Michigan Linguistics was once again well represented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2-5, 2020. 

Highlights include the presentation of the Best Paper in Language Award to Assistant Professor Natasha Abner and coauthors, a special tribute to Professor Sarah (Sally) Thomason in the symposium on language contact, structure, and change, and multiple presentations and posters by U-M doctoral students. 


Best Paper in Language Award

Assistant Professor Natasha Abner and coauthors were presented with the Best Paper in Language Award for their 2019 research on emergent sign systems

Five-Minute Linguist

Assistant Professor Abner presented the research on emergent sign systems in a regular 20-minute conference presentation, titled “A Handy Approach to Sign Language Relatedness.” She also presented the research as part of the Five-Minute Linguist event, for which she received second place.

Watch the YouTube video.

Symposia Participation

  • The symposium on language Contact, Structure, and Change, was organized as a special tribute to U-M Professor Sarah (Sally) Thomason. An excerpt from the 2020 meeting program reads, in part: “This session honors Thomason's deeply influential work by extending, and in some cases bending and refracting the questions that her work addresses through a group of studies that address the enduring conundrum of language change. How is it that languages are in constant flux, yet their speakers retain a sense of continuity and identity through their use? The contributors to the session range provide a range of generational and theoretical approaches to the topic of language change that provides a panorama of the field and a tribute to the broad and lasting effects of Thomason's work.”
  • PhD student Kelly Wright participated in the CEDL round table sessions, whose theme this year was "Conversations with Students and Faculty of Color on Success in Navigating and Thriving in the Academy." Her discussion was on "Public Scholarship at the Graduate Level: Resources and Challenges." She was also invited to participate in the Black Becoming for Language and Linguistics Researchers panel organized by Dr. Anne Charity Hudley. The talk she gave was titled "Inclusivity Pressures."
  • The symposium on language Contact, Structure, and Change featured presentations by Professor Marlyse Baptista and Professor and Chair Robin Queen. In addition, four speakers in the symposium were former Michigan linguistics students: Ph.D. alumni Anna Babel  (now an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the Ohio State University) and Mark Sicoli (now an assistant professor in Anthropology at the University of Virginia); and undergraduate linguistics alumni Eric Campbell (now an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of California at Santa Barbara) and Nico Baier (now a postdoc in linguistics at the University of British Columbia).

Presentations and Posters

Aspect and Desirability in Korean Possibility Modal -ul-swu-iss: An Experimental Study
    Authors: Jeong Hwa Cho (University of Michigan)

Depending on Speaker Identity: Varied ERP Responses to Two American English Varieties
    Authors: Rachel Elizabeth Weissler (University of Michigan); Johnathan R. Brennan (University
    of Michigan) 

A dynamic process in forming structural backbone of creole languages

    Authors: Yushi Sugimoto (University of Michigan)

“They said embarrassed, but I think they meant pregnant:” An N400 Study Testing the Effect of Speaker Accent and Bilingual Listener Knowledge on the Processing of False Cognates (from Spanish into English)
    Authors: Emily Sabo (University of Michigan)

Individual differences in the production and perception of prosodic boundaries in American English
    Authors: Jiseung Kim (University of Michigan)

Testing the Preverbal Negation Tendency through Artificial-Language Learning
    Authors: Danielle Burgess (University of Michigan)

Defining constituent order flexibility from a typological perspective: WALS, AUTOTYP, and beyond
    Authors: Alex Kramer (University of Michigan); Savithry Namboodiripad (University of Michigan)

Deictic nominal marking in Kwéyòl Donmnik: The influences of information status, gesture, and deictic force on morphosyntactic form
    Authors: Joy Peltier (University of Michigan

A Sociophonetic study of tones on Jeju Island
    Authors: Moira Saltzman (University of Michigan)

Tone in Tagalog and English? Prosodic adaption in Philippine Hybrid Hokkien
    Authors: Wilkinson Daniel Wong Gonzales (University of Michigan)

How quickly does phonology emerge in a “village” vs. “community” sign language?
    Authors: Diane K Brentari (University of Chicago); Rabia Ergin (Max Planck Institute for
    Psycholinguistics); Pyeong Whan Cho (University of Michigan); Ann Senghas (Barnard College);
    Marie Coppola (University of Connecticut)

Parentheticals associate with their hosts pragmatically, not syntactically: Evidence from as-parentheticals
    Authors: Andrew McInnerney (University of Michigan)

A Handy Approach to Sign Language Relatedness
    Authors: Natasha Abner (University of Michigan); Carlo Geraci (Ecole Normale Supérieure);
    Justine Mertz (University of Paris 7, Denis Diderot); Jessica Lettieri; Shi Yu
    (Ecole Normale Supérieure)