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Department News

  • Zoe Bogart, who graduated in 2007 with a Symbolic Systems BS and worked with John Rickford on the Quotative ALL project, was accepted into the European Masters program in Language Communication and Technology, and will study at the University of Malta and the University of Groningen, all expenses paid by the European Commision. Prosit! Gefeliciteerd!
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    Look Who's Talking

  • Our editor Ivan Sag is in Chicago participating in the parasession on Locality in Language at the 45th annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. He gave a paper on "Localist Grammar".
  • Paul Kiparsky gave the Fourth Annual Joshua and Verona Whatmough Lecture at Harvard this week. His title was "Words and Paradigms."
  • Also, we missed a person at New Haven (Connecticut) last weekend at the conference on Imperfective form and imperfective meaning. Fabio del Prete co-presented with Andrea Bonomi (University of Milan) on "Imperfectivity in Branching Time."

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    Meghan's Mystery Name Game

    Marisa Pineda is off to an incredible quarter guessing her own name the first week and "Seung Kyung" last week. Not only did she guess them both correctly, but she did it in record time (an averaged of 5 minutes and 32 seconds after the posting of the newsletter). For her efforts, Marisa snagged a bag of sour patch kids and some fig newtons. Good luck with this week's name, everyone!


    Linguistic Levity

    Pragmatic Farmer

    This one's from John Ohala:

    Farmer Brown and his two-horse wooden cart were in a collision with a delivery truck. At the court hearing where he was seeking damages from the trucking company, the following exchange took place between him, the trucking company's lawyer and the judge.

    Lawyer: "Now, Farmer Brown, my client has agreed to pay you the damages you asked for your broken cart and the two horses who didn't survive the collision. But now you are asking medical costs for yourself - hospitalization and so on. But the police report says that at the scene of the collision when you were asked how you were, you said, and I quote, 'I'm fine! I'm fine!'. Is that true?"

    Farmer Brown: "Yes, but .."

    Lawyer: "No 'but's . You don't deny the facts in the police report?"

    Farmer Brown: "No, but .."

    Lawyer: "Your honor, by his own admission when asked by the policeman on the scene of the accident, how he was, he replied "I'm fine! I'm fine!". Your honor this is a clear case of malingering."

    Judge: "I'd like to hear what Farmer Brown has to say about what happened at the scene of the collision."

    Farmer Brown: "Thank you, your honor. Well, as has already been established, this delivery truck crashed into my cart. My cart was totally demolished, one of my two horses ended up in the ditch and from its cries one could tell it was in bad shape. The other horse ended up on the other side the road and its plaintive cries also indicated it was badly injured. I myself was thrown from the cart and landed up on the road. I was hurtin' real bad. It was plain that I had both legs broken and my collarbone. The policeman arrived pretty soon and he first inspected the horse in the ditch and I heard him say 'Oh, this horse is too far gone, broken legs and all. I'm going to have to put it out of its misery.' And then I heard two gunshots and cries of the horse stopped. Then the policeman inspected the second horse and I heard him say 'This horse is in worse condition than the first one.' And I heard two gunshots and the cries of that horse stopped. Then the policeman came over to me and said 'How are you?'"

    Finno-Ugric Humor

    A Rákosi-rendszer-ben zsúfolt villamos-on utaz-nak az utas-ok.
    The R.-regime-in crowded tram-on travel-3PL.INDEF the traveller-PL

    Két barát unat-koz-ik, az egyik a másik-nak politikai vicc-ek-et mesél.
    2 friend bored-ITER-3SG.INDEF, the one the other-DAT political joke-PL-ACC tell.3PL.INDEF.

    -Tud-od, mi a különbség Kína és Magyarország között?
    know-2SG.DEF, what the difference China and Hungary between?

    -Nem - mond-ja a másik.
    No - say-3SG.DEF the other

    -Míg Kína a mosoly ország-a, addig a-mi itt van, az tiszta röhej.
    While China the smile country-3SG, COMP the-what here is, that pure nonsense.

    Egy harmadik férfi, a-ki mellett-ük áll
    A third man, the-who beside-3PL stand.3SG.INDEF

    és hallgat-ja a vicc-ek-et, meg-szólal:
    and listen-3SG.DEF the joke-PL-ACC, PERF-say.3SG.INDEF

    -Tud-ja, hogy mi a különbség a villamos és maga közt?
    know-3SG.DEF, COMP what the difference the tram and you.POL between?

    -Nem - mond-ja a férfi.
    No - say-3SG.DEF the man

    -A villamos tovább-megy, maga pedig vel-em jö-n.
    The tram onwards-go.3SG.INDEF, you.POL however with-1SG come-3SG.INDEF

    In the Rákosi regime two friends are travelling on a crowded tram. One is telling political jokes to the other.
    "Do you know the difference between China and Hungary?"
    "No," says the other.
    "While China is the country of smiles, whatever is here is just nonsense."
    A third man, who is standing next to them and listening to the jokes, says:
    "Do you know the difference between this tram and you?"
    "No," says the man.
    "This tram is going onward. You however are coming with me."



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

    • Speech Lunch

      Blair Bohannan (CCRMA, Suppes Brain Lab)
      Brain-Wave Representations of Music, Language, and Images
      12:00pm, ExL Lab
    • Department Colloquium

      Matthew Gordon (UCSB)
      Lengthening and prosodic restructuring in Ingrian and Livonian
      3:30pm, MJH 126
    • UCSC Linguistics Colloquium

      Daniel Silverman (San Jose State)
      Neutralization and anti-homophony in Korean
      4-5:30pm, Humanities One, Rm 202, UCSC
    • Department Social

      5:00pm, lounge
    • Psychology Developmental Brownbag

      Ricardo Hoffman Bion (Stanford Psychology)
      12-1:00pm, 420-102
    • Stanford Psychology of Language Tea (SPLaT!)

      Ludovica Serratrice (U Manchester)
      Factors affecting childrens' referential choices
      5:15pm snacks, 5:30 talk, 420-417 (note different place!)
    • SocioRap

      Caroline Tamsin Piercy (U Essex)
      /a:/ and /α:/ in Dorset English
      5:15pm snacks, 5:30 talk, MJH 126

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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.

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    16 April 2009
    Vol. 5, Issue 21

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Beth Levin
    John Rickford

    Humor Consultants:
    Susan D. Fischer
    John Ohala

    Melanie Levin
    Kyle Wohlmut