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Department News


    FRIDAY, MAY 4TH 2007 from 2:15 to 4:30 Margaret Jacks Hall, room 126.

    • 2:15-2:45 Olga Dmitrieva Consonant length in Russian: Sociolinguistic and linguistic constraints
    • 2:45-3:15 Yuan Zhao The effect of lexical frequency on tone space dispersion: Evidence from Cantonese tone production
    • 3:30-4:00 Anubha Kothari Accented pronouns and unusual antecedents: A corpus study
    • 4:00-4:30 Hal Tily Phonetic effects of syntactic probability
    • 4:30 Celebrations/departamental social
    Look at here for abstracts and more information
  • Congratulations!

    • Ivan Sag has been elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ivan is in such fine company in this year's class as former vice-president Al Gore, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. (Perhaps surprisingly, Ivan is in Humanities and Arts, Section 3, Literary Criticism (including Philology) not section 5, Visual and Performing Arts - Criticism and Practice )
  • Look Who's Talking

    • Joan Bresnan gave the keynote address at the Linguistic Student Association Spring Colloquium at UCSD this past Friday.
    • On the same day, a continent away, John Rickford and Angela Rickford gave a special talk entitled From Outside Agitators to Inside Implementers: Improving the Literacy Education of African American Vernacular and Creole Speakers at the Center for the Study of African American Language at UMass Amherst.
    • Joan Bresnan will also be giving an invited talk “Probabilistic Knowledge of Syntax -- evidence from the English dative.” at FAVS, Formal Approaches to Variation in Syntax, on May 12th. The event is taking place at the University of York in the UK. At the same event Marie-Catherine de Marneffe and Scott Grimm will present a paper describing the results of Joan's class from last quarter:
      Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Uriel Cohen Priva, Scott Grimm, Sander Lestrade, Gorkem Ozbek, Tyler Schnoebelen, Susannah Kirby, Misha Becker, Vivienne Fong & Joan Bresnan. “A statistical Model of Grammatical Choices in Children’s Productions of Dative Sentences.”
    • Doug Ball gives his talk A unified aalysis of Niuean (Toingic) 'aki' Friday at the Austronesian Formal Linguistic Association meeting at McGill University.

Caught in the Act

Did you know? Madagascar is seen as one of the earth's three top biodiversity hotspots, which combined with it being one of the world's poorest countries make it widely regarded as the planet's highest conservation priority. Over 80% of the island's species are unique to it, the most widely known endemic creature being the lemur. Between 85-95% of Madascar's original forest cover has already been destroyed, leaving most of these species endangered. What's more the lemur communicates using the sense of smell! Help prevent this linguistic isolate from going extinct.


Linguistic Levity

If you do regularly read the humor section in the newsletter---there is no new posting this week. But if you are mostly looking for an excuse to prolong procrastination, check out a recent article on NLP and Wall Street. HAL 9000-Style Machines, Kubrick's Fantasy, Outwit Traders


  • FRIDAY, 4 May
    • Fourth Annual QP Fest

      Margaret Jacks Hall 460 room 126
    • Department of Asian Languages and the DLCL Research Group "Diversity in Language" Lecture

      12:00 in Bldg. 50, Asian Languages Library

      Masako K. Hiraga, (Rikkyo University and UC Berkeley)
      How Iconicity Works in Basho's Haiku: A Linguistic Analysis of Revisions
    • Berkeley Syntax and Semantics Circle

      14:30 in 1229 Dwinelle Hall (UC Berkeley)

      Geoffrey Nunberg (UC Berkeley School of Information/CSLI)
  • Monday, 7 May
  • Friday, 11 May



  • END OF THE YEAR PARTY is Saturday, June 9. Live Music by Creole Formation and Dead Tongues!Nobody will want to miss it.
  • 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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May 4, 2007
Vol. 3, Issue 26

This Issue's Sesquipedalian Staff

Editor in Chief:
Ivan A. Sag

Design and Production Consultant:
Philip Hofmeister

Contributing Humor Editor:
Susan D. Fischer

Tom Wasow

Andrew Koontz-Garboden

Newsletter Committee: Scott Grimm, Graham Katz, Ani Nenkova

Photographer: Gretchen Lantz

Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut