On April 23, 2010, in the fourth-floor faculty lounge in Carroll Science Hall, The Linguistics Club hosted a panel discussion entitled “What can I do with a linguistics degree?”
Speakers included Special Guest Steve Waters (Wycliffe Bible Translators/GIAL), as well as Baylor graduates Shawn Warner-Garcia, Andrew Del Toro, Rachel Vaughan Dai, and Morgan Ramey Castillo.
Refreshments were served.
On February 16, 2010, in Morrison Hall, room 100, Baylor professor David White presented a lecture entitles “Hieroglyphics for Beginners”.
At 3:30 on Thursday, April 2nd, in Carroll Science room 101, Dr. Robert V. Reichle of the University of Texas at Austin will deliver a special lecture. This event is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The details of the talk are included below:
Techniques from the field of psycholinguistics allow us to draw inferences about the processes in the brain that underlie language processing. This ability to link the brain and language has led to illuminating discoveries about the nature of language and the brain. Two examples will be discussed: Ullman’s (2001) Declarative/Procedural model of language, as well as recent electrophysiological studies of language processing.
At 3:00 on Friday, March 20th, in Carroll Science room 101, Anja Moehring of the Baylor Modern Foreign Languages department will deliver a special lecture. This event is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The details of the talk are included below:
Constructions in English: “over and over” versus “again and again” – identical or different meanings?
When communicating with each other, we combine words to form sentences, for instance “The dentist pulled the wrong tooth.”* Sometimes, however, we cannot derive the meanings of the sentence from adding up the meaning of its individual words. Consider for instance “to pull someone’s leg”: We have to learn that the whole phrase – the idiom – has the meaning “to kid someone” and that it has nothing to do with the action of “pulling” and “legs”. Constructions can be seen as structural idioms. The grammatical structure itself carries a meaning. An example is the so-called “What’s X doing Y” construction (Kay and Fillmore 1999) which is the ‘blueprint’ for sentences like “What’s this fly doing in my soup?” or “What am I doing reading this paper?”. The meaning of this construction is 1) a request or demand for an explanation and 2) denoting an inadequacy of the situation.
“Over and over” as well as “again and again” are examples of the “X-and-X” construction in English. A corpus study of the British National Corpus (BNC) showed that the “X”-slot of this construction can be filled by verbs (“And he ate and ate…”), nouns (“Watch tons and tons of superhero movies”), adjectives (“Robots will get smarter and smarter.”), prepositions (“Officer fired Taser over and over”) and adverbs (“password incorrect again and again”). The meaning of the construction can be described as open-ended quantifying, i.e. the final endpoint of the action or quantity denoted by “X” is removed. To illustrate this point, we could paraphrase the sentence “… he ate and ate…” as “He didn’t stop eating.”
For “over and over” and “again and again”, the meanings are very similar but native speakers have the intuition that they are not identical. How can we find out whether they are different, and if so, what could that difference be? Since both, “over and over” and “again and again” occur as adverbials in sentences and adverbials have the power to change the aspectual value of the sentence, a theory about tense and aspect will help us to find the hidden semantics of these two instances of the “X-and-X” construction.
*All examples are taken from www.google.com
On Thursday, February 12th, in Carroll Science room 301, Dr. Michael Boerm of the Baylor Modern Foreign Languages department will deliver a special lecture. This event is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The details of Dr. Boerm’s talk are included below:
Une Histoire d’Amour Millénaire: 1,000 Years of Mutual Influence between French and English
Since the Norman Invasion of 1066 the English and French languages have coexisted in close proximity to each other, in Europe, North America, and elsewhere. That prolonged geographical proximity has led to profound mutual linguistic influence that the average English- and French-speaking person is completely unaware of. This influence has extended well beyond the realm of vocabulary and has affected other subsystems of the languages (e.g. phonology, morphology, and syntax). This presentation will demonstrate and highlight the major borrowings and grammatical changes English and French have undergone due to their intertwined histories. Sociolinguistic factors and attitudes in the past and today in the anglophone and francophone worlds will also be discussed as an attempt to understand why both linguistic groups are so hesitant and often openly hostile to the notion that their beloved language could possibly have been so profoundly affected by the other.