Issue 2013/03/15

Trommer Colloq Today

Jochen Trommer (Leipzig) will be here this afternoon (3:30pm in the Greenberg room, to be precise) to give a colloquium. The talk is entitled “Simultaneous learning of affix meaning and segmentation” and is based on joint work with Sebastian Bank. Immediately following the colloquium will be a social, so come on out for both!

Every formal description of inflectional systems faces two intertwined analytical problems, the Subsegmentation Problem and the Meaning Assignment Problem. Thus the formal interpretation of the German present singular verb paradigm (e.g. for legen, ‘to put’: 1sg leg-e, 2sg leg-st and 3sg leg-t) depends on the meaning assigned to the involved inflectional suffix(es), but meaning assignment itself presupposes specific decisions on the subsegmentation of affix material: If -st is analyzed as an atomic suffix (e.g., Wunderlich & Fabri 2006), there are three markers -e [+1], -st [+2], -t [+3], but if -st is subanalyzed into -s and -t as in Müller (2006), -t can be assigned the more general interpretation [-1] (with the additional markers -e +1 and -s, [+2]).
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Look Who’s Talking

SemFest Monday

Stanford Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop’s “The Construction of Meaning” is hosting the 14th SemFest this Monday, March 18 in Margaret Jacks Hall, Rm 126. The festivities begin at 1pm and will continue until 5:30, and include many of our faculty and students. Come on out to learn and support them! Find all the abstracts and schedules here.

Kurumada Dissertation Oral Tuesday

We’re pleased to announce that Chigusa Kurumada is giving her dissertation oral presentation on Tuesday, March 19 from 9-10am in the Greenberg Room. The format for this open part of the oral exam is a 30-45 minute talk by the PhD candidate followed by questions by those attending, for a total of no more than one hour, so make sure to come promptly!

Navigating variability in the linguistic signal: Learning to interpret contrastive prosody
Prosody is a powerful tool for conveying information beyond that conveyed in the words and phrases constituting a sentence (e.g., nuclear accenting of contrasted items: YOU shouldn’t have done that vs. You shouldn’t have done THAT). Past studies have proposed links between prosodic representations (pitch accents and intonations) and the semantics and pragmatics of sentences (e.g., Jackendoff, 1972; Büring, 2003; Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990). However, no study has explicitly accounted for how listeners navigate variability across speakers and contexts in order to arrive at intended interpretations.
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Tice Dissertation Presentation Thursday

We’re pleased to announce that Marisa Tice is giving her dissertation oral presentation on Thursday, March 21 from 2-3pm in the Greenberg Room. The format for this open part of the oral exam is a 30-45 minute talk by the PhD candidate followed by questions by those attending, for a total of no more than one hour, so make sure to come promptly!

Taking turns on time: Perception and production processes involved in keeping inter-speaker gaps short
Across human cultures children learn language through their interactions with caregivers and peers. These early interactions, whatever form they take, are the basis for children’s linguistic development, and result in something we universally recognize as human language. Children’s linguistic development depends on their simultaneous acquisition of language use skills, and here I present my work on one such skill: turn-taking.
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QP-Fest Paper Call

Ok, you’re wrapping up that QP, now what? Talk about it, of course!

Announcing QP Fest 2013, Friday, April 19th

QP Fest is our annual department-internal mini-conference, a chance to present your work just among friends. QP1, QP2, come one, come all! The exact length of each talk depends on how many speakers they end up with, but they’ll try to make it comfortable, with time for helpful Q&A.

And if you’re “still wrapping”, no problem, it’s 5 weeks away.

So consider this your first “Call for Papers”. Please reply by April 1st (no joke!). All they need is a tentative title to hold your spot.

The Committee:

Robin Melnick
Dasha Popova
Natalia Silveira
John Rickford (chair)

Linguistic Levity