do not waste time learning numerals higher than 20,000,000. It is
unlikely that you will ever have that much money, even in Finnmarks.
Months and Days: Say 'the first day,' 'the third day,' 'the
second month,' 'the next-to-last month,' etc. This will save you the
two years it takes to learn these names and shifts the burden of
labour over to the person you are talking to.
(NEXT WEEK: The direct object, verbs.)
- FRIDAY, 1 DECEMBER
12:00-13:00 in the Phonetics Lab (Bldg. 420 basement).
(Try to arrive a couple minutes early to
avoid the long noon line at the Thai Cafe). Topic to be announced [watch this space].
15:15 in Building 90, room 92Q
Peter Hylton (University of Illinois at Chicago)
15:30 in 215 Dwinelle Hall.
Allegra Giovine, Marilola Perez, and Russell
Rhodes will present John Du Bois's 1987 Language paper The
Discourse Basis of Ergativity as well as Andrew Garrett's
1990 Language paper The origin of NP split ergativity.
15:30 in MJH 126
John Hale (Michigan State and Stanford)
Design Choices in Computer Models of Human Sentence Comprehension
16:00 in Baytree Conference Room D
Lev Blumenthal (our distinguished alum, now visiting faculty at UCSC)
Latin hexameter verse: the alignment of accent and ictus
17:00. In the department lounge. Gourmet delights from the Social Committee.
- WEDNESDAY, 6 DECEMBER
SLSG (Statistical Learning Study Group) Meeting
17:00. MJH 126
We will be summarizing what we learned this quarter, reviewing our
progress and discussing plans for next quarter.
6:00 pm at the home of Leanne Hinton
Phonetics of three-way contrast in Paviotso medial stops
- THURSDAY, 7 DECEMBER
- FRIDAY, 8 DECEMBER
- For local linguistic events, always consult the Department's
event page, available RIGHT HERE
- Got broader interests? The New Sesquiped recommends reading or even
subscribing to the CSLI Calendar, available HERE.
- What's happening at UC Santa Cruz? Find out HERE.
- What's going on at UC Berkeley? Check it out HERE.
Want to contribute information? Want to be a reporter? Want to see
something appear here regularly? Want to be a regular columnist? Want
to take over running the entire operation? Contribute something at the
top of this page or write directly to
December 1, 2006
Vol. 3, Issue 10
IN THIS ISSUE:
Previous Linguistics Department Newsletters:
Vol. 3, Issue 9
Vol. 3, Issue 8
Vol. 3, Issue 7
Vol. 3, Issue 6
Vol. 3, Issue 5
Vol. 3, Issue 4
Vol. 3, Issue 3
Vol. 3, Issue 2
Vol. 3, Issue 1
Vol. 2, Issue 2
Vol. 2, Issue 1
Vol. 1, Issue 3
Vol. 1, Issue 2
Vol. 1, Issue 1
This Issue's Sesquipedalian Staff
Editor in Chief:
Ivan A. Sag
Design and Production Consultant:
Melanie Levin and