USC Ling Weekly Digest Jan.30

Hello everybody! Here’s what you shouldn’t miss this week:

Monday 01/30 at 3:30pm in GFS330: Juliet Stanton (MIT) will give a talk titled “Constraints on the Distribution of Nasal-Stop Sequences: An Argument for Contrast”!

Thursday 02/02 at 5pm in GFS330:  Stefan Keine will give a tutorial on analyzing self-paced reading data using R.

USC Ling Weekly Digest Jan. 23

Hello, linguists! Here’s what is going on this week:

Monday 01/23, 3:30pm in GFS330: don’t miss the talk by Ryan Bennett on “Prosodic smothering in Macedonian and Kaqchikel.”

Thursday 01/26 will be a busy day! Get ready for:

. at 3:30pm in GFS204: Syntax+! Ksenia Bogomolets will present a talk entitled “Being exceptional is important for the whole family: Agreement paradigms in Algonquian” (joint work with Paula Fenger, Adrian Stegovec).

. at 4:30pm in the Reading Room: PhonLunch! Jessica Harmon will give a practice talk for her presentation at BLS titled “Simultaneous articulation as a window into structure: non-manual negation as explicit scope marking in ASL.”

. at 5pm in GFS330: Psycholing lab meeting! Monica Do will give a talk on “Syntactic Satiation and Syntactic Priming: Two sides of the same coin?”

USC Ling Weekly Digest!


Welcome to the Spring semester, everybody!

We are back from a long hiatus, so here are some news you might have missed while we were gone…

Back in November/December:

Khalil Iskarous gave a talk at Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich titled “Formant Dynamics from Task Dynamics.”

At the ASA – the 5th Joint Meeting Acoustical Society of America and Acoustical Society of Japan, in Hawaii – Hayeun Jang presented “Effects of phonetic naturalness in decay of Korean vowel harmony”; Cynthia Yoonjeong Lee presented “Acoustic and articulatory measures of prosodic convergence in a cooperative maze navigation task” (joint work with Samantha Danner, Benjamin Parrell, Sungbok Lee, Louis Goldstein and Dani Byrd); and Rachel Walker presented “Gestural coordination and blending among liquid consonants and vowels in American English” (joint work with Michael Proctor).

Samantha Danner gave a talk titled “Using Optical Flow and Electromagnetic Articulography in Multimodal Speech Research” at the
Speech Science and Technology conference in Sydney, Australia. Shri Narayanan gave a keynote talk at the conference; Michael Proctor, who was a postdoc at USC, gave a tutorial and co-authored several papers/posters; and Mitsuhiro Nakamura, who was a visiting scholar at USC last semester, also presented.

Alumna Barbara Tomaszewicz (PhD 2015, currently at Cologne University) was an invited speaker at the “Workshop on Formal and Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics”, which is part of the 12th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages in Berlin. Her talk title was “Focus effects on quantifier domains revealed in sentence processing”.

Roumyana Pancheva gave invited talks in Utrecht and Vienna on “The Person Case Constraint: A Reconceptualization” (joint work with Maria Luisa Zubizarreta).

Andrew Simpson presented a paper on “The complex phasal architecture of nominal constituents” (joint work with Saurov Syed) at the conference on Phase Theory, held in the University of Brussels.

Saurov Syed gave an invited talk at his previous university, The English & Foreign Languages University, in Hyderabad. The talk was titled “The structure of noun phrases in Bengali: what it tells us about phases and the universality of DPs”.

And on that note:
many congratulations to Saurov Syed, who has been selected to receive a University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching!!!

And this January, a huge USC cohort got together at the 91th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in Austin, Texas:

Peter Guekguezian presented his poster on “The Scope of Match Constraints: Match-Word(All) and (Only)”; Ana Besserman presented her poster titled “When transitivity is ambiguous: Aspectual and clausal cues” (joint work with Elsi Kaiser); Alfredo García-Pardo presented a poster on “Manner and Result under the same root”; Saurov Syed presented his poster “Genitive-marked arguments of the noun: their hierarchy, nature, and linear relation in Bangla”; Samantha Danner gave a talk titled “Task-dependent coordination of vocal tract and manual gestures” (joint work with Louis Goldstein and Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson); and Elsi Kaiser presented her poster on “A scalar constraint approach to the typology of loanword adaptation” and gave a talk titled “Speakers’ rapidly-updated expectations influence prosodic realization of information structure” (joint work with Iris Ouyang and Sasha Spala).
Alumnus Brian Hsu (PhD 2016, currently at George Mason) presented a poster titled “A scalar constraint approach to the typology of loanword adaptation” (joint work with Karen Jesney); Alumna Mythili Menon (PhD 2016, currently at Wichita State University) gave a talk titled “Building Superlatives from Property Concept Expressions”; Alumna Michal Temkin Martínez (PhD 2010, now at Boise State University) presented “Endangered Languages in the Undergraduate Curriculum” (joint work with Shobhana Chelliah) at the Endangered Languages in the Undergraduate Curriculum symposium at the LSA.


Many many thanks to Mythili for organizing our USC dinner in Austin!

And a big thanks to everyone who has contributed with news for the blog! Don’t forget to let us know about any news and updates by submitting them here

USC Ling Weekly Digest Nov.28


Tuesday, 11/29 at 9:30am in GFS330: PhonLunch! Charlie O’Hara will present “Shaping typology through learning: positional asymmetries in stop inventories”.

Thursday, 12/01 at 3:30pm in GFS330: Psycholing Lab Meeting! Monica Do will present “How are Questions Made? A Production Study of Wh-Questions”.

This year’s End-of-the-year Holiday Party will take place on December 1st, Thursday, at 5 pm, in the Linguistics Conference Room (GFS 330). Please RSVP at the spreadsheet sent out by Betul. 

Don’t forget: if you have any news or updates for the blog,
please send them to us via our Submit Blog News page or via email.

USC Ling Weekly Digest Nov.14

Good morning, linguists!

Today, Monday 11/14 at 3:30pm in GFS330: colloquium speaker Sarah Brown-Schmidt will present a talk entitled “Memory for Conversation”.

Tuesday, 11/15 at 9:30am: PhonLunch! Miran Oh will present “Contrastive focus on the segmental versus word level” and Samantha Gordon will talk about “Using optical flow and electromagnetic articulography in multimodal speech research”.

Don’t forget: if you have any news or updates for the blog, please send them to us via our Submit Blog News page or via email.


USC Ling Weekly Digest Nov.07

November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.” Emily Dickinson

Greetings, everyone! It’s November 7th (!), and here’s what awaits you this week:

Monday 11/7 at 3:30 in GFS330: Syntax+! Huilin Fang will present “Some remarks on Mandarin imperfective marker Zhe” (cooperation with Alfredo).

Tuesday 11/8 at 3:30pm in GFS330: PhonLunch! Caitlin Smith and Reed Blaylock will give a presentation.

Thursday 11/10 at 2pm in the Reading Room: Psycholing Lab Meeting! Binh Ngo will talk about “Referential forms in narratives: Pear Stories in Vietnamese.”


Rachel Walker gave a talk in Tromsø on “Sub-segmental temporal relations and non-discrete segmental structure” at the workshop on Hierarchical Structures in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax, on October 28th, at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway.

Maury Lander-Portnoy gave a talk titled “Patterns of glimpsing windows affect release from energetic masking” at the 2nd Workshop on Psycholinguistic Approaches to Speech Recognition in Adverse Conditions (PASRAC2), Oct 31 – Nov 1. He also got to hang out with Johanna!

Ana Besserman gave a talk titled “Effects of Information Status on The Processing of Ambiguous Sentences: The Interplay of Pragmatics and Verb Argument Structure” (joint work with Elsi Kaiser) at the 3rd International Conference of the American Pragmatics Association (AMPRA 2016) at Indiana University Bloomington.

USC Ling Weekly Digest Oct.31

Happy halloween linguists! Here’s whats going on this week:

Today, 10/31, at 3:30pm in GFS330: David Beaver is presenting a colloquium talk titled “Hustle: the hidden agendas in language”.

Tuesday, 11/01 at 9:30am in GFS330: Mairym Llorens will present “Understanding speaking styles in L1” at PhonLunch.

Thursday, 11/3 at 3:30pm in GFS330: Ana Besserman will present “Expectations in first and second languages: Event structure as a predictor for referent choice and transitivity” at Psycholing lab meeting.


The 2016 Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2016) took place at USC October 21-23. Over 130 linguists from around the world attended. The programme featured:

– talks by three keynote speakers: Bruce Hayes (UCLA), Sharon Inkelas (UC Berkeley), and Colin Wilson (Johns Hopkins)
– three tutorial presentations: Robert Daland (UCLA), Samantha Gordon Danner (USC), and Megha Sundara (UCLA)
– 16 talks and 50 posters accepted based on submitted abstracts, including presentations by our very own:

Samantha Gordon Danner gave a tutorial presentation about the USC-TIMIT rtMRI speech production database; Reed Blaylock presented the poster “Driving derived environment effects with alignment constraints”; Peter Guekguezian presented the poster “Autosegments interact with syntax-prosody mapping”; Caitlin Smith presented the poster “Harmony triggering as a contrastive property of segments”; and Yifan Yang presented the poster “The realization of mutation in Chinese dialects.”

A huge thank you to all of the student volunteers who contributed to making the conference a success!

Here are some pictures:


USC folks have also been busy presenting at NELS, Oct 14-16, UMass Amherst:

Caitlin Smith gave a poster on “Harmony Triggering as a Segmental Property”; alumna Ellen O’Connor gave a talk on “The Accidental Ambiguity of Inversion Illusions”; Stefan Keine gave a talk titled “Weak crossover obviation and Principle C amnesty have distinct sources” and a joint poster with Jessica Coon and Michael Wagner titled “Hierarchy effects in copular constructions: The PCC corner of German”; and Roumi Pancheva gave an invited talk on “The Person Case Constraint: A Reconceptualization” (joint work with Maria Luisa Zubizarreta).

Here are some pictures!


Last Friday we had our annual Halloween party! Thanks Betul and Sarah for organizing another great event, and thanks so much Cynthia for kindly hosting it!