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Past Events from April 29, 2022 – April 21, 2023 – Linguistics Graduate Students Association Past Events from April 29, 2022 – April 21, 2023 – Linguistics Graduate Students Association

Colloquium: Yohei Oseki

Building machines that process natural language like human Yohei Oseki   Abstract: Despite the close alliance in the 1980s, theoretical linguistics (a branch of cognitive science) and natural language processing (a branch of artificial intelligence) have traditionally been divorced, especially since the recent advent of deep learning. Theoretical linguistics proposed computational theories to represent linguistic … Read More

Colloquium: Luke Adamson

Speaker: Luke Adamson (Rutgers)   Title: A noun's gender is locally determined: Evidence from gender and possession   Abstract:  What determines a noun’s grammatical gender? Often this question is posed in terms of how gender is ‘assigned’, with one answer being that a noun’s gender can depend on semantic criteria (e.g. animacy, sociocultural gender), nominalizing morphology, arbitrary … Read More

Colloquium: Aaron White

18 Seminary Place, Room 108

Speaker: Aaron White (University of Rochester) Title: Semantic Category Induction   Abstract:  Our ability to use language to convey arbitrarily complex information about the world's possible past, present, and future configurations is undergirded by systematic relationships between linguistic expressions and conceptual categories. Understanding these relationships is not only a core part of understanding what it … Read More

Colloquium: Laura McPherson

18 Seminary Place, Room 108

Speaker: Prof. Laura McPherson (Dartmouth College) Title: Spoken rhythms and drummed speech: Bidirectional iconicity at the crossroads of language and music Abstract: Language and music share many of the same raw ingredients, including pitch, rhythm, prosodic grouping, and timbre. This talk focuses on an underexplored aspect of the language-music connection: the iconic representation of one … Read More

Colloquium: Ksenia Ershova

18 Seminary Place, Room 108

Speaker: Ksenia Ershova (MIT) Title: The nuanced typology of syntactic ergativity: Insights from parasitic gaps in Samoan and West Circassian Abstract: Syntactic ergativity is broadly defined as the sensitivity of syntactic rules to the distinction between subjects of transitive verbs (= ergative) on the one hand and objects of transitive verbs and subjects of intransitive … Read More

Colloquium: Rodrigo Ranero

Speaker: Rodrigo Ranero (UCLA) Title: A new perspective on the syntax of silence: The view from Mayan Abstract: Ellipsis is structure and meaning without form. In the case of spoken languages, it is silence that requires a linguistic antecedent. An unresolved question concerns the precise nature of the relationship that must hold between the silence … Read More

Colloquium: Maria Kouneli

Speaker: Maria Kouneli (University of Leipzig) Title: Upwards-oriented complementizer agreement: The view from Kipsigis Abstract: A number of African languages display upwards-oriented complementizer agreement, where the complementizer agrees in phi-features with the matrix subject (e.g., Diercks 2013, Carstens 2016, Letsholo & Safir 2019, Baker 2022). This pattern raises some non-trivial questions about the directionality and … Read More

Colloquium: Justin Royer

Speaker: Justin Royer (UC Berkeley) Title: Binding and anti-cataphora in Mayan Abstract: The Binding Conditions are widely held to reflect a universal property of human language (e.g., Reinhart 1983; Grimshaw & Rosen 1990; Grodzinsky & Reinhart 1993; Reuland 2010, 2011). Yet, some Mayan languages seem to consistently violate them, casting doubt on a universal approach … Read More

Colloquium: Kenyon Branan

Speaker: Kenyon Branan (Universität Göttingen) Title: Syntax-phonology interactions and the Left Edge Ban Abstract: Syntax is commonly supposed to be autonomous, in the sense that it operates independent of considerations of other modules of the grammar, such as the phonology or the semantics. In this talk I develop an argument against the autonomy hypothesis: the … Read More

Colloquium: Brian Dillon

18 Seminary Place, Room 108

Speaker: Prof. Brian Dillon (UMass Amherst) Title: Principle B: The view from comprehension and production Abstract: Experimental research has shown that the grammatical constraints reflected in (e.g.) the Binding Theory guide real-time pronoun interpretation, albeit perhaps in a defeasible fashion. Evidence for this conclusion comes from a range of experimental evidence that comprehenders selectively activate … Read More