Indiana University Department of Linguistics

Upcoming events in the IU linguistics community

Volume 166 February 8 – 15, 2013

The Linguistics Calendar is published by the Linguistics Department to keep you informed of announcements of interest.
To have an event posted in the Linguistics Calendar, email your information to by Wednesday of the week before your event.


Colloquia and Talks
Conferences and Calls for Papers
Fall Semester Reading Groups

Colloquia and Talks

Department of French & Italian Student-Faculty Forum Series lecture: Barbara Vance presents "Old Occitan as a verb-second language: The state of the argument"

Location: Ballantine Hall 242
Date: Friday, February 8
Time: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

As part of its Student-Faculty Forum Series, the Department of French & Italian presents this lecture on the syntax of Old Occitan. The abstract follows.

One of the most far-reaching discoveries of late 19th-century Romance philology was the recognition that Old French (OFr), like Modern German, had a word-order constraint placing the finite verb in the second position of the clause. In the late 20th century, theoretical tools became available to explain this constraint in terms of verb-movement and, consequently, to account for the asymmetry between main clauses, which demonstrate the verb-second (V2) effect, and subordinate clauses, where the effect is largely blocked. It has traditionally been assumed that Old Occitan (OOc) is also a verb-second language because it shares many word-order patterns with Old French. However, demonstrating theoretically the V2 effect for Old Occitan is considerably more difficult than for Old French, for several reasons (e.g. OOc has a larger number of main-clause types that do not, strictly speaking, observe V2 order, and OOc lacks the atonic subject pronouns that mark the boundary between the basic (TP) and expanded (CP) areas of the clause in OFr).
In this talk I present two aspects of OOc syntax that lend support to a verb-second analysis of the language, despite some recent attempts to dissociate OOc, and in some cases Old French as well, from the V2 type instantiated by German. We will look at (a) the complex alternation between tonic and null subject pronouns, which makes sense only as a reflex of a V2 system and (b) the postposition of object pronouns, a phenomenon that not only suggests the presence of an asymmetric verb-movement rule similar to that of (V to C in) Old French but also declines during the 13th and 14th centuries in tandem with the decline of verb movement in French. These characteristics point to the value of continuing research on verb-second syntax as an areal phenomenon in western Europe, while also encouraging attention to the wide range of variation found among the languages at issue (Germanic as well as Romance).

Barbara Vance is Associate Professor in the Departments of French & Italian and Linguistics. Her interests lie mainly in the areas of French and Romance syntax and historical linguistics.

Catapult Center Lecture: Matthew Jockers, "Correlating Theme, Geography, and Sentiment in the 19th Century Literary Imagination"

Location: Indiana Memorial Union, State Room East
Date: Friday, February 8
Time: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

The IU Catapult Center for Digital Humanities and Computational Analysis presents this lecture by Matthew Jockers of the University of Nebraska. The abstract follows:

How do literary expressions of and attitudes toward slavery in the 19th century change according to fictional setting? Do novels set in Ireland present a perspective toward landlords and tenants that is similar or different from what we find in novels set in America or England? How do the answers to these and similar questions fluctuate over time or according to author gender or author nationality?
This study uses tools and techniques from text mining, natural language processing, machine learning, and statistics to address questions such as these and to identify and study how specific places, themes, and sentiments find synchronous or asynchronous expression within the 19th century literary imagination. Using data mined from a large corpus, ~3500 works of British, Irish and American fiction, this macroanalysis seeks to expose persistent links between geographic setting, theme, and sentiment and to then chart the ways in which places (such as Ireland) are constructed, or “invented,” within the literary imagination of the century.

IULC Library Cataloguing

Location: Weatherly Hall 001, 004 & 005
Date: Saturday, February 9
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The IU Linguistics Club is continuing its efforts to catalog the IULC library this semester. This Saturday, volunteers are needed to help sort and log books in Weatherly Hall. Pizza will be provided. If you can, bring your computer and/or a friend to make it even more fun. If you have questions or need directions, contact Darcy Rose (

Second Language Studies Colloquium Series

Location: Ballantine Hall (BH) 215
Date: Fridays
Time: 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

The Department of Second Language Studies presents this colloquium series, which explores a wide range of topics related to second language acquisition.

For more information on these or future SLS Colloquia, please visit

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Conferences and Calls for Papers

27th Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics

Location: Indiana Memorial Hall (IMU) Georgian Room
Date: February 28 - March 2
Program: (Click here to view the PDF)

The Department of Linguistics and the Center for the Study of the Middle East will host the 27th meeting of the Arabic Linguistics Symposium from February 28th - March 2, 2013. Invited speakers are Sam Hellmuth (University of York, UK), Elabbas Benmamoun (UIUC), Mona Diab (George Washington University) and Atiqa Hachimi (University of Toronto). All talks will be held in the Georgian Room of the IMU. Click here to see the program and other links.

IULC Working Papers call for submissions


The Indiana University Linguistics Club Working Papers Online is now accepting submissions for Volume 13.
Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members from all departments are encouraged to submit original papers on any subfield in linguistics. Submissions resulting from outstanding term papers and independent research studies are welcome.
The IULCWP is meant to provide a gentle introduction to the world of publishing and a stepping stone to a full-fledged journal submission through the review and revision process. We appreciate faculty support in familiarizing our students with this opportunity and encouraging them to keep it in mind as they begin designing their final projects and papers.
Please visit our website for detailed instructions on submission and to view previous volumes:
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at

Conferences of Interest

Many conferences of interest to IU Linguists can be found on the Linguist List Calls and Conferences page. Our own page for such announcements is undergoing revisions and will be linked shortly.

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Fall Semester Reading Groups

PHLEGME: Phonetics Reading Group

Location: Memorial Hall (MM) 317A
Time: Fridays 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Contact: Jeffrey Holliday

On Friday, February 8, Beth Casserly will lead the group in a discussion of MacDonald et al. (2011), “Probing the independence of formant control using altered auditory feedback”.

PHLEGME is an acronym for PHonetics Literature Enjoyment Group MEeting. As the name implies, this reading group gathers to discuss phonetics papers together in a casual setting. Anyone wanting to participate or find more information can contact Jeffrey Holliday ( to be added to the email list and Oncourse page.

CLingDing: Computational Linguistics Hour

Location: Memorial Hall (MM) 401
Time: Mondays at 1:00 p.m.
Contact: Markus Dickinson
Website: CLingDing Page

CLingDing is a weekly computational linguistics discussion group, where students and faculty share in-progress research. CL students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Please see for the full spring schedule, or contact Markus Dickinson ( for more information.

Syntax Reading Group

Location: Memorial Hall (MM) 401
Time: Mondays, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Contact: Yoshihisa Kitagawa

The Syntax Reading Group meets weekly to discuss syntax readings. On Monday, February 11, Seth Wood will lead the group in a discussion of the Sigurdsson (2012) article posted on Oncourse. This week's meeting will be in Memorial Hall 401. Please note that SRG meetings will take place in Memorial Hall 317A starting February 18. For more information or to join the Oncourse group, contact Yoshihisa Kitagawa (

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Last modified: February 7, 2013