Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Colloquium Today (10/15) at 3:30 PM: Alan Prince

Join us in the Greenberg Room today as we welcome Alan Prince (Rutgers) for a colloquium. His abstract is given below, as well as a link to a PDF version of the abstract which includes additional figures. The talk will be followed by a social and dinner.

Testing the boundaries: aspects of typological structure in OT

The formal typology is perhaps the central object of modern linguistics, where formal typology = the set of all grammars admitted by the premises of a theory. In OT, this object is both self-consciously placed in the foreground and amenable to study.

A formal typology classifies grammars in terms of the inner mechanisms of its theory. In OT, a typology classifies grammars in terms of shared and distinguishing ranking patterns (Alber & Prince) that collectively combine to give the entire set of grammars in the typology. What these are, and may be, depends on the structure of the typology (Merchant & Prince).

Typological structure in OT involves both geometry and order. A notion of adjacency between grammars leads to the ‘typohedron’ of a typology, where each grammar is represented by a single vertex. Adjacency comes from the linear orders (‘rankings’) that grammars consist of. Basic classification involves sets of grammars that are geometrically adjacent in this sense. Because of the way constraint ranking selects optima, order and equivalence relations between entire grammars, grounded in the geometry, also emerge. Basic classification respects these relations as well. (In Merchant & Prince, they are represented by the MOAT — ‘mother of all tableaux’ — which contains the essential OT properties of each constraint.) Both aspects of structure are representable graphically in ways that render them quite accessible (see PDF version).
The logic of OT ranking leads to two further developments that build from the basic structural elements. (1) Ranking properties may take limited scope, so that in grammars outside the scope of a property, certain distinctions are moot. This follows from the fact that constraints need not be crucially ranked with respect to each other in every grammar. (2) Constraints belong to classes as well, based on the symmetries of their ranking behavior. Constraints must often have an atomic character, but their behavior may echo that of symmetrical partners operating in distal regions of the typology.

Find the augmented abstract pdf here.

Jurafsky book soars to new heights!

Dan Jurafsky’s “craving for culinary wordplay” has earned The Language of Food a piece in the most recent issue of American Airlines’ in-flight magazine. Fortunately AA has made the article available to us earth-bound folks too: read it here. No word yet on how the book’s power to “leave taste buds tempted and their intellects fully nourished” has influenced passengers’ impressions of airplane food.

(Thanks to Tania Rojas-Esponda for the tip-off!)

Look Who’s Talking!

Tania Rojas-Esponda presented to the Artificial Intelligence Research group at Facebook, to the QiD Workshop in Goettingen (University of Potsdam), and gave a talk at Google to the Machine Learning Group this week.

Nicholas Moores gave a talk at Bing Nursery School on his masters thesis work, Children’s Learned Associations with Voice: Perspectives on Children’s Speech Perception in Language Acquisition.

Loads of Stanford linguists will be presenting at NWAV 43 next week at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

  • Teresa Pratt and Annette D’Onofrio will present “Awareness in enregisterment: Performances of the California Vowel Shift in SNL’s The Californians“.
  • Robert Podesva, Penny Eckert, Julia Fine, Katherine Hilton, Sunwoo Jeong, and Sharese King will present “Social Influences on the Degree of Stop Voicing in Inland California”.
  • Penny Eckert will present “Stylistic Innovation and Indexical Obsolescence”.
  • Lelia Glass will present on “Need to vs. have to and got to: A corpus study in semantic variation”.
  • Jeremy Calder will present on “‘Let’s talk about Reading!’: The role of rhythm in drag queen ritual insult“.
  • Annette D’Onofrio will present on “Persona-based information and automatic linguistic perception: Evidence from TRAP-backing”.
  • Patrick Callier will present on “What does the linguistic environment contribute to social meaning?”.

Alan Prince Colloquium Next Friday (10/17) at 3:30 PM

Join us in the Greenberg Room next Friday as we welcome Alan Prince (Rutgers University), who will talk on “Testing the boundaries: aspects of typological structure in OT.” His abstract is given below, as well as a link to a PDF version of the abstract which includes additional figures.

Abstract: The formal typology is perhaps the central object of modern linguistics, where formal typology = the set of all grammars admitted by the premises of a theory. In OT, this object is both self-consciously placed in the foreground and amenable to study.

A formal typology classifies grammars in terms of the inner mechanisms of its theory. In OT, a typology classifies grammars in terms of shared and distinguishing ranking patterns (Alber & Prince) that collectively combine to give the entire set of grammars in the typology. What these are, and may be, depends on the structure of the typology (Merchant & Prince).

Typological structure in OT involves both geometry and order. A notion of adjacency between grammars leads to the ‘typohedron’ of a typology, where each grammar is represented by a single vertex. Adjacency comes from the linear orders (‘rankings’) that grammars consist of. Basic classification involves sets of grammars that are geometrically adjacent in this sense. Because of the way constraint ranking selects optima, order and equivalence relations between entire grammars, grounded in the geometry, also emerge. Basic classification respects these relations as well. (In Merchant & Prince, they are represented by the MOAT — ‘mother of all tableaux’ — which contains the essential OT properties of each constraint.) Both aspects of structure are representable graphically in ways that render them quite accessible (see PDF version).
The logic of OT ranking leads to two further developments that build from the basic structural elements. (1) Ranking properties may take limited scope, so that in grammars outside the scope of a property, certain distinctions are moot. This follows from the fact that constraints need not be crucially ranked with respect to each other in every grammar. (2) Constraints belong to classes as well, based on the symmetries of their ranking behavior. Constraints must often have an atomic character, but their behavior may echo that of symmetrical partners operating in distal regions of the typology.

Find the augmented abstract pdf here.

The Language of Food Featured in Boston Globe

Read the article here, which also includes an interview with the author himself!

Look Who’s Talking!

Eve V. Clark is giving the plenary talk “Variation and Experience in First Language Acquisition” at the conference Diferencias Individuales en la adquisicion del lenguaje, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mexico City on Thursday, October 9.

Vera Gribanova presented “On certain manifestations of polarity focus in Russian” at the LRC Workshop on Syntax and Information Structure.

Andrea Beltrama will present at the Berkeley Syntax Circle next Friday, October 17th.

Dan Jurafsky will present on Extracting Social Meaning from Language: The Computational Linguistics of Food and the Spread of Innovation at MIT’s CSAIL Thursday, October 9th.

Language of Food Media Update

Dan Jurafsky’s The Language of Food was recently featured on:

…and many more news outlets besides! Dan and the book will be featured on BBC Radio soon as well. We’ll keep you posted!