04 November 2010

October/November News!

Travel News:

~ Sarah Ouwayda, Mary Byram, Barbara Tomaszewicz, and Mythili Menon drove up to Stanford for the California University Semantics and Pragmatics meeting. They took the scenic route back. Here are some pictures (more to come):

~ Rachel Walker went to Cambridge to give an invited talk at the colloquium series at MIT and Harvard - here are some pictures she took while there:

Roumi went to Arizona to give an invited talk at the departmental colloquium, the cacti speak for themselves!

Elsi gave a colloquium talk at UCLA, but she has no pictures to prove that she has been to Los Angeles!

John Bailyn of Stony Brook University visited the department during the week of November 15th-19th! Here's him at USC! He gave a talk in Syntax+ about Ellipsis in Russian, and a party was thrown in his honor in South Pass!

Conference News:

Twelve USC Linguists are presenting at the LSA! Xiao He, Ed Holsinger, Melissa Frazier, Elsi Kaiser, Audrey Li, Katy McKinney-Bock, Ellen O’Connor Mohun, Daylen Riggs, Michael Shepherd, Sam Tilsen, Erika Varis Doggett, and Hector Velasquez

14 September 2010

Welcome new students!

(left to right: Grace, Emily, Brian, Mythili)

Welcome to our new first years!

Emily Fedele from the University of Cambridge.
Brian Hsu from Haverford College.
Assaf Israel from Haifa University (and his wife Najah!). Assaf works on Phonetics, and he did his MA on a Bedouin sign language.
Grace Livingstone from St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Mythili Menon from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages. Her hometown is Cochin, Kerala. She has an MPhil in Linguistics. Besides linguistics, she gets excited about singing, cooking, and playing card games (read, texas hold-em poker)
Saurov Syed also from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages.

New Faculty: Melissa Frazier

We are fortunate to have in the department this year Melissa Frazier, who's joined us as a visiting assistant professor.

Melissa just moved down the coast from Santa Cruz where she spent a year as visiting assistant professor. She did her graduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her main research interests are phonology and phonetics, with a focus on suprasegmental properties of speech. She is especially interested in Yucatec Maya, and she hopes to continue her research on that language while she is here as there are many speakers in this area. She'll be teaching a variety of phonology courses this year - her seminar this fall will look at the phonology-morphology interface in OT. When she's not doing linguistics, she likes to knit, watch movies, and do outdoorsy things.

01 September 2010

Summer Highlights

GLOW in Asia, Beijing, August 2010, Roger Liao, Fuyun Wu, Audrey Li, and Sarah Ouwayda

Janet Anderson:
Janet spent the summer in Vermont, as a (temporary) police officer!

Priyanka Biswas
Priyanka spent time with her family in India! Initially it was intolerably hot and humid, which restricted her activities outside, but she enjoyed staying at home. She did some reading, both linguistic and non-linguistic, e.g., some literature from the temporal domain, more specifically, on the 'Perfect', which she thought was very interesting! Besides reading, she managed to do a pilot acceptability judgment study on reference resolution of Bangla anaphoric and non-anaphoric (distal) pronouns. She also learned driving!! Her summer was fun and restful enough to gear up for the Fall.

Hagit Borer:
Hagit spent her summer in Paris working on her book and looking for Dante, and alas, had to pass on the trip to China.
She gave an invited talk on “Language: The Generative Perspective” At the Communist University 2010 in London in August, and is giving invited talks at the Sprachwissenschaftliches Institut in Germany in September, Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle in October, the Autonomous University of Barcelona in December, and the University of Munich in December (one day after Barcelona!).

Phillip Carter:
Starting in late May, Phillip spent one month studying Polish language at Glossa Szkoła Języków Obcych in Kraków. Following that trip, he spent the rest of the summer writing in LA, and has submitted two manuscripts based on that work. In the fall he'll be teaching 115 with Andrew Simpson and will present papers at Linguistic Association of the Southwest (LASSO) and New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV).

Katy McKinney-Bock:
Over the summer, Katy started preparing a follow-up experiment to her eye-tracking study, which is looking at whether listeners are sensitive to ordering constraints on prenominal adjectives (color and dimension, e.g. red and big). Part of that involved asking Emily Nava to 'borrow' her voice one last time to record the new stimuli, before she moved to her new job (congrats, Emily!). She also started working on her (syntax) qualifying paper, to be continued this year. In May she got a chance to go home and visit her family and attend a friend's wedding. She drove all the way from L.A. to Portland (Oregon) and back, which was beautiful. This fall she'll be presenting the results of the first eye-tracking study, as well as theoretical implications, in Paris at RALFe as a co-authored paper with Elsi Kaiser.

Ellen O'Connor Mohun:
In July Ellen got married in Santa Cruz, and she and her husband spent three weeks exploring Thailand, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Phuket, and Ko Phi Phi. She also spent some time working on the syntax and semantics of comparatives in Dari and Tajik, focusing specifically on the obligatory inclusion of the nonfinite light verb kada in than-phrases. She will present the results -- which suggest that Dari phrasal comparatives are underlyingly small clauses -- at RALFe in Paris and NELS 2010 this October.

Sarah Ouwayda:
Sarah spent the summer term at the American University of Beirut. She taught a class in Phonetics, and had meetings with Lina Choueiri (alumna) discussing their respective research. She also went to Beijing for GLOW in Asia in August. This fall, she is teaching Arabic III, working on her qualifying paper on numerals, plurals, and quantifiers, and thinking a lot about modality in her free time. She is preparing for a talk on Arabic plurals in BAALL's conference on Afro-Asiatic Grammar in Paris, and is looking forward to discussing her tentative proposal on modals at the California University Semantics and Pragmatics informal meeting at Stanford in October.

Roumyana Pancheva:
Roumi spent most of July at the New York Institute summer school in St. Petersburg. She taught Meaning and Structure -an introduction to formal semantics, specifically focusing on its close links with syntax. She also gave a short presentation at the NYI CogFest on "Complex Syntax -> Simpler Language".
In August, she traveled with her daughter to Munich and spent time with the rest of her family in Sofia.

Barbara Tomaszewicz:
Barbara Tomaszewicz was awarded an International Summer Field Research Award from USC College for Summer 2010. Thanks to the grant, she was able to conduct two experimental studies in Bulgaria and Poland, following up on the research she did last year for her MA thesis project on the interpretation of the quantifier 'most' and the ways in which the linguistic and the visual cognitive systems interact to verify the truth/falsity of statements involving 'most'. In July, she presented the results of her MA thesis at the VSSoL International Conference on Language, Nature, and Cognition in Vigo, Spain . Earlier in the summer, she gave a talk at the GIST 1 workshop on "Antilocality and Snowballing movement" in Ghent, Belgium (June 24-25) , discussing the results of an experimental project on comparatives with Roumi Pancheva. Currently, Barbara is getting ready for her talks at 15th Sinn und Bedeutung Conference in Saarbrücken, Germany (Sept 9-11) , and at the GIST 2 Conference: "Main Clause Phenomena" in Ghent, Belgium (Sept 29-Oct 1) .

Conferences and Invited Talks in Fall 2010


Heeju Hwang
will be giving a talk at AMLaP 2010 Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing, University of York, 6th - 8th September 2010

Dongsik Lim
(alumnus) and Barbara Tomaszewicz will be giving talks at Sinn und Bedeutung in September (9-11).

Sergio Robles-Puente
is giving 2 talks at LARP (Laboratory Appproaches to Romance Phonology) in Provo (Utah) in September (24-25).

Barbara Tomaszewicz will be giving a talk at the GIST2 Conference "Main Clause Phenomena" in Ghent, Belgium (September 29-October 1).

Lucy Kim will be giving talk at the 20th Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference (JK20) in in Oxford October (1-3).

Katy McKinney-Bock and Ellen O'Connor Mohun will be giving talks at RALFe in Paris in October (14-16).

Yin Bin
will be giving a talk at the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) conference at the University of Maryland in October (14-17).

Mary Byram, Sarah Ouwayda, and Barbara Tomaszewicz will be giving talks at the California University Semantics and Pragmatics meeting in October (15-16).

Dongsik Lim (alumnus) and Daylen Riggs will be giving talks, and Ellen O'Connor Mohun will be presenting a poster at NELS in UPenn in October (22-24).

Rachel Walker will be giving a talk entitled "Nonlocal target scope in Baiyinna Orochen" at the 7th Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics at the University of Southern California in October (29-31).

Phillip Carter, and Michael Shepherd will be giving talks, and Xin Zhao will be presenting a poster, at NWAV in Texas in November (4-6)

Hagit Borer and Sarah Ouwayda will be giving a talk at the BAALL conference on Afro-Asiatic Grammar in Paris in November (25-27).

Invited talks:

Hagit Borer gave an invited presentation on “Language: The Generative Perspective” at the Communist University 2010 in London, in August. She is giving an invited talk (with Sarah Ouwayda) entitled "Playing your Cardinals Right" at the Empirical, theoretical and computational approaches to countability in natural language in Germany in September, and she will give the invited talks: "Representation of Events conference" at Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris in October, "Verb Meaning, Event Semantics and Argument Structure" at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in December, and "(A-) Voiding the Lexicon" at the University of Munich in December.

Elsi Kaiser will be giving an invited talk as part of the UCLA Linguistics Colloquium in October.

Roumyana Pancheva will give invited talks at the Linguistics Colloquium at the University of Arizona in October, the Workshop on Perfect Puzzles in Bochum, Germany in November, and the Formal Description of Slavic Languages conference in the Czech Republic in November.

Rachel Walker will give invited talks at the Harvard and MIT Linguistics Colloquia in October.