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Department News

  • Delson reviewed in the NY Times Book Review: It was 1997 when Rudy Delson got his BA in Linguistics from Stanford. His latest novel -- MAYNARD and JENNICA (2007, Houghton Mifflin Company, 300 pp.) has just been reviewed in Thomas Beller's column in the NYTBR. Check it out HERE.
  • Ivan Sag was recently elected a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America, along with Judith Aissen, Paul Chapin, John Goldsmith, Jay Jasanoff, Richard Kayne, Howard Lasnik, Marianne Mithun, Geoffrey Pullum, and Jerrold Sadock. That's very nice, but it seems like a lot of boys...

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    Look Who's Talking

  • Joel Wallenberg (BA Stanford Linguistics 2003, now a grad student at Penn) is presenting his dissertation proposal on Tuesday, November 27th. The title is: Generalizing Holmberg's Generalization: scrambling and phrase structure in synchronic and diachronic perspective Drop him a line to wish him well (!
  • Arto Anttila is giving a colloquium on Friday, November 30 at UC Santa Cruz. Arto will address the most important issue in modern phonological theory, indeed in all of modern linguistics, given how frequently it appears as a talk title -- the magical, mystical, inimitable, unpronouncable syllable TBA! Attendance is expected to be high.

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    Fact, not Fiction!

  • Have Women Made Progress in Afghanistan?

    Barbara Walters of TV's 20/20 did a story on gender roles in Kabul several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked 5 paces behind their husband. She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. From Ms. W's vantage point, 'despite the overthrow of the Taliban, the women now seem to walk even further behind their husbands and are happy to maintain the old custom'.

    Ms. W approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with the old custom that you once tried so desparately to change?' The woman looked Ms. W straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, 'Land Mines'.

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    Linguistic Levity

  • Today's Flighty Story:

    Eleven people were hanging on a rope, under a helicopter. 10 men and 1 woman. The rope was not strong enough to carry them all, so they decided that 1 had to leave, because otherwise they were all going to fall. They weren't able to choose that person, until the woman gave a very touching speech.

    She said, that she would voluntarily let go of the rope, because, as a woman, she was used to giving up everything for her husband and kids or for men in general, and was used to always making sacrifices with little in return.

    As soon as she finished her speech, all the men started clapping .......

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  • For Lexophiles Only:

    I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

    Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

    Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

    The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

    The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

    To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

    When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

    The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

    A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

    A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

    Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

    We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
  • New speech disorder linguists contracted discovered!

    [This just in from the SpecGram Newsletter]

    New speech disorder linguists contracted discovered!

    An apparently new speech disorder a linguistics department our correspondent visited was affected by has appeared. Those affected our correspondent a local grad student called could hardly understand apparently still speak fluently. The cause experts the LSA sent investigate remains elusive. Frighteningly, linguists linguists linguists sent examined are highly contagious. Physicians neurologists psychologists other linguists called for help called for help called for help didn't help either. The disorder experts reporters SpecGram sent consulted investigated apparently is a case of pathological center embedding.

    Yreka Bakery (Egello College)
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    For events farther in the future consult the Upcoming Events Page.


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

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    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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    16 November 2007
    Vol. 4, Issue 8

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag
    Penny Eckert
    Tom Wasow
    Lauren Hall-Lew

    Humor Consultants:
    Susan D. Fischer, Tom Wasow

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Melanie Levin and Kyle Wohlmut