Schedule of Topics

Spring 2019 – Wednesdays 2-3:20pm (or Friday 2-3:20/3:30-4:50) — Baldy 617

30 January –  Juergen’s Stanford talk dry run: ‘The semantic typology of causatives: quantitative evidence and pragmatic explanation’. Classes cancelled!

15 February (Friday 2-3.20pm) – First meeting of the semester, nibbles & coffee, season’s preview, Juergen’s Tokyo & Stanford travelog.

20 February – Juergen – The distribution and evolution of motion framing constructions.

27 February – Stephanie’s dissertation proposal pep prep

8 March – Prospective student day Speed Dating event

15 March (Friday) – Toronto workshop dryruns (Juergen and Erika)


29 March (Friday) – 1. Saima’s dissertation proposal dry-run. 2. Causality readings Part 1

3 or 5 April – Causality readings Part 2

10 April NO LAB THIS WEEK (conflicting meetings, Cog Sci, Linguistics Colloquium)

17 April – 

24 April – Juergen dryrun: Agentivity symposium


8 or 10 May – Erika ICLC dryrun

15 May – 


Potential Topics:

  • Erika – event structure and aspectual coercion (Croft, Michaelis papers)
  • Len Talmy’s new book “The targeting system of language.”
  • Anastasia – project report
  • Ali – Field trip report
  • Ali, Juergen – RRG conference and ICLC dryruns.
  • Juergen – Professionalism topic on time management
  • Juergen – Liberating syntactic typology from its weird pre-modern folk theory of semantics.
  • Causality-related readings:
    • Haspelmath, M. (2016). Universals of causative and anticausative verb formation and the spontaneity scale. LINGUA POSNANIENSIS LVIII(2): 33-63.
    • Levshina, N. (2016). Finding the best fit for direct and indirect causation: a typological study. LINGUA POSNANIENSIS LVIII(2): 65–82.
    • Martin, F. (2018). Time in probabilistic causation: Direct vs. indirect uses of lexical causative verbs. In: Uli Sauerland and Stephanie Solt (eds.),Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 22, vol. 2, ZASPiL 61, pp. 107–124. ZAS, Berlin.
    • Neeleman, A. & H. van de Koot. (2012). The Linguistic Expression of Causation. In M. Everaert, M. Marelj, and T. Siloni, eds.,The Theta System: Argument Structure at the Interface, OxfordUniversity Press, Oxford, UK, 20-51.
    • Rappaport Hovav, M. (2014). Lexical content and context: The causative alternation in English revisited. Lingua 141: 8-29.
  • Robustness of cognition readings:
    • Woodward – 2006 – Sensitive and Insensitive Causation
    • Lombrozo – 2010 – Causal–explanatory pluralism: How intentions, functions, and mechanisms influence causal ascriptions
    • Hitchcock – 2012 – Portable Causal Dependence: A Tale of Consilience.
    • Vasilyeva et al. – 2018 – Stable Causal Relationships are Better Causal Relationships
    • Gerstenberg et al. – 2015 – How, whether, why: Causal judgments as counterfactual contrasts.
    • Grinfeld et al. – 2018 – Causal Responsibility and Robust Causation

Fall 2018 – Wednesdays 2-3:20pm, Baldy 603

29 August – First meeting for Fall 2018

5 September – Juergen ICSC Dry run, Erika on Embodied Construction Grammar

12 September – NO LAB (Juergen away)

19 September – NO LAB (CogSci event)

21 September (Friday @ 3.30pm) – Ali & Juergen field reports

26 September – Juergen UBC colloquium dry run (Counterfactuals in Yucatec)

3 October – Monique Flecken lab-fest: event representation in language and cognition (Presentations by Juergen, Erika, and Ali)

10 October – Juergen: “Inside the macro-event property”

19 October (Friday @ 3:30pm)- Presentations of 4 papers on whether iconicity effects in grammar can be reduced to frequency-based iconicity. Presentations are given by Ali, Anastasia, Erika, and Juergen

24 October – Stephanie’s AMPRA dry run, Juergen on “iconicity in Yucatec causatives: frequency vs. complexity”

31 October – No lab this week

7 November – Dr. David Braun’s presentation of his paper: “Questions are not Answers”

14 November (Friday at 3:30pm) – Yu Li: “degree expressions in Zauzou”


30 November – 1. Anastasia (Field work report), 2. Juergen (discussion of advising models)

5 December – 1. Juergen & Erika: Talmy’s Windowing of Attention chapter, 2. Kate: LSA dry run

14 December – 1. Juergen : motion macro-event property (Practice run), 2. Saima: Proposal brainstorming

Potential topics:

  • Stephanie dissertation proposal brainstorming
  • Majid lab-fest, von Stutterheim lab-fest,
  • Juergen on Event Semantics for RRG,
  • field report (Anastasia),
  • dissertation proposal brainstorming (Saima),
  • dissertation updates (Ali, Anastasia, Erika),
  • Erika on Frame Semantics, coherence and event representations
  • more on Bayesian regression analysis (Kruschke 2015)
  • professionalism topics
  • Erin research
  • Philosophy of Language appreciation day





Spring 2018 – Thursdays 1-2:20pm, Baldy 617

1 February: First meeting for Spring 2018

8 February: 

  • Kruschke: Doing Bayesian Data Analysis. Review of material covered last semester.
  • The conquest of manipulable space: The case for a pan-simian geocentrism bias. (Juergen Bohnemeyer)

15 February: Kruschke: Doing Bayesian Data Analysis.

22 February: Regierfest: Terry Regier lab update

1 March: CAL Language and Cognition update: new datasets, possible incorporation of linguistic predictors & sociocentrism survey

8 March: Spatial reference frames

9 March (Friday 2-3pm, 617 Baldy): Prospective student weekend – Speed Dating!

15 March: The history of linguistics: the jet perspective (Juergen)

22 March: Spring Break, no meeting

29 March: Erika dissertation proposal

5 April: Stephanie dissertation brainstorming

12 April: Anastasia dissertation update

19 April: Ali dissertation proposal workshopping

26 April: Myth-busting semantics for typologists – brainstorming (Juergen)

3 May: “Temporal remoteness markers in a tenseless language” SULA dry-run (Juergen)

10 May: Narrative relative clauses (brainstorming)

Fall 2017 – Fridays 2-3:20pm, Baldy 617

8 September: Doing Bayesian Data Analysis (Kruschke, 2015): Chapters 2, 4, 5

15 September:

1. Dry run: Juergen “Causality Across Languages: State of the Art”

2. Reading: Doran, R., Ward, G., Larson, M., McNabb, Y., & Baker, R. E. (2012). A novel experimental paradigm for distinguishing between what is said and what is implicated. Language, 88(1), 124–154.

(22, 29 September, 6 October: No lab)

13 October: 

  1. Reading: Li P & Abarbanell L. (2018) Competing perspectives on frames of reference in language and thought. Cognition. 170:9-24.
  2. Doing Bayesian Data Analysis (Kruschke, 2015): Chapter 5

20 October: Saima Hafeez: QP Update

27 October: Doing Bayesian Data Analysis (Kruschke, 2015): Chapters 6 & 7

3 November: 

  1. Stephanie QP Research Update

10 November:

  1. Saima Urdu Causality Research Update
  2. Doing Bayesian Data Analysis (Kruschke, 2015): Chapter 15

17 November: Dry run spectacular! Randi (AAA); Erika (ALT); Juergen (ALT)

1 December: Language Evolution/Complex Adaptive Systems

Spring 2017 – Tuesdays, 4-5:20 pm, Baldy 617

April 4Data talk: Ali

January 31 First meeting!
February 7 Future in tenseless languages: Juergen Bohnemeyer
February 14 12:30-2:00  Space Robots in love
February 21  Data talk: Saima
February 28  Data talk: Erika
March 7  Data talk: Kate
March 10 2:00-3:30 *Friday* Speed dating
March 14 **SNOW DAY** Data talk: Holly
March 21 Spring Break
March 28 AAG Dryrun: Randi Moore (and Holly Data)
March 31 12:30-2:00 Special cross-pollination: SemTyp and SynSem combined for future time reference
April 4 Ali Alshehri
April 11  Discussion: Li & Abarbanell in response to Haun 2006
April 18 BTLI Dryrun: Randi Moore
April 25 QP Dryrun: Stephanie
May 2  Event description with LSTM-RNNs
May 9 IPrA Dryrun: Erika

Other topics of interest:

Data discussions: Ali, Erika, Holly, Kate, Saima

Robot direction paper: Michael Spranger “The evolution of grounded spatial language”

Stats paper: Eager & Roy (2017) “Mixed effects models are sometimes terrible”

Iconicity LSA


Selected Papers to discuss:

Lupyan, G. & R. Dale (2010), Language structure is partly determined by social structure. PLOSone

Li, P. & L. Abarbanell (submitted), Alternative spin on phylogenetically inherited spatial reference frames.

Li, P. & L. Abarbanell (submitted), Competing Perspectives: Frames of Reference in Language and Thought.

New papers from Terry Regier’s webpage:

Emily Cibelli, Yang Xu, Joseph L. Austerweil, Thomas L. Griffiths, and Terry Regier (2016). The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and probabilistic inference: Evidence from the domain of color. PLOS ONE 11(7): e0158725. [Preprint]

Terry Regier, Alexandra Carstensen, and Charles Kemp (2016). Languages support efficient communication about the environment: Words for snow revisited. PLOS ONE 11(4): e0151138.

Yang Xu, Terry Regier, and Barbara C. Malt (2016). Historical semantic chaining and efficient communication: The case of container names. Cognitive Science, 40, 2081-2094. [Supplementary material]

Terry Regier, Charles Kemp, and Paul Kay (2015). Word meanings across languages support efficient communication. In B. MacWhinney & W. O’Grady (Eds.), The handbook of language emergence (pp. 237-263). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Terry Regier, Naveen Khetarpal, and Asifa Majid (2013). Inferring semantic maps. Linguistic Typology, 17, 89-105. [Preprint] [Supplementary material]


One thought on “Schedule of Topics

  1. Pingback: February 26: No Lab! Upcoming Schedule | Semantic Typology Lab @ University at Buffalo

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