Rachel Mayberry and Sara Goico awarded NSF rapid grant

Sara Goico, a graduate student in anthropology, and Rachel Mayberry, a professor in linguistics, received an NSF rapid grant, “Language emergence from inception.”  They will study how deaf children living in Iquitos, Peru, who know no sign or spoken language, gesture with their families before entering school for the first time, and how their gestures change over time as they communicate with one another in the school.

Micheal Obiri-Yeboah research on Gua

1st year PhD student Michael Obiri-Yeboah will present a paper on vowel harmony in Gua with Sharon Rose at the 48th Annual Conference on African Linguistics at Indian University in April. He also received funding to attend the NSF-DEL sponsored Summer School in Documentary Linguistics: Methods and Data Management at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana to further his research on Gua.

Eva Wittenberg has two new papers out

TROTZKE, A. and WITTENBERG, E. (2017) ‘Expressive particle verbs and conditions  on particle fronting’, Journal of Linguistics, 53(2), pp. 407–435. doi: 10.1017/S0022226716000153.

Jackendoff, Ray & Eva Wittenberg (2017). Linear grammar as a possible steppingstone in the evolution of language. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24.1, pp 219–224. OpenAccess

Adam McCollum has two upcoming presentations at WCCFL 35

At this year’s West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, Adam McCollum will be giving a talk on “Non-iterative vowel harmony in Crimean Tatar” with Darya Kavitskaya from Berkeley at 9:30 on April 28th.

He will also be presenting a poster entitled “Unbounded harmony is not always myopic: Evidence from Tutrugbu” with James Essegbey from the University of Florida.

Separating viewpoint from mode of representation in iconic co-speech gestures: insights from Danish narratives

Graduate student Anne Therese Frederiksen recently published a paper on gesture form and function in Language and Cognition titled ‘Separating viewpoint from mode of representation in iconic co-speech gestures: insights from Danish narratives‘.

Abstract: During narrative retelling, speakers shift between different viewpoints to reflect how they conceptualize the events that unfolded. These viewpoints can be indicated through gestural
means as well as through verbal ones. Studies of co-speech gestures have inferred viewpoint from gesture form, i.e. how entities are mapped onto the (primarily manual) articulators, but the merits of this approach have not been discussed. The present study argues that viewpoint is more than gestural form. Despite connections between the two, many other factors may influence a gesture’s form. Assessing viewpoint from gesture form alone limits the applicability of gestural viewpoint as a window onto speakers’ event conceptualization and introduces unnecessary differences in the categorization of viewpoint across gestures types. The present study examines iconic co-speech gestures in Danish narratives, and makes explicit the means used to infer gestural viewpoint. The approach advocated here ensures that the notion of viewpoint can be applied in a principled way to all or most iconic gestures.