Author Archives: Brian Dillon

Ivan joins Altus Assessments

Rodica Ivan (Ph.D. 2020) has accepted a position as a Research Scientist at Altus Assessments. As an Altus research scientist, Rodica will be tasked with designing, implementing, analyzing and presenting original research aimed at helping higher education institutions understand the full range of factors that make an applicant likely to succeed and help the institution grow, with a focus on going beyond traditional measures of academic achievement towards a more holistic view of applicants.

Congratulations, Rodica! We’re proud of you, and wish you the best of luck!

Bhatia and other UMass linguists to present at SAFAL-2

The Second South Asian Forum on the Acquisition and Processing of Language (SAFAL) is being hosted virtually by the University of Potsdam on August 30 and 31st. It is the second annual SAFAL conference, and showcases acquisition and processing research in the context of South Asian languages.

UMass Alumnus Sakshi Bhatia (Ph.D. 2019) will open the conference with an invited keynote talk entitled: Limits on parser adaptability: Local coherence in Hindi.

In addition, Dustin A. Chacón, Subhekshya Shreshtha, Brian Dillon, Rajesh Bhatt, Diogo Almeida and Alec Marantz will present Paying attention to agreement: An MEG study of Hindi split-ergative agreement.

Congrats all!

Neal, O’Connor, and Green at Unimplicit workshop

Anissa Neal, Brendan O’Connor, and Lisa Green co-presented Challenges in detecting null relativizers in African American Language for sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic applications at the first ever Unimplicit workshop on understanding implicit and underspecified language.

Unimplicit was held in conjunction with ACL-IJCNLP 2021. The first of hopefully many such workshops, Unimplicit featured a range of talks by NLP researchers aiming to model the understanding of implicit or underspecified meaning in natural language.

Congratulations Anissa, Brendan and Lisa!

UMass linguists present at (virtual) AMLaP

The Université de Paris is virtually hosting the 2021 Architectures and Mechanisms in Language Processing conference, September 2-4th. Registration is free for students, and 25 euros for non students.

UMass linguists and alumni are well represented among the talks at the conference, including:

Alexander Göbel and Michael Wagner: Syntactic and Prosodic Factors in the Interpretation of Ambiguous ‘at Least’ 

Dustin Chacón, Subhekshya Shrestha, Brian Dillon, Rajesh Bhatt, Diogo Almeida, and Alec Marantz: Paying Attention to Agreement: RTPJ Aids the Encoding of Agreement in Hindi 

Nayoun Kim, Keir Moulton and Daphna Heller: Subject-object Asymmetries Are Not Specific to Dependency-formation: Evidence from Korean 

Adina Camelia Bleotu and Brian Dillon: On the Multiple Mechanisms of Agreement Attraction: Evidence from Romanian 

Anissa Neal, Brian Dillon, Dustin Chacón, and Maayan Keshev: Plausible Plausibility: Replicating the Plausibility Mismatch Effect 

Jed Pizarro-Guevara and Brian Dillon: The Influence of Word Order in Reflexive Processing: Insights from Tagalog 

Duygu Goksu, Brian Dillon, and Shota Momma: When Syntactic Complexity Shifts the Subject Preference in an SOV Language: Processing [OV]S vs. [SV]O Sentences in Turkish 

Katy Carlson and David Potter: Where Accents Do, and Do Not, Affect Attachment 

Congratulations, UMass linguists!

Pant and Morton winners in Charles Moran Best Text Contest

Congratulations are in order to Linguistics undergraduates Bhavya Pant and Thomas Morton for their recognition in the Charles Moran Best Text contest, a campus-wide contest that highlights student writing in, among other things, Junior Year Writing.

Bhavya Pant was awarded this year’s prize for the Best Multimedia/Non-traditional Format for her video entitled ‘Introduction to Grammatical Gender‘.

Thomas Morton was also awarded an honorable mention in the competition for the Best Multimedia/Non-traditional Format for his video entitled ‘Why do we speak like we do?

Congratulations to Bhavya and Thomas!

UMass Linguists go west, to WCCFL39!

The 39th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) is being hosted by the University of Arizona’s department of Linguistics Thursday 4/8 through Sunday 4/11! As an added bonus, WCCFL is co-located (virtually) with the Symposium on Native American Languages, which takes place 4/9 through 4/10.

You may register for the conference here: conference registration fees are on a sliding scale.

Andrew McKenzie will be giving an invited plenary talk entitled “Incorporation beyond the object : Interpretation and compositionality in polysynthesis” on Saturday 4/10, at 10AM PDT UTC-7.

In addition UMass linguists past and present will be presenting a number of platform talks at WCCFL, such as:

Faruk Akkus: C and T are distinct probes (4/8, 8:30AM PDT UTC-7)

John Duff: Composing associated motion in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec (4/8, 5:00PM PDT UTC-7)

Robert Henderson, Jérémy Pasquereau and John Powell: Dependent pluractionality in Piipaash (4/9, 8:00AM PDT UTC-7)

Deniz Satik: Turkic default agreement with complex possessors (4/9, 3:30PM PDT UTC-7)

Jason Overfelt: Having space to sprout: Failed sprouting in sub-clausal ellipses (4/9, 4:00PM PDT UTC-7)

Rose Underhill and Marcin Morzycki: ‘Single’, Exhaustification, and Nonlocal Adjectives (4/9, 5:30PM PDT UTC-7)

Canaan Breiss, Hironori Katsuda and Shigeto Kawahara: Paradigm uniformity is probabi- listic: Evidence from velar nasalization in Japanese (4/10, 5:30PM PDT UTC-7)

And you can also see work from UMass Linguists at the virtual poster sessions, including:

Work presented in Poster Session 1: 4/9, 10:30-11:30AM (PDT UTC-7)

Adina Camelia Bleotu and Jelke Bloem: What’s the Meaning of a Nominal Root? Insights from Experiments into Denominals and Similarity.

Jonathan Palucci, Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Esmail Moghiseh: Against Obligatory Wide Scope for Any : Transparency.

Rudmila-Rodica Ivan, Brian Dillon and Kyle Johnson: (Bound) Pronouns in Competition: Evidence from Romanian Comprehension.

Work presented in Poster Session 2: 4/10, 3:30-4:30PM (PDT UTC-7)

Brandon Prickett: Learning Sour Grapes Harmony in an artificial language learning experiment

Michael Wilson: Again reveals multidominance in the structure of spray/load verbs

Jack Rabinovitch and Baoqing Qian: Using Phasal Syntax to Make Generalizations in Manchu Vowel Harmony

Work presented in Poster Session 3: 4/11, 9:30-10:30AM (PDT UTC-7)

Shannon Bryant and Deniz Satik: A Minimalist Account of Balinese Binding

UMass Linguists at FASAL 11

The University of Minnesota virtual hosted the 11th Annual (Formal) Approaches to South Asian Languages conference on March 26th-28th, 2021! As usual, UMass Linguists were well represented among the scholars at this meeting.

Sakshi Bhatia gave an invited keynote address entitled “Preverbal syntactic complexity and local coherence effects in Hindi.”

In addition, UMass scholars past and present gave talks at the meeting, including:

Tharanga Weerasooriya, Maria-Luisa Rivero and Ana Arregui: Sinhala Involitive Verbs from a cross-linguistic perspective: Distinguishing Involuntary Agents from Involuntary Causers

Shrayana Halder: Bengali Verb-stranding VP Ellipsis and Ellipsis Identity

UMass linguists @ 34th Annual CUNY Human Sentence Processing Conference

The University of Pennsylvania will host the 34th Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference virtually this year from March 4th-6th. Registration is free, so stop by to see what our students and alumni are up to this year! UMass linguists past, present, and future are presenting a lot of very interesting work.

Stephanie Rich and Matt Wagers will give a platform talk entitled Syntactic and semantic parallelism guides filler-gap processing in coordination.

In addition, there will be short 5 minute talks and discussions by:

Morwenna Hoeks, Maziar Toosarvandani and Amanda Rysling: Decomposing the focus effect: Evidence from reading.

David Potter and Katy Carlson. The structural source of English Subject Islands.

Anthony Yacovone, Paulina Piwowarczyk and Jesse Snedeker: It takes two the tango: Predictability and detectability affect processing of phrase structure errors

Rodica Ivan, Brian Dillon and Kyle Johnson: Choosing a Referring Expression: Intrasentential Ambiguity Avoidance in Romanian.

Jeremy Doiron and Shota Momma: Underlying clausal structure modulates lexical interference: Evidence from raising and control.

Shota Momma and Masaya Yoshida: Syntax guides sentence planning: Evidence from multiple dependency constructions.

Keir Moulton, Cassandra Chapman and Nayoun Kim: Predicting binding domains: Evidence from fronted auxiliaries and wh-predicates.

Jon Burnsky, Franziska Kretzschmar, Erika Mayer, Lisa Sanders and Adrian Staub: Dissociating Effects of Predictability, Preview and Visual Contrast on Eye Movements and ERPs.

Özge Bakay and Nazik Dinçtopal Deniz: Case interference and phrase lengths interact in processing Turkish center-embeddings.

Gwendolyn Rehrig and Fernanda Ferreira. Good-enough for all intensive purposes: Eggcorns and noisy channel processing.

Adina Camelia Bleotu and Brian Dillon. Pronouns attract in number but (much) less so in person. Evidence from Romanian.

Anthony Yacovone, Moshe Poliak, Harita Koya and Jesse Snedeker. ERP decoding shows bilinguals represent the language of a code-switch after lexical processing.

Christopher Hammerly, Brian Dillon and Adrian Staub. Prominence guides incremental interpretation: Lessons from obviation in Ojibwe.

Nayoun Kim, Keir Moulton and Daphna Heller. Processing embedded clauses in Korean: silent element or a dependency formation?

Kuan-Jung Huang and Adrian Staub. Limits on failure to notice word transpositions during sentence reading.

Caroline Andrews. If Memory Doesn’t Serve: Timecourse of Syntactic Forgetting in Ellipsis and Recognition.

John Duff, Adrian Brasoveanu and Amanda Rysling. Task influences on lexical underspecification: Insights from the Maze and SPR.

Caren Rotello, Brian Dillon and Caroline Andrews. Multiverse analysis of eye-tracking data: Reexamining the ambiguity advantage effect.

Fernanda Ferreira, Gwendolyn Rehrig, Madison Barker, Eleonora Beier, Suphasiree Chantavarin, Beverly Cotter, Zhuang Qiu, Matthew Lowder and Hossein Karimi. Back to the Future: Do Influential Results from 1980s Psycholinguistics Replicate?

Mara Breen and Evelina Fedorenko. Self-reported inner speech salience moderates implicit prosody effects.

Nicholas Van Handel, Matthew Wagers and Amanda Rysling. Guiding Implicit Prosody with Delexicalized Melodies: Evidence from a Match/Mismatch Task.

Arrate Isasi-Isasmendi, Caroline Andrews, Sebastian Sauppe, Monique Flecken, Moritz Daum, Itziar Laka, Martin Meyer and Balthasar Bickel. Case marking influences the apprehension of briefly exposed events.

Madison Barker, Gwendolyn Rehrig and Fernanda Ferreira. But what can I do with it?: Speakers name interactable objects earlier in scene descriptions.

Nicholas Van Handel, Lalitha Balachandran, Stephanie Rich and Amanda Rysling. Singular vs. Plural Themselves: Evidence from the Ambiguity Advantage.

Daniela Mertzen, Brian Dillon, Ralf Engbert and Shravan Vasishth. An investigation of the time-course of syntactic and semantic interference in online sentence comprehension.