Thursday, February 6, 2014

the second annual Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium: first call for papers

Please see below the first call for proposals for the second annual MULS. If you're interested in presenting a paper or poster at MULS, submit your proposal (including a 500-word abstract) by Friday, 7 March. This is an excellent opportunity to present your research in a welcoming, diverse, and local forum, and those who participated in MULS last year - whether as a presenter or an attendee - spoke very highly of the experience. We hope many of you will submit proposals, but even if you do not, we encourage you to attend the symposium all the same; registration is free, and we will coordinate transportation from Northfield for those who need it. Faculty will also be happy to consult with you on your proposals.
If you have any questions about the symposium, please let Cati know. 
This is a call for proposals for the second annual Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium (MULS), which will be taking place on April 5th, 2014 on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus
MULS is an annual event that is dedicated to promoting the study of linguistics by undergraduates in Minnesota and surrounding states by sharing exemplary undergraduate research and fostering a dialogue between students of linguistics and other language-related topics across various institutions. Last year's event took place on the campus of St. Olaf College on April 13th, 2013. For more information, please visit
If you are interested in presenting at the symposium, please go to the following URL and fill out the corresponding form. The deadline for submission is Friday, March 7th at 11:55pm
Thank you,
Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium 
Organizing Committee 2014
Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium
Organizing Committee 2014

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Unlocking Hyper-Raising: Making the Most of Syntactic Optionality and Variation. Linguistics colloquium by Claire Halpert, 15 Nov @ 4:00p.

Please join us on Friday for a linguistics colloquium talk by Claire Halpert, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Minnesota. Claire's research interests revolve around the syntax of Zulu and other Bantu languages. 
Unlocking hyper-raising*: Making the most of syntactic optionality and variation
Linguistics Colloquium by Claire Halpert
Friday, 15 November 2013, at 4:00p
Goodsell 003
*What is 'hyper-raising', you ask? Hyper-raising does not obtain in English, but the basic pattern is illustrated in (i). Contrast this with what linguists refer to as 'raising', illustrated in (ii). If you'd like to know more, you know where to be on Friday afternoon! 
(i) a. * Robin seems [that ___ is tired]    
    b. It seems [that Robin is tired]
(ii)   Robin seems [ ___  to be tired]

MA in Computational Linguistics at Brandeis

From James Pustejovsky, Chair of the Brandeis Computer Science Department, and colleagues:

The Brandeis University Masters in Computational Linguistics is a unique program designed for students with backgrounds in linguistics, languages, computer science or mathematics who are interested in further study in computational linguistics. This two-year program provides students with a strong theoretical foundation and a working knowledge of applications, as well as solid programming skills and knowledge of industry standards and tools.  When they graduate, our students are prepared for jobs in speech recognition, machine translation, search, and information extraction or continuing on to a PhD in computational linguistics. 

You can find more info at

    James Pustejovsky, Program Chair
    Lotus Goldberg, Advising
    Marie Meteer, Industry Liaison

from the Monterey Institute of International Studies: summer language scholarships for prospective students

From Jill Stoffers, Executive Director of Enrollment Management, Monterey Institute of International Studies:

Greetings from Monterey!

We wanted to announce to you that the Monterey Institute of International Studies is once again offering summer language scholarships for prospective students! The Betty and David Jones scholarship will be granted to 50 or more students for summer 2014. Students may improve their language skills or learn a new language!

To qualify for summer language scholarships, candidates must also apply for a Monterey Institute degree program for Fall 2014. Deadline to apply for scholarship is February 1st, 2014. Please see our website for complete application instructions: 

The Monterey Institute accepts applications on a rolling basis. The priority scholarship deadlines for Fall 2014 are December 1st, February 1st, and March 1st.

Monday, October 21, 2013

David's colloquium talk at the University of Minnesota

Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics David Medeiros will present his research on verb-initial syntax and linearization at an upcoming University of Minnesota Linguistics Colloquium. If you'd like to hear his talk and/or hang out in Dinkytown afterward with Minnesota linguists, here is what you need to know:

Linearization and verb initial syntax: Hawaiian and beyond
University of Minnesota Linguistics Colloquium

Dr. David Medeiros, Carleton College
Friday, 25 October, 3:30pm
Elliott Hall S204 (75 East River Parkway, East Bank)

Predicate fronting and head movement are often presented as conflicting analyses of verb-initial syntax (McCloskey 2005, Chung & Polinsky 2009). Nevertheless, I argue that both operations apply in Hawaiian, a Polynesian language with VSO word order. Drawing on previous research, I show that predicate fronting can explain a range of data in Hawaiian. Crucially, I present a relativized cyclic linearization account of VP-remnant formation (prior to remnant movement), the formal characterization of which has been heretofore lacking (McCloskey 2005). I also argue that T-C head movement applies in Hawaiian for tense features, focusing on the morpho-syntax of Hawaiian tense-aspect-mood markers. Finally, I consider how the derivation of verb-initial syntax affects verbal morphology and main-clause word order, comparing Hawaiian to Irish and Malagasy.

A linguistics happy hour will follow.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

save the date: linguistics colloquium by Claire Halpert (U of M Linguistics) on 15 November

Carleton Linguistics is pleased to announce that Claire Halpert, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Minnesota, will give a public colloquium on Friday, 15 November, at 4:00p, in Goodsell 003. Dr. Halpert will present some of her research on the syntax of Zulu, a Bantu language spoken in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and other neighboring countries. More information on the talk will be made available shortly.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Do you study grammar, or language in general?

It was not even September, and I already got this question, to which my first reply is "Do you have a minute?"

I love answering this question, because it gives me an opportunity to get to the heart of the big questions that have driven linguistic inquiry since (at least) the Chomskyan revolution in the late 1950s. While I think that the answer to the stated question is essentially a 'both/and,' with a heavy dose of clarifying definitions, many of the central questions in linguistics are still (to a large extent) unanswered or, alternatively, superficially answered but without deeper explanation.

In my role as visiting faculty this year, I haven't had the chance to meet many Carleton linguists, so please come by my office (in Cherlon's space) or send me an email (dmedeiros at carleton), so we can start a conversation about language, linguistics, or anything else that's on your mind.