Archive for the ‘Stanford’ Category

get ’em, stop it, gimme

May 4, 2019

Among the everyday examples of a phenomenon subjected to analysis in an awesome new paper by Joan Bresnan, “On Weak Object Pronouns in English”, which she will present at the Lexical Functional Grammar conference this July in Canberra (LFG2019, 8-10 July, sponsored by the ARC’s [Australian Research Council] Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, program on-line here).

Joan’s paper is a demonstration of what can be done with serious resources — really big databases, serious statistical tools, complex analytic tools — in investigating  very ordinary, but intricately structured, phenomena, and in how you might try to integrate the approaches of usage-based frameworks with those of formal grammar.

For me the paper has a special resonance, because the analysis develops some ideas of mine in a little note from 1986 that appeared only in a working papers volume and has mostly gone unnoticed since then: “The Unaccented Pronoun Constraint in English” (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics 32.100-113, 1986).

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Stanford SemFest 20 schedule

February 25, 2019

(with links to abstracts)

For enthusiasts of semantics/pragmatics in all their variety; the public is welcome

All sessions take place in the Barwise Room, CSLI (Panama St. at Campus Dr.)

Friday March 15, 2019

9:00-9:30: Coffee and welcome

9:30-10:00 John Beavers & Andrew Koontz-Garboden, “Two Types of Roots for Internally Caused Change-of-State Verbs”

10:00-10:30 Shiao Wei Tham, “Structural and Contextual Factors in Result Interpretations of Mandarin Locative Compounds”

10:30-11:00 Helena Aparicio, Roger Levy & Elizabeth Coppock, “How to Find the rabbit in the big(ger) box: Reasoning About Contextual Parameters for Gradable Adjectives Under Embedding”

11:00-11:30 BREAK

11:30-12:00 Gregory Scontras, Asya Achimova, Christian Stegemann & Martin Butz, “The Added Informativity of Ambiguous Language”

12:00-12:30 Eric Acton & Heather Burnett, “Markedness, ‘Truth’, and Rationality in Social Meaning Games”

12:30-2:00 LUNCH (and mentoring event w/lunch for grad students and some participants)

2:00-2:30 Arnold Zwicky,“A Natural History of Snowclones”

2:30-3:00 Tatiana Nikitina, “Semantic Maps in a Typologist’s Toolbox: The Challenge of Semi-lexical Networks”

3:00-3:30 BREAK

3:30-4:00 Sunwoo Jeong & James Collins, “Updating Alternatives in Pragmatic Competition”

4:00-4:30 Sebastian Schuster & Judith Degen, “Adaption to Variable Use of Expressions of Uncertainty”

4:30-4:45 BREAK

4:45-5:30 David Beaver, TBA

5:30 Drinks
6:00 Dinner (provided)
7:00-9:00 Party/band

Saturday, March 16, 2019

9:30-10:00 Coffee/breakfast

10:00-10:30 Ashwini Deo, “Identifying the Strongest True Alternative: Marathi =c and its Counterparts”

10:30-11:00 Stefan Kaufmann, “Worlds Are Not Enough”

11:00-11:30 BREAK

11:30-12:00 Sven Lauer & Prerna Nadathur, “Sufficiency Causatives”

12:00-12:30 Yingying Wang & Frank Veltman, “Varieties of Modal Predicates and their Semantic Interpretation”

12:30-1:45 LUNCH (provided)

1:45-2:15 Lelia Glass, “Experimental Evidence that Verbs Describing Routines Facilitate Implicit Objects”

2:15-2:45 Itamar Francez, “Markedness and the Morphosemantics of Number”

2:45-3:00 BREAK

3:00-3:30 Ciyang Qing, “Zero or Minimum Degree? Rethinking Minimum-standard Gradable Adjectives”

3:30-4:00 Judith Tonhauser & Judith Degen, “An Empirical Challenge to the Categorical Notion of Factivity”

4:00 Closing remarks

The corten zoo of Fernando Suárez Reguera

December 13, 2018

A follow-up to yesterday’s posting “Three artists” (Franz Marc, Odilon Redon, Dale Chihuly): more art posted by Joelle Stepien Bailard on Facebook. Works by Spanish sculptor Fernando Suárez Reguera, in particular some of his corten steel animal figures, simultaneously impressive and charming.

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A book for the professor

October 22, 2018

On Facebook yesterday, this message from the J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics and the Humanities at Stanford University, my excellent colleague John R. Rickford:

Last night (Oct. 20), I experienced one of the most moving, memorable events of my academic career! After giving a keynote talk at the 47th annual conference on New Ways of Analyzing Variation in language, at New York University, I was presented with a festschrift (book) containing 47 articles and 9 vignettes by faculty colleagues and former students from around the world. It was a surprise gift to mark my retirement (last Stanford class is Jun 2019). Tears flooded my eyes more than once, beginning with the moment I saw all 4 of our children and 6 grandchildren in the huge audience, and ending with editors Renee Blake and Isa Buchstaller presenting me with four bound pre-print volumes and the contributors and family members coming on stage. The book, entitled “The Roundtable Companion to John Russell Rickford,” will be about 588 pages when printed (May 2019). This was truly one of those life-moments that “take your breath away.”

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Variationist sociolinguistics: NWAV 47

October 14, 2018

Coming in a few days (October 18th-21st), NWAV 47 at NYU:

Already noted on this blog, in my 10/2 posting “The Rickford plenary address”, with the abstract for my Stanford colleague John Rickford’s plenary address (on the 20th), “Class and Race in the Analysis of Language Variation and the Struggle for Social Justice: Sankofa”. To come below, the abstract for the other plenary address (on the 18th), “The Systematicity of Emergent Meaning” by Erez Levon (Queen Mary University of London); and details about a virtual Issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, “Innovations in Variationist Sociolinguistics” (ed. by Levon & Natalie Schilling), assembled on the occasion of the conference.

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The Rickford plenary address

October 2, 2018

Tomorrow at Stanford, John Rickford is doing a dry run for his plenary address at the NWAV (New Ways of Analyzing Variation) conference later this month:

Class and Race in the Analysis of Language Variation and the Struggle for Social Justice: Sankofa
John R. Rickford, Stanford University
Abstract for NWAV-47 plenary, NYU, 10/20/18

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DJ is chaired at Stanford!

June 16, 2018

Yesteday’s hot news from my little corner of academia, a message from my Stanford linguistics colleague Beth Levin announcing that

Dan Jurafsky … has just been appointed to an endowed chair, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professorship in the Humanities.

Margaret Jacks Hall was thronged with well-endowed celebrants bearing chairs and singing paeans to the law and the American banking system, bringing to conclusion not only the month of Ramadan but also an extraordinarily crowded season of doctoral debuts (some of which I will report on in other postings).

In the midst of this, excited buzz — like the murmuring of innumerable bees — over the verbing of chair in the sense (roughly) ‘to award a named professorship to’.

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If I might interrupt…

May 21, 2018


Jason Adam Katzenstein in the New Yorker — from a 1/11/18 posting on my blog, “The triumph of confidence over expertise”

Happening on Friday: a PhD oral dissertation defense by Katherine Hilton: What Does an Interruption Sound Like?, Friday, May 25th

(AMZ: About the subjective experience of interruption in conversation and how you might investigate it.)

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Glycoscience in the Royal Society of London

May 18, 2018

… and, oh yes, women.

In the Stanford Report (the daily faculty-staff news release) yesterday, a bulletin (by Kate Lewis) from the School of Humanities and Sciences, “Carolyn Bertozzi elected to Royal Society: Carolyn Bertozzi, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, has been elected as one of this year’s ten new Foreign Members to the Royal Society for her pioneering work in the field of bioorthogonal chemistry”:

(Photo: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service)

Bertozzi’s current research focus is in the field of glycoscience, the study of sugars on cell surfaces. As a self-described “glycoscience-lifer,” Bertozzi said she hopes that the “integration of all my contributions somehow elevates the visibility of the glycoscience field, which can have real benefits to human health,” including understanding the role sugars play in the development of cancer and inflammation.

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The sociolinguistics of Chicano English sh/ch in ‘El Barrio’

March 22, 2018

Sitting in my queue since last June, when Isla Flores-Bayer defended her Stanford linguistics dissertation. First, an informal announcement from John Rickford, one of Isla’s advisers (lightly edited by me):

Isla Flores-Bayer has successfully defended her PhD thesis on social meaning and stylistic variation in Chicano English. Her work is an important contribution to sociolinguistics and the study of Chicano English, innovatively combining a community study, a stylistic case study, and a perception/matched guise experiment

The exam was held in the Nitery in El Centro Chicano at Stanford, the first time they ever had a PhD oral exam there, and Director Frances Morales memorably and movingly said to Isla, during the open question session: “We waited many years for you to come along, and we are so proud of you!” Thanks to her and to other Centro staff, Elvira Prieto and Margaret Sena, for helping to get the conference room ready for this big event, and for supporting Isla so strongly during her Stanford years. And to Ramón Martinez, new prof in Education, for serving as outside chair, his first stint in this role, and the other members of the oral committee: Rob Podesva (co-adviser, with me), Penny Eckert, and Tom Wasow.

The principals in The Nitery:

(#1) Martinez, Wasow, Rickford, Flores-Bayer, Podesva, Eckert

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