PhD defense Nina Ouddeken

Nina Ouddeken - Voicing in translation On Monday 10 December 2018, our Maps and Grammar colleague Nina Ouddeken successfully defended her PhD thesis Voicing in translation at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. The promotors were M. van Oostendorp and R. D’Allessandro, and the reading committee consisted of P. Fikkert (head), B. Alder, J. Grijzenhout, S. Hamann and R. van Hout. F Hinskens was one of the other people joining the committee in the corona. The candidate was faced with some some difficult questions and managed to answer them well. Upon the reception of the diploma she received a loud applause from family, friends and colleagues.

Ouddeken is the second of the two Maps and Grammar PhD students to finish her thesis project. Earlier in 2018, Lotte Dros-Hendriks defended her thesis in Leiden.

PhD defense Lotte Dros-Hendriks

Lotte Dros-Hendriks - Not another book on Verb Raising On Wednesday 7 February 2018, our Maps and Grammar colleague Lotte Dros-Hendriks successfully defended her PhD thesis Not another book on Verb Raising in Leiden. S. Barbiers and H. Bennis were the promotors of the thesis and L. Cheng, M. Bader, J. van Craenenbroeck, J. Doetjes, A. Liptak, M. Salzmann and J. Zwart were members of the thesis committee. The defense went smoothly and the candidate received several compliments on her excellent work.

Dros-Hendriks is the first of the two Maps and Grammar students to defend her thesis. The thesis is available in PDF format. Hard copies can be ordered from the LOT Graduate School.

Workshop on Bad Data in Linguistics

Workshop on Bad Data in Lingusitic Theory On 17-18 March 2016, the project Maps and Grammar will organize the workshop Bad Data in Lingusitic Theory. In the workshop we want to discuss how linguistic research should deal with data that does not exactly fit a particular research goal. This involves data which are incomplete, noisy, one-sided or conflicting.

In recent years, the workshop theme has become more important since the volume of linguistic research based on data is growing. The workshop proposal has generated enthousiastic responses. A group of interesting invited speakers intends to present their ideas in the workshop: Paul de Lacy, Paula Fikkert, Paul Kiparsky, Cecilia Poletto, Keren Rice, Carson Schutze, Christina Tortora, Jeroen van Craenenbroeck, Joel Wallenberg and Charles Yang.

Other contributions are welcome. We invite submissions for talks of 30 minutes consisting of abstracts of 2 pages, which should be submitted before the deadline of 1 December 2015. Submission details can be found on the website of the workshop.

Presentation in Kuala Lumpur

Maps and Grammar in Kuala Lumpur On Friday 30 October 2015, Maps & Grammar postdoc Erik Tjong Kim Sang presented his paper Voronoi Diagrams without Boundary Boxes at the Joint International Geoinformation Conference (JIGC) 2015 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The paper describes a technical feature which he implemented in the dialect mapping tool Arvid: a method for drawing arbitrary dialect maps without requiring the user to define boundaries for the regions that are being studied. The talk elicited several questions, about data collection methods, data interpretation, storing audio interviews and dealing with transition zones. PDFs are available of the paper and the slides of the talk. Further comments are welcome.

Field trip to Italy

Italy locations 2015 In September and October 2015, Maps and Grammar PhD student Nina Ouddeken visited Italy to collect dialect data for her research project. She interviewed 55 dialect speakers in 17 locations in the regions Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. The image to the left shows the regional spread of the visited locations. The main goal of the interviews was to find out the speakers’s pronunciation of the intervocalic s, like for example in the word casa. A first analysis of the results reveals a difference of pronunciation between the two regions for older speakers while difference for younger people seems to become smaller. It will take a few months before the all data have been analysed. The processed data will be an important part of Nina’s research but they will also be made available to the research community.

Edisyn 2015

On 11-13 June 2015, a three-men delegation from the Maps and Grammar project attended the Edisyn Workshop in Zürich, Switzerland. At this interesting workshop, we presented four talks:

  • Lotte Hendriks, Sjef Barbiers & Hans Bennis: Mapping the linguistic system (presented by Sjef Barbiers)
  • Edoardo Cavirani: GENDER and NUMBER distribution within Lunigiana DPs
  • Sjef Barbiers, Hans Bennis, Marjo van Koppen & Norbert Corver: Grammars on the map: Flemish, Brabantish and Dutch (presented by Sjef Barbiers)
  • Erik Tjong Kim Sang: Discovering dialect regions in syntactic dialect data

The weather in Zürich was very nice and we met many interesting people. The next Edisyn conference will be held in 2017.

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Visit to the USA

Love Monument UPenn In the first three months of 2015, Maps and Grammar PhD student Lotte Hendriks made a trip to the east coast of the United States. She stayed in Philadelphia to cooperate with Charles Yang of the University of Pennsylvania. There she attended courses about syntax and psycholinguistics, and presentated her work on variation in verb clusters in Dutch dialects. Lotte also made a tour in the region, presenting her work at four other universities: NYU (in New York City NY), UConn (in Storrs CT), Yale (in New Haven CT) and MIT (in Boston MA). During her stay she talked with many other well-known linguists about topics related to her research: Raffaella Zanuttini (Yale), Susi Wurmbrand (Uconn), Anthony Kroch (UPenn), Beatrice Santorini (UPenn), David Embick (UPenn) John Trueswell (UPenn), Richard Kayne (NYU), Noam Chomsky (MIT) and David Pesetsky (MIT) and others. It was an interesting and useful trip!

New colleague

On 17 November 2014, the Maps and Grammar team was joined by a new postdoc: Edoardo Cavirani. His work in the project will focus on representing deeper linguistic structures, like grammars, on maps. We welcome our new colleague!

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