Stanford Linguistics
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Department News

  • Arnold Zwicky was a Ring Master of the Day this year in the LINGUIST List Fund Drive. You can read a bit of his story about how he got into Linguistics HERE. Meanwhile, the Fund Drive is in full swing and at the moment, thanks to your generosity, we are in first place in the Grad School Challenge, with Stanford-affiliated people donating (as of today) $2500 to LINGUIST List. Nice work, folks. If you haven't donated yet, though, please do. Santa Barbara or Arizona might catch up with us... (And when you do, please make sure your contribution is accounted to Stanford!)
  • Online preregistration is now available for the LSA 2008 Summer Meeting--Language as Interface--which will take place at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH from July 10-13. Note that John Rickford and Tom Wasow are giving a special presentation. For more information about the meeting, including a preliminary schedule, please see the LSA's Summer Meeting web page at Or, to preregister directly, go to
  • And sesquicongratulations to Tanya Nikitina, who has just been selected as a recipient of a Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowship for the academic year 2008-2009. Way to go, Tanya!
  • And likewise to Lis Norcliffe, who just received a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Mazel Tov!
  • During the Spring Break, Ivan Sag (taking Penny Eckert along with him) went back to the Mercersburg Academy (from which he was expelled in 1967) to deliver the Cum Laude address. They had a blast, and so did the students... Read the heart-rending speech (with vintage photos from 1965 and 1970) HERE.

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    Look Who's Talking

  • Chaofen Sun (East Asian Languages) is presenting a paper on `Old Chinese *-s, or departing tone, passive and Middle Chinese resultative verb compounds' at the 20th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics [NB: NACCL and NAACL are a minimal pair -the Sesquipeditor]. And at the same conference, Shiaowei Tham (Wellesley College) is coauthor of a paper titled `Verb-le Clauses as Minimal Narratives'.
  • At the upcoming Cornell conference on Experimental and Theoretical Advances in Prosody, the following folks are all presenting:
    • Arto Anttila, Matthew Adams & Mike Speriosu, Stanford University
      The role of prosody in constituent ordering (paper)
    • Celeste Kidd & Florian Jaeger, University of Rochester
      Role of Prosodic Phrasing in Content and Function Word Pronunciation
    • Dan Jurafsky, Stanford University
      tba (paper; who knew that Dan too was working on Georgian)
    • Alexandros Christodoulou & Jennifer E. Arnold, UNC Chapel Hill
      Effects of Production Difficulty on Prosody (poster)
    • Uriel Cohen-Priva & Dan Jurafsky, Stanford University
      Phone Information Content Influences Phone Duration
    • Rebecca Greene, Stanford University
      Pitch Accent Use in Appalachian English (poster)
    • Jennifer Arnold & Zenzi M. Griffin, Georgia Institute of Technology
      Cognitive Effort Influences Acoustic Prominence: The Impact of Memory Resources (poster)
    • Tuan Lam (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Duane Watson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), & Jennifer Arnold (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
      Effects of repeated mention and predictability on the production of acoustic prominence (poster)
  • And at the Arizona Linguistics and Anthropology Symposium upcoming in early May, we find Rebecca Greene, talking on `Language Attitudes in Hirosaki, Japan' and `Pitch Accent Use in Appalachian English', Rudi Gaudio speaking about `Talk of the Nation: pidgin English in Nigeria's New Capital', and Lauren Hall-Lew, whose topic is `Dialect Variation in San Francisco English'.

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    Blast from the Past

    Thanks to all of you who wrote in correctly identifying last week's mystery linguist, who was Roman Jakobson. The first correct guess was by Victor Kuperman, who wins a prize the next time he and the Sesquipeditor are in the same place...

    This week's (famous) mystery linguists are shown here at the 1966 UCLA Linguistic Institute.

    The first correct identification emailed to wins a prize.


    Meghan's Mystery Name Game

    Name the name and be the first to nab Meghan. No telling what prize you'll get...

    Whose name is this?


    Linguistic Levity

  • A Windows Machine with an Attitude

  • A McGurk(-ish) effect a linguist can relate to

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    For events farther in the future consult the Upcoming Events Page.

    • Berkeley Phonetics and Phonology Phorum

      Shira Katseff (UC Berkeley)
      "Making Huds out of Heads"
      12:00pm, 46 Dwinelle, UC Berkeley
    • Phonology Workshop

      Organizational meeting
      3:15pm, MJH Chair's Office
    • Berkeley Linguistics Colloquium

      Derek Bickerton (University of Hawaii)
      "Are Creoles "Exceptional" Languages?"
      4:00pm, 182 Dwinelle, UC Berkeley
    • Psychology Developmental Brownbag

      Kim Plunkett (University of Oxford)
      "The role of labels in infant categorization"
      12:00pm, 420-102

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  • UPCOMING EVENTS (always under construction)
  • Got broader interests? The New Sesquipedalian recommends reading or even subscribing to the CSLI Calendar, available HERE.
  • HOW ABOUT MIT? UMass Amherst? U Chicago? Rutgers?

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    Blood needed!

    The Stanford Blood Center is reporting a shortage of as well as 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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    4 April 2008
    Vol. 4, Issue 21

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag

    Beth Levin, Joan Bresnan, Liz Coppock

    John Ohala

    Humor Consultants:
    Susan D. Fischer
    Tom Wasow

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Melanie Levin
    Kyle Wohlmut

    Other Linguistics Newsletters

    UC Santa Cruz

    UC Berkeley


    UMass Amherst

    U Chicago


    U Manchester