16 December: Stats extravaganza

We’ll meet on Friday the 16th from 2:00-3:20 for a day of statistics!

Topics include:
* A first look at CAL ST Phase 3 data patterns (Erika)
* Isthmus data modelling overdrive (Randi)
* MesoSpace regression models tutorial (Jürgen, Kate)

19 October: Tim Tilbe and Juergen Bohnemeyer

This week we are back to a double-header! First, Tim will present a synopsis of the framework Croft & Cruse (2004) introduce for talking about meronymy and mereology.

Second, Juergen will present an exploration of pragmatic principles underlying academic prose. The idea is that the practices and constraints of the genre (PCG) can be “deduced” according to the formula PCG(academic prose) = Gricean Maxims + X, and the goal is to determine the most minimal statement of X that does the job. (50 minutes)

12 October: Holly Keily on gesture and embodiment

This week, Holly will present one or more papers by Hostetter & Alibali 2008 and 2010, on an embodiment perspective in gesture production and the implications for her dissertation research. If you have time to look over one of the papers, check out 2008: it defines the Gesture as Simulated Action (GSA) theory, which is tested experimentally in the 2010 paper.

5 October: CAL STLab, Anastasia Stepanova field report, CAL ALT submission

Wednesday at 4:00!
In another special CAL edition of STLab, Anastasia will present a field report from her summer field trip to Russia to collect Russian data as part of the CAL project. We will also take a more in-depth look at some of Anastasia’s data, and discuss some issues relating to morphological analysis in the CAL Semantic Typology sub-project.
We will also spend a short amount of time planning the CAL workshop submission to the ALT (Association for Linguistic Typology) conference.

30 September: William Schnaithman Field Report, CAL discourse coding

This week, in the usual 3.30pm Friday slot, the two topics for ST-Lab will be:
1) William’s field report “Cross-linguistic analysis of fictive motion language use: Spanish and English”
2) Our discourse coding system for CAL,+ brainstorming possible strategies for quantifying this data. If you’ve collected CAL discourse data, and you’ve made any particular observations about it already, and/or if you have any of it transcribed, it would be great if you could bring it along!
Below is some information about William’s research, and a link (+ password) to access his study materials)
* Specific metaphors are often used to describe or talk about situations involving perceived motion. For example: Route 66 ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, California. The use of the word “ran” is metaphoric. In other words, the road does not move.
* The purpose of this study is to explore how English and Spanish use metaphors of this kind.
* In what ways do speakers use metaphoric motion words when they talk about non-motion events? And, how does this type of language usage compare within the structures of Spanish and English?
Also, here is a link to my study materials.
(Note: a password is needed to access this blog. The password is: Bob’syouruncle

7 September: Causality Across Languages Day

Wednesday at 4p

Causality Across Languages Day! Come join us for a thrilling lab including:

1. A field report from Saima about her research on Urdu over the summer
2. First CAL L&C experiment: results from José Antonio (Spanish) & Juergen (Yucatec),
3. Likert scales: outcome of skimming articles Juergen found and potential ramifications for CAL protocol
4. Lit review update from Stephanie on recall memory and semantic role processing

18 April: GeoGram dry-run

Randi and Juergen will be giving us a thrilling dryrun of their GeoGram talk: The effect of topography on spatial language and cognition: Ethnophysiography in Isthmus Zapotec


This paper presents an examination of topography as a potential factor influencing reference frame use in language and cognition, as proposed by Li & Gleitman (2002) and Palmer (2015), described by ANON (2011) and Wassmann & Dasen (1998), and quantitatively evaluated by ANON et al (2014, 2015, 2016, ms). ANON et al (2014, 2015, ms.) report topography to be a significant predictor of egocentric and geocentric frame use in discourse and recall memory in a sample of languages within and beyond Mesoamerica.

In this paper, data is presented from three communities of Isthmus Zapotec speakers. Pérez Báez (2011) discusses speakers’ use of reference frames in recall and discourse describing two-dimensional stimuli in one Isthmus community. ANON (2016) presents an expanded examination of frame use in discourse in describing three-dimensional stimuli in two communities, and finds that significant variation exists between neighboring communities. Variation also exists in degree of preference for geocentric over egocentric encoding in memory . Frame use variation in discourse is not captured by the course-grained classification in terms of large-scale geomorphic provinces used by ANON et al (2014, 2015, 2016, ms). The current paper therefore explores factors contributing to the differences in frame use observed between communities. Where variation occurs between neighboring communities of speakers that are otherwise similar (e.g. in L1 and L2 use, education, literacy), a finer-grained classification of environmental factors must be explored.

Community-specific practices evolve around salient environmental gradients. An ethnophysiographic study conducted by the first author sheds light on such practices. For example, the prevailing North-South winds of one community appear salient for only this community and can be interpreted as influencing that community’s increased preference for absolute reference frames in discourse and cognition.