Stanford Linguistics
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Department News

  • Look Who's Talking

    • The 43rd Regional Meetings of the Chicago Linguistic Society start this coming Thursday. There's a number of Stanford papers on the program. That number is 3:

      • Improving filler-retrieval in dependency processing
        Philip Hofmeister
      • Empirical investigations in syntactic islands
        Philip Hofmeister, Ivan Sag and Neal Snider
      • Gradient Data and Gradient Grammars
        Tom Wasow (invited speaker)
  • The Stanford Blood Center has a shortage of types O-, A-, and B-. For an appointment, go to or call 650-723-7831. It only takes an hour of your time and you get free cookies.

Caught in the Act

Check out the new department T-shirts, exquisitely displayed by supermodels and former undergraduates Tracy Conner and Nick Romero.... In case you can't make it out, the Tshirt front says `The horse raced past the barn fell' and the Tshirt back is `You got garden-path'd - Stanford University Department of Linguistics'.


Linguistic Levity

  • Kids are Quick

    • TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America
      MARIA: Here it is.
      TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
      CLASS: Maria.
    • TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
      JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
    • TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell "crocodile?"
      GLENN: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L"
      TEACHER: No, that's wrong
      GLENN: Maybe it is how I spell it.
    • TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
      DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
      TEACHER: What are you talking about?
      DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
    • TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
      WINNIE: Me!
    • TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
      GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
    • TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with "I."
      MILLIE: I is.
      TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, "I am."
      MILLIE: All right... "I am the ninth letter of the alphabet."
    • TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down a cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
      LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
    • TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
      SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
    • TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on "My Dog" is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
      CLYDE: No, teacher, it's the same dog.
    • TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
      HAROLD: A teacher

  • Are these definitions in your dictionary?

    1. Resent: To post an e-mail a second time (Stan Kegel)
    2. Zeus: God of caged animals. (Pun-American Newsletter)
    3. Node: Was aware of. (Geoff Tibballs)
    4. Gardener: A man who never lets grass grow under his feet (Art Moger)
    5. Abstain: To apply too much sun tan coloring to one's body. (Pun Define)
    6. Bookkeeping: the practice of never returning library books. (Douglas Drill)
    7. Eyebrows: What I do in a book store. (Brandy Brandon)
    8. Falsehood: A wig. (Leonard Fechtner)
    9. POP Server: Mom (Stan Kegel)
    10. Impromptu Party: Revel without a cause.


  • Saturday, 28 APRIL
    • WCCFL 26

      All day in 370 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

  • Sunday, 29 APRIL
    • WCCFL 26

      All day in 370 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

    • Stanford Phonology Workshop

      16:00 in MJH 126

      Alessandro Jaker
      Geminate Ejectives and Tonal Feet in Yellowknife Dogrib (a practice-talk for WAIL)

    • Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop

      12:00 in MJH 126

      Manfred Krifka (Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin)
      Postposed additive particles as markers of givenness (abstract)
    • CSLI Tea

      15:00 in the Cordura Hall Greenhouse
    • Linguistics Department Talk

      16:45 in MJH 126

      Steve Whittaker (with Simon Tucker) (University of Sheffield)
      Dynamic Summarization: Exploring New Interfaces for Extracting Information from Speech and Text
    • Stanford Syntax Workshop

      17:30 in MJH 126

      Douglas Ball
      A Unified Analysis of Niuean/Tongic (`)Aki


    • Department of Asian Languages and the DLCL Research Group "Diversity in Language" Lecture

      12:00 in Bldg. 50, Asian Languages Library

      Masako K. Hiraga, (Rikkyo University and UC Berkeley)
      How Iconicity Works in Basho's Haiku: A Linguistic Analysis of Revisions
    • Berkeley Syntax and Semantics Circle

      14:30 in 1229 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

      Geoffrey Nunberg (UC Berkeley School of Information/CSLI)
    • Friday Cognitive Seminar (Psychology)

      15:15 in Jordan Hall (Bldg. 420), room 050

      Sandra Lozano and Daniel Casasanto (Psychology)
      Metaphorical meaning in motion.
    • QP Fest

      14:15 in MJH 126

      Program TBA
    • Weekly Social

      16:30 in the department lounge. Gourmet delights from the QP Fest Committee!.



  • END OF THE YEAR PARTY now confirmed for Saturday, June 9. Live Music by Creole Formation and Dead Tongues!
  • For local linguistic events, always consult the Department's event page, available RIGHT HERE

  • Got broader interests? The New Sesquipedalian 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.


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April 27, 2007
Vol. 3, Issue 25

This Issue's Sesquipedalian Staff

Editor in Chief:
Ivan A. Sag

Design and Production Consultant:
Philip Hofmeister

Contributing Humor Editor:
Susan D. Fischer

Tom Wasow

Andrew Koontz-Garboden

Newsletter Committee: Scott Grimm, Graham Katz, Ani Nenkova

Photographer: Gretchen Lantz

Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut