Stanford Linguistics
A Stanford Linguistics 
       department        contribute        archives

Department News

  • GRETCHEN GIVES BIRTH!: A warm Sesquipediwelcome to John Walfred Lantz III, who was born on December 5th at 6:02pm. He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mother and family continue to be doing fine. Congratulations from all of us.

  • AND SO DOES MIDORI!: David Oshima writes to report that his wife Midori Hayashi (also a linguist, trained at U. Toronto) gave birth to their first son, Tetsuhiro, on December 9th, 9:37am JST. David says `Mother and baby are both doing great'. We hope David is, too... Mazelu Tovu!

  • Sesquicontgratulations also to Eve Clark, who was recently appointed `Richard W. Lyman Professor in the Humanities'. This honor is in recognition of Eve's many contributions to the field of linguistics and to the university.
  • The Journal of English Linguistics has published an interview with Elizabeth Traugott conducted by Scott Schwenter. The interview can be downloaded without cost for a while at this link: You can also simply access the 'Journal of English Linguistics' home page at SAGE and link to the .pdf file from there.
  • Sorry if you missed the Stanford party at the recent LSA meetings in Chicago. If you didn't know about, it's because it was hastily conceived less than 24 hours in advance and news of it was spread haphazardly -- word of mouth only. To rectify this situation, however, the department has already committed the resources required to ensure one free drink for every student or alum who shows up at next year's Stanford LSA party in Portland, Oregon. `Be there or be square', says our Chair.
  • LOOKING FOR A LINGUISTICS JOB? The The AcademicKeys website lists 85 faculty openings, 6 senior administrative positions, 9 Post-doc opportunities and links to hundreds more positions in higher education. Check out both the humanities and social science listings at

  • divider

    Look Who's Talking

  • More LSA News... And a sincere Sesquipedapology to John T. Beavers, whose interesting and provocative LSA presentations we forgot to include in the last issue's announcement.
    • Cala Zubair (Georgetown University) & John Beavers (University of Texas at Austin):
      Non-nominative subjects and the involitive construction in Sinhala
    • John Beavers (University of Texas at Austin):
      The true role of affectedness in NP-preposing
  • Andrew Koontz-Garboden (U. Manchester), John Beavers (UT Austin), and Steve Wechsler (UT Austin) are all speaking at the NORMS Workshop on Argument Structure in Lund February 5-6.

  • divider

    Caught in the Act

    The True Meaning of Chanukah


    Fact, not Fiction!

  • Tense Situation in Brazil

    The present participle has recently been banned by the Federal District Governor of Brazil. Check it out here.

  • divider

    Linguistic Levity

    Words of Wisdom:
    • I live in my own little world but it's OK, everyone knows me here.
    • I don't do drugs 'cause I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
    • Sign In Japanese Pet Store:"Buy one dog, get one flea..."
    • Money can't buy happiness but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
    • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the "terminal"?
    • I don't approve of political jokes. I've seen too many of them get elected.
    • The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
    • If life deals you lemons, make lemonade; if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
    • Shopping tip: You can get shoes for a buck at bowling alleys.
    • I am a nobody, nobody is perfect , and therefore I am perfect.
    • Everyday I beat my own previous record for number of consecutive days I've stayed alive.
    • That Claudia Schiffer must be a genius because I told a friend my plan to attain world peace, and he told me I have "Schiffer Brains."
    • No one ever says "It's only a game!" when their team is winning.
    • How long a minute is, depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.
    • Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?
    • Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?
    • Marriage changes passion...suddenly you're in bed with a relative.
    • Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.
    • Every time I walk into a singles bar I can hear Mom's wise words: Don't pick that up, you don't know where it's been!"



    For events farther in the future consult the Upcoming Events Page.
      • Experimental Syntax Research Seminar

        Organizational Meeting

        2:00 PM in the Phonetics Lab
      • Weekly Social!

        4:00 PM in the Department Lounge.
      • Mathematical Logic Seminar

        Michael Glanzberg (UC Davis)
        "Definites and Modality in Dynamic Semantics"
        4:15-5:30 PM, 420-048
      • Workshop on Teaching Writing Skills to Undergraduate Linguistics Students

        Participants should have RSVP'd to Lauren Hall-Lew (dialect at stanford dot edu) by Wednesday, January 9
        12:00 AM-1:00 PM, 460-126
      • UCSC Linguistics Colloquium

        Adrian Brasoveanu
        "Uniqueness Effects in Correlatives"
        4:00 PM, Humanities One, Room 202, UC Santa Cruz
      • San Francisco Ask A Scientist

        Terry Deacon (Biological Anthropology and Linguistics, UC Berkeley)
        "Where Did Language Come From?"
        7:00 PM, Axis Cafe, 1201 8th Street (btw. 16th & Irwin) San Francisco
      • CSLI CogLunch

        John Kadvany (Policy and Decision Science)
        "Computation as Grammaticalization"
        12:00 PM, Cordura Hall 100

        [Note that this talk (abstract available here) relates Paninian theory to Post rewrite systems!]
      • Sociorap

        Kathryn Campbell-Kibler (The Ohio State University)
        "Variables vs. variants: What is the unit of sociolinguistic perception?"
        5:15 PM, Greenberg Room 460-126
      • Speech Lunch

        Inbal Arnon
        "The storing of multi-word chunks: Frequency effects on latency and duration"
        12:00 PM, Phonetics Lab
      • Stanford Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop

        Danny Bobrow, Cleo Condoravdi, Lauri Karttunen, Tracy Holloway King, Valeria de Paiva, and Annie Zaenen (PARC Natural Language Group)
        "Computing Linguistically-based Textual Inferences"
        3:30 PM, Greenberg Room 460-126
      • Weekly Social!

        5:00 PM in the Department Lounge.

    • divider

    • UPCOMING EVENTS (always under construction)
    • Got broader interests? The New Sesquipedalian recommends reading or even subscribing to the CSLI Calendar, available HERE.


    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.


    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? Write directly to


    11 January 2008
    Vol. 4, Issue 11

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag
    Beth Levin

    Humor Consultants:
    Susan D. Fischer, Tom Wasow

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut