WCCFL 34 at the University of Utah

This past weekend,  The University of Utah hosted The West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. UCLA students and faculty were of those who presented this year.

A linguistic study using social media: Phonotactically-driven rendaku
in surnames, Yu Tanaka, UCLA graduate

Bound tense in Relative Clauses: evidence from VP-ellipsis, Sam
Alxatib, CUNY & Yael Sharvit, UCLA faculty
Partial Cyclicity and Restrictions on Neg-Raising, Frank Staniszewski, UCLA undergraduate


Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program Awardees

11 of our graduate students have been awarded the Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program (GSRM), 4 of whom are receiving the GSRM for a second time. The program supports students so that they may pursue a research project with a faculty mentor over the summer, culminating in a paper in the fall.

Awardees will receive $6,000 stipend, and if they present results of the mentored activities at a conference, they will be reimbursed up to $500 toward travel expenses. All travel must occur during the academic year (Oct. 2016-June 2017).

The awardees are:

Jacob Adams, Rachel Jacobson, Hendrick Kim, Travis Major, Iara Mantenuto, Brice Roberts, Adam Royer, Richard Stockwell, Luke West, Deborah Wong, and Meng Yang

Congratulations to all, and good luck with your projects!



SCAMP: Southern California April Meeting on Phonology was held at UCSD over the weekend (thank you to Eric Baković (UCSD) for organizing it!). A number of UCLA phonologists had talks/posters:

Adam Chong: Looking under the hood: Korean palatalization and derived environment effects

Stephanie Shih (UC Merced) & Kie Zuraw: Phonological conditions on Tagalog adjective-noun word order
Brian Smith: Phonologically-conditioned variation in English function words

Robert Daland: Speech perception is not isomorphic to loanword adaptation: Evidence from Korean
Yu Tanaka: Rendaku in Japanese surnames revisited: Just pretending to be monomorphemic!
Jesse Zymet: Irreducible parallelism in phonology

Linguists in the news! Vocal fry, self-identity, and Lunar French

Pat Keating appears in an article covering what is”vocal fry” and who use it.

Vocal Fry Article

An open letter Sameer Ud Dowla Khan (PhD 2008, now at Reed) wrote to NPR Show “Fresh Air” was mentioned in an article on self-identity and the style of language one uses to express their identity.

Self-identity Article

Eleanor Glewwe (3rd year) and Isabelle Lin (2nd year) were asked by the artist Glenn Kaino to create a dialect of French that would have developed on the moon, had France colonized the moon in the 16th century. The article talks about Kaino’s exhibit at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Lunar French Article


The LSA 2016 Annual Meeting (Washington DC)

This year we had several students present and our very own Patricia Keating was an invited plenary speaker. Her talk was titled ““Voice Quality Variation Within and Across Languages”

Among the UCLA students, the following are those that presented with their talk titles:

Adam Chong – “Learning consequences of derived-environment effects”

Jesse Zymet – “A case for parallelism: reduplication-repair interaction in Maragoli”

Victoria E. Mateu – “Intervention Effects in Subject-to-Subject Raising: Evidence from Spanish-speaking children”

John Gluckman – “Taking Time with Tough-Movement”

Anthony Yates (Indo-European Dept.) – “(Reconstructing) stress assignment in Hittite and Proto-Indo-European”

Margit Bowler’s Invited Talk at Stanford

Margit Bowler, a 4th year graduate student doing fieldwork in semantics in Walpri, was invited to give a talk at the Stanford Department of Linguistics on November 4th.

margitA short description of the talk follows:

“In this talk, I evaluate the status of degrees in Warlpiri (Pama-Nyungan, Australia). I present Warlpiri data collected following Beck, et al.’s 2009 questionnaire, and show that Warlpiri lacks degrees as a primitive in its semantic ontology. I follow analyses of other degree-less languages (Washo, Bochnak 2013 and Fijian, Pearson 2009) in accounting for some potentially problematic data.

In addition to discussing degrees, I’ll also talk briefly about my fieldwork experience in central Australia, methodologies I used in collecting my degree data, and show some photos from my fieldwork site.”

2015 AMP Presentations

The 2015 Annual Meeting on Phonology took place last weekend in Vancouver, Canada. It was held jointly by UBC and Simon Fraser U. Kie Zuraw was one of the plenary speakers with her talk entitled: Morphologically complex words: pure reduction vs. structure

Adam Chong also gave a poster presentation: The relationship between static and dynamic generalizations in learning.

Recent alumnus James White (Ph.D. 2013, now at UCL, London) also gave a co-authored presentation with Heng Yin (UCL): Neutralization avoidance and naturalness in learning of palatalization.