The newsletter of The Department of Linguistics, Stanford University

The Stanford Linguistics Log

Volume I, Issue III
February 14, 2005

Please keep news items coming to Melanie.

Congrats! | Autumn Grads | Fieldwork Committee | LSA Annual Meeting | New Faces | Goodbye to Allen | Miscellany Upcoming Events

Award Winning Faculty

John Rickford was named Pritzker University Fellow
in Undergraduate Education

Ivan Sag was awarded LSA's Victoria A. Fromkin Prize
for Distinguished Service

Congrats to our Autumn Doctoral Graduates!

Sarah Roberts
Dissertation Title:
The Emergence of Hawai'i Creole English in the Early 20th Century: The Sociohistorical Context of Creole Genesis

Shiao-Wei Tham
Dissertation Title:
Representing Possessive Predication:
Semantic Dimensions and Pragmatic Bases

Fieldwork Committee Update

After a series of meetings last year, the fieldwork committee established itself at the beginning of this academic year with the aim of building a fieldwork community among Stanford linguists. Our main goals are to promote fieldwork in the department and the PhD program and to make accessible online information resources to students who intend to do fieldwork. Lauren, Lis, and Starr are still in the early stages of developing our website, but if you have suggestions or additions for the page, please email any of them, or contact the members of the fieldwork committee: Lauren, Lis, Jeanette, Mary and Judith.

Stanford Linguists at the Annual LSA Meeting

Stanford linguists braved the east bay commute on January 6th through the 9th for the 79th Annual LSA meeting. Among the presenters and addressers:

Anna Cueni and Joan Bresnan: Explaining the dative alternation with corpus data

Florian Jaeger and Lis Norcliffe: Post-nuclear phrasing: On the relation between accent placement & prosodic phrasing

Dan Jurafsky (with Jason Brenier and Daniel Cer): Emphasis detection in speech using acoustic & lexical features

Colleen Richey: Phone deletion & predictability in spontaneous speech

Ash Asudeh (now at University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and Doug Ball: Niuean incorporated nominals as nonprojecting nouns

Roger Levy: Processing difficulty in verb-final clauses matches syntactic expectations

Peter Sells: Nondative oblique subjects in Japanese

Anna Cueni, Neil Snider, and Annie Zaenen (Palo Alto Research Center): Boundaries to the influence of animates

Laura Staum and Florian Jaeger: Using gradient acceptability judgments to investigate a syntactic construction

Rob Podesva: Consonant variation below the level of the segment

Shiao-Wei Tham: Distinguishing existential & light verb possessive sentences

Judith Tonhauser: Grammar meets discourse: The case of Yucatec Maya

Mary Rose: Where linguistic variation belongs: Monophthongization & local identity in a rural community

Penny Eckert presented her plenary address: "Variation, convention, and social meaning"

Barb Kelly organized the "Current Issues in Structural Priming Research" workshop. Joan Bresnan also participated in a special LSA workshop, "Typology in American Linguistics: An Appraisal of the Field"

New Faces

Please join in greeting the department's newest undergraduate majors: Andrea Burbank, Patrick Callier, Chris Davis, and Francesca Smith!

Also, a hearty welcome to our visiting researchers and scholars who joined us in January:

Gerlof Bouma (Visiting Researcher, University of Groningen) will be in residence winter and spring quarters, working with David Beaver on an optimality theoretic semantics project, focusing on the interpretation of pronouns in discourse.

Alan Rumsey (Visiting Scholar, Australian National University) will be in residence the entire 2005 year, continuing his work on comparative poetics and metrics, speficially on a genre of sung matrical narrative in the Ku Waru region of Papua New Guinea. He is here with his wife, Francesca Merlan, and two children.

Sasha Colhoun (CSLI Visiting Researcher, University of Edinburgh), working on the Stanford-Edinburgh Link Project, to explore the relationship between prosody and discourse semantics.

Allen Adieu

An appreciative contingent came out to bid farewell to Allen Sciutto, who has managed the Linguistics department office with efficiency, skill, and cheer ... and now moves on to the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. We are already at a loss without him! Allen lamented the loss of his oh-so-19th century filofax, while marveling at his new Palm Pilot ... a gift from a grateful department.


Beth Levin was an invited speaker at the 38th Seoul Linguistics Forum in December, where she presented two talks: "Revisiting Dative Arguments" and "Deconstructing the Thematic Hierarchy." While in Seoul, she spent time with former graduate students Eunjin Oh, Hye-Won Choi, and Ki-Sun Hong.

Eve V. Clark gave a plenary lecture on "Inferences about Possible Meanings: Children's Uptake of Unfamiliar Words", at the IV Congreso Internacional sobre la Adquisición de las Lenguas del Estado --Lenguaje e Interculturalidad: una Europa para Compartir, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

The following will be presenting papers at BLS 31, February 18-20th:
David Y. Oshima, "Boundary tones or prominent particles? Variation in Japanese focus-marking contours"),
Florian Jaeger and Tom Wasow, "The role of referential accessibility hierarchies in language production"
Luc Baronian (University of New Brunswick, St. John), "Pre-Acadian Cajun French"
Paul Kiparsky, "Where Stochastic OT fails: discrete models of metrical variation"
Eve Clark, "Acquiring word meanings"

Tom Wasow and Florian Jaeger are invited speakers at two upcoming events:
February 21st, at the ZAS (Center for General Linguistics) of the Humboldt University in Berlin. Their talk is called "New Evidence for Referential Accessibility Hierarchies". A few days later, on February 25, at the Workshop on Exceptions of the DGfS (German Society for Linguistics) in Cologne, they will present "Lexical Variation in Relativizer Frequency".

David Beaver was invited to speak at Sinn und Bedeutung 9, at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands; he delivered "Puzzles of Temporal Prepositions". He will speak at SALT 15 at UCLA, March 2005.


Thursday, February 24th, 4:15pm, Building 380, Room 380C
Natural Language and Speech Processing (NLaSP) Colloquium
Fred Jelinek, Johns Hopkins University
"Random Forests for Language Modeling"

Thursday, February 24th, 5:30pm, Terrace Room, Building 460, Room 426)
Stanford Phonology Workshop
David Mortensen, UC Berkeley, "Abstract Scales in Phonology" ABSTRACT SCALES IN PHONOLOGY

Thursday, March 10, 2005, 4:30pm, Greenberg Room (460-126):
Linguistics Sociorap
Gregory Ward, Northwestern University & Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
"The problem with 'having sex' (and other issues in Language & Sexuality)"

Mark your calendars for the sixth Annual Stanford Semantics Fest, Friday, March 11, Cordura 100