Issue 2013/01/11

Faytak for Phonetics and Phonology

Do you like phonology? Do you like weird vowels? Today in the Greenberg Room at 12:15, Matt Faytak (Berkeley) will be presenting his analysis of the Kom vowel system, and it is decidedly… exotic (abstract below). Come on by to hear more!

In other soundie news, this month’s P-int Night will be next week on Wednesday 1/16 at Rose and Crown just off University Ave. 7 PM. Be there!

Vowels are attested with a wide range of secondary articulations not involving the tongue body, such as nasalization or pharyngealization. The Grassfields Bantu language Kom (ISO 639-3 bkm, Bantoid, Cameroon) appears to distinguish between vowels with and without an additional coronal and labiodental constriction; similar vowels are attested in other languages of the region (Fransen 1995, Connell 2007).
Read the rest of this entry »

Grafmiller Constructs Meaning

Come to the Greenberg room today at 3:30! As part of the Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop’s “The Construction of Meaning” series, our very own Jason Grafmiller will be giving a talk, “Modeling verb meaning with corpus data: A usage-based investigation of argument realization in English psych-verbs”

Quantitative analysis of the semantic properties of argument realization in English Object-Experiencer (ObjExp) verbs (e.g. amuse, amaze, frighten, fascinate) reveals a strong correlation between active/passive uses of different verbs and the degree of potency, or causal force, of the verb’s stimulus argument. Verbs frequently associated with highly potent stimuli occur more often in the active, while those more commonly associated with abstract stimuli occur more often in the passive. Furthermore, differences in potency reflect variation along other dimensions of transitivity, most notably eventivity-stativity (Hopper & Thompson 1980).
Read the rest of this entry »

Social Today

After Jason’s talk (or approximately 4:15) in the lounge, you will find the first social of the New Year! Come by for drink (both alcoholic and non), cheer, snack, and a chance to hear about everyone’s winter break. See you there!

SMircle on Tuesday

Everyone is invited to the first Smircle (Syntax and Morphology Circle) meeting of the quarter, to take place Tuesday at 2pm in the Greenberg room. It’s a short planning meeting to discuss ideas for the Winter sessions; come discuss what Syntax- and Morphology-related topics you’d like to read/hear/talk about this quarter. There will also be tea and light snacks!

Look who’s talking!

This is a busy week for Stanford linguists, even after considering all of our folks giving LSA talks and posters.


Stanford linguists have been especially noteworthy lately. Congratulations to:

A Schwa-ful Idea?

How badly does English orthography need a facelift? This article describes somebody whose life work is adding a single letter to the alphabet.