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Andrew Carnie (U Arizona) wrote a nice review of Asya Pereltsvaig's 2007 Springer book Copular Sentences in Russian: A Theory of Intra-Clausal Relations (paperback edition, 2008). The review was published on LinguistList and is available HERE.


Look Who's Talking

Where was everyone last weekend?

  • Well, Arto Anttila was giving an invited talk -- "The Role of Prosody in the English Dative Alternation" -- at NELS 39, hosted in Ithaca by Cornell University.
  • The rest of the away-team, it seems, was in Houston at NWAV, where one could partake of the following talks:
    • Scott Schwenter (Ohio State U.) et al.: Epistemic Adverbs and Mood Choice in Three Spanish Dialects
    • Katie Drager, Penny Eckert, Kyu-Won Moon: Style and Prosodic Variation
    • Stacy Lewis: The role of amibiguity avoidance in (near-)mergers
    • Rebecca Greene: Language Ideology and Appalachian English
    • Rob Podesva (Georgetown U), Jermay Jamsu, Pat Callier (Georgetown U), Heitman: The social meaning of released /t/ among US politicians: Insights from production and perception
    • Kathryn Campbell-Kibler (Ohio State U): New directions in sociolinguistic cognition
    • Penny Eckert: Getting emotional about social meaning in variation
    • John Rickford, Laura Smith: Relativizer Omission in Anglophone Caribbean Creoles, with implications for the controversy over the English/Creole origins of AAVE
    • Mary Rose (Ohio State U): Aging voices: Social meaning and the linguistic life course
    • Sarah Benor (Hebrew Union College): Reconceptualizing "Ethnolect" as "Ethnolinguistic repertoire"
    • Laura Staum Casasanto (MPI, Nijmegen): What do listeners know about sociolinguistic variation?
    • Lauren Hall-Lew: Vowels and Glides, Whites and Asian Americans: Variation in a San Francisco Neighborhood
    • Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, Mary Louise Pratt, V. J. Cook: Vowel systems in Ohio: Reality and perceptions
    • Carmen Fought (Pitzer College), "On the borderlands of communities: Taking linguistic research to la frontera." (Plenary talk)
    • Pat Callier: H%, L% and Everything Between: Phonetic and Phonological Variation in Mandarin Intonation
    • Rene Blake (NYU), Francesco Cavallaro, Elizabeth Coggshall, Erker, Taylor: New York City English: Perceptual Dialectology and Research Design
    • Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary, U. London), Ashwini Deo (Yale U): Tense-aspect restructuring in contact situations
    • Rebecca Starr: Teaching the Standard Without Speaking the Standard: Variation Among Mandarin-Speaking Teachers in a Dual-Immersion School
    • Sali Tagliamonte and John Paolillo (Indiana U). Variation analysis--everything you always wanted to know (Workshop)


    Caught in the Act

    And what else were those NWAV folks doing in Houston? Partying, obviously! (photos courtesy of John Rickford):


    Meghan's Mystery Name Game

    We were sorry not to include this feature last week, but spectrography is like that: some days your speech is scary, and some days you scarcely speak... Week before last, the winner was Jason Grafmiller, who correctly identified the name "Kate", thereby winning a box of milk chocolates. Be the first to identify this week's name and win something of that ilk, as we enter another exciting chapter of Meghan's Mystery Name Game!


    Linguistic Levity

  • Why the Printer won't work (Turn your computer's sound on....)
  • Polyticks

    Why did the chicken cross the road?
  • BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for change ! The chicken wanted change!
  • JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
  • SARAH PALIN: That road the liberal media claim that chicken crossed? Well that is the Road to Nowhere, and I told Congress "Thanks but no thanks" to that, so there isn't any road for that chicken to cross and any reporter who says otherwise ought to be fired.
  • HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One! that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road.. But then, this really isn't about me.
  • GEORGE W. BUSH: 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.
  • DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?
  • COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
  • BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
  • AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
  • JOHN KERRY: 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.
  • AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
  • 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.
  • ANDERSON COOPER , CNN: 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.
  • NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
  • PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
  • MARTHA STEWART: 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.
  • ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain. Alone.
  • JERRY FALWELL: 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 whitewashes 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.
  • GRANDPA: 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.

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    Finnish Humor

    [submitted by Arto Anttila:]





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

    • SocioTea

      Bring handouts and notes. We'll talk about last week's NWAV!

      10:00am, MJH 126
    • Speech Lunch

      Yiya Chen (Centre for Linguistics, Leiden University) will be talking about her project on the prosodic realization of topic and focus in Shanghai Chinese.

      12:00pm, Linguistics Lab
    • Informal Formal Semantics Reading Group

      Cleo Condoravdi

      3:30pm, MJH Chair's Office
    • UCSC Linguistics Colloquium

      Jessica Rett (UCLA)
      Exclamatives, Degrees and Speech Act Theory

      4:00pm, Humanities One Building, Room 210, UCSC
    • Department Social

      Gourmet delights by the Social Committee

      4:00pm, in the Department Kitchen
    • Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop

      Fabio del Prete (University of Milan/Stanford)
      A non-uniform semantic analysis of the Italian temporal connectives PRIMA (before) and DOPO (after) 12:00pm, MJH 126
    • Media Anthropology Workshop (all day)

      "The Semiotics of Mass Mediation and the Culture of Circulation"
      Joint presentation of Anthropology and Linguistics departments

      9:15am, 50-51A
    • Linguistics Undergraduate Lunch

      Lunch will be served.
      Please RSVP to Alyssa ( by this Friday, November 14th, if at all possible...

      12:00pm, MJH Terrace Room (4th floor)
    • Psychology Developmental Brownbag

      No talk!
    • CCRMA Hearing Seminar

      Sook Young
      "Bone Conduction / Noise Reduction"

      11:30am, CCRMA Hearing Seminar Room, The Knoll
    • Symbolic Systems Forum

      Kenneth Arrow (Stanford Economics and Nobel Laureate)
      "The Subject Matter of Social Choice Theory"

      4:15pm, 380-380C
    • Stanford Psychology of Language Tea (SPLaT!)

      Harald Baayen (U Alberta, Edmonton)

      Tea at 5:15pm, talk at 5:30pm, MJH 126
    • WECOL Conference - UC Davis

    • SocioTea

      10:00am, MJH 126
    • Speech Lunch

      12:00pm, Linguistics Lab
    • UCSC Linguistics Colloquium

      Sharon Inkelas (UC Berkeley)
      An Inside-out Approach to Multiple Exponence in Morphology

      4:00pm, Silverman Conference Room, Stevenson College, UCSC
    • Department Social

      Gourmet delights by the Social Committee

      4:00pm, in the Department Kitchen

  • divider

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

  • divider

    Blood needed!

    The Stanford Blood Center is reporting a shortage of types O, A, B-, and AB-. For an appointment, visit 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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    14 November 2008
    Vol. 5, Issue 8

    Sesquipedalian Staff

    Editor in Chief:
    Ivan A. Sag

    Beth Levin

    Humor Consultant:
    Susan D. Fischer

    Assistant Editor:
    Richard Futrell

    Melanie Levin
    Kyle Wohlmut