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.


  • 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

Eva Wittenberg has a new paper in Cognitive Science

Eva Wittenberg has a new paper in Cognitive Science:
Ziegler, J. , Snedeker, J. and Wittenberg, E. (2018), Event Structures Drive Semantic Structural Priming, Not Thematic Roles: Evidence From Idioms and Light Verbs. Cognitive Science. doi:10.1111/cogs.12687
What are the semantic representations that underlie language production? We use structural priming to distinguish between two competing theories. Thematic roles define semantic structure in terms of atomic units that specify event participants and are ordered with respect to each other through a hierarchy of roles. Event structures instead instantiate semantic structure as embedded sub‐predicates that impose an order on verbal arguments based on their relative positioning in these embeddings. Across two experiments, we found that priming for datives depended on the degree of overlap in event structures. Specifically, while all dative structures showed priming, due to common syntax, there was a boost for compositional datives priming other compositional datives. Here, the two syntactic forms have distinct event structures. In contrast, there was no boost in priming for dative light verbs, where the two forms map onto a single event representation. On the thematic roles hypothesis, we would have expected a similar degree of priming for the two cases. Thus, our results support event structural approaches to semantic representation and not thematic roles.

Gabriella Caballero, Marc Garellek, Amanda Ritchart-Scott, and Scott Seyfarth all presented at LabPhon16

UC San Diego Linguistics was well represented at the 16th LabPhon meeting.

Amanda Ritchart-Scott presented her poster “Perceptual enhancement of nasalized vowels through increased breathiness.”

Gabriella Caballero & Marc Garellek presented their poster “Multidimensional tonal realization and prosodic variation in Choguita Rarámuri (Tarahumara).”

Marc Garellek presented his talk (coauthored by Christina Esposito at Macalester College) “The effects of prosody on pitch and voice quality of White Hmong tones.”

Scott Seyfarth (PhD 2016, currently at Ohio State University) co-organized (with Beth Hume, OSU) a workshop called “The role of predictability in shaping human sound systems.”

SemanticsBabble receives its 6th annual IAH grant

SemanticsBabble, the interdisciplinary discussion group on formal and experimental approaches to language meaning that is lead by Ivano Caponigro (Linguistics) and Jonathan Cohen (Philosophy), has just been awarded its 6th annual grant from the UCSD Institute of Arts and Humanities. The grant will help with inviting scholars and students from other institutions to present and discuss their current research on language meaning during the academic year 2018-2019.

UC San Diego Linguistics at CUNY

Our graduate students Dayoung Kim and Till Poppels, our postdoc William Matchin, and our faculty members Grant Goodall, Andrew Kehler, and Eva Wittenberg are presenting five posters at the ​31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference at UC Davis on March 15-17, 2018:

Suhas Arehalli and Eva Wittenberg: “The mess reveals the system: People use top-down cues to resolve errors in contexts with highly random noise, but not with highly structured noise”

Dayoung Kim and Grant Goodall: “Complexity effects in A- and A’-dependencies”

Adam Morgan, Titus von der Malsburg, Victor S. Ferreira and Eva Wittenberg: “This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in English hinder comprehension”

Till Poppels and Andrew Kehler: “Reconsidering asymmetries in voice-mismatched verb phrase ellipsis”

William Matchin, Diogo Almeida, Jon Sprouse, and Gregory Hickok: “Subject island violations involve increased semantic processing, but not increased verbal working memory resources: evidence from fMRI”

William Matchin is also giving a talk:

William Matchin, Christian Brodbeck, Christopher Hammerly, and Ellen Lau:
“The temporal dynamics of structure and content in the language network”