Linguistics events at Boston University

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Date

Thu Oct 05, 2017

Time

05:15 PM - 06:30 PM


			

Location

LSE B01

Title

LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM:
"More Than Occasional: Grappling With the Relative Ubiquity of Nonlocal Adjectives"

Description

Abstract : It has been a longstanding puzzle that in sentences like The occasional sailor strolled by, the adjective can, on one reading, systematically be paraphrased with an adverb: 'Occasionally, a sailor strolled by' (Bolinger 1967, Stump 1981, Larson 1999, Zimmermann 2003, Schäfer 2007, DeVries 2010, Gehrke & McNally 2010, 2015). These are usually regarded as an idiosyncratic grammatical curiosity. I will argue that such nonlocal readings of adjectives are both more common and more systematic than usually recognized. Similar effects occur with average (The average American has 2.3 children, paraphrasable with 'on average'; Kennedy & Stanley 2009), whole (The whole ferret is submerged, paraphrasable with 'wholly'; Morzycki 2002, Moltmann 2005), wrong (You opened the wrong bottle, paraphrasable with 'it was wrong for you to open that bottle'; Larson 2000, Schwarz 2006), and undisclosed (Solange is staying at an undisclosed hotel, paraphrasable with 'it was not disclosed...'; Abusch & Rooth 1997). Empirically, my aim will be to demonstrate that despite real idiosyncrasies, the regularities are sufficient to require a unified account of such readings. They fall into three classes distinguished by restrictions on the quantificational force of their determiner. I'll suggest that what may lie at the heart of this phenomenon is the coupling of a truly adjective-like syntax with a determiner-like semantics within a single word, a kind of transitional form in the evolution of a grammar.

This is also a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/132708257360358/.

Speaker(s)

Marcin Morzycki (Michigan State University)

Sponsored by

BU Linguistics Program

For more information

Carol Neidle (BU Linguistics)

Date

Thu Nov 16, 2017

Time

05:15 PM - 06:30 PM


			

Location

LSE B01

Title

LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM:
"Perception of Non-native Speech"

Description

Abstract: Listening to non-native speech often provides a significant challenge for native speakers of a language. While substantial work has examined how non-native speech differs from native speech, relatively little work has examined how native listeners perceive this speech. In this talk, I will present studies examining what factors might influence how native speakers perceive and can adapt to non-native speech. Experiments 1 and 2 examine how perception of non-native speech compares to the perception of other unfamiliar types of speech and, and what cognitive and linguistic factors might influence listeners’ abilities to perceive these types of unfamiliar speech. Experiment 3 investigates how native listeners adapt to non-native speech over time, and how exposure to speakers from different backgrounds may influence this adaptation. In Experiment 4, I will present production data investigating some global properties of non-native production that may influence perception of this speech by non-native speakers. I will discuss the implications of these studies for our understanding of non-native speech, and for perception more broadly.

This is also a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1399840486799971/.

Speaker(s)

Melissa Baese-Berk (Associate Professor, University of Oregon)

Sponsored by

BU Linguistics Program

For more information

Carol Neidle (BU Linguistics)

Date

Thu Dec 07, 2017

Time

05:30 PM - 06:45 PM


			

Location

LSE B01

Title

LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM:
"How Phonetic Learners Should Use Their Input"

Description

Abstract: Children have impressive statistical learning abilities. In phonetic category acquisition, for example, they are sensitive to the distributional properties of sounds in their input. However, knowing that children have statistical learning abilities is only a small part of understanding how they make use of their input during language acquisition. This work uses Bayesian models to examine three basic assumptions that go into statistical learning theories: the structure of learners' hypothesis space, the way in which input data are sampled, and the features of the input that learners attend to. Simulations show that although a naïve view of statistical learning may not support robust phonetic category acquisition, there are several ways in which learners can potentially benefit by leveraging the rich statistical structure of their input.

This is also a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/846247092203474/ .

Speaker(s)

Naomi Feldman (University of Maryland (and MIT))

Sponsored by

BU Linguistics Program

For more information

Carol Neidle (BU Linguistics )

Date

Thu Mar 22, 2018

Time

05:15 PM - 06:30 PM


			

Location

LSE B01

Title

LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM:
"Large-scale Studies of Segmental and Prosodic Variation in Speech"

Description

Abstract to be provided.

Speaker(s)

Morgan Sonderegger (McGill University)

Sponsored by

BU Linguistics Program

For more information

Carol Neidle (BU Linguistics)

Date

Thu Apr 12, 2018

Time

05:15 PM - 06:30 PM


			

Location

TBA

Title

LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM:
"Development and Variation in Child African American English"

Description

Abstract to be provided.

Speaker(s)

Lisa Green (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Sponsored by

BU Linguistics Program

For more information

Carol Neidle (BU Linguistics)