Grant Goodall has been elected as a member of the Academy of Esperanto

Grant Goodall has been elected to a nine-year term in the Academy of Esperanto. Founded in 1905 by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, the Academy is tasked with monitoring and guiding the evolution of the language. This evolution is of interest because over the course of its existence, Esperanto has gone from a desktop project to a living language with a large base of fluent speakers, including native speakers. The 45 members of the Academy are elected by their peers in recognition of their contributions to Esperanto letters and scholarship.

Grant Goodall first learned Esperanto in his early teens. While still in high school, he studied advanced Esperanto at San Francisco State University and later taught it both there and at UC San Diego. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Esperantic Studies Foundation, which sponsors research on Esperanto and related topics, since 2001, and he teaches a course at UC San Diego on the linguistics of invented languages. Some of his recent research analyzes the structure of constructed languages from the late 19th century, such as Esperanto, and how this was affected by what was (not) known about language universals at the time.

TRELS fellowship for a Research Assistant in Linguistics!

Mohit Gurumukhani, a Research Assistant in the Language Comprehension Lab, just won a Triton Research and Experiential Learning Scholarship (TRELS) award for Spring Quarter, 2019. Mohit is working under the guidance of Eva Wittenberg on a project that investigates the role of Hindi case-marking. While Mohit is a Computer Science Major, the training provided by the lab has uniquely qualified him to tackle a complex problem in linguistics. Congratulations, Mohit!

Prof. Eva Wittenberg co-edited the new special issue of “Linguistics”

Prof. Eva Wittenberg and her collaborator Dr. Andreas Trotzke edited a Special Issue that was just published  on the journal Linguistics.  It focuses on adjective order in Germanic languages from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/ling.2019.57.issue-2/issue-files/ling.2019.57.issue-2.xml

Contents:

  • Andreas Trotzke and Eva Wittenberg: Long-standing issues in adjective order and corpus evidence for a multifactorial approach
  • Elnora ten Wolde: Linear vs. hierarchical: Two accounts of premodification in the of-binominal noun phrase
  • Kristin Davidse and Tine Breban: A cognitive-functional approach to the order of adjectives in the English noun phrase
  • Ermenegildo Bidese, Andrea Padovan and Claudia Turolla: Adjective orders in Cimbrian DPs
  • Sven Kotowski and Holden Härtl: How real are adjective order constraints? Multiple prenominal adjectives at the grammatical interfaces

Michael Obiri-Yeboah awarded Firebird Fellowship

Congratulations to Michael Obiri-Yeboah who was awarded a ~ $10,000 Firebird Foundation Fellowship to document the oral and cultural literature of the Boso Gua-speaking community in Ghana over the next two years. The Firebird Foundation supports the documentation of the oral literature and traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous people, helping to preserve endangered languages.

Congratulations to Priyanka Biswas!

Congrats to Priyanka Biswas, who is joining Apple as a Computational Linguist. She will be working to expand Siri’s functionality internationally.

Priyanka has lectured for the Department for the past two years, teaching a variety of courses (Languages and Cultures of America, Syntax, and Computational Linguistics). We are sad to see her go, but pleased to see where she’s going!

Prof. Mayberry has been awarded a 5-year HIH research grant

Prof. Rachel Mayberry has been awarded a 5-year NIH continuation research grant on a project entitled “Age of acquisition effects on sign language development and brain processing.” The grant will secure funding for Mayberry Laboratory for Multimodal Language Development and is designed to investigate the nature and scope of the critical period for language. Here is a brief summary. A series of experiments investigate the hypothesis that development of the brain language system requires linguistic experience during early life in order to develop full functionality. The critical period for language is modeled using deafness and American Sign Language as the test case. This is possible because ASL is a natural language, and individuals born deaf often begin to learn it at a variety of ages after experiencing scant language in any form. The experiments investigate and link critical period effects on syntactic development, neurolinguistic processing, and brain structure.
Congratulations to Prof. Mayberry!