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.
On 24 and 25 August 2017, Maps & Grammar is organizing the workshop Linguistic knowledge & patterns of variation at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. There is a program available. The workshop is free but please notify Edoardo Cavirani if you intend to be present.
Our workshop Dealing with bad data in linguistic theory was a success! If you missed it, we can still offer you the photos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
At 27 September 2014, the team of the project Maps and Grammar represented the Meertens Institute at the Drongo festival, a yearly Amsterdam meeting of science and culture with the theme multilinguality. At the meeting we presented three interactive online dialect games to the festival audience.
More than forty people played the games and the responses were overwhelmingly positive. The Maps and Grammar lab presentation was recognized as one of the three best labs by the festival jury and the team was awarded with free entry tickets to a local science museum.
Here are the three games (all in Dutch):
- Game 1: identify origins of dialect speakers by sound
- Game 2: determine origins of dialect speakers by syntax
- Game 3: discover language intuitions
The games were developed in the past week especially for the festival but it would be interesting to develop them further for future events and even for collecting research data. Feedback is welcome!