Stanford Linguistics
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Department News

  • (Rebecca) Starr has just accepted a job as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University, where she will be teaching both Chinese and Linguistics. Way to go, Starr!
  • Congratulations also to Lauri Karttunen, who on April 23 was honored as recipient of the Indiana University Linguistics Department's Distinguished Alumni Award. Lauri received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University in 1969.

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    Look Who's Talking

  • If you're in Paris next week, you could put on your raincoat and head over to ENS PARIS (29, rue d'Ulm), where you'd find an interesting conference on: Genericity: Interpretation and Uses (GENIUS I) Lots of stars there, including two Stanford alums:
    • Ashwini Deo (Yale University)
      Imperfective Aspect and Genericity
    • Christopher Piñón (Lille III)
      Another look at the actuality entailment of certain modal verbs
  • Alternatively, if you happen to be in Athens, Georgia, there's the workshop on pragmatics and syntax of early Indo-European languages, whose program includes:
    • Paul Kiparsky
      Predicting the Syntax of Passives in Indo-European Languages: Evidence for a Null Theory of Voice
  • And if you're in Ithaca next weekend, you could catch the Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics conference, being held at Cornell. Their program includes:
    • Babby's puzzle: syntax or morphology?
      Asya Pereltsvaig (Stanford University)
    • Interactions of tone and stress in Standard Serbian: phonological and phonetic evidence
      Draga Zec (Cornell University) and Elizabeth Zsiga (Georgetown University)
    In addition there's a poster by Asya Peretsvaig and Olga Kagan (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) on: "Bare NPs and semantic incorporation: objects of na-sja verbs at the syntax-semantics interface"
  • Or, if next weekend finds you instead in Cambridge, MA, you could always attend the SULA (Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas) Meeting, being hosted by Harvard and MIT. On Friday, you'd find two Stanford aliums presenting:

    • Judith Tonhauser (Ohio State University): On the temporal and modal interpretation of unmarked verbs in Paraguayan Guarani
    • Andrew Koontz-Garboden (University of Manchester): Ulwa possessed property concepts

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    Look Who's Talking (about Condoleezza Rice)

  • Of all the pieces on the recent Rice "incident" at a Stanford dorm, the New Sesquipedalian particularly enjoyed this one: Condi's Really Bad Day
  • And here's an interesting little piece on some of Professor Rice's academic writing.

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    Meghan's Mystery Name Game

    Meghan hasn't told yet who won last week's contest, but that doesn't mean you can't be the first one to correctly identify the following name and win this week's prize. Voici:


    Linguistic Levity

    Hard-Hitting Journalism

    The Sesquipedalian research team has just uncovered some shocking news from the Manitoba Herald (a very underground paper), which presents little known facts about the pre-election behavior of American liberals.

    The Middle Wife

    We've also intercepted a communiqué about recent developments at a second-grade show-and-tell event. Read about it here.



    For events farther in the future consult the Upcoming Events Page.

    • Speech Lunch

      Bruno Ruviaro from CCRMA will give an Overview of Music and Speech Intersections in the 20th century.
    • QP Festival

      Students present research they've done for their QPs in a conference-talk format.
      1:00pm, MJH 126
    • Department Social

      4:00pm, lounge
    • UCSC Linguistics Colloquium

      Uli Sauerland
      Clauses as Complementizers: Embedding in Teiwa
      4-5:30pm, Humanities One, Rm 202, UCSC
    • TREND

      Trilateral Weekend - MJH Terrace Room
  • MONDAY, 11 MAY
    • Special Event of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization and the Stanford Liberation Technologies Program

      Batya Friedman (U Washington)
      Max Andrew (Cinematographer)
      "Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal: Striving for Justice after Genocide"
      12-1:30pm, Tressider Oak West

      Cosponsored by the Department of Linguistics and the Program in Symbolic Systems
  • FRIDAY, 15 MAY
    • Speech Lunch

      "Probabilistically conditioned phonological variation in spoken Dutch"
      Hal Tily and Victor Kuperman
    • Semantics Workshop

      Bhuvana Narasimhan (U Colorado, Boulder)
      Information status and word order in child and adult language
      3:30pm, MJH 126
    • Department Social

      5:00pm, lounge
    • UCSC Linguistics Colloquium

      Heidi Harley (U Arizona)
      4-5:30pm, Humanities One, Rm 202, UCSC

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  • The 33rd Stanford Child Language Research Forum, on 'Experience and Variation in Learning a First Language' will be held on July 10-12, 2009, as one of the Institute Conferences during the LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. The two invited speakers are William Croft (UNM) and Tom Griffiths (UC Berkeley). The Program and general information on lodgings, etc., is available online.

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  • UPCOMING EVENTS (always under construction)
  • Got broader interests? The New Sesquipedalian recommends reading, or even subscribing, to the CSLI Calendar, available HERE.

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    Wondering where your bike went? Wondering what the police are up to lately? Sounds like you would benefit from the perusal of the RAP sheet, the publication of the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDS).


    Blood needed!

    The Stanford Blood Center is reporting a shortage of types O-, A-, and B-. For an appointment, visit or call 650-723-7831. It only takes an hour of your time and you get free cookies. And the Blood Center recently got a new bloodmobile. Check it out HERE


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    8 May 2009
    Vol. 5, Issue 24

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Beth Levin
    Penny Eckert

    Alyssa Ferree

    Humor Consultant:
    Susan D. Fischer

    Melanie Levin
    Kyle Wohlmut