Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting a Gravatar

From Joe Pater

These instructions are the from the UMass Instructional Media Lab for getting an Avatar for WordPress sites. I’m putting them up here in case anyone would rather not be using the default avatar when posting comments here.

Blogs, which uses WordPress, refers to Gravatar for avatars.
To add an avatar for your site, you’ll need to create a Gravatar account under the same email address you use for your Blogs account.
This email address is generally your UMass email address, but you can check this by:
1. Logging into your UMass Blog
2. Clicking “Howdy, X” (top right)
3. Clicking “Edit my Profile”
4. Scrolling down to Contact Info, then “E-mail”.
Use this e-mail address when you create your Gravatar account. You can sign up for a Gravatar account (which creates a WordPress account as well) at
(Please excuse the long link)
Once you create an account, you’ll be directed to return to Gravatar and upload an avatar. UMass Blogs will then pull that avatar from Gravatar and it will be displayed in the top right of a page when you’re logged in as well as with any comments you make from that account.

Cristia 2016: Getting a handle on variation in infant laboratory research: A forward approach

Cristia, Alejandrina. 2016: Getting a handle on variation in infant laboratory research: A forward approach. Retrieved from January 8, 2016.

Comments on the blog post, or the related paper “Infant artificial phonology learning: A meta-analytic approach” available here:, can be made on the bootphon blog.

Extract of blog post

What is your new year’s work resolution? If I could make a suggestion it would be this: Keep a lab notebook.

How do infants learn their language? To be able to measure the effect of specific variables, many have turned to studying acquisition in vitro, through laboratory learning experiments. For instance, one recent line of work investigates how infants draw generalizations about the sound patterns they hear by having babies hear sets of words exhibiting some pattern, and thereafter presenting them with new words following that pattern and others violating it. If infants show a significant preference between the two types, then it must be because they extrapolated from the initial exposure. This compelling idea received its first empirical support from 2 experiments published by Chambers and colleagues in 2003. Since then, I and several others used the same method to carry out conceptual replications. And yet in a  meta-analysis of all these infant phonotactic learning studies harnessing the power of 600-plus infants, I found that the median effect size was very close to zero (see funnel plot below). Why?


Alderete 2015: Updating the analysis of Japanese compound accent

From Rutgers Optimality Archive, Dec. 23, 2015.

ROA: 1265
Title: Updating the analysis of Japanese compound accent
Authors: John Alderete
Comment: In Short ‘schrift for Alan Prince, compiled by Eric Baković
Length: 5 pgs
Abstract: Antepenultimacy has long been an organizing principle for both word and compound accent in Japanese, but constraint-based phonology has not yet formalized the relationship between the two domains. This squib assumes the formal commitments to antepenultimacy in Ito & Mester 2015/to appear (Linguistic Inquiry) and sketches a way to unify the two domains by further assuming compounds are layered into recursive prosodic words, the second of which is the head and must therefore bear accent.
Type: Paper/tech report


prosody, pitch accent, Japanese, compounds, headedness