Archive for Links

IRCS Prosody Workshop 1992: Undoing bit rot

Recently, Antônio Simões wrote to Cynthia McLemore to ask about a 28-year-old proceedings:

I used to find on the internet the Proceedings from 1992 that you edited with Mark Liberman. I tried to find them, but they are not on the internet anymore. Do you still have that volume in pdf? Or is it accessible somewhere on the internet? This is the volume:

McLemore, Cynthia, and Mark Liberman, eds. 1992. Proceedings of the IRCS Workshop on Prosody in Natural Speech. IRCS Report No. 92-37.

"IRCS" stands for "Institute for Research in Cognitive Science", an NSF research center founded in 1990 by Lila Gleitman and Aravind Joshi. IRCS  died in 2016 after a lingering siege of academic politics, and its website seems to have been purged last year. Penn's library has some IRCS technical reports in its repository, but not the one that Antônio is looking for. Many others are clearly missing, along with event recordings and so on — I'll see whether there are backups somewhere from which things can be restored.

Meanwhile, Cindie found a paper copy of the requested proceedings, and this page provides a table of contents with links and abstracts for scanned versions of the 26 papers it contains. Most of them are still interesting and relevant today!


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Clueless Microsoft language processing

A rather poetic and imaginative abstract I received in my email this morning (it's about a talk on computational aids for composers), contains the following sentence:

We will metaphorically drop in on Wolfgang composing at home in the morning, at an orchestra rehearsal in the afternoon, and find him unwinding in the evening playing a spot of the new game Piano Hero which is (in my fictional narrative) all the rage in the Viennese coffee shops.

There's nothing wrong with the sentence. What makes me bring it to your notice is the extraordinary modification that my Microsoft mail system performed on it. I wonder if you can see the part of the message that it felt it should mess with, in a vain and unwanted effort at helping me do my job more efficiently?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Random readings

Three random things from my to-blog list — no time this morning for more — maybe some commentary later:

Douglas Maurer, "Testing how well Google translate works for medical translation", iMedicalApps 8/12/2015
Matt Michel, "6 Reasons You Can't Trust Science Anymore", Cracked 8/13/2015
"Loaded Language", Boston Calling (BBC)


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New blog on history and philosophy of language sciences

There’s a new blog, “History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences”, edited by James McElvenny at the University of Sydney. I’m the invited author of the third post in it, ‘On the history of the question of whether natural language is “illogical”’, which came out on May 1. For now, new posts are planned weekly. Here’s the blog address:

Let any interested friends know about it, because there is a desire for good discussion of the entries and for interesting new posts.

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Taboo language in the NYT

Posted on my blog last month, an inventory of postings (on LLog and my blog) on the way the New York Times deals with taboo vocabulary, here.

Three items since then:

BZ, 4/16/12: The first “asshole” in the Times? (link)

AZBlog, 4/29/12: Annals of French taboo avoidance (link)

and today: AZBlog, 5/7/12: Reporting the profane (link)

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The All Are Belong snowclone

On my blog, here, a survey of the descendants of All your base are belong to us, with a section on the 2004-06 heyday of the snowclone on Language Log.

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Burlesques, parodies, playful allusions

On my personal blog, here, an inventory of postings on these topics — at the moment, only postings on my blog.

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It's All Grammar (the inventory)

On my personal blog, an inventory of postings (mostly from Language Log) on IAG (It's All Grammar) — here — with the proposed technical term garmmra.

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50 years of linguistics at MIT

The videos are now out — from the 50th-anniversary celebrations ("a scientific reunion") of the linguistics program at MIT, December 9-11, 2011. The schedule of the talks (with links to slides for them) is available here, with links to other material: a list of attendees, a list of the many poster presentations, videos of the main presentations, personal essays by MIT alumni, photographs from the event, a list of MIT dissertations from 1965 to the present, and a 1974 history of linguistics at MIT (particularly interesting for the years before the first officially registered graduate students entered the program, in 1961).

The eleven YouTube videos (of the introduction and the main presentations) can be accessed directly here.

(Thanks to Sabine Iatridou for the links.)

MIT linguists on Language Log (with dissertation dates): Barbara Partee (6/65), Arnold Zwicky (9/65), Mark Liberman (1975), Bill Poser (1984), Heidi Harley (1995). [David Pesetsky reminds me that although Kai von Fintel's degree is from UMass, he's now on the MIT faculty.]

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Sentential overlap portmanteaus

On my blog, here, some commentary on Geoff Pullum's recent posting on life's twists and turns, putting a name (sentential overlap portmanteaus) to the phenomena he talked about, and giving an updated inventory of postings on phrasal overlap portmanteaus.

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An inventory of postings on peeving etc.

A partial inventory of postings on language rage, language peeving, word aversion, and word attraction on Language Log and AZBlog, here. I ran out of steam early this year, so the inventory is reasonably complete only to that point.

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In response to a recent burst of postings, on several blogs, on which vs. that as relativizers and on restrictive vs. non-restrictive relative clauses, an inventory of Language Log postings, plus a few others, on my blog.

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Ice cream, fireworks, smiles, and more

Once again, Dan Jurafsky has been too modest to post a link to his wonderful Language of Food blog. From last month (July 11), on "Ice Cream":

The San Francisco midsummer fog was late in coming this year, which means Janet and I got a fantastic view of the July 4th fireworks (legal and not-strictly-legal) from the top of Bernal Hill. Hot days are rare in San Francisco, so random strangers have been smiling at each other on Mission Street and the lines are extra-long on the sidewalks in front of the ice creameries.

You may not be aware of the close relationships among these summer phenomena. Ice cream was invented by modifying a technology originally discovered for fireworks. And the way ice cream flavors are named turns out to have a surprising relationship with the evolutionary origin of the human smile. (link)

That's the beginning. Check it out.

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