It’s hiring time! And more…

It’s hiring time at CASTL! This year, we have one open fully funded PhD position in theoretical and/or experimental linguistics. This is an excellent opportunity to study at one of the world’s premier graduate schools in generative linguistics while experiencing Tromsø’s unique environment: a chance not to be missed! The deadline is March 28th, and the full announcement is here.

On another note, CASTL has also received a number of scholarships for PhD students at its partner institutions in the Northern regions. The scholarships are for 5 months at NOK 8,760 per month (plus NOK 10,000 in travel expenses): there are two scholarships for students from Russia (one for Fall 2011 and one for Fall 2012), one for students from Canada (Fall 2011) and one for students from the U.S. (Fall 2012). These scholarships are available via the institutions’ exchange programs, so applications should go via your own university; to see a list of eligible institutions, see this page (only institutions marked HSL and SENTRAL are eligible) – but it is not too late to ask your university to consider establishing an exchange agreement with the University of Tromsø: the application deadline in May 1st of the relevant year.

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Resuming normal service…

…on two fronts. First, congratulations to CASTL PhD students Éva Dékány and Sandhya Sundaresan, whose presence will grace the 34th GLOW colloquium in glamorous Vienna in April. Éva will talk about Spurious NP Ellipsis in Hungarian, while Sandhya presents
A syntactic feature-calculus and double-access analysis for indexical shift in Tamil
The whole program is here.

Second, this Thursday CASTL will officially kick off the new semester (of course, you wouldn’t say it was only starting judging by the amount of activity around…).  We will start with a colloquium presentation by Antonella Sorace (University of Edinburgh/University of Tromsø) and Ludovica Serratrice (University of Manchester) on The interpretation of null and overt subject pronouns in Italian: Evidence from off-line and on-line data in monolingual and bilingual children, followed by the kick-off party at Árdna! And for those who survive the party, Ludovica will lead a workshop on eye tracking on Friday. Isn’t that exciting?

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When it’s silent on the blog…

…it doesn’t mean it’s silent in CASTL. Despite the prolonged radio silence (sorry about that!), we’ve been keeping ourselves busy. Here are some highlights of the past couple of weeks:

  • CASTL phonologists traversed basically the entire continent (and then some) to invade Marrakech and give not one, but several talks at OCP8, one of the field’s premier conferences. On the program were PhD students Pavel Iosad (Explaining licensing mismatches in Welsh), Violeta Martínez-Paricio (Vowel sequences, vowel clusters and unmarked stress in Spanish),  Dragana Šurkalović (Phase-Phase Faithfulness), and Islam Youssef (Labialization in Baghdadi Arabic: features and constraints), while CASTL affiliate Martin Krämer presented Optimizing Lexical Optimization. Also on the program were former CASTL postdoc Christian Uffmann (now of the University of Sussex) and Patrycja Strycharczuk of the University of Manchester, a graduate of the Master’s program here in Tromsø.
  • Keeping to the topic of CASTL phonologists, senior researcher Bruce Morén-Duolljá spent the week in the Netherlands teaching a course on Phonological Feature Theory at the important LOT Winter School 2011 (see course description here)
  • CASTL affiliate Tom McFadden and PhD student Sandhya Sundaresan also headed for warmer climes – but that is not to say they were in it just for the sun. In fact, they gave a talk at JNU Delhi entitled Against the dependence of nominative case on finiteness. Also, be sure to check out this workshop on Finiteness in South Asian languages that Sandhya, Tom and CASTL senior researcher Gillian Ramchand are organizing in Tromsø in June.

Whew, that was a long blog entry. Actually, more news are coming up, but let’s keep it shorter, shall we? Just watch this space.

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Oslomarka calling!

In more presentation news, CASTL senior researcher Marit Westergaard is off to beautiful Lysebu (did you know that most of Oslo is actually forest? Well, it’s somewhere in that forest) to participate in a workshop on Information structure and corpus annotation: theoretical and practical perspectives. She will present a talk co-authored with UiT colleague Anita Røreng, which is entitled Word order and information structure in double object constructions. See the entire program here.

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More CASTL people to the Netherlands!

Following from December’s CASTL descent on the western part of the Netherlands, now it is the turn of the north-east! As some of you may know, ConSOLE XIX takes place in Groningen, on January 5th through 8th. And there are familiar names among the participants: senior researcher Bruce Morén-Duolljá is an invited speaker (his talk is entitled Is linguistics an empirical science?), and PhD student Violeta Martínez-Paricio will talk about Coercive weight and diphthongs in Spanish. Find the program (including Bruce and Violeta’s abstracts) here.

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We’re back with a bang: Peter Jurgec’s defense

A happy new year to everybody. Here in Tromsø, the new semester is starting to roll despite the darkness. Many exciting events and news are in the works, and here’s the first of them: on January 13th, Peter Jurgec, interrupting his stay at Rutgers University, where he currently holds the position of a Visiting Professor, will defend his thesis entitled Feature Spreading 2.0: A Unified Theory of Assimilation, preceded by a trial lecture, where he will tell the audience all there is to know about The interaction of tone and intonation in tone languages. The committee includes Laura Downing of Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft in Berlin, Marc van Oostendorp of Meertens Instituut and Leiden University, and our very own Martin Krämer. Read the introduction to Peter’s dissertation here.

As is their wont, the local phonologists will also have a workshop to celebrate Peter’s defense. This will take place on the next day, January 14th, and the program includes local phonologists, the opponents and several other people closely associated with CASTL’s phonology team. Find the program here.

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Funding available for visiting researchers!

Are you working towards a PhD degree, or did your PhD come within the past six years? Then you might be eligible for funding from the Research Council of Norway to stay at CASTL as a visiting researcher! Find details about the Yggdrasil program here, and the current call is here. The program covers stays of between one and ten months from August 2011 through June 2012, and is open to citizens of European (non-Nordic) and selected non-European countries, and the application deadline is February 16th. This is an excellent opportunity!

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Conferences and workshops, oh my!

Despite the end of the semester being upon us already, the CASTL community just won’t be scared off, with many people heading for the frozen vistas of continental Europe (seriously, Tromsø seems to have been the warmest place in Europe recently).

Yesterday (December 6th), CASTL senior researcher Peter Svenonius presented The emergence of the functional sequence at CP – A workshop in honour of Christer Platzack at Lund University in Sweden.

Further down south, there is a flurry of CASTL activity in the Netherlands. On December 11th and 12th, the University of Amsterdam will host a workshop on verb movement, co-organized by postdoc Kristine Bentzen and featuring several talks by current and former CASTL people: Kristine herself has co-authored Embedded V2 and extraction in Norwegian: Results from an online experiment with Caroline Heycock of the University of Edinburgh; CASTL senior researcher/center director Marit Westergaard and researcher Øystein Vangsnes are, together with Terje Lohndal of the University of Maryland, presenting Verb movement in matrix wh-questions in Norwegian dialects: Microvariation and diachrony; also on the program are Klaus Abels, Anna-Lena Wiklund and Øystein Nilsen!

Meanwhile, only a short train ride away, Leiden University is hosting two events with CASTL participation. PhD student Pavel Iosad will present A bad case of excessive computation: the rôle of morphology in palatalization-related alternations in Russian at the Workshop on Morphosyntax-Phonology Interface Theories, and Final devoicing ad vowel lengthening in the north of Italy: a representational approach at Going Romance 24. Also on the program of Going Romance are CASTL affiliate Antonio Fábregas, whose paper Aspect cross-categorially: states in nominalizations will be presented by his co-author Rafael Marín of Université Lille 3, and former CASTL visiting researcher Irene Franco, now of Leiden University.

Finally, PhD student Alexander Pfaff will appear on the program of 10. Ereignissemantikworkshop: Das Situationsargument bei Adjektiven und Nomen in Tübingen to answer the following question: The DP – an Event Trap?

Last but not least, a belated welcome  to Madeleine Halmøy, who, after defending her dissertation in the spring, has now returned to CASTL on a part-time basis after receiving the faculty’s transitional grant!

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Kristine Bentzen is on a roll!

More good news in store for CASTL post-doctoral researcher Kristine Bentzen! Hot on the heels of a book she co-edited, she has had a paper published in the Nordic Journal of Linguistics. Co-authored with former UiT/CASTL colleagues Gunnar Hrafn Hrafnbjargarson and Anna-Lena Wiklund (both now at Lund University in Sweden), it is entitled Observations on extraction from V2 clauses in Scandinavian and can be read here with the right subscriptions.

As if that were not enough, it has just been announced that Kristine’s project on language acquisition by Saami children has received financial support from the Research Council of Norway under its FRIHUM programme. Congratulations, Kristine!

Update: We should of course have mentioned that the Saami language acquisition project is to be led by Kristine Bentzen together with CASTL affiliate Berit Anne Bals Baal. Congratulations to Berit Anne too!

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CASTL syntacticians on the road

Keeping up with the strong start to the blog (please remember to spread the word!), we can reveal the whereabouts of some members of CASTL’s syntax community in the coming days.

CASTL post-doc Pavel Caha and CASTL affiliate Tom McFadden are headed to Brussels, where they will give talks at BGCL 5: Case at the Interfaces. Pavel is about to share his research on Case in adpositional phrases, while Tom’s talk (co-authored with CASTL PhD student Sandhya Sundaresan) will present evidence that Nominative case is independent of finiteness and agreement.

At the same time, and keeping to the topic of interfaces, CASTL alumna and current higher executive officer Kaori Takamine will ensure a CASTL presence at On Linguistic Interfaces 2 at the University of Ulster; she will present a poster entitled Mapping of adjunct PPs to structure of Japanese. Sandhya Sundaresan’s poster presenting An allomorphy hypothesis for PRO and overt anaphors also made it to the program, and apparently Kaori will be in the possession of Sandhya’s handouts. So if you’re in the vicinity of Brussels or Belfast (or maybe both!), don’t miss out!

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