Stanford Linguistics
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Department News

  • Are you an undergraduate majoring in Linguistics looking for an opportunity to do research? If so, you might be interested in the Undergraduate Linguistics Research Internships for Summer 2007. Applications are due on or before March 5. The online information is available HERE.
  • Look Who's Talking

    • Mary Rose (Ohio State) gave a talk at Ohio State on February 9 entitled `Style Endures'.
    • Rumor has it that Graham Katz gave a talk last week at Georgetown University, but the New Sesquipedalian has no confirmation and is continuing to investigate.
    • Kathryn Campbell-Kibler (U. Michigan) presented `Sociolinguistic cognition: (ING) and the evaluation of expertise' at the University of Washington on February 2nd, at the University of South Carolina on Feb 5th, and at The Ohio State University on February 18th.
    • Tanya Nikitina is talking at UT Austin on Feb 26th. The title of her talk is: The category of verb in Mande: typological profile and historical development.
  • Stanford Blood Center: Shortage of all types. 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


Here's Zenzi Griffin (Georgia Tech Psychology) answering questions (and drinking coffee...) at this thursday's SPLaT (Stanford Psychology of Language Tea), where she gave an exciting presentation called `How speakers' eye movements reflect spoken language generation'. It's amazing what you can tell from watching people's eyes about how they plan what they're going to say! If SPLaT people are staring you down this week, now you know why... (Caveat: you might not know who they are, since SPLaT people come from many different departments and meet in dimly lit rooms in the dead of night...)


Linguistic Levity

ENGLISH - Intellectual exercise...A wonderful and expressive language

Read and learn
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  • Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
  • The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
  • The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
  • To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
  • When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
  • The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
  • A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
  • A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
  • Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
  • We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
  • When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U C L A.
  • The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shak ground.
  • The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
  • If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
  • A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
  • What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway)
  • A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
  • Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
  • A backward poet writes inverse.
  • In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes...
  • A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
  • If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
  • With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
  • Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  • The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
  • A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
  • He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
  • A calendar's days are numbered.
  • A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
  • A boiled egg is hard to beat.
  • He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
  • A plateau is a high form of flattery.
  • Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  • When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
  • When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
  • Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
  • Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
  • Acupuncture: a jab well done.



    • Berkeley Institute of Cognitive and Brain Seminar

      11:00 in Tolman 5101 (UC Berkeley)

      Brian Moore (University of Cambridge)
      The role of temporal fine structure in pitch perception and speech perception
    • SocioLunch

      12:30 in MJH 110 (the Ugly Dark Room)

      Bring Sociothoughts!
    • Friday Cognitive Seminar (Psychology)

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

      Caitlin Fausey (Stanford Psychology)
      Se what? Agents, accidents and attributions in English and Spanish
    • Berkeley Syntax and Semantics Circle

      14:30-16:00 in 233 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

      Ange Strom-Weber will present a discussion of `Subjacency and S-structure movement of wh-in-situ,' by Akira Watanabe (Journal of East Asian Linguistics 1: 255--291, 1992). (.pdf file [not freely available because of Stanford Library restrictions...])
    • Department Colloquium

      15:30 in MJH 126

      Rachid Ridouane (U. Paris 3)
      Voiceless, vowel-less syllables in Tashlhiyt Berber: phonetic and phonological evidence
    • UC Santa Cruz Linguistics Colloquium

      16:00 in 202 Humanities I (UC Santa Cruz)

      Robert Kluender (UC San Diego)
      What the Brain `Thinks' About Syntactic vs. Discourse Referential Dependencies (abstract)
    • Weekly Social

      17:00 in the department lounge. Gourmet delights from the Social Committee.

    • Berkeley Phonetics and Phonology forum

      14:00 in 46 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

      Carl Haber (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
      Imaging the Sounds of the Past: New Optical Methods to Restore Audio Recordings
    • UC Berkeley Linguistics Colloquium

      16:10 in 182 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

      Seyda Ozcaliskan (University of Chicago)
      From first words to first metaphors: Gesture is at the cutting edge of language learning.

    • Linguistics Department Meeting

      12:00 in MJH 126 to discuss the Phonetics Search...
    • CSLI Tea

      15:00 in the Cordura Hall Greenhouse


    • CSLI CogLunch

      12:00 in Cordura Hall 100

      Jay McClelland (Stanford Psychology)
      Title to be announced
    • UC Berkeley Linguistics Colloquium

      17:00 in 182 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

      Susanne Gahl (University of Chicago)
      Title to be announced
    • Stanford Psychology of Language Tea (SPLAT)

      17:15 in MJH 126

      Franklin Chang (NTT Communication Science Laboratories, Kyoto, Japan)
      What is syntax? Connecting adult and child psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, and linguistic typology

    • Berkeley Institute of Cognitive and Brain Seminar

      11:00 in Tolman 5101 (UC Berkeley)

      Lotfi Zadeh (UC Berkeley)
      A Natural-Language-Based Computational Theory of Perceptions (CTP)
    • SocioLunch

      12:30 in MJH 110 (the Ugly Dark Room)
    • Weekly Social

      17:00 in the department lounge. Gourmet delights from the Social Committee.



  • Linguistics Admissions Open House

    Wednesday-Thursday, March 7-8, 2007.
    Party on Wednesday evening. Live music by Dead Tongues.

    Friday, March 16, 2007.
  • 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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February 23, 2007
Vol. 3, Issue 18

This Issue's Sesquipedalian Staff

Editor in Chief:
Ivan A. Sag

Design and Production Consultant:
Philip Hofmeister

Contributing Humor Editor:
Susan D. Fischer

Newsletter Committee: Scott Grimm, Graham Katz, Ani Nenkova

Photographers: Dan Jurafsky, Philip Hofmeister

Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut