Stanford Linguistics
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Greetings to our First-Years!

A warm welcome to our new PhD students. Here's what they have to say for themselves:

Seung Kyung Kim

Seung Kyung Kim:

My main interests center on phonology and phonetics. Speech perception, loanword phonology, and phonological acquisition are some of the topics I find interesting. I am a Korean girl, born and raised in Korea.

Sven Lauer

Sven Lauer:

I was born in Germany, where I got my undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science. Before coming to Stanford this fall, I will be busy finishing my MSc in Logic at the University of Amsterdam. In the past years, my interests have mostly centered on formal [semantics and pragmatics] (naturally extending to certain issues in the philosophy of language). Things I have concerned myself with include the semantics of tense, aspect and modality; the foundations of formal pragmatics; lexical semantics and polysemy; and non-truth- conditional conventional meaning.

James McElvenny

James McElvenny:

I am from Sydney, Australia. At the moment I am mainly interested in language change, in particular historical change and change in contact situations. I am also interested in syntax and fieldwork.

Kyu won Moon

Kyu won Moon:

I studied Korean Linguistics in Seoul National University in Korea. What interests me most right now is linguistic variation, language as a social strategy, language and power, and discourse analysis.

Robert Munro

Robert Munro:

Within linguistics I am particularly interested in computational linguistics and modeling variation, ambiguity, gradience and probabilities in formal linguistic theory. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney in 2004, completing majors in Linguistics, Computer Science, Information Systems, English and Film Studies, then worked for two years on the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. When away from a desk I love travelling, especially by bicycle. I've cycled across Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa but not yet the Americas, which is something I hope to achieve during my time at Stanford.

Stephanie Shih

Stephanie Shih:

I hail from El Sobrante ('The Leftover') in the East Bay and am studying English, music, and linguistics at UC Berkeley. Within linguistics, I am particularly interested in phonology­especially prosody, rhythm, and meter. My main research now analyzes text-setting in jazz bop swing, and I also have an ongoing project with a Northern Tiwa language, Picuris. When not doing phonology homework or text-setting research, I play jazz vibraphone and classical percussion, bake, coordinate WCCFL 26 registration, and drink tea from my thirty-kinds-and-counting tea collection.

Laura Smith

Laura Smith:

I'm a native of Detroit and a graduate of Wayne State University. I work primarily in sociolinguistics, and my goals within that subfield include expanding the present understanding of AAVE through considering its regional and register variation, as well as its role in the construction of black identity. Other linguistic interests include English nativization and the shifting sources of prescriptive authority in post-colonial situations.


Blood needed!

The Stanford Blood Center is reporting a shortage of O-, O+, A-, A+, B-, and AB-. For an appointment: or call 650-723-7831. It only takes an hour of your time and you get free cookies. The Blood Center is also raising money for a new bloodmobile.

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Linguistic Levity

Maybe you have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, but too old to really understand computers in order to fully appreciate this... If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who's on First?" might have gone something like this:

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK,let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

A few days later:
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"




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28 September 2007
Vol. 4, Issue 1

Sesquipedalian Staff

Editor in Chief:
Ivan A. Sag

Gretchen Lantz

Humor Consultants:
Susan D. Fischer, Tom Wasow

Assistant Editor:
Richard Futrell

Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut

Previous Linguistics Department Newsletters: