Indiana University Department of Linguistics

Upcoming events in the IU linguistics community

Volume 137 24 February 2012 – 1 March 2012

The Linguistics Calendar is published by the Linguistics Department to keep you informed of announcements of interest.
To have an event posted in the Linguistics Calendar, email your information to by Wednesday of the week before your event.


Colloquia and Talks
Conferences and Calls for Papers
Fall Semester Reading Groups

Colloquia and Talks

(Social Psychology Seminar Series) The Role of Noun-Adjective Word Order on Several Aspects of Cognitive Representation and Judgment

Speaker: Elise Percy and Jim Sherman
Location: Psychology 128
Date: Friday, 2 March, 2012
Time: 3:30pm-5:00pm

ABSTRACT: Elise Percy and Jim Sherman will present an update of their work (in collaboration with Portuguese and Italian colleagues) on the role of language in mental representation and judgment. The focus of this work is on the effects of grammatical differences in noun-adjective word order between languages. Our early work focused on effects on conditional frequency judgments. Recent work investigates effects on similarity judgments, memory, accentuation, and Gestalt patterns. All results indicate a strong primacy effect of noun-adjective word order. However we need help understanding the results on impression tasks. The data are strong and in the opposite direction. We invite you to help us make sense of this. Please help us out.

(IULC Colloquium Series) (Un)interpretable gender: On the feature valuation/interpretability biconditional in Minimalist Theory

Speaker: Ewa Willim, Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland
Location: Ballantine Hall (BH) 228
Date: Friday, 24 February, 2012
Time: 4:00pm-5:15pm

ABSTRACT: This talk addresses the feature valuation/interpretability biconditional within Chomsky.s (2000, 2001) theory of Agree, focusing on the grammatical gender system of Polish. If grammatical gender is (the content of) the categorizing head in the (lower) functional structure of NP (cf., a.o., Lowenstamm 2008), it is interpretable and cannot be deleted from the LF-branch of the derivation. I will argue that emotionally colored and expressive uses of masculine personal nouns in Polish derive from insertion of their roots or stems in the derivation under a categorizing head (n) bearing a feature of grammatical gender which does not license human individuals in their LF denotation. The choice of n in the narrow syntax has consequences at PF in that the same roots/stems, when inserted under different kinds of categorizing heads, have different inflectional morphology and agreement patterns. To compute the interpretive difference, semantics must not only know that the roots/stems are categorized as nouns, but it must also have access to the distinguishers on the categorizing heads with which the roots/stems are merged in the syntax. This suggests that the feature of grammatical gender may play a role on both the PF and LF branches of a derivation. Grammatical gender can be present at LF without violating the Principle of Full Interpretation/Legibility Principle, but if it does not trigger any interpretive effects, LF must be able to ignore it.

(SPHS Colloquium Series) Investigating the development of perceptual constancy through children's perception of foreign-accented speech

Speaker: Tessa Bent
Location: Speech and Hearing Building C141
Date: Friday, 2 March, 2012
Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

ABSTRACT: A listener.s ability to perceive speech accurately despite the vast amount of variability in the speech signal is contingent on the flexibility of the speech perception system and its rapid tuning to novel input. Variability in the speech signal is introduced by factors such as a talker.s dialect, gender, native language, age, and emotional state. Maintaining stable lexical access, therefore, requires perceptual constancy -- the ability to identify the same word across different speakers or acoustic realizations. The current studies investigate the development of perceptual constancy during preschool and middle childhood. Two experiments tested adults' and children's perception of foreign-accented words and sentences. Results demonstrated that children had less accurate word and sentence recognition than adults for both native- and foreign-accented stimuli. Both adults and children were less accurate at identifying foreign-accented words compared to native-accented words with children and adults showing similar decrements. Additionally, a number of factors were identified as relating to accurate perception of foreign-accented speech including children's age, vocabulary size, and naturalistic exposure. [Supported by NIDCD 1R21DC010027]

(Hispanic Linguistics Brown Bag Series) Análisis y diferenciación entre A y PARA

Location: Ballantine Hall (BH) 205
Date: Wednesday, 7 March, 2012
Time: 1:30pm-2:15pm
Speaker: Gibran Delgado-Díaz
Contact: Laura Gurzynski-Weiss

Abstract will be posted as soon as it is available.

7 MarchGibran Delgado-Díaz
21 MarchAllen Davis
4 AprilKimberly L. Geeslin & Bret Linford
18 AprilLaura Gurzynski-Weiss, Avizia Y. Long, & Megan Solon

(Second Language Studies Colloquium Series) Dictogloss as Dynamic Assessment

Location: Ballantine Hall (BH) 208
Date: Friday, 9 March, 2012
Time: 2:30pm-4:00pm
Speaker: Sun-Young Shin, Ryan Lidster, Rebecca Yaeger, and Stacy Sabraw
Contact: Isabelle Darcy
Website: SLS Colloquium 2012 Overview

ABSTRACT: Recently, dynamic assessment -a term for assessing student performance not just from the end result but in a way that reflects the holistic process through mediation-has attracted increasing attention from both researchers and teachers. This new approach to testing can be embedded in normal teaching and learning activities, illuminate the learning process, and provide information about the test-taker's learning potential with scaffolded assistance from the expert (Embretson, 1987). However, dynamic assessment has some logistical limitations (Poehner, 2009) in that teachers cannot provide one-to-one mediation to the entire class. In addition, to date, most dynamic assessment has been based on oral interaction but not other modes. In this vein, dictogloss-a collaborative text reconstruction task-can be a promising and practical tool for dynamic assessment. Dictogloss involves several stages of production and revision, from an initial individual listening task to pair or group work to reconstruct the text from their shared resources and teacher feedback on their co-constructed work. This presentation will address the way in which the dictogloss activity as a dynamic assessment tool can be implemented into multimodal language learning courses for both assessing and enhancing students' grammatical and textual knowledge, and listening comprehension skills. This talk will also discuss a research agenda for dynamic assessment particularly concerning the meaning of the scores and score comparability issues.

9 MarchSun-Young Shin, Ryan Lidster, Rebecca Yaeger, and Stacy Sabraw
6 AprilJim Miller and Chuck Watson

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Conferences and Calls for Papers

Conferences of Interest

Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics 21 (The Third Indiana Meeting)

Location: Indiana University Bloomington
Date: 11 - 13 May 2012

Invited Speakers:
Zeljko Boskovic, University of Connecticut
Damir Cavar, Eastern Michigan University
Tania Ionin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

FASL 21 will be preceded by a SPECIAL SESSION on Computational Approaches to Slavic Languages 10-11 May 2012 and followed by a free Workshop in Slavic Linguistics 14-17 May 2012.

Abstracts are invited for 30-minute presentations (plus 10 minutes discussion) on any topic dealing with formal aspects of Slavic syntax, semantics, morphology, phonology, phonetics, including language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and computational linguistics. Computational talks will be organized into the special session.

Abstracts are limited to TWO PAGES and should be ANONYMOUS. Abstract submissions should be made via the EasyChair Conference System. Specific instructions will be made available on the conference website:

Authors are advised to re-check examples and glosses with speakers of the languages involved.

The deadline for abstracts has been EXTENDED to 5 FEBRUARY 2012. After that, there will be no extensions. We hope to make a program available by 15 MARCH 2012.

The Illinois Language and Linguistics Society - 4th annual meeting

Location: IMU Solarium
Date: 13-15 April 2012
Website: ILLS4 Website
Contact: ILLS4 Committee

The 4th annual meeting of the Illinois Language and Linguistics Society will be held April 13-15, 2012 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ILLS is a general linguistics conference open to all subfields. This year's meeting will include a special session Saturday, April 14th on the topic ?Discourse and Pragmatics.' We are currently accepting abstracts for topics in general linguistics although special consideration will be given to papers that fit the theme for the special session. Deadline for submission is February 12th.

The top 4 submitted student abstracts will be awarded $200 to cover conference travel costs.

All talks will be given 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for questions. Abstract submission guidelines and instructions can be found at:

Please contact with any questions you may have.

Invited Speakers: Betty J. Birner (Northern Illinois University)
Paul Kiparsky (Stanford University)
Jonathan MacDonald (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Marina Terkourafi (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Robert E. Vann (Western Michigan University)

17th Annual Preparing Future Faculty Conference

Location: IMU Solarium
Date: Friday 24 February 2012
Contact: Deidre Redmond

This conference is sponsored by the University Graduate School and other participating departments and is FREE to all IU graduate students. Registration is not required. In order to participate in the complimentary lunch you must RSVP by Friday, February 17th, 2012 to with your name, department, and year in your program. There is limited seating for lunch.

Indiana University's 17th Annual Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Graduate Conference is a one-day event designed to provide graduate students from all disciplines and at all phases of their educations with important information about preparing for their future academic careers.

The program consists of the following four sessions:

(1) Career Options, Responsibilities, and Rewards. Four panelists will discuss the career options that are available for PhD recipients.

(2) Developing a Professional Record of Research, Teaching, and Service. Panelists will discuss the aspects of potential faculty records that are appealing to members of search committees. Experts will address how graduate students can develop different aspects of their records.

(3) Teaching Is/As Brain Surgery. This panel will take an in-depth look at teaching and learning. Designed to help graduate students improve their teaching techniques, this panel will address what we as instructors need to know about this generation of college students.

(4) Navigating the Job Market. Panelists will discuss the qualities of successful candidates at different colleges and universities. This session will address the details of being on the job market; more specifically, panelists who have served on search committees will provide insider perspectives about faculty visits. This session will also provide an insider perspective on successful interviewing.

Many conferences of interest to IU Linguists can be found on the Linguist List Calls and Conferences page. Our own page for such announcements is undergoing revisions and will be linked shortly.

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Fall Semester Reading Groups

CLingDing: Computational Linguistics Hour

Location: Memorial Hall (MM) 401
Date: Tuesday 28 February 2012
Time: 11am-12pm
Speaker: Tony Meyer, Sandra Kübler, & Markus Dickinson
Contact: Markus Dickinson
Website: CLingDing Page

ABSTRACT: We develop a system for predicting the level of language learners, using only a small amount of targeted language data. In particular, we focus on learners of Hebrew and predict level based on placement exam exercises. As will be the case for many language teaching situations, a major problem is data sparsity, which we account for in our feature selection, choice of learning algorithm, and in the way we break down the problem. Specifically, we define a two-phase classification process, isolating individual errors and linguistic constructions which are then aggregated into a second phase; such a two-step process allows for easy integration of other exercises and features in the future. The aggregation of information also allows us to smooth over sparse features.

28 FebruaryTony Meyer, Sandra Kübler, & Markus Dickinson
6 MarchScott Ledbetter
20 MarchRehj Cantrell
27 MarchShahab Khan
3 AprilWren Thornton
17 AprilLevi King

Korean Phonology Reading Group

Location: TBA
Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Contact: Stuart Davis

Anyone interested in participating in a reading group this semester on Korean phonology should contact Stuart Davis (

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Last modified: 23 February 2012