Stanford Linguistics

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New students

A hearty welcome to our 2005-06 incoming PhD students. Here's what they had to say about themselves:

Olga Dmitrieva (University of Kansas)

I was born in the Ukraine, lived mostly in Russia. I received my bachelor's degree in Romance and Germanic philology from Tomsk State University, Russia, and I just received my master's in linguistics from the University of Kansas, USA. My current interests in linguistics include phonetics and phonology in general. In particular, I have worked on incomplete neutralization in Russian final devoicing, and free variation and geminates in Russian.

Anubha Kothari (Rutgers University (by way of The Farm))

I am a native of California, though most of my younger years were spent in India and Singapore. I'm returning to Stanford after spending two years in the Linguistics department at Rutgers University. Broadly put, I'm interested in semantics, pragmatics, computational linguistics, and syntax. I'd like to study South Asian languages. I'm becoming more and more interested in psycholinguistics and language processing, too!

Stacy Lewis (Ohio State University)

I'm originally from West Union, a rural town in Southern Ohio, but I spent the past five years in Columbus at OSU. My primary area of interest is language variation & change, and my "big" project as an undergrad was a sociophonetic analysis of local dialect maintenance/avoidance among adolescents in my hometown. Other areas of interest include comparative Indo-European, Sanskrit, Bantu verb morphology, dialectology (with an emphasis on varieties of English), and metrics.

Nola Stephens (Indiana University)

I grew up in Pottsboro, Texas and attended high school in southeastern Oklahoma. As an undergraduate at Indiana Unversity, I had some exposure to lexical semantics, and I'm currently most interested in studying lexical semantics, the syntax-semantics interface, and morphology.


Congrats, Summer Grads!

Call them "Doctor", if you please.

Kathryn Campbell-Kibler
"Listener perceptions of sociolinguistic variables: The case of (ING)"

Roger Levy
"Probabilistic Models of Word Order and Syntactic Discontinuity"
Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Communicating and Collaborative Systems, University of Edinburgh, through 2006, and soon to be Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at UCSD

Jean-Philippe Marcotte
"Causative Alternation Errors in Child Language Acquisition"
Currently: Assistant Professor, Linguistics Program, University of Minnesota


congrats to Tommy Grano!

Congratulations to Tommy Grano, who has been awarded an Undergraduate Research Assistant Fellowship at the Humanities Center. His project, titled, "What do they tell us not to do, and why?" focuses on the way advice literature on English grammar and usage deals with pronoun case in English. He will be working with Arnold Zwicky, who is one of this year's Humanities Center Fellows.


Stanford at the Summer LSA

Stata Center, MIT

The Stata Center at MIT

A large Stanford contingent attended the Linguistic Society of America's summer school in Boston, living in style at the local MIT chapter of Theta Delta Chi. Despite the sweltering heat and the rigorous nightly routine of intoxicating linguistic debates, everyone made it out alive. The house was even graced by a night of entertainment centered around an appearance by the local death-metal band, The Dead Tongues.

Courses were held at the new Stata Center (pictured right), which replaces MIT's building 20, where many of our faculty enjoyed their own graduate school days. The difference between the old bulding (planned as a temporary site for a radiation laboratory) and the Frank O. Gehry design is like the difference between a rowboat and the starship Enterprise.

Among the courses Stanford faculty and affiliates taught:

Paul Kiparsky, "Historical Phonology"

Penny Eckert and Norma Mendoza-Denton, "Introduction to Sociolinguistics"

David Beaver, "The Semantics and Pragmatics of Focus"

Ivan Sag, "To Move or not to Move: What are the questions?" with Bob Levine and David Pesetsky

Tom Wasow, Ivan Sag, and Emily Bender, "HPSG"

Beth Levin, "Semantic Prominence and Argument Realization"

Dan Jurafsky, "Introduction to Computational Linguistics," with Regina Barzilay

Lauri Karttunen, "Finite-State Methods in Natural Language Processing"

Annie Zaenen, "Why NLP Needs Linguistics: a case study"


... and speaking of summer ...

Let's see if you can guess who did what this summer. We've only enough room for six in this newsletter, more to come in the next edition ...

(Stumped? See the bottom of the page for answers.)

(1) My summer, though largely spent at Stanford, was actually quite busy and intellectually rewarding. My top three most linguistically relevant highlights are: (1) I went to the HPSG Conference in Portugal in late August, (2) I went to Hawaii in July (on a family vacation) and had great fun playing the Polynesian Cognate Game, and (3) I had a fun time giving what amounted to bi-weekly language invention lessons to the department's resident high schooler, Kelly Drinkwater.

(2) I was in my hometown in Kentucky for three weeks, collecting interviews with residents for my QP2 (on intonation in Appalachian English), and visiting with my family. I then was in Tokyo for almost three months. I studied Japanese at Waseda University for six weeks, and then I moved to Shibuya, the hip part of Tokyo, where I enjoyed myself for five weeks. I clubbed, I walked and sat in parks, I ate cheap Japanese fast food, I lived in a place surrounded on all sides by "love hotels," I bought yellow boots, and I met three boys named Ryoh!. Those were my five weeks in Shibuya. It was the time of my life.

(3) I spent 6 weeks in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, doing fieldwork on the Weledeh dialect of Dogrib (Tlicho Yatii). I was interested in morphophonemic alternations such as vowel coalescence, nasalization, and tone sandhi, as well as morpheme order. I worked with the Goyatiko Language Society, a local organization involved in language revitalization and indigenous language literacy, and is currently planning another field trip for sometime next year. Finally, if you're looking for good Mexican food in the Canadian Arctic, try the caribou fajitas at Jose Loco's— they're excellent.

(4) I spent summer studying Japanese at the Inter University Center in Yokohama.

(5) I was around the department for most of the summer, performing "researcher" with John Rickford and Tracy Conner on Language and Identity. I ended up focusing on the linguistic presentation of George W., trying to see if he varied between more or less Southern-sounding in different situations. After wrapping up my internship, I spent some time with family in Napa and then went to an Overseas Seminar taught by Prof. Chaofen Sun from the Asian Lgs. Dept.. in Beijing and Shanghai. The topic was language policy in China so I learned all sorts of interesting things about the Chinese linguistic situation and got a nice introduction to the country at the same time. And Ji Fang was the TA, so even better!

(6) This summer, I went to Alaska with my mother, defended my dissertation, moved cross-country, and started teaching 5th grade...all in the span of 3 weeks. All four activities might best be described as "harrowing." Interested Stanford parties can keep track of the doings in my classroom thru my blog: Miss everyone there.


2005-06 Student Representatives

Complaints, inquiries, suggestions, and requests for a departmental spa can now be directed to your official student representatives. The rumor is, they love, love, love e-mail concerning just about anything! Show them that love.

Undergrad Rep: Tracy Conner
Grad Reps: Inbal Arnon, Lauren Hall-Lew



Late last month, Stanford undergrads, grads, faculty, and alums descended on the Big Apple for NWAV 34 at NYU. Among the presentations:

Laura Staum & Florian Jaeger
That-Omission Beyond Processing: Stylistic and Social Effects

Sarah Roberts
Language Shift in Early Twentieth-Century Hawaii: Evidence from a Corpus of Life Histories

Mary Rose
Linguistic Variation and Social Status in Old Age

Penelope Eckert, Rebecca Regos & Micha Rinkus
Whose Northern California Vowel Shift?

Isabelle Buchstaller & Michael Deeringer
Attitudes towards new ways of reporting and intensifying: All

Kathryn Campbell-Kibler
Variation and the Listener: The contextual meanings of (ING)

John Rickford
Against consensus: Challenging the contentions of the New Anglicists and divergencists concerning the development of AAVE

Robert Podesva
Intonational Variation and Social Meaning: Categorical and Phonetic Aspects

Julie Sweetland
Fostering Teacher Change: Considerations in Influencing Teachers’ Language-Related Attitudes and Practices

The Stanford ALL Project
Intensive and Quotative ALL: Something old, something new

Andrew Wong (now at University of Hawaii)
The Role of Ideology in Semantic Change

Qing Zhang (now at UT Austin)
The fragmentation of the “proletarian revolutionary family”: Use of address terms in contemporary urban China


It's Just a (Recency) Illusion

Did Jesse Sheidlower's article in this week's Slate have you literally scratching your head? Perhaps you've heard Arnold Zwicky make a parallel argument – the Recency Illusion – before.



(1) Doug Ball, (2) Rebecca Greene, (3) Alex Jaker, (4) Hal Tily, (5) Patrick Callier, (6) Julie Sweetland

November 2005
Vol. 2, Issue 1