Rachel Mayberry gave two invited talks

Faculty Rachel Mayberry recently gave two invited talks in discussing recent findings regarding the critical period for language:

“Post-childhood first-language development: What it looks like and what it means,” a keynote presented at the First National Conference about teaching Portuguese as a second language for the Deaf: the curriculum of basic education and higher education on November 10, 2020.

“The acquisition of sentence structure under conditions of extreme language delay,” an invited talk given to the Linguistics Department at the University of Pennsylvania on November 13, 2020.



Alicia Muñoz Sánchez and Stéphanie Gaillard presented at SOLPHE

Spanish Academic coordinator Alicia Muñoz Sánchez and French Academic coordinator Stéphanie Gaillard gave a talk on “The core of language teaching: an approach to effective teacher training” at the Symposium on Language Pedagogy in Higher Education on Saturday October 3rd, 2020. The conference was supposed to take place in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois but was moved online because of COVID-19.

Ivano Caponigro’s new book on Mesoamerican languages

Faculty member Ivano Caponigro has edited the volume Headless Relative Clauses in Mesoamerican languages (Oxford University Press) together with Prof. Harold Torrence (UCLA) and Prof. Roberto Zavala Maldonado (CIESAS, Mexico). The book results from a 4-year project in which a team of 21 scholars from Mexico, USA, Canada, and France investigated the morpho-syntax and semantics of several varieties of headless relative clauses across 15 languages (all from Mesoamerica but one) by adopting the same template, definitions, and data collection methodologies.
Link to the Publisher’s book webpage (with book endorsements)
Link to the project website (with video interviews to each scholar involved in the project)
Link to the book webpage within the project website (with freely available chapters)

Three new grants for the Language Comprehension Lab

Faculty member Eva Wittenberg, PI of the Language Comprehension Lab, just received both an IBM University Award and a UCSD Innovation Grant for Inclusive Research Excellence, to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic influences language comprehension throughout society, in an exciting ongoing project with colleagues Rachel OstrandDan Kleinman, and Adam Morgan. Dr. Wittenberg was also awarded a Yankelovich Center Book Manuscript/Grant Proposal Improvement Grant.

Marc Garellek has a new paper in Glossa

Faculty member Marc Garellek just published an article in Glossa entitled “Phonetics and phonology of schwa insertion in Central Yiddish.” In this paper, Marc explores an unusual pattern of schwa insertion in Central (Polish) Yiddish. He uses insights from phonetic theory to explain its occurrence, and argues, based partly on patterns of poetic rhyme, that these inserted schwas are part of the language’s phonology.
Garellek, Marc. 2020. Phonetics and phonology of schwa insertion in Central Yiddish. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 5(1): 66. 1–25. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.1141

Ivano Caponigro is presenting at UC Berkeley

Faculty member Ivano Caponigro is giving a talk on “Logic and Grammar: Richard Montague’s Turn towards Natural Language” at the Working Group in the History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Science at UC Berkeley on March 18, 2020.  Ivano will present some of the findings from the intellectual and personal biography of Richard Montague (1930-1971) that he is currently working on.

Eva Wittenberg has a new paper on the acquisition of event nominals and light verb constructions

Faculty member Eva Wittenberg and Dr. Angela He (Chinese University of Hong Kong) have a new paper on the acquisition of event nominals and light verb constructions in Language & Linguistics Compass:

He AX, Wittenberg E. “The acquisition of event nominals and light verb constructions.” Lang Linguist Compass. 2019;1–18. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/lnc3.12363

Abstract. In language acquisition, children assume that syntax and semantics reliably map onto each other, and they use these mappings to guide their inferences about novel word meanings: For instance, at the lexical level, nouns should name objects and verbs name events, and at the clausal level, syntactic arguments should match semantic roles. This review focuses on two cases where canonical mappings are broken—first, nouns that name event concepts (e.g., “a nap”) and second, light verb constructions that do not neatly map syntactic arguments onto semantic roles (e.g., “give a kiss”). We discuss the challenges involved in their acquisition, review evidence that suggests a close connection between them, and highlight outstanding questions.