I’ve been dribbling the summer news out week-by-week, which was a rather slow process when we only had one story at a time on the linguistics home page.  Now that the page displays three, things are going much faster, but there is a bit of a backlog.  Here is the highlights of some of our department members’ summer and early fall activities:

  • Sally Thomason reports:

(1) I gave an invited talk, `Innovation and contact: the role of adults’, at ECoLa 2010 (symposium on English as a Contact Language) at the University of Zurich in June.

(2) I gave an invited talk, `Language contact, language change, language variation’, to the project on Spracherwerb, Sprachentwicklung, und Sprachkontakt in urbanen Regionen, University of Hamburg, in June.

(3) I gave two talks, `Safe and unsafe language contact’ and `Agents of change in language contact situations’, at the Institute of Linguistics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, in June.

(4) During the summer I did regular fieldwork, as usual, with Salish-Pend d’Oreille elders on the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana.  In August I gave the tribe a new (but still very preliminary) dictionary draft: a 371-page Montana Salish-to-English draft and a 55-page English-to-Montana Salish finder list (cross-references to enable users to find the relevant roots in the longer draft).

(5) I spent six days trekking through Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness on horseback, and had eight excellent bear sightings on our property (all black bears this year, no grizzlies).  (Yes, I do know that (5) is not appropriate for the blog!) [Yes it is! -- Ed.]

  • Several grad students and professors presented at Laboratory Phonology 12 in Albuquerque, NM:
    • Beddor, P. S., McGowan, K., Boland, J., and Coetzee, A.  The perceptual time course of coarticulation.
    • Lin, Susan. Effects of prosodic boundary strength on inter-gestural timing in English laterals.
  • On Sept 22, Diane Larsen-Freeman gave the Nessa Wolfson Colloquium, an annual event to honor the memory of Nessa Wolfson, the founder of the Language and Literacy in Education (LLE) at GSE, and to welcome new and returning students to the division.

    “Language and Language Development as Complex, Dynamic Systems”Abstract


    Hornberger and Hult (2006) have written about Halliday’s call for a new transdisciplinary theme in applied linguistics, one that would supercede the disciplines from which applied linguists customarily draw, “creating new forms of activity which are thematic rather than disciplinary in their orientation” (Halliday 2001: 176).  Surveying the field of applied linguistics, Dr. Larsen-Freeman sees a new post-structural theme emerging. It cuts across many areas in applied linguistics. It transforms our objects of concern into processes and puts change and dynamic systems at the forefront of our investigations. In her lecture, she will discuss various areas in applied linguistics and this emerging theme in light of one way that this thinking has been stimulated-that of the study of complex, dynamic systems.