Schedule of Topics

Fall 2022 – Mondays 2-3:20pm on ZOOM and Baldy 617

August 29 – The lab’s Fall 2022 Kickoff

September 5 – Labor Day – CANCELLED

September 12 – Semantic Research book: late-breaking changes – Jürgen

September 19 – Existing datasets fair (data looking for researchers!) – Jürgen

September 26 – MesoSpace and CAL updates – Jürgen

October 3 – SULA dry runs – Jürgen & Luis

October 10 – CANCELLED

October 17 – Bergen (2019): “Do gestures retain mental associations with their iconic origins, even after they become emblematic? An analysis of the middle-finger gesture among American English speakers” – Sarah MacDougall

October 24 – dry run NAMED Kyoto paper – John & Jürgen

October 31 –

November 7 – cancelled (meeting on Wednesday with SynSem, see below!)

November 9 @ 12:30 – Joint meeting with SynSem – Jürgen on modification and “semanticophobia”

November 14 –

November 21 – Saima’s dissertation updates

November 28 – Tamara’s dry run for the Signed languages workshop at ALT14: “I don’t get the point: Methodological issues with Secondary data collection in Signed Language Typology”

December 5 –

December 12 –


  • Face management and social emotions (Jürgen)
  • The linguistics of dreams and dream diaries (Jürgen)
  • Dissertation proposal progress (Tamara)
  • Dissertation proposal progress (Magalí)
  • Recent publications by Len Talmy
  • David Kemmerer’s book

Spring 2022 – Wednesdays 4-5:20pm on ZOOM and Baldy 617

2 February – The lab’s Spring 2022 Kickoff

9 February – Juergen on the psycholinguistics of gender in German (Dye et al. 2017, 2018)

16 February – Juergen and Saima on argument realization in Hindi

23 February – Magalí on discourse relations

2 March – Speed dating with prospies

9 March – Tamara: lit review on pointing in signed languages cum brainstorming for ALT abstract on methods for sign language typology

16 March – Luis: practice talk on tenselessness in Shawi

23 March – Spring Break

30 March – John and Juergen: review of Associated Motion volume (Guillaume & Koch Des 2021)

6 April – Dr. Letizia Cerqueglini (Tel Aviv University): “Aṣ-Ṣāniʿ Arabic Space and Time in Language and Cognition: Horizontal Plane and Vertical Axis”

13 April – Jürgen Bohnemeyer: i) Bromham, Lindell, Russell Dinnage, Hedvig Skirgård, Andrew Ritchie, Marcel Cardillo, Felicity Meakins, Simon Greenhill, and Xia Hua. (2022). Global predictors of language endangerment and the future of linguistic diversity.; ii) Mollica, Francis, Geoff Bacon, Noga Zaslavsky, Yang Xu, Terry Regier, and Charles Kemp. (2021). The forms and meanings of grammatical markers support efficient communication.

20 April – Jürgen Bohnemeyer: Mollica et al (2021) continued.

27 April – Laura Hambridge and Jürgen Bohnemeyer: Preliminary modeling results of the CAL Language & Cognition subproject

4 May – Laura Hambridge and Jürgen Bohnemeyer: Preliminary modeling results of the CAL Language & Cognition subproject – Part II

11 May – Cancelled

25 May – Jürgen on temporal attitude (Kahnemann 2011, “Thinking fast and slow”)

Potential topics:

  • Juergen on the cognition and linguistics of dreams
  • John: dissertation proposal update
  • Luis on switch reference in typology and Shawi
  • End of semester: Juergen’s dryrun
  • Updates from Magalí, Saima
  • Possible reading sessions: Talmy papers; Talmy’s book on attention direction; Kemmerer’s book on neurolinguistic typology

Fall 2021 – Wednesdays 2:30-3:50pm on ZOOM

1 September – The lab’s Fall 2021 Kickoff

8 September – Conventionalization I: meaning in interaction. Semantic Research manuscript chapter 1 (Bohnemeyer ms.)

15 September – Tamara Grosso: QP Updates

22 September – Conventionalization II: Lewis (2002 [1969]) – Discussion led by Brian Hayden

29 September – Jürgen Bohnemeyer: Professionalism talk on the academic job interview – 4-5:20pm

6 October – Conventionalization III: Clark (1996) Ch 3-4 – Discussion led by Brian Hayden

13 October – Michael Sullivan: “Using Complex Vectors to Infer Semantic Data” – 4-5:20pm

20 October – Conventionalization IV: Atkin (2010); Clark (1996) Ch 6 – Discussion led by Jürgen Bohnemeyer

27 October – cancelled

3 November – Kathryn Hudson on textual and inter textual theories

10 November – Jürgen Bohnemeyer’s dry run

17 November – cancelled

24 November – cancelled: Thanksgiving break

1 December – Conventionalization V

8 December – Luis Ulloa and Jürgen Bohnemeyer on TAM

Spring 2021 – Mondays 10-11:20am on ZOOM

1 February – The lab’s Spring 2021 Kickoff

8 February – Ideas for new research/projects

15 February – Coupé (2018) – Magalí / Coupé et al. (2019) – Juergen

22 February – Cancelled

1 March – Juergen: “The innovation of functional expressions”

8 March – Juergen: “An evolutionary approach to the typology of functional expressions” (Copenhagen dry run)

15 March – Fauconnnier (2011, 2012) – Juergen / Levshina (2020) – Magalí

22 March – Juergen: “Temporal remoteness markers in a tenseless language” (Understanding Human Time Workshop dryrun)

29 March – Juergen: “CASSI: Causatives At the Syntax-Semantics Interface: New data, new models”

5 April – Brian Hayden: “Stone as Bleached Paragon in English Compounds”

12 April – Guillermo Montero-Melis: “Exploring the semantic structure of (Dutch) motion verbs”

19 April – Kiyono Fujinaga: “The synchronic and diachronic development of Japanese benefactive constructions” (practice talk)

26 April – Juergen Bohnemeyer (tbc): discussion of two papers on the evolution of word order:

  • Robert and Levinson (2017) Conversation, cognition and cultural evolution
  • Ferrer-i-Cancho (2017) The placement of the head that maximizes predictability, an information theoretic the placement of the head that maximizes predictability
  • Goldin-Meadow et al (2008) The natural order of events: How speakers of different languages represent events nonverbally

3 May – Tamara Grosso: QP presentation

10 May – Saima Hafeez: “Causation and agentivity in Urdu: A literature review” (working title)

Potential Topics:

  • Attitudes toward time and how they shape the lives and work of academics
  • Student research updates?
  • Saima’s Literature Review
  • Papers on indefiniteness in ASL
  • New paper by Talmy!
  • Left-overs from the fall – more on
    • The typology of (nonverbal) predication (pace and contra Stassen 1998)
    • Levshina (2018)
    • Talmy’s book: ‘Targeting system of language’
    • David Kemmerer’s book: Concepts in the Brain: The View From Cross-linguistic Diversity
    • Cross-cultural/linguistic research on emotions

Fall 2020 – Fridays 10-11:20am (alternative time at 12-1:20pm) on ZOOM

4 September – The lab’s Fall 2020 Kickoff

11 September (at 12pm) – Luis Ulloa: dissertation research updates

18 September – Juergen: discussing reviews on the planned Emergent Interface book. 

25 September (at 12pm) – Joint session with the SynSem lab on telicity and definiteness presented by Juergen Bohnemeyer, Tamara Grosso and Stephanie Evers. 

2 October – Updates from Erika.

9 October – Updates from Anastasia.

16 October – Juergen: The future of (semantic) typology.

23 October – Updates from Magalí.

30 October (at 12pm) – Talk invitation – Muhammad Abdul-Mageed: A Needle in a Haystack? Toward Neural Micro-Variation at Scale

6 November –The typology of predication: Remarks on Stassen 1997 (Juergen).

13 November – Tamara update on sign language research methodology.

20 November – Tbc: Levshina 2018 (presented by Juergen) / dissertation updates from Ali / Dissertation defense presentation dry run by Stephanie

27 November – Thanksgiving break 

4 December – Updates from Saima

11 December – Crosscultural studies on emotions (Juergen)

Potential Topics:

  • Levshina 2018: Habilitation thesis on communicative efficiency and causatives
  • Talmy’s book: ‘Targeting system of language’
  • David Kemmerer’s book: Concepts in the Brain: The View From Cross-linguistic Diversity

Spring 2020 – Tuesdays 5-6:20pm — Baldy 617

28 January – The lab’s Spring 2020 Kickoff :

  • Getting to know each other
  • Topics to be discussed during the semester
  • come enjoy some mediterranean food

4 February – Stephanie dissertation update: grammaticalized perfective marking and definite articles

11 February – Adrian Riccelli reports on his research

18 February – Rissman & Majid research on instruments and thematic roles (Anastasia & Erika)

25 February – Theories of concepts (Erika)

3 March – NO LAB

6 March (Special Friday session) – “Speed-dating” research summaries

10 March – Talmy (2020): Semantic Unilocality


24 March – Check-in and planning

31 March – Papers from the anniversary issue of Linguistic Typology 2016

7 April – Typology of instruments (Anastasia)

14 April – 

21 April – Magalí project update: Yucatec dispositionals

28 April 29 April (Special Joint Meeting with Phonlab) 4pm-5.30pm – Recent studies on sound change and functional load in phonology

5 May –

12 May –

Potential Topics:

  • Talmy’s book on ‘Targeting system of language’
  • Why linguistic typology? (papers from the anniversary issue of Linguistic Typology 2016)
  • Dissertation/QP reports: Ali, Anastasia, Erika, John,
  • workshop on Time management
  • Information tracking in discourse from a functionalist perspective
  • Clause-final particles in Yoloxochitl Mixtec
  • Nowak & Plotkin 2000 paper on the evolution of syntax
  • Language evolution: phonemic contrasts and morphophonemic rules
  • Matthew Dryer – new methodology for typological sampling

Fall 2019 – Thursdays 12:30-1:50pm — Baldy 617

29 August – First meeting of the semester, introduction and discussion of future lab activities.

5 September – Lab cancelled – Juergen is at ALT

12 September – Ali and Saima’s field reports

19 September – Gricean notions of informativeness – Kehler and Cohen 2012 – Frank and Jaeger 2017

26 September – Juergen dry run on Tenselessness (A joint session with Dr. DiCanio’s ‘Work in Progress’ seminar).

3 October – Canceled – Juergen is away to the Tenselessness workshop.

10 October – Workshop on data archiving and sharing through platforms such as Open Science Framework

17 October – Erika’s progress report

24 October – Juergen: evolution of functional categories (A joint session with Dr. DiCanio’s ‘Work in Progress’ Seminar).

31 October – Stephanie Evers’s Progress report (A joint session with Dr. DiCanio’s ‘Work in Progress’ Seminar).

7 November – Tamara Grosso: Locative expressions in signed languages, a cross-linguistic comparison (Authored by Sarah Eberle)

14 November – Juergen: Project ideas fair – three ideas for new projects in search of enterprising researchers

21 November – Juergen: modeling typological data for exploring linguistic evolution (two papers by Gerhard Jäger and colleagues).

28 November – No lab – Thanksgiving week

5 December – Spatial metaphors of time. The following papers are discussed:

  • Boroditsky, L. & A. Gaby. (2010). Remembrances of Times East: Absolute Spatial Representations of Time in an Australian Aboriginal Community. Psychological Science 21(11) 1635–1639.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2010). The Language-Specificity of Conceptual Structure: Path, Fictive Motion, and Time Relations. In B. Malt & P. Wolff (Eds.), Words and the mind: How words capture human experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 111-137.
  • Pitt, B. & Casasanto, D. (2019). The correlations in experience principle: How culture shapes concepts of time and number. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
  • Casasanto, D. (2016). Temporal language and temporal thinking may not go hand in hand. In B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (Ed.), Conceptualizations of time (pp. 169-186). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

12 December –  

Potential Topics:

  • readings on the overlap between semantics, discourse and pragmatics
  • readings on sign language typology
  • LSA practice talks after DEC 12th
  • (manner) adverbs
  • agentivity

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) – Causality readings Part 1 (presented by Ali, Erika, and Juergen):

  • 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.
  • 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.

3 April – Tagliamonte & Baayen (2012): Pros and cons of mixed effects regression, random forests, and conditional inference trees.

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

19 April – Saima’s dissertation proposal brainstorming

26 April (Friday)  – Juergen dryrun: Agentivity symposium


9 May (Thursday) – John Shuey: On motion framing (QP Day practice talk).

15 May – 1) Erika: ICLC practice talk. 2) Erika & Jürgen: Kehler & Cohen 2018 (

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:
    • 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 31First meeting!
February 7Future 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 21Spring Break
March 28AAG Dryrun: Randi Moore (and Holly Data)
March 31 12:30-2:00Special cross-pollination: SemTyp and SynSem combined for future time reference
April 4Ali Alshehri
April 11 Discussion: Li & Abarbanell in response to Haun 2006
April 18BTLI Dryrun: Randi Moore
April 25QP Dryrun: Stephanie
May 2 Event description with LSTM-RNNs
May 9IPrA 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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