Welcome New Grad Students!

We have a new class of very talented grad students this fall! Here are their photos and self-descriptions (as of last spring). Please join us in welcoming them to the department!

Ignacio Cases (University at Albany, State University of New York)

Since I was a kid I have been passionate about Mesoamerican languages, writing systems, and ancient astronomy, shared with an enthusiasm for artificial intelligence and computers. At SUNY Albany, I got an MA in Anthropological Linguistics developing computational methods applied to Maya hieroglyphic writing. My current interests are centered in computational linguistics approaches to historical sociolinguistics within Mesoamerican languages, with special attention to language contact and variation and language modeling. I have worked in several sites in the Maya area, serving at the moment as co-epigrapher in the archaeological project Peten Norte-Naachtun in the Guatemalan rainforest.

Matt Lamm (Columbia University)

I grew up in New York, and went on to do my undergraduate studies in Math and South Asian Philology at Columbia. I’ve just about completed a two-year Masters at Oxford, where I’ve worked on a range of things: formal semantics, computational linguistics, language acquisition, and queer theory, to name a few. I’m looking forward to joining the department at Stanford, where I hope to explore an overwhelming number of things, like computational models of sentiment and other hypernetwork-scale discursive patterns, some computational historical Indo-Aryan, and even some continued language and gender theory. Outside of work, I talk about literature incessantly, and spend all the extra time I can get reading and writing. (My current favorite place in the UK is the National Gallery.)

Zachary Wilkins (Case Western Reserve University)

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, I received my B.A. from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University, with a minor in mathematics. I am currently finishing my M.A. thesis in the Department of Linguistics at the University of North Carolina, for which I designed an experiment to look at pragmatic comprehension of tautologies in adults and children. I have lived just under two years in South America, and empirically I am most interested in Spanish and Guaraní and how the two languages interact in the region. Before starting my PhD at Stanford this fall, I will be on fellowship to live in Asunción, Paraguay and continue my studies of the Guaraní language. At Stanford I hope to continue to work on pragmatics and language acquisition, as well as develop broad knowledge of computational linguistics, especially models that address how people construct meaning in context. When I’m not doing linguistics, I’m discovering good restaurants with good people, jumping on the latest tech craze or enjoying Argentine food and culture.

Ciyang Qing (University of Amsterdam)

I am from Nanning, the “Green City” in southern China. I did my undergraduate study in Information and Computing Science at Peking University and I am now a Master of Logic student at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), University of Amsterdam. My main research interest is in computational experimental semantics/pragmatics. I want to understand how we use language to interact with each other, and ultimately use this knowledge to build smarter machines. My non-academic interests include fantasy, games (both board and digital), food and music.

Rob Voigt (Vassar College)

Coming from a background in Chinese literary and cultural studies, I got into computational linguistics during my M.A. here at Stanford, and haven’t looked back since! In general I’m interested in applying computational methods to questions of social meaning and sociolinguistic variation. Most recently, I’ve been working with video data to better understand the relationship between body movement, emotiveness, and acoustic prosody. Random life items: from Washington D.C.; love playing and listening to all kinds of music (let’s jam); will never turn down an invitation to sushi.

Robert Xu (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Originally from Zhuhai, China, I received my B.A. from Wuhan University and M.A./M.Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Currently I am interested in prosodic variations in speech perception. Additional interests include the prosody-semantic interface, the bilingual lexicon, and forensic phonetics. Outside of linguistics, I enjoy theater, music, comedy, and seeing fossils in museums.

Beginning of the Year Party Today (9/19) at 3 PM!

Welcome back, everybody!

The Linguistics Department will host its Beginning of the Year party TODAY. Please come kick off the 2014-15 academic year and welcome our new PhD students, faculty, and visitors!

3:00-3:30 pm Introductions in Greenberg Conference Room (Margaret Jacks Hall, Building 460, Room 126)

3:30-5:00 pm Party in the department patio (the “Linguistics Courtyard”), downstairs at the back of the building.

Light refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tom Wasow Chosen As LSA 2015 Fellow

Tom Wasow has been selected as a LSA 2015 Fellow, joining a very distinguished list of linguists that includes current Stanford linguists Joan Bresnan, Penny Eckert, Paul Kiparsky, Stanley Peters, John Rickford, Elizabeth Traugott, Arnold Zwicky, and Beth Levin.

Congratulations and sesquikudos, Tom!

The Language of Food has Arrived!

And it’s making a splash! Click here to see the schedule for Dan’s bookstore tour.

Tour Highlights:
Sep 26, 2014 Talking at Penn
Sep 29-30, 2014 Talking at Royal Society workshop on Food and Data, Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire, UK
Oct 9, 2014 Talking at MIT

NPR And Beyond
Dan has also been a part of various radio conversations talking about his book, such as All Things Considered on NPR.

Dan and his book were also featured recently in the New York Times!.

And Dan and his book were ALSO featured in The Atlantic!.

Phew! In short, congratulations, Dan, and sesquikudos from a very proud department newsletter.

From United Hemisphere Magazine:

VPUE Presentations Friday (10/3) at 3:30pm

Join us in the Greenberg Room Friday, October 3 as we hear from our undergraduate VPUE researchers as they discuss and finalize their summer research internships.

Rob Podesva Receives Denning Fund Grant

Rob Podesva received a grant from the The Roberta Bowman Denning Initiative For Humanities And Technology At Stanford 2014, which funds projects that promote focused attention on Humanities and Technology and that demonstrate the benefits of cross-disciplinary approaches in research and teaching.

Congrats, Rob!

Daniel Galbraith receives Faroe Islands Travel Scholarship

Daniel Galbraith received a Faroe Islands Travel Scholarship for his research on Faroese ballads.

Congratulations, Daniel!

Voices of California Featured in Sacramento Bee!

The Voices of California project was recently featured in both The Sacramento Bee and The Sacramento Business Journal for its work to document Sacramentan speech.

VoC was also featured in the Daily Post in the article shown below:

Fieldwork Workshop Meetings for Fall

The Fieldwork Workshop will be hitting the ground running this quarter, holding group meetings on Tuesdays at 1:00 PM in the Ivan Sag room, starting the second week of classes (September 30).

At their first two meetings, you can hear from students who conducted fieldwork this summer!

Sept. 30: Sharese King, Daniel Galbraith, Ignacio Cases

October 7: Julia Fine, Kate Lindsey, and hopefully some fieldworkers from VoC Sacramento

Look Who’s Talking! (Summer Retrospective)

We have a considerable backlog of talks given by Stanford folks this summer to announce as well.

  • Eve Clark finished a term as President of the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL).
    • There was a symposium in her honor, with details here.
    • Here is an interview from when she began her term: (video)
  • Eve Clark headed the CSMN interdisciplinary workshop: Language Acquisition and Concept Formation from August 14-15 at the University of Oslo.
  • Eve Clark visited and spoke at the Lunds Universitet Linneaus Centre Cognition, Communication and Learning (CCL) on August 18-20. (‘Room B237 was filled to the last seat!’)
  • In May, Eve gave the Bing Distinguished Lecture at Bing Nursery School, Stanford (an annual lecture for parents and staff, usually research done at or relevant
    to early child development).
  • Eve spent June 2014 at Paris-Diderot: as holder of the LabEx International Chair in Empirical Foundations of Linguistics, she lectured on language acquisition, interaction and feedback; attention, grounding, and word acquisition; conceptual perspective, and how much word meaning is required for successful communication.
  • In mid-June, Eve gave a colloquium talk at the University of Edinburgh.

The Methods in Dialectology XV Conference saw these Stanford linguists present:

  • John Rickford presented on Stylistic variation in panel studies of change in real time
  • Janneke Van Hofwegen and Walt Wolfram presented on On the utility of composite indices in longitudinal language study

Several Stanford linguists presented at the University of Zurich’s ISLE Conference from August 24-27:

  • Joan Bresnan gave the plenary address on Frequency effects in spoken syntax: ‘Have’ and ‘be’ contraction
  • Jason Grafmiller presented on Exploring probabilistic grammar(s) in varieties of English around the world
  • Elizabeth Traugott presented on Do semantic modal maps have a role in a constructionalization approach to modals? and on Pragmatic salience as an enabling factor in morphosyntactic change

Sharese King presented on The Interaction Between Frequency and Stereotype in Processing Cross-dialectal Variation at CogSci 2014.

Dan Lassiter gave a plenary talk on Bayesian Pragmatics for the 2014 Frederick Jelinek Memorial Workshop on Meaning Representations in Language and Speech Processing at Charles University in Prague.

Prerna Nadathur presented on Unless, exceptionality, and conditional strengthening for the ESSLLI 2014 Student Session.

Prerna Nadathur and Daniel Lassiter presented Unless: an experimental approach at Sinn und Bedeutung 2014.

Beth Levin, Lelia Glass, and Dan Jurafsky presented on Corpus Evidence for Systematicity in English Compounds at Sinn und Bedeutung 2014.

Meghan Sumner gave a talk to incoming freshmen at New Student Orientation as part of a program to engage new undergraduates in undergraduate research. Read more about it here.

Look Who’s Talking!

Boris Harizanov is giving a talk at UC Berkeley’s Syntax and Semantics Circle on September 26.

Stanford linguists are giving talks this weekend at the Questions in Discourse at Universität Göttingen:

  • Judith Tonhauser presents on What’s the Question? Towards a Monosemous Analysis of Evaluative Adjectives
  • Tanja Rojas-Esponda presents on Structure in the Space of Discourse Particles