Stanford Linguistics
A Stanford Linguistics 
       department        contribute       

Department News

  • A Stanford Linguistics Portal: This webpage, with links to linguistically relevant sites (including journals), useful Stanford sites, tech support, general reference material, entertainment, etc., may be of some use to you or someone you know who is new to our community. Recently updated, this is now available at
  • And while we're talking about useful websites, check out this one. It tells you what to do to talk with a human being immediately at 500 different 800 numbers. Very useful for the summer travel season...
  • Congratulations

    • David Oshima has just moved back to Japan, where he now holds a prestigious JSPS postdoctoral research fellowship at Kobe University.

      [But he's coming back to participate in the Linguistic Institute - The Sesquipeditor]
    • Graduating Seniors

      The following seniors are graduating next week. Here's the information we have about their future plans:

      • Pat Callier is entering the PhD program in Linguistics at Georgetown University in the Fall.
      • Tracy Connor (coterming in Sociology this year), who has been our first `Mentor in the Major', will enter the MA program of the Department of Communications Disorders at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the fall. But first, she will be the residential assistant in the two-week Summer Dialect Research Project to be held in June at UMass's Center for the Study of African American Language.
      • Monique King will be starting a PhD program at Northwestern University in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
      • Eric Lee (also receiving a BS in Chemistry) is starting a PhD in chemistry at Caltech in the Fall.
      • Rowyn McDonald will be living and working in the area.
      • Cole Paulson is starting work this summer at a film production company in New York City. In a year or two hopes to begin graduate school in Linguistics and Anthropology.
      • Marie Rowell. No information available.
      • Jerry Zee will be moving to Shanghai for a year to work at an environmental NGO. After that, he plans to pursue graduate studies in a program where he can address issues relating to language in society.
    Congratulations one and all!
  • Stanford Blood Center: Shortage of O-, A-, and B-. For an appointment: or call 650-723-7831. It only takes an hour of your time and you get free cookies.


Caught in the Act

A True Garage Band in its Element

This shot captures the Department's unofficial Rock and Roll band - DEAD TONGUES, who are hard at work preparing for the end of the year party tomorrow. Don't miss this event! Shown here (from left to right) John Niekrasz, Peter Sells, Lauren Hall-Lew, Laura Casasanto (really?), Lis Norcliffe, Liz Coppock, Ivan Sag, and Dan Jurafsky. Dan's appearance in this photo is purely cymbalic.


Linguistic Levity


  • Demonstrate: A reformed devil (Guy Ben-Moshe)
  • Cannibals: Package of tennis balls. (Stan Kegel)
  • Determination: Talking the boss out of firing you. (Ken Pinkham)
  • Denominator: One who puts a candidate's name into the ring. (Stan Kegel)
  • Deliberated: What happens when a woman gets married. (Gary Hallock)
  • Fulgent: A man who has eaten all that he can. (Rosalie Moscovitch)
  • Precede: Preparing soil for planting (Douglas Drill)
  • Jacket: What you do to your car before you change a tire. (Rosalie Moscovitch)
  • Docket: The Harbor Patrol equivalent of the highway patrolman's "Pull over, bub!" (Lars Hanson)
  • Offend: The wide receiver in football (Douglas Drill)
  • Overcast: To hire too many actors for a film (Mike Shinn)
  • Longshoremen: A pier group (Stan Kegel)
  • Bassinet: What every fisherman wants.
  • Triad - How to improve your dwindling clientele (Bob Dvorak)
  • Karaoke: A Japanese word meaning "tone deaf". (Steve Fullenwider)
  • Tuscan - Method of greeting between two elephants (Cynthia MacGregor)
  • Hunger: What the posse did to the lady rustler.
  • Skier: Someone who pays an arm and a leg to break them. (Steve Fullenwider)


  • Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children." --Author Unknown
  • "My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" --Paula Poundstone
  • "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: "Duh."--Conan O'Brien
  • "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'" --Richard Jeni
  • "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography." --Paul Rodriguez
  • "My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that's the law." --Jerry Seinfeld
  • "Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same." --Oscar Wilde
  • "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress...but I repeat myself." --Mark Twain
  • "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Afghanistan." --A. Whitney Brown
  • Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken. --Unknown, presumed deceased
  • "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." -- W. C. Fields


Blast From the Past

Who is this Guy?

Hint: It isn't John Lennon, Ray Jackendoff, Peter Culicover, or Brady Clark....



    • Linguistics Department Colloquium

      15:30 in MJH 126

      Carla Hudson Kam (UC Berkeley)
      Getting it right by getting it wrong: Why learners change languages and what learning failures can tell us about the mechanisms involved in acquisition
    • Weekly Social

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


      19:00 at Cordura Hall

      Live music by Dead Tongues and Creole Formation
      Our last fling before the Institute!



      12:00 in Koret Park -- the grove between the School of Education, Meyer Library, and Green Library.



  • For local linguistic events, always consult the Department's events 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.


Want to contribute information? Want to be a reporter? Want to see something appear here regularly? Want to be a regular columnist? Want to take over running the entire operation? Contribute something at the top of this page or write directly to


June 8, 2007
Vol. 3, Issue 31
(last issue of the school year)