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Past Events


North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Linguistics Computational Olympiad



Daniels Lecture


At Dartmouth College, August 7 - 10, 2013

Hildebrandt Lecture

Mark Turin Lecture, Program Director of Yale Himalaya Initiative, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Kemeny 08, 4-6 pm.

More information can be found at:

Computational Linguistics Olympiad for high school students in January 18 & 31, 2013: Dartmouth will be hosting a site for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) on January 18 & 31, 2013. The olympiad is a written test consisting of language puzzles for students in grades 6-12. Registration is free, and all students who enjoy logic, math, and/or language are encouraged to participate. An information session will be held in early January to discuss problem-solving strategies for the test, and to answer questions about studying linguistics, computer science, and computational linguistics in college. See for details. Friday, January 18, 2013 in Haldeman 125, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm and Thursday, January 31, 2013 in Haldeman 031, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Dennis Preston

Dartmouth Linguistics & Cognitive Sciences hiking trip to the summit of Mt. Moosilauke:

Linguistics & Cognitive Sciences hiking trip to the summit of Mt. Moosilauke


Check out the New York Times article about a Dartmouth faculty/student dialect research project, "Is That New England Accent in Retreat?" 


Julie Roberts, The University of Vermont will speak on Tuesday, May 8 at 4:00 p.m. in Reed Hall 104. 

Julie Roberts


Shobhana L. Chelliah, University of North Texas will speak on Wednesday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in Haldeman 41. 

Chelliah flyer


Irvine Flyer

Statistical machine translation (SMT) systems rely on sentence aligned parallel (bilingual) text to extract phrase level translation pairs as well as to estimate feature scores associated with phrase pairs. In this talk, I will present research on estimating the parameters of a phrase-based SMT system using monolingual corpora, which is available in larger quantities and in more languages than parallel text. We show that more than 80% of the performance drop that results from removing bilingually estimated phrase pair features can be recovered with the use of features estimated over monolingual corpora. I will also present results on identifying phrase translation pairs themselves from monolingual text.



Pellegrino Flyer


Nagy Flyer


Naomi Nagy, University of Toronto, abstract: Toronto's Heritage Language Variation and Change Project is developing a multilingual corpus to allow inter-generational, cross-linguistic, and diatopic (heritage vs. homeland varieties) comparisons in order to develop generalizations about the types of variable features, structures or rules that are borrowed earlier and more often in contact contexts, using a consistent methodology across studies of different languages (Cantonese, Faetar, Korean, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian) and variables.
Analyses of two linguistic variables, incorporating social and linguistic constraints, will be contrasted. The first is subject pronoun presence ("pro-drop"). Multivariate regression analyses contrasting three generations of speakers of Cantonese, Italian and Russian, show cross-generational stability both in rates of pronoun use (which are much higher than in English) and in the linguistic factors constraining the variation, and we see no effect of ethnic orientation or language use.
The second variable is Voice Onset Time (VOT) in voiceless stops. The VOT in the HL drifts away from the monolingual short lag of Russian and Ukrainian, and the much longer lag of Cantonese, toward the long lag of English. Ethnic orientation correlates to VOT, though in an unexpected direction for Italian.
The contrast between inter-generational change for VOT and stability for pro-drop confirms the expectation that phonetics is more susceptible than morphosyntax to contact effects and underscores the importance of examining multiple variables in multiple languages, and examining multiple facets of multilinguals' performance.



Denis Creissels

Linguistics Lunchtime Talk Jan. 13

Temporal and spatial properties of speech in the perception-production link

Invited guest speaker, Kevin Roon, will be speaking in 031 Haldeman from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served.


Several studies (Gordon & Meyer, 1984; Kerzel & Bekkering, 2000; Galantucci, Fowler, & Goldstein, 2009) have shown that how quickly speakers produce an utterance can be modulated systematically and involuntarily by various stimuli they perceive while speaking. These studies indicate that during speech perception there is an interaction with the speech production system that seems inescapable at least for normal speaker-hearers. In pointing to an intimate link between speech perception and production, these studies raise fundamental questions about how various properties of speech are involved in this link. One such question concerns the dimensionality and specificity of the representations involved in the perception- production link.


For example, speech production involves spatial properties (which speech articulators make what constrictions where in the vocal tract) but also temporal properties (how those articulator movements are arranged relative to each other in time). New results from two experiments will be presented that show an influence on reaction times at the level of phonological features. RTs are slower when a distractor and response differ in both place and voicing (e.g., pa-da) compared to when they share voicing but differ in place (e.g., pa-ta). Similarly, RTs are slower when a distractor and response differ in both place and voicing (e.g., pa-da) compared to when they share place but differ in voicing (e.g., pa-ba).


A computational model that formalizes the link between perception and production with regard to these properties will be presented.


Annual Homecoming Lecture in Linguistics by Michael Friesner

The Linguistic Integration of Spanish-Speaking Immigrants and the Emergence of Ethnicity as a Social Factor in Montreal French
Exploring the Sociolinguistic "Periphery" of Montreal French 

Thursday, October 21, 4:00 p.m. in 108 Reed Hall. Reception to follow.

This talk presents findings from two studies on Montréal French. The first is a study of loanword realization by Spanish-speaking immigrants in Montréal, which examines the respective influence of immigrants, second-generation immigrants, and native French speakers in the Francophone speech community on the pronunciation of rhotics (/r/) and gutturals (/h/) in loanwords. The second is a perception-based study which aims to determine how perceptible ethnicity-based variation is in the community, as well as what social factors are likely to be connected to ethnicity-based variation in Montréal French. Together, these two studies help define aspects of the “periphery” of the speech community, both in terms of the linguistic periphery, i.e., loanwords, and the social periphery, i.e., immigrants who join the speech community.


Congratulations to Michael Friesner '01 who successfully defended his PhD dissertation in May 2009. He will be starting as an Assistant Professor at the Université du Quebec à Montreal this summer.

Chi Chu '10 presented, "Stop-like modification of dental fricatives in Indian English: a preliminary study to perceptual experiments", at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) second ASA Special Workshop on Speech at the World Trade Center: Portland, Oregon, U.S.A on Saturday, May 23, 2009.

Linguistic Diversity in Space and Time

Johanna Nichols Lecture 

Mountain languages

May 13, 2010

104 Reed Hall
4:00 p.m.
Reception to follow.

The Vertical Archipelago: Linguistic Geography of Mountain Languages

Mountain languages tend to differ systematically from their downhill neighbors and sisters: they are more complex and less transparent; they have smaller speech communities; they rarely undergo spreads and are susceptible to loss by language shift; and they are highly conservative, preserving relics and archaisms (including language isolates). This study uses typology, historical linguistics, and sociolinguistics to explain these properties. (The term "vertical archipelago" comes from the literature on Inca and other early Andean societies, and it applies well to the vertically distributed nature of mountain languages.)

April 19, 2010

Language Change, Shift, and Endangerment in a Garifuna Speech Community in BelizeBelize

Lecture with Maya Ravindranath, UNH

4:00 p.m.
104 Reed Hall
Reception to follow on the third floor of Reed Hall.

This talk examines the relationship between social and linguistic factors in language shift in a multilingual speech community in Belize, where shift from the minority ancestral language, Garifuna, to the national lingua franca, Belizean Creole, is already underway. The talk discusses two phonological changes in progress, as well as generational differences in language attitudes and how these attitudes may be an unintended outcome of national language planning efforts. Additional evidence will be presented on the interesting characteristics of the *transitional generation* (speakers aged 30-49) that result from shifting language ideologies in the village.

April 6, 2010

David Bradley LectureResilience Linguistics: Revitalizing Indigenous Languages Lecture

With David Bradley, La Trobe University, Australia

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
104 Reed Hall
Reception to follow lecture.

With support from the Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation-Himalayan Undergraduate Grants Program, Off Campus Programs, in collaboration with the Trace Foundation 2010 Lecture Series "Minority Language in Today's Global Society: Perspectives on Language Standardization."


  • bowern flyer A lecture by Professor Claire Bowern of Yale University, Department of Lingusistics entitled "Reconstuction of Hunter-Batherer Lingusistic Prehistory." March 5th, at 4:00 p.m., in Reed Hall 108. 
  • A lecture by Coulter George (UVA) entitled Expressions of Time in Judeo-Christian Greek, Thursday, April 23, at 4:00 p.m., 108 Reed Hall. Reception following in 322 Reed Hall. Co-sponsored by the Classics Department.
  • Annual Homecoming Lecture by Peter Jenks: Toward a Typology of Numeral Classifiers, Thursday, October 22, at 4:00 p.m., in 108 Reed Hall. Reception to follow.
  • Peter Jenks of Harvard University proposes a syntactic typology of numeral classifier languages. At the core of the typology is the idea that the order of nouns and numeral classifiers correlates with sui generis syntactic differences.
  • Professor Barbara TillmannNovember 24: Lecture by Barbara Tillmann, CNRS, University of Lyon 1, France. 
  • Memory of Music and Poetry: Keeping Details Over Time 
  • It seems to be well-established that short-term memory for detailed information declines over time, especially with additional material presented during the delay. For music, we have reported experiments showing lack of decline, and even improvement, for the memory of musical information. Listeners heard the beginnings of musical pieces, of which one of the initial phrases was tested later. The music continued, and memory was tested after delays up to 30 sec with a repetition of the target, a similar, or a different lure. Discrimination performance (particularly discrimination between targets and similar lures) remained strong and even improved with increasing delay. This effect disappeared when the delay was silence or filled with sound patterns breaking the musical continuity. Based on this data of music, we investigated memory of fine surface details for poetry and prose materials with the same experimental methods. For prose, short-term memory performance for detailed information declines over time, replicating previous findings. For poetry, we observed a lack of decline for memory for surface details, similar to the data obtained for musical material. The data for music and poetry suggest a particular role played by temporal organization and rhythmic structure in short-term memory.



Last Updated: 2/5/14