Spell-Out Blog

Week of March 2, 2015

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Maria Polinsky (Harvard)
Indexical shift in Tsez
Wednesday, March 4 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor)

GSAS Indo-European and Historical Linguistics Workshop

Sam Zukoff (MIT)
Repetition Avoidance and the Exceptional Reduplication Patterns of Indo-European
Wednesday, March 4 | 5:00pm | Boylston 303

Festschrift published in honor of Huang 

The Department is proud to announce that Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective, edited by Audrey Li, Andrew Simpson, and Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai, has been published in honor of Professor C.-T. James Huang. The collection is described as a "tribute to Professor Huang's lifelong work on the syntax of Chinese and his attempts to demonstrate how the comparative analysis of Chinese reveals important properties of Universal Grammar."

Congratulations, Jim!

New Visitor

The Department would like to welcome Visiting Scholar Jin-e Li of Hubei University, China, who will be joining us this week.

Job Talk: Kathryn Davidson

Kathryn Davidson
Quotation, Classifier Predicates, and a Formal Semantics for Event Demonstrations
March 6, 2015 | 4pm-6pm | Boylston 103
Reception in the Department of Linguistics immediately following the talk.

Week of February 23, 2015

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Sabine Iatridou (MIT)
Conditionals
Wednesday, February 25 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

GSAS Indo-European and Historical Linguistics Workshop

Jesse Lundquist (UCLA)
Vedic -ti- Abstracts: History and Prehistory
Wednesday, February 25 | 5:00pm | Boylston 303

Job Talk: Tania Rojas-Esponda

Tania Rojas-Esponda
Discourse particles and focus effects in a question-under-discussion framework
Friday, February 27 | 4:00pm | Boylston 103
Reception in the Department of Linguistics immediately following the talk.

Ott to University of Ottawa

Congratulations to Dennis Ott (PhD 2011), who has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in syntax at the University of Ottawa, starting in July. Congratulations and best of luck, Dennis!

Week of February 16, 2015

Language and Cognition

Dorothy Ahn
Grammatical Facilitation of Number Acquisition
Tuesday, February 17 | 5:30pm | William James Hall 1050

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Brad Larson
A long-distance morphosyntax and semantics for comparative clauses
Wednesday, February 18 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

Charnavel at NYU

Assistant Professor Isabelle Charnavel was invited to present her work titled Point of View on Condition A at the NYU Syntax Brown Bag on Friday, February 13.

Job Talk: Jeremy Kuhn

Jeremy Kuhn
Meaning in Space: Singulars, Plurals, and Functions in American Sign Language
Friday, February 20 | 4pm-6pm | Boylston 103
Reception in the Department of Linguistics immediately following the talk.

Week of February 9, 2015

Classes Cancelled on Monday

Due to snow storm, the University, including the FAS, has suspended all but core operations today, February 9. This is the second time Harvard has suspended operations due to inclement weather in two weeks. According to an article in the Harvard Crimson, "Harvard, however, has rarely closed for inclement weather events in the past. In 1977, former Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III joked that, “Harvard University will close only for an act of God, such as the end of the world.”

Happy snow day!


Photo by Isabelle Charnavel

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Paper Presentation (Presentation by Dora Milhoc)
Bhatt, Rajesh, and Roumyana Pancheva. "Conditionals." The Blackwell companion to syntax (2006): 638-687.
Wednesday, February 11 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

Harvard at BLS41

The following talks featured Harvard presenters at the 41st Annual Meeting of Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLS) that took place on Saturday, February 7.

  • Lena Borise: Tagalog sluicing reanalyzed
  • Zuzanna Fuchs: Toward a focus analysis of Almost Wackernagel clitics in Wakhi
  • Tyler Lau: Reevaluating the diphthong mergers in Japono-Ryukyuan
  • Jenny Lee: Pluractionality and the stative vs. eventive contrast in Ranmo

Job Talk: Wataru Uegaki

Wataru Uegaki
Interpreting questions under attitudes
Friday, February 13 | 4pm-6pm | Boylston 103
Reception in the Department of Linguistics immediately following the talk.

Week of February 2, 2015

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Practice talks for BLS
Lena Borise
Tagalog sluicing revisited
Jenny LeePluractionality and the stative/eventive contrast in Ranmo
Wednesday, February 4 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

GSAS Indo-European and Historical Linguistics Workshop

Christina Skelton (Harvard University)
Pamphylian: Language and Dialect Contact in Ancient Greek
Friday, February 6 | 4:00pm | Boylston 104

Harvard at OCP12

Two presentations represented Harvard at the 12th Old World Conference in Phonology (OCP12) that took place in Barcelona, January 27-30.

Spring 2015 Visitors

  • Fellow: Siu Pong Cheng (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Special Students: 
    • Teigo Onishi (Kyoto University)
    • Guy Williams (Harvard Extension School)
The Department would like to say goodbye to two of last year's visiting scholars:
  • Angelo Mercado
  • Guitao Jin
It was truly great having you with us at the department!

Week of January 26, 2015

Welcome back!

Today is the first meeting of Spring 2015 classes. Study Card Day is Friday, January 30. For more information, please check the  2014-2015 Academic Calendar

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Practice talks for BLS
Zuzanna Fuchs
Toward a focus analysis of Almost Wackernagel clitics in Wakhi
Tyler Lau: Reevaluating the diphthong mergers in Japono-Ryukyuan
Wednesday, January 28 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

Linguistics Circle Workshop 

Florian Schwarz (UPenn) 
Experimental Comparisons of Presuppositions and Implicatures
Friday, January 30 | 4:30pm | Boylston 103

Week of January 12, 2015

Happy New Year!

Harvard at LSA 2015

The 89th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) took place in Portland, January 8-11, 2015. Prof. C.-T. James Huang was inducted as a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America on Friday, and the following talks featured Harvard student presenters:


Left to right: Peter Jenks, Sverre Stausland, Michael Becker, Gašper Beguš,
Lauren Eby Clemens, Jenny Lee, Laurence B-Violette, Zuzanna Fuchs, C.-T. James Huang (Not pictured: Brad Larson)

Week of December 8, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Fall examinations begin this Thursday, December 11 and end on Saturday, December 20. Winter break begins on Sunday, December 21, and the first meeting of Spring 2015 classes is on Monday, January 26, 2015. For more information, please check the  2014-2015 Academic Calendar.

This will be the last Spell-Out issue of the year. The blog will resume its weekly schedule in February, with one or two postings during the break. If you are not a Harvard student and would like to receive weekly Spell-Out announcement emails starting next term, please fill out the  Spell-Out Mailing List form. Thanks for a great year, and happy holidays!


From the 2014 HGSL Holiday Party (Photo by Edwin Tsai)

Language Universals Workshop 

John Bailyn (Stony Brook)
Architectural consequences of distinguishing two kinds of Superiority
Monday, December 8 | 5:30pm | Boylston 335

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Roksolana Mykhaylyk (HURI, Harvard University)
Norwegian and English vs. Russian and Ukrainian
Wednesday, December 10 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

Week of December 1, 2014

Fall Term Ends This Week

This Wednesdsay, December 3, is the last day of Fall classes. Reading period starts on Thursday, and Fall term examinations will begin on Thursday, December 11. Check the 2014-2015 Academic Calendar for more information.

Polinsky Lab Meeting 

Reading Group 4: "Universals in comparative morphology : suppletion, superlatives, and the structure of words"
Wednesday, December 3 | 5:15pm | 2 Arrow Street (4th floor conference room)

Language Universals Workshop 

John Bailyn (Stony Brook)
Architectural consequences of distinguishing two kinds of Superiority
Monday, December 8 | 5:30pm | Boylston 335

Week of November 24, 2014

Language Universals Workshop 

Andrew Nevins (University College London)
The Rise and Fall of the L-Shaped Morphome: Diachronic and Experimental Studies
Monday, November 24 | 5:30pm | Boylston 303

Huang Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Department is excited to share the news that Professor  C.-T. James Huang has received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Linguistic Society of Taiwan "in recognition of [his] distinguished contribution in linguistic research and in sowing seeds of linguistics, inspiring young minds and mentoring promising scholars in Taiwan and elsewhere in the world". He was unable to attend the ceremony, but made a face-time appearance to deliver his speech. Congratulations, Jim!

Graduate Student Workshop 2014

The 4th Annual Harvard Graduate Student Workshop in Linguistics, co-sponsored by the Department of Linguistics and the Harvard Graduate Student Council, took place on Saturday, November 22. Thanks to the hard work of the HGSL committee, the event was a great success with seven presentations and more than 25 students, visitors, and faculty attending.

  • Lena Borise: Dissecting stress: peculiar developments in a Belarusian dialect
  • Zuzanna Fuchs: When and where can we use coordinated WH questions?
  • Yuyin He: Focus and the idiosyncratic copular sentence in Mandarin
  • Peter Schuelke: Case marking and word order in Roviana
  • Laine Stranahan & Yujing Huang: Testing the Unaccusative hypothesis: an eye-tracking study
  • Julia Sturm: The nota accusativi in Classical Armenian
  • Yimei Xiang: Mention-some and mention-all readings of modalized questions


Photos by Edwin Tsai

Assistant Professor Position Announcement

For more information, please visit the academic positions website.