Archive for the ‘Linguists’ Category

Scalarity on the menu

June 27, 2017

From Roey Gafter on Facebook a few days ago, going Korean at the Flohmarkt (flea market) am Mauerpark, Berlin:

A little exercise in scalarity, in this case with respect to spiciness (German adjective scharf ‘sharp, spicy’, English adjective spicy, alternatively hot).

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For Eve V. Clark

June 17, 2017

… two recent cartoons, one a Rhymes With Orange with a notable verbing of a noun, the other a One Big Happy with a child coping with an unfamiliar word:

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These on the occasion of Eve’s retirement from Stanford, celebrated at a department party yesterday afternoon.

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Housemates

May 19, 2017

The occasion is the discovery of more photo albums from the past, in this case the relatively recent past. One had photos of two friends who shared the Columbus OH house with Jacques and me in the 1990s: Philip Miller (during a postdoc year in linguistics at Ohio State) and Kim Darnell (while she was finishing her PhD in linguistics at Ohio State). Then there’s our last housemate before Jacques and I moved entirely to Californa, our bookfriend Ann Burlingham, who was working in Columbus bookstores at the time.

After teaching in (mostly) Lille, Philip is now in Paris. After years teaching in Atlanta, Kim is now in Palo Alto. And Ann has been in Perry NY (south of Rochester), where she owns and runs Burlingham Books, for some time now.

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Complementary ignorances

May 18, 2017

Yesterday’s posting on Philip Larkin’s poem “This Be the Verse” elicited this redfaced comment from U.Mass. linguist Rajesh Bhatt:

I only knew this as an Anne Clark song until now!

To which I now reply, equally redfaced, that until Rajesh’s comment I didn’t know about the Anne Clark version, and was in fact only dimly aware of Anne Clark.

(Rajesh supplied a link to a YouTube video of a live performance, at the Berlin Metropol in 1992; you can listen to a studio recording here.)

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A snapshot of the field

February 15, 2017

Now for something completely different: something that has to do neither with Valentine’s Day nor with sex / sexuality. Instead, a project portraying linguists, in photographs and texts, from an emotional, rather than academic, perspective. A project of Stephanie Shih at UC Merced (a Stanford PhD), who last appeared on this blog as the co-editor, with Vera Gribanova, of the volume The Morphosyntax-Phonology Interface.

Steph — from here on I’ll refer to her familiarly rather than formally —  is not only into linguistics (specifically computational linguistics and phonology) and cognitive science, but also food and music… and photography, all quite seriously.

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Books from Stanford

February 13, 2017

Recent books from Stanford-connected authors, some my colleagues, some my former students (so I have warm feelings). Two in sociolinguistics / educational linguistics, one on the (gasp) morphosyntax-phonology interface.

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Linguistics and its orthographically related disciplines

August 26, 2016

Nathan Sanders writes on Facebook to display the nameplate for his new position at Haverford College:

There are few people in LINGUISTICS who have not been afflicted by the spelling LINQUISTICS, or else LINGUSITICS. But it is a little-known fact that these are actual names of academic disciplines quite distinct from linguistics.

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Ziplinguists

August 5, 2016

Prompted by a Zippy posting of mine, Dan Everett posted on Facebook that he had a signed copy from Bill Griffith of a Zippy that was, in some sense, about him (though he’s not actually mentioned in the strip), “Supreme Throwdown” from 1/9/09:

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The allusions by the space-alienoid character (Happy Boy) are to Everett’s work on the Amazonian language Pirahã, its speakers, and their culture — work that drew Everett into confrontation with Noam Chomsky, who’s figured in Zippy strips at least six times, from 1993 through 2015.

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Constructing a Voice of Authority through Persona

June 19, 2016

A highlight of Stanford’s graduation last Sunday for me was Andrea Lawson Kortenhoven’s “walking through” our departmental ceremony for her PhD in Linguistics, tentative title above. Something personal for me, since I had the pleasure of encouraging Angi when she was a BA student in Spanish at Ohio State (graduating 1995), before coming to Stanford. Her husband Matthew and their four kids were there to cheer her on; I wasn’t able to make it, but I was cheering.

First, a photo (courtesy of Lelia Glass) of Angi with her immediate academic family — her thesis advisers, sociolinguists Penny Eckert and John Rickford — then Penny’s summary of the dissertation, and then some remarks on Angi’s academic regalia in the photo (in black, green, gold, and red).

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John Holm

January 8, 2016

A very brief death notice for John Holm, a great pioneer in the study of pidgin and creole languages (and, incidentally, a very nice man). The NYT had a substantial obituary for him (by William Grimes) on the 4th, quoting linguist (and Language Logger) Sally Thomason on the significance of his work (and noting that John is survived by his husband, Michael Pye, and a brother).

Ben Zimmer posted a death notice on Language Log on the 4th (in “R.I.P. John Holm (1943-2015)”), based on the NYT piece.

John was resolute in treating pidgins and creoles as languages in their own right, not as debased versions of other languages — an attitude that is commonplace now but took considerable work to establish, a job that John did a lot of the heavy lifting on.