Calques 3.9

October 16, 2015

Awesomeness | Festivities | Introductions | Newly published | Conference travel | Conferences and workshops | Talks and events | Alumni news | Civics

Please send information and news of departmental interest to Andrew Garrett.


John J. Ohala has been named recipient of the Acoustical Society of America's Silver Medal in Speech Communication "for advancing the understanding of speech production and perception, and applying phonetic principles to the study of spoken language change over time." The award will be presented at the 170th meeting of the ASA on November 4, 2015, in Jacksonville, Florida. Congratulations, John!


The year's second Inkling will take place on Monday, October 19, from 3:30 to 5 pm in 1229 Dwinelle. All are welcome to our monthly social hour (and a half) with tea, coffee, and potluck treats.

  • Potluck: We encourage you to bring a snack or treat if your surname begins with the letters F through M. (Examples would include Fauconnier, Grimm, and Meillet.)
  • Prize: A valuable prize will be given to the creator of the most pleasing artwork (verbal, visual, or performance) on the subject of online course evaluations!


Angelo Naser will be visiting the Linguistics Department until November 11 from Khartoum, Sudan, where he leads Moro (Kordofanian) language literacy and translation programs. He has collaborated extensively with Peter Jenks and Sharon Rose (UC San Diego) in their research in the Moro language for the past five years. Welcome, Angelo!

Newly published

Line Mikkelsen, "VP anaphora and verb-second order in Danish", Journal of Linguistics 51 (2015) 595-643 (doi:10.1017/S0022226715000055)

  • This paper argues that Danish verb-second clauses have two structural instantiations and that each structure is associated with distinct information-structural properties. Information-structurally undifferentiated V2 clauses are realized as TPs, whereas information-structurally differentiated V2 clauses are CPs. The evidence for this correlation comes from the behavior of the overt VP anaphor det, which exhibits a complex, but principled, positioning pattern in V2 clauses. I develop a feature-driven analysis of V2 clauses that accounts for previously unnoticed restrictions on the initial position in declarative V2 clauses.

Conference travel

Four Berkeley linguists are giving presentations this weekend at NELS 46, the 46th annual meeting of the North East Linguistics Society (at Concordia University in Montréal):

Enjoy yourselves and return home safely!

Conferences and workshops

The annual California Indian Conference, inaugurated at Berkeley in 1985, is meeting on campus through tomorrow (Saturday, October 17). The schedule includes panels and talks about language today and tomorrow, including a session tomorrow morning "Open conversation on indigenous language revitalization: How can UC Berkeley and communities work together?" The CIC is a great opportunity to find out more about California Indian cultures and languages!

Talks and events

Alumni news

Recent PhD recipient Greg Finley writes: "I'm currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Natural Language Processing and Information Extraction Program, a part of the Institute for Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota. I develop tools for processing clinical texts (e.g., hospital admission notes), with the goal of making these texts more accessible and useful for medical researchers through automatic information extraction. One focus of my research is on using lexical and syntactic context to determine the sense of ambiguous words and to expand abbreviations, which are commonplace and often very ambiguous in medical texts." He adds: "The work is good and I'm getting an introduction to the weird world of medical NLP. I'm living in St Paul, which is not too unlike Berkeley in some ways. I miss the bay/ocean but get to commute along the Mississippi River, so maybe I broke even."


Members of the Linguistic Society of America are reminded to vote on the officers of the LSA. The editors of Calques can express no opinion on the several candidates for high office, but they do include more than one Berkeley linguist!