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Department News

  • Jaker Finds AgrO in Yellow Knife! Our man in the Arctic, none other than grad student Alex Jaker, elicited his first word with object agreement yesterday. Read about this (and his other chilling discoveries) on his blog:
  • Zwicky Honored as GLBT Scientist of the Year!. Sesquicongratulations to Arnold Zwicky, who recently received the 2008 GLBT Scientist of the Year award from NOGLSTP (The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals). He and other NOGLSTP award winners were recently honored at a special reception in Boston held in conjunction with the annual meetings of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). Read more about it HERE.

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    Blast from the Past

    Who are these linguists?

    This picture was taken at the 1966 Linguistic Institute, which was hosted by UCLA. If you can identify the two linguists in this picture (No, not the nun! Her identity is supposed to remain mysterious), please send email to The first person with the correct answer wins a prize. Winner announced next week.


    Linguistic Levity

  • Why did the chicken cross the road?

    A variety of contemporary and meaningful answers:

    DR. PHIL :
    The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

    OPRAH :
    Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

    We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

    Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

    We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

    Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

    That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

    To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

    No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

    DR SEUSS :
    Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

    To die in the rain. Alone.

    Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

    In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

    Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

    Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

    It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

    I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken This new platform is much more stable and will never *cra...#@&&^(C%* ........ reboot.

    Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

    I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

    AL GORE :
    I invented the chicken!

    Did I miss one?

    Where's my gun?

    Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

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    22 February 2008
    Vol. 4, Issue 17

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag

    Beth Levin, Arnold Smith, Penny Eckert

    Humor Consultants:
    Susan D. Fischer, Tom Wasow

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Melanie Levin Kyle Wohlmut

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