Colloquium

Click here to download the LSA Colloquium pamphlet

The 40th Annual LSA Colloquium 

When: Saturday, Apr 29, 9am-4pm

Where: Scripps Cottage (Next to the Koi pond on campus) 

This event is open to public.

No admission fee.

 

Featured Speaker:

Dr. Kathryn Woolard, UCSD (1:15-2:30pm)

Language: Attitudes to Ideologies

Studies of language attitudes and ideologies show that listeners project personal qualities onto unfamiliar speakers and make consequential decisions about them on the basis of previously conceived linguistic typifications. But when do such typifications affect the perceiver’s own speech? This presentation argues that to answer that question, we need another link in the ideological chain between what can be measured as linguistic attitudes or characterized as sociolinguistic indexicality and an individual’s linguistic practice. This presentation sketches a model and illustrates it with some of my research in Catalonia as it evolved across 35 years from a focus on language attitudes to language ideologies. 

 

Program 

[9:00 – 9:15 am] Welcoming remarks

 

[9:15 – 9:45 am] #SB277 Classification and Temporal Variation on Twitter [Ashley Aure, General Linguistics]

While twitter is a rich source of temporally dynamic data, the constant shifting of language, even within one topic, poses some problems for machine learning. Here, we explore supervised learning algorithms toward an ensemble approach for the automatic classification of tweets concerning California Senate Bill 277 (SB277), the bill prohibiting schools from admitting children that have not been vaccinated. Tweets containing ‘SB277’ were collected on three events: when the bill was signed into law, when the attempt to overturn the bill failed, and when the law went into effect. Differences among datasets and results of the classification of tweets as for or against the bill are presented.

 

[9:45 – 10:15 am] Indirect Directives (or When to Say “Please”) [Casey Riedmann, General Linguistics]

Whimperatives are a type of indirect speech act like Can you pass the salt? that function primarily as requests, though expressed as questions. This work looks at the role of please in whimperative utterances that are not conventionalized requests. The primary test for this conventionalization has been the felicitous insertion of pre-verbal please, e.g. Can you please pass the salt? This work provides a precise definition of conventionalization by examining each syntactic unit in order to rigorously separate the conventionalized from the non-conventionalized. This definition was then used to call into question the accuracy of the please test.

 

[10:30 – 11:00 am] Homophony and Conversion (Zero Derivation): The durational differences of seemingly phonetically identical lexeme pairs [Andrea Scalero, General Linguistics]

Previous research has shown that so-called homophonous lexemes differ phonetically (Gahl 2008, Drager 2011), morphemic and non-morphemic pairs also differ acoustically (Walsh & Parker 1983, Losiewicz 1992, Plag et al. 2014), and complex words (typically consisting of a root and affix) differ phonetically to the extent that native speakers may use these acoustic differences to make predictions about the nature of the lexeme during real time processing (Kemps et al. 2005). The current study hopes to extend this research by examining homophonous lexeme pairs that result from conversion (also frequently referred to as zero derivation). Utilizing the Buckeye Corpus (Pitt et al. 2007), statistical analysis shows that these lexeme pairs with different parts of speech are not truly homophonous. These results, coupled with the results of the research studies mentioned, challenge currently accepted models of speech production (Levelt et al. 1999).

 

[11:00 – 11:30 am] Do individual differences in working memory affect heritage speakers’ processing of morphosyntax? [Dr. Gregory Keating, SDSU]

This paper reports the results of an eye-tracking experiment that examined whether Spanish heritage bilinguals pattern similarly to monolingually-raised Spanish speakers in their sensitivity to violations of noun-adjective gender agreement during real-time sentence processing. In addition, this study examined whether sensitivity to gender agreement anomalies in a heritage language is affected by individual differences in working memory capacity, a factor known to affect morphosyntactic processing in other populations of bilinguals, such as adult second language learners.

 

[11:30 am – 12:00 pm] The pragmatic functions of English and Persian conversational disclaimers: A contrastive corpus-based approach [Milad Sadeghi, Visiting student from University of Pécs in Hungary]

My motivation for carrying out this study is to investigate conversational disclaimers in Persian, which I believe have not received enough attention, even in English. By definition, disclaimers are expressions employed to avoid potential trouble in communication (Overstreet & Yule, 2001). Specifically, the current study is an attempt to: (i) find out how English and Persian speakers prevent themselves from being associated with unwanted interpretation by using disclaimers; (ii) identify, formulate and compare frequent conversational disclaimers; (iii) demonstrate and contrast the pragmatic functions of disclaimers in these two languages.

 

[12:00 – 1:00 pm] Lunch

 

[1:15 – 2:30 pm] Keynote Speech: Language: Attitudes to Ideologies [Dr. Kathryn Woolard, UC San Diego]

Studies of language attitudes and ideologies show that listeners project personal qualities onto unfamiliar speakers and make consequential decisions about them on the basis of previously conceived linguistic typifications. But when do such typifications affect the perceiver’s own speech? This presentation argues that to answer that question, we need another link in the ideological chain between what can be measured as linguistic attitudes or characterized as sociolinguistic indexicality and an individual’s linguistic practice. This presentation sketches a model and illustrates it with some of my research in Catalonia as it evolved across 35 years from a focus on language attitudes to language ideologies.

 

[2:30 – 3:00 pm] A corpus-driven, keyword-centered approach to lexical bundles [Timothy Palmer, M.A. 2016]

 

In recent years, corpus-driven studies of specialized texts have increased, with particular attention paid to the roles of keywords and lexical bundles. Keywords characterize the aboutness of texts, while lexical bundles are involved in discourse structuring. In this presentation, the lexicogrammar of a corpus of grade comments is examined through the identification of lexical bundles that also contain keywords, with the aim of observing how such bundles behave in the texts. The results tentatively show that such bundles may indicate the development of formalized language patterns which frame the core communicative functions of a given text type.

 

[3:00 – 3:30 pm] Questions in Academic Discourse [Elizabeth Metzler, Applied Linguistics]

This study is a corpus-based investigation of questions in university classroom discourse. 1572 question were extracted from 18 class sessions in the Michigan Corpus of Academic English and analyzed based on 16 variables related to the question and the class session. The study proposes a combined multidimensional framework that accounts for the multifaceted nature of questions. Teachers pose the vast majority of questions in the discourse, but students are proportionally more likely to ask content questions.  Content questions requiring factual recall, definitions, or confirming information were the most common, and these types of questions might play an important role in encouraging classroom interaction.

 

Recent Posts

40th Anniversary Questionnaire

Hello!

Our department is celebrating the 40th Linguistics Colloquium on Saturday, April 29th, and to commemorate this special year, we are doing a series of email Q&As with alumni and faculty to commemorate it. 

Will you participate? If yes, please answer the following questions in the reply section of this post or email your response to sdsu.lsa [at] gmail.com. We plan on showing excerpts of the collected Q&As at the colloquium as a slideshow. 

Questions:

  1. What is your full name?

2. When did you graduate from the linguistics program? (Class of ___?)

3. Did you graduate with a degree in General or Applied Linguistics?

4. Where are you now and what do you do for a living?

5. Where has your degree taken you? I.e. What have you done since you obtained your linguistics degree?

6. What did you most like about studying linguistics? Share with us any fond memories you have from your time in the program.

7. Any words or encouragement / academic / career advice to current students in our department?

8. Will you email a photo of yourself? To: sdsu.lsa [at] gmail.com 

9. And we plan on showing a slideshow of photos at the colloquium, so if you also have photos from your time at SDSU, please share along with photo captions so we can consider using them. 

Thank you very much! 

Best,

Jini Shim

Public Relations Officer of  Linguistics Student Association at SDSU (sdsu.lsa [at] gmail.com)

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