Summer 2020

Welcome back!

Welcome back, all!  As usual, please refer to Harvard's COVID-19 site for policies related to the ongoing pandemic, such as institutional plans, information on testing, remote resources, travel guidance, etc. 

Virtual Defense

Yuyin He Thesis Defense, Friday, August 21st; 11:00AM - 1:00PM

Title: "Time in Mandarin: The Fingerprints of  Tense and Finiteness"

Fall 2020 dates

  • August 17 (12:00 am): Course registration for fall 2020 begins
  • August 17 (11:59 pm): Check-In Deadline for fall 2020
  • August 26 (11:59 pm): Course registration deadline
  • September 2: First day of classes

Please refer to Harvard's Academic Calendar (College, GSAS) for further dates


Professor Davidson named John L. Loeb Associate Professor

Professor Kate Davidson has been named John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities. The Loeb chair is one of a small number of endowed professorships for tenure-track faculty. It recognizes outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and departmental citizenship. Congratulations, Kate!


Welcome G1s!

Please join me in welcoming the incoming first year graduate students: Daria (Dasha) Bikina, Tess Monks, Hayley Ross, and Yi-Chi (Yvette) Wu.  Welcome to the department!



The following members of our department gave the following talks over the summer.

  • Jonathan Bobaljik gave a mini course titled "Impossible Morphemes" at V-NYI 2020 (The (Virtual) New York-St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture), held on July 20-31.
  • Jack Rabinovitch presented "Two ways to Existentially Close a Proposition" at SICOGG 22 (22nd Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar), held August 12-14.
  • Yingtong Liu presented "A Verb-frame Frequency Account of Constraints on Long-distance Dependencies in English" at CNRS, on May 22.
  • Ethan Wilcox presented:
    • "A systematic assessment of syntactic generalization in neural language models" at ACL 2020 (The 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics), held July 5-10.
    • "SyntaxGym: An Online Platform for Targeted Evaluation of Language Models", also at ACL 2020.
    • "On the Predictive Power of Neural Language Models for Human Real-Time Comprehension Behavior" at CogSci 2020 (The 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society).
  • Susi Wurmbrand gave a mini course titled "Topics in Syntax: Finiteness*" at V-NYI 2020.


Zhang awarded IQSS research grant

Yuhan Zhang was awarded a research grant from Harvard's IQSS (The Institute for Quantitative Social Science).  Congratulations, Yuhan!


Gonzalez published in Snippets

Aurore Gonzalez published an article titled "Exclusivity in unconditionals" in the July 2020 issue of Snippets.  The paper is coauthored by Karoliina Lohiniva (NYU).