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Department News

  • Thanks to all who took part in the Open House, which seemed to go very well, as far as anyone can tell. The fact that today's faculty meeting is at 8:30 AM, however, shows that nothing is perfect...
  • And the prospie party was a great success on Wednesday night. Things got a bit carried away, though, when the band started switching instruments: Lis on drums, Ivan on guitar, and Dan Jurafsky singing! Whodathunk? Hal Tily caught a bit of it on his phone camera. Check it out HERE.
  • Look Who's Talking

    • Cleo Condoravdi is away this weekend in Tuebingen, where she is an invited speaker at the Workshop on Negation and Polarity. She's presenting a talk called: NPI Licensing and Negation in Temporal Clauses.
    • Dmitry Levinson is also giving a talk at the Tuebingen workshop, called: Licensing of Negative Polarity Particles in English.
    • In addition, Peter Sells and Shin-Sook Kim (U. Frankfurt) are giving a presentation at that same workshop called: Generalizing the Immediate Scope Constraint on NPI Licensing.
    • And the Georgetown University Round Table (GURT) has a couple of Stanford folks presenting this weekend:

      • Stefan Kaufmann (Northwestern University) and Misa Miyachi (University of Chicago) talking about: Case marking and the modal dimension of temporal expressions
      • John Beavers (Georgetown U.) presenting: Predicting argument realization from preposition semantics.

  • The Stanford Blood Center has a shortage of all types. For an appointment, goto or call 650-723-7831. It only takes an hour of your time and you get free cookies.
  • Daylight Savings Time changes this weekend in those parts of the US that observe it. This is earlier than usual and will result in some computers being an hour off since, unless patched, they will not know about the change. Note that it is not sufficient in most cases to manually change the time on your computer since some applications depend on local time and some on universal time. Instead, you need to update the info about timezones/daylight savings changes. Stanford has some info at

Caught in the Act


Rebecca Scarborough to Join the Council on Foreign Relations?

Whoa... According to last week's Financial Times, it looks like our own Rebecca Scarborough has been invited to join the Council on Foreign Relations, a famous Washington think tank! Uhh... wait a minute. Upon closer inspection, this might be Angelina Jolie masquerading as Rebecca... What gives? Rebecca is going to Colorado next year, isn't she?


Linguistic Levity

  • From the web-lore:

    Being a graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the middle, you are usually sick (`Sneezy'), tired (`Sleepy'), and irritable (`Grumpy'). But at the end, they call you `Doc', and then you're `Happy'.
  • Anonymous:

    1. How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit? Unique Up On It.
    2. How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit? Tame Way, Unique Up On It.
    3. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest? They Take The Psycho Path.
    4. How Do You Get Holy Water? You Boil The Hell Out Of It.
    5. What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall? Dam!
    6. What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long? Polaroids.
    7. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work? A Stick.
    8. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours? Nacho Cheese.
    9. What Do You Call Santa's Helpers? Subordinate Clauses.
    10. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand? Quattro Sinko.
    11. What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow? Spoiled Milk.
    12. What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire? Frostbite.
    13. What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches? A Nervous Wreck.
    14. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup? Anyone Can Roast Beef.
    15. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs? Right Where You Left Him.
    16. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils? Because They Have Big Fingers.
    17. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive? Because It Scares The Dog.
    18. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic? Sanka.
    19. What Is The Difference Between a Harley And a Hoover? The Location Of The Dirt Bag.
    20. Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down? Because They Wore Their B Hat.
    21. What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver? A Bad Golfer Goes Whack, Dang!
    22. A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack.
    23. How Is a TexasTornado And a AlabamaDivorce The Same? Somebody's Gonna Lose A Trailer!


    • SocioLunch

      12:30 in MJH 110 (the former Ugly Dark Room)
    • Friday Cognitive Seminar (Psychology)

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

      • Steve Flusberg: Thinking about thinking about thinking: language, space, and folk psychology
      • Jeremy Glick: Trigrams, ah, ah, ah: Counting the way towards Bayesian connectionism with word segmentation.
      • Daniel Sternberg: Causality as context in implicit contingency learning
    • Linguistics Department Colloquium

      15:30 in MJH 126

      John McCarthy (U. Mass.)
      Getting to Optimality (abstract)
    • Weekly Social

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

    • Dynamics of Probabilistic Grammar Project

      Kick-off event: 12:00 -- 17:00 in MJH 126 (Lunch Provided)

    • UCSC Syntax Circle

      12:00 in Humanities 1, 200 (UC Santa Cruz)

      Kyle Rawlins will present some of his ongoing research on the syntax of bare disjunctive interrogatives.
    • Symbolic Systems Forum

      16:15 in Bldg. 380, room 380C (Math Corner)

      Gorkem Ozbek (SSP MS Candidate)
      Toward a Translation Model for English to Turkish Machine Translation
    • Stanford Psychology of Language Tea (SPLAT)

      17:15 in MJH 126

      Neal Snider




  • 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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March 9, 2007
Vol. 3, Issue 20

This Issue's Sesquipedalian Staff

Editor in Chief:
Ivan A. Sag

Design and Production Consultant:
Philip Hofmeister

Contributing Humor Editor:
Susan D. Fischer

Reporters: Heriberto Avelino, Andrew Koontz-Garboden

Newsletter Committee: Scott Grimm, Graham Katz, Ani Nenkova

Photographer: Penny Eckert

Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut