We’ve had a very productive start to the Fall 2016 semester. Our first big development is bringing onboard Erica Schneider as our first Lab Manager! We are very excited to have Erica join us. She is already whipping things into shape by organizing a series of engaging lab meetings. Earlier this semester, we heard about new developments from Prof. Anya Lunden’s research group, which consists of Prof. Lunden, and students Jessica Campbell and Mark Hutchens. They recently submitted a new paper that uses qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate typological stress patterns. Following that, Prof. Parker led a discussion about computational methods in language science. Next up on the agenda is a career development workshop designed to help students learn how to situate their linguistics skills and research experiences in a broader context to pursue a range of career opportunities.
Stay tuned for more updates. Plenty of things on the way, ranging from new papers to new outreach events.
Prof. Dan Parker and recent graduate, Daniel Lantz, recently presented their paper “Encoding and Accessing Linguistics Representations in a Dynamically Structured Holographic Memory System” at the 14th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM), where the paper was recognized as an “Outstanding Paper”. The award was selected by the international program committee and the conference chairs. Congratulations!
You can check out the paper here: [pdf]
Prof. Dan Parker and freshly minted W&M graduate Daniel Lantz will be heading to the Pennsylvania State University to give a talk on “Encoding and accessing linguistic representations in a dynamically structured holographic memory system” at the 2016 International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2016) August 4-6. The talk will present a new computational model designed to explain the selective behavior of illusory negative polarity item (NPI) licensing. Check out the proceedings paper here: http://parker.blogs.wm.edu/files/2016/06/ParkerLantz-ICCM.pdf
Rising senior, Quentin Ullrich, got a sample of what’s it like to “pahk the cah on Hahvahd Yahd”, as a presenter at this year’s Harvard Undergraduate Colloquium.
Quentin’s talk titled: “Real Consumer Language: A Corpus-Based Approach to Trademark Law”, presented his findings on using social media data to inform trademark law. The research for his project was carried out in the Computational & Experimental Linguistics Lab (CELL), and will be developed further for his honors thesis. Great work Quentin!
CELL welcomes three new honors candidates. Check out the videos below, and let them tell you about the work they’ll be doing in the lab!
Prof. Parker recently soaked up some rays in sunny Gainesville, Florida at the 2016 CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing. He presented three posters:
“Parallelism guides syntactic prediction for across-the-board extraction”, a collaboration with student Liana Abramson.
“A new model for processing antecedent-ellipsis mismatches”
“Agreement attraction is selective: Evidence from eye-tracking”
William & Mary researchers are taking it to the 2016 Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual Meeting, held in Washington DC from January 7-10. Here’s what you can look forward to:
Student Anna Henshaw and Anya Lunden will be presenting their joint work on “Consonant and vowel cues affecting the perception of Korean obstruents.” Anya will also be presenting independent research on “Finding secondary stress in Norwegian”.
Anne Charity Hudley will be leading a symposium that she organized with Christine Mallinson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) on ‘Linguistics and the Broader University: The Significance of Linguistic Justice to Administration, Development, Program Building, and Public Affairs’.
Laura Heymann (William & Mary Law School) will be presenting her work on ‘Naming and reclaiming’ at the meeting for the American Name Society, which is held concurrently with the LSA.
Check out the program: LSA 2016 Annual Meeting Handbook
For the past two years, William & Mary has served as a host site for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), and we’re gearing up to host it again in January 2016. NACLO is a contest in which middle and high school students solve linguistic puzzles. It’s a great opportunity for youngsters to learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while sharpening their logic skills.
In preparation for NACLO next month, our outreach team stopped by Berkeley Middle School to talk to their students about linguistics and how to get involved in NACLO. Prof. Dan Parker and two students, Meredith Wolf and Kelly Luo, led activities illustrating the connections between language and computers. Check out the photos below. Fun times were had by all! This is the second year that we’ve visited Berkeley and we hope to keep this tradition up and expand to more schools next year.
Congratulations to Prof. Dan Parker who was award a Taylor Reveley, III Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship for the next three year period. The fellowship is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of William & Mary’s President W. Taylor Reveley, III. Fellowships were awarded in pairs, and Parker will collaborate with Prof. Maurits van der Veen from the Government Department to develop a new course on “Language and text analysis in a world of big data”. The course will teach students about the successes and failures of big data and provide them with hands-on experience with big data.
The humidity has started to wan, the tourists have parted, and flocks of bright eyed students have replaced them. That means the academic year must be in full swing here at William & Mary. The fall is always an exciting time of year, for students and faculty alike. This year has already started off with a bang.
Prof. Anya Lunden recently gave a talk at MidPhon 20 held at Indiana U. called “Phonetic Motivation for Final Stress Lapse”. Congratulations. This is among the many great things Anya is working on during her well-earned research leave this semester.
Prof. Dan Parker and co-authors Sol Lago (Potsdam Research for Multilingualism) and Colin Phillips (U. of Maryland) recently published a new article titled “Interference in the processing of adjunct control”, which appeared in Frontiers in Psychology under the research topic “Encoding and navigating linguistic representations in memory”. The article looks at how one type of anaphoric dependency involving adjunct control looks for a referent in memory, and shows that memory retrieval in sentence comprehension is more susceptible to error than we previously thought. Under certain conditions, these errors lead to “illusions of acceptability”! Enough magic. Read the paper here: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01346/full
Dan also has become quite the international traveler. He recently presented two posters at the 2015 Architectures & Mechanisms of Language Processing (AMLaP) conference at the the University of Malta. The first poster was titled “Two is not always better than one: Modeling evidence for a single structure building system” and the second poster was titled “Agreement attraction is selective: Evidence from eye-tracking”, co-authored with Mike Shvartsman (Princeton) and Julie Van Dyke (Haskins Laboratories). He’ll also be giving a talk on the same material from the second poster at this year’s Experimental Psycholinguistics Conference next month in Madrid, Spain.
Lastly, we also set up our fancy new eye-tracking system. A few weeks ago, the kind folks from SR Research came down and held a two-day training session, imparting their eye-tracking knowledge upon us. We had a small group of students and faculty attending, and we’re now gearing up for some new studies this semester. Below are some photos from the training session.
Stay tuned for more updates as the semester continues!