USC Ling: Summer Digest!

Here’s what happened throughout this last summer…

Brian Hsu accepted a visiting lecturer in linguistics position at George Mason University, Virginia. He will be teaching syntax to graduates and undergraduates during the coming year – Congrats Brian!!!

A group of USC folks was at the Laboratory Phonology 15 conference in Ithaca, NY (July 13-16): Cynthia Lee, Samantha Gordon, Caitlin Smith, Sarah Harper, Tanner Sorensen, Rachel Walker, Louis Goldstein and Khalil Iskarous, who was an invited speaker. Here’s a picture of Cynthia and Sam presenting their poster on “Prosodic convergence during and after a cooperative maze task”:


Maria Luisa Zubizarreta gave lectures this July at the University in Lima, Peru and travelled to Cuzo/Machupichu. She is currently doing fieldwork on Guaraní in Paraguay. Here’s a picture with  USC alumni Héctor Velázquez and Liliana Sanchez at Universidad Catolica de Lima, July 18-19:


Sandy Disner gave a précis-poster this July at the 25th IAFPA (The annual meeting of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics) in York, England.

Roumi Pancheva taught syntax at the NYI 14 (The New York – St Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture) in St. Petersburg in July (check it out:

Elsi Kaiser taught a course on “Information structure and reference resolution: Experimental and corpus-based approaches” and also led a research discussion group on “Psycholinguistic investigations of interface phenomena” at the 2016 LOT Summer School (Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap, the National Graduate School of Linguistics in the Netherlands). Here’s a picture of gorgeous Utrecht:


Alfredo Garcia Pardo presented a paper called “Argument structure in adjectival passives: an aspect-based approach” at the 3rd Workshop on Aspect and Argument Structure of Adjectives and Participles (WAASAP 3) at Université Lille 3 (Lille, France); he also attended the 13th Workshop on Syntax, Semantics and Phonology (WoSSP 13) in Barcelona, Spain, where he presented a paper called “Ser and estar: back to aspect”, co-authored with alumni Mythili Menon (Wichita State University) and a poster on “Building adjectival passives from aspectual structure”. Below is a picture of the poster session in Barcelona: try to find Alfredo!


Betül Erbaşı gave a talk titled “Aspectual Domain as a Prosodic Constituent in Turkish” at the 12th Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics between May 13-15.

Ana Besserman presented a poster on “Garden-path sentences: perspectives from a production task” with Elsi Kaiser at the International Workshop of Language Production (IWLP 2016) in San Diego, CA this July. Ana also presented a poster on “The effects of discourse cues on Garden Path processing” with Elsi Kaiser at COGSCI 2016 in Philadelphia, PA this August:


Hayeun Jang, Monica Do, Andres Benitez and Chorong Kang got together in Seoul, South Korea. Here’s proof to make all of us jealous:


We hope you had a terrific summer, and here’s to an even better Fall semester!

USC Ling end-of-semester digest!

Congratulations to Mythili Menon and Emily Fedele for successfully defending their dissertations!

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Come celebrate all the students graduating this semester at the Linguistics Commencement Reception this Friday, May 13 from 12pm to 1:30pm in the west lobby (first floor) of Grace Ford Salvatori Hall!

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We’re also hosting SPRING LING THING, an end-of-semester dinner (catered by Chichen Itza!) and board games affair, this Thursday, May 12, at 5pm in GFS330! Please bring a beverage.

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The incredibly impressive delegation from USC to WCCFL in beautiful Salt Lake City has returned!

USC student presenters included Monica Do, Huilin Fang, Chorong Kang (twice!), Alfredo Garcia Pardo, Brian Hsu, Hayeun Jang, Charlie O’Hara, Mythili Menon, and Saurov Syed.

USC faculty on the program included plenary speaker, Rachel Walker, and Karen Jesney, Elsi Kaiser, Andrew Simpson, and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta.

USC linguistic alum Asier Alcázar (PhD 2007, now Associate Professor at University of Missouri-Columbia) also gave a talk. Check out his 2014 book on The Syntax of Imperatives, coauthored with Mario Saltarelli, published by Cambridge University Press:

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Professor Mario Saltarelli, a linguist in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, is retiring after over 30 years at USC! Here’s a picture from his retirement event last week:

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Peter Guekguezian presented “Acoustic Evidence for Multiple, Quantity-Sensitive Stress in Chukchansi Yokuts” at the Workshop on American Indigenous Languages 2016 at UC Santa Barbara. He’d like to thank everyone at PhonLunch for helping out with the presentation!

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Undergraduate linguistics student Brooke Kidner has been selected for a senior profile! Shout outs to Ling department and Brandon are in the story; check it out:

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And here are Charlie O’Hara and Hayeon Jang presenting at CLS 2016!



If you have any news, pictures or corrections that you would like to see in this post (or in a new post), please send them to Thank you!🙂

USC Ling Weekly Digest!

Very special shout-out and congratulations to Mythili Menon, who has recently accepted a tenure-track position at Wichita State University (and also had an offer of a 2-year post-doc at UConn) and to alumni Canan Ipek, who has accepted a lecturer position at USC Psychology department for next year!

Some very relevant information from last month: Audrey Li (USC) & Fuzhen Si (Beijing Language and Culture University) organized the Workshop on Universals and Variations in Syntax at the Beijing Language and Culture University (March 15th, 2016). Hajime Hoji, Audrey Li, Maria Luisa Zubizarreta & Roumyana Pancheva all presented papers!

Congrats to all the students who presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for Scholarly and Creative work! A special shout-out to Brooke Kidner for winning honorable mention! Way to go!

Alfredo Garcia Pardo will soon be on his way to the Romance se-si workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (April 21-22) to present “Two types of anticausative se: The case of Spanish light verbs.”  

Furthermore, lots of our USC peers are heading towards Chicago this weekend for CLS 52! Charlie O’Hara (“Sonority Based Stress in Harmonic Grammar: Nontransitive Conflation in Phonological Hierarchies”), Hayeon Jang (“A constraint schema for the OCP: modeling scalar interactions”) and Saurov Syed (joint work with Andrew Simpson: “On the DP/NP status of nominal projections in Bangla: Consequences for the theory of phases”).

Do not forget: this Thursday, 4/21, we are having out *** 5th ANNUAL BAKE-OFF *** !!! Please prepare your most delicious treats to enter this joyful competition. We’ll meet at the usual tea-time location at the usual tea-time time.
(PS. baked goods with punny and linguistic-oriented names are always a plus😉 )

Here’s what is going on this week:

Today, Monday 4/18 at 4pm in the Conference Room: Syntax Plus! Haley Wei will be presenting Landau’s (2015) incorporation of Point of View into a theory of control.

Thursday, 4/21 at 2:30 in the Conference Room: PhonLunch! Peter Guekguezian will talk about  “Acoustics of stress in Chukchansi Yokuts”

Also on Thurday, 4/21, at 3:30pm in the usual tea time location: OUR 5th ANNUAL BAKE-OFF!

And at 4pm: Psycholing Lab! Johanna Klages (University of Göttingen, Germany) will present “On Some Cues for Perspective Shift in German and English”.


Here are some pics from the Undergraduate Research Symposium (Brooke Kidner and Rachel Walker; Sasha Spala, Elsi Kaiser, Katie Roberts and Sayuli Bhide):



USC Ling Weekly Digest

Congratulations to Christina Hagedorn (Ph.D. 2015), who is taking up a tenure-track position at College of Staten Island, CUNY in the fall!

The Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work ( takes place this Wednesday, April 13, 11-2pm!  People can come by anytime between11am and 2pm to look at the posters in the Tutor Campus Center ballroom (downstairs). It’s a great way to learn about the wealth of undergraduate research going on at USC!

Sayuli Bhide and Katie Roberts will present a poster called “Processing with a purpose: How good are we at recognizing unwarranted explanations of scientific phenomena?”, based on research they have been doing with Elsi Kaiser in the USC Psycholinguistics lab.

Sasha Spala will present a poster on how the speaker’s prosody is influenced by the knowledge state of the listener, based on her work with Iris Ouyang and Elsi Kaiser.

Brooke Kidner, a senior in the Linguistics program will be presenting a poster on “Documenting Lakota: An Endangered Language” .

Please come by!

An addition to our spring conference presentations: Hayeun Jang will be presenting her work at CLS later this month.


The 39th GLOW colloquium (Generative Linguistics in the Old World) took place April 5th – 8th, 2016 in Göttingen, Germany. Elsi Kaiser gave a talk in the Perspectivization workshop, on “Pronominal patterns in Finnish reported speech and free indirect discourse.”


Here’s what’s happening this week:

Monday 4/11, at 10:30am in the Reading Room: Binh Ngo will present “Pronoun interpretations in Vietnamese”,
and at 4pm in GFS107, Syed Saurov will talk about his work “On the DP/NP status of nominal projections in Bangla: consequences for the theory of phases”.

On Thursday 4/14, 2:30pm in GFS330: Charlie O’Hara will speak on “Sonority-based stress in Harmonic Grammar: Noncontrastive conflation in phonological hierarchies”, and Hayeun Jang will speak on “Interactions between proximity and similarity in dissimilation: Swedish case study.”


A picture of the building in Goettingen where GLOW took place this year:


And here’s part of our gang busting some moves at SCAMP:


USC Ling Weekly Digest

Congratulations to Hayeun Jang for receiving a Summer Fieldwork Grant from the Korean Studies Institute (!! This funding is in support of her research project on “Acoustic analysis of tense and tensified obstruents of Korean.”

The following students were awarded advanced advanced fellowships for the 2016-2017 academic year. Congratulations to the awardees! We wish everyone success in their research endeavors.
Saurov Syed – Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Monica Do – Russell Endowed Fellowship
Caitlin Smith – Research Enhancement Fellowship
Reed Blaylock – Provost’s Mentored Teaching Fellowship

Finally, congratulations to all of the second year graduate students on turning in their screening papers last week. Way to go!

The Southern California April Meeting on Phonology (SCAMP) is taking place this coming Friday and Saturday (April 8-9) at UC San Diego. USC is well represented, with presentations by Reed Blaylock, Hayeun Jang, Karen Jesney, Brian Hsu, Caitlin Smith, and Rachel Walker. You can see the program here:

The spring and summer conference season is upon us, and USC linguists are very active! Here are some of the upcoming presentations. Congratulations to all!

CLS: April 21-23
Charlie O’Hara, Andrew Simpson, and Saurov Syed

WCCFL: April 29-May 1
Invited speaker: Rachel Walker
Monica Do, Huilin Fang, Alfredo Garcia-Pardo, Brian Hsu, Hayeun Jang, Karen Jesney, Elsi Kaiser, Chorong Kang, Mythili Menon, Charlie O’Hara, Andrew Simpson, Saurov Syed, Maria Luisa Zubizarreta

MFM: May 26-28
Hayeun Jang

LabPhon: July 13-16
Invited speaker: Khalil Iskarous
Dani Byrd, Sarah Harper, Louis Goldstein, Samantha Gordon Danner, Cynthia Lee, Sungbok Lee, Shri Narayanan, Caitlin Smith, Asterios Toutios, Rachel Walker

In addition several former USC students/post-docs are involved at LabPhon: Presenters include Jelena Krivokapic (USC PhD 2007), Laurel Lawyer (USC BA), Benjamin Parrell (USC PhD 2014), Michael Proctor (USC Postdoc), Jason Shaw (USC BA), and Stephen Tobin (USC MA). The conference is co-organized by Sam Tilsen (USC postdoc).

Here what’s going on this week:

Monday 4/4, 10:30am in the Reading Room: Chorong will present at the psycholinguistics lab meeting. The title of her presentation is “Different types of QPs, different sensitivity to prosody”.

Thursday 4/7, 2:30pm in GFS330: In PhonLunch this week Tanner Sorensen will speak about his work “On two kinematic characteristics of vocal tract gestures”.

USC Ling Weekly Digest

Shout out to Brooke Kidner, a senior in Linguistics and Psychology and USIL Events Coordinator on her work in building a community for Native-American Students at USC, as reported in the Daily Trojan:

The joint USC/UCLA Phonology Seminar meets TODAY, Monday, March 28 at 7:30 pm. Brian Smith (UCLA) will be speaking on “Ganging in French Schwa”:

This Thursday 3/31 2:30pm in GFS330: PhonLunch! Rachel Walker will speak on “(Non-)Restrictiveness of Gang Effects in Harmonic Grammar”.

Also on Thursday 3/31, 4pm in GFS330: Psycholing Lab! Samantha Gordon will give a talk on “Coordination and lag in manual and vocal tract gesture”.

USC Ling Weekly Digest: Spring Break Edition

Syed Saurov and Mythili Menon just attended FASAL 6 at UMass: Mythili presented “Reevaluating standard analyses of comparison: The view from Malayalam” and Saurov gave a talk co-authored with Andrew Simpson titled “On the DP/NP status of nominal projections of Bangla: consequences for the theory of phases.”

Ana Besserman is on her way to PLC40 at Upenn to present a poster titled “Effects of Discourse Cues on Garden-Path Processing”.


Thank you to Jon Sprouse for a most excellent colloquium talk! And thanks to everyone who attended.


Finally, thanks everyone for a wonderful Open House this year! Here are a few pictures:


Have a great spring break! See you next week.