Ivano Caponigro is giving three talks at the University of Hawai’i

Ivano Caponigro has been invited to give three talks at the NINJAL-UHM Linguistics Workshop on Syntax-Semantics Interface, Language Acquisition, and Naturalistic Data Analysis at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa on October 11-13, 2019.

  • Richard Montague: The Simplicity of Language, the Complexity of Life. Towards a Biography (plenary talk)
  • Investigating Headless Relative Clauses across Languages: Why and How (workshop)
  • Investigating Headless Relative Clauses across languages: A view from Mesoamerica (plenary talk)

Gabriela Caballero is giving invited talks at Princeton and Georgetown

Gabriela Caballero is giving three invites talks the next few months:

  • an invited talk at the Princeton Phonology Forum (PɸF 2020) on Tone and phonological theory at Princeton University on April 10-11, 2020;
  • a colloquium talk on Tone and inflection in Choguita Rarámuri (Tarahumara): implications for the typology and theory of grammatical tone in the Linguistics Department at Georgetown University on November 8, 2019;
  • a presentation for a joint meeting of the Georgetown University Fieldwork Forum (GUFF) and the computational linguistics group on November 8, 2019.

Three of our faculty members are presenting at NELS 50 at MIT

Emily Clem and Michelle Yuan, our two new faculty members who are specialized in syntax and field work, and Eva Wittenberg, our recent hire in psycholinguistics, are all presenting at the prestigious and highly selective conference NELS 50 at MIT in Cambridge, MA on October 25-27, 2019. Emily is giving a talk on Post-syntactic altruism with her co-authors Nicholas Rolle and Virginia Dawson, Michelle is giving a talk on Deriving variation in ergativity across Eskimo-Aleut, and Eva is giving a talk on Fixing De Morgan’s law in counterfactual antecedents with her co-authors Jacopo Romoli and Paolo Santorio.

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.

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!

Prof. Gabriella Caballero will serve at SSILA and ELDP

Congratulations to Prof. Gabriela Caballero, who will serve linguistics in two significant capacities as of 2019.
First, she will be the new Vice President/President Elect of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA), an organization devoted to the scientific study of the languages of the Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America. The Vice President/President Elect is a two-year term and then becomes the SSILA President. After the term of President, the position entails serving on the Executive Committee as the Past President for one year (the current president is Keren Rice).
Second, Prof. Caballero will be part of the Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) panel. The panel consists of eight academics in charge of evaluating research proposals in language documentation and linguistics carried out across the world (current members include Katia Chirkova, Pattie Epps, Nicholas Evans, Diana Forker, Jeff Good, Gary Holton, and Stephen C. Levinson). This is a 3- to 5-year appointment.