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What's your specialization?


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61 replies to this topic

Poll: Subfield(s)? (141 member(s) have cast votes)

Subfield(s)?

  1. Syntax (22 votes [15.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.60%

  2. Semantics (16 votes [11.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.35%

  3. Phonetics/Phonology (26 votes [18.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.44%

  4. Morphology (7 votes [4.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.96%

  5. Psycholinguistics (22 votes [15.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.60%

  6. Computational (9 votes [6.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.38%

  7. Historical (12 votes [8.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.51%

  8. Other (specify in a post!) (19 votes [13.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.48%

  9. Formal (5 votes [3.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.55%

  10. Functional (3 votes [2.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.13%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 paigemont

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:15 AM

I'm curious about what you guys plan to focus yourselves on (if you know yet). Also, I included the option to choose between formal and functional, just because I'm curious. I doubt anyone is very extremist wrt that issue, but if you lean either way, I'd like to hear why. Feel free to include more info in a post, too.
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#2 fuzzylogician

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:04 PM

I chose semantics, which is my main focus, but I'm also interested in its interface with syntax and pragmatics (which btw isn't on the list at all).
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#3 paigemont

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:14 PM

I chose semantics, which is my main focus, but I'm also interested in its interface with syntax and pragmatics (which btw isn't on the list at all).


Yeah sorry about that. There's a limit of 10 items for each poll. I had to leave out things that I normally wouldn't have, but hopefully the "Other" option or an informative post can take care of any deficiencies.
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#4 Dinali

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:29 PM

I chose semantics, which is my main focus, but I'm also interested in its interface with syntax and pragmatics (which btw isn't on the list at all).


I've never really gotten into semantics (beyond the intro stuff of course). Who's big in that field? I never thought of UCLA as being a semantics place; who would you work with there?
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#5 paigemont

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:57 PM

Question to whoever voted for morphology (or anyone for that matter): do you think of morphology as a more syntactic or more phonological process? Or something else?
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#6 fuzzylogician

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:55 AM

I've never really gotten into semantics (beyond the intro stuff of course). Who's big in that field? I never thought of UCLA as being a semantics place; who would you work with there?


It depends on the kind of semantics you want to do. For formal semantics I guess the Massachusetts schools - both MIT and UMass - have been very productive in the last decade or more. I haven't found one place that had more than 3 people who do (what I consider) interesting work, and I applied to almost all of the places that had 2. At UCLA I'd probably work with either Daniel Büring or with Edward Keenan. Jessica Rett also seems to be doing some very interesting work but she was just hired this year and I don't think she'll take on advisees next year. There are also a couple of profs doing computational and mathematical linguistics, which I'd be interested in exploring during my graduate studies.
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#7 ellbell

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:54 AM

I'm curious about what you guys plan to focus yourselves on (if you know yet). Also, I included the option to choose between formal and functional, just because I'm curious. I doubt anyone is very extremist wrt that issue, but if you lean either way, I'd like to hear why. Feel free to include more info in a post, too.


I totally don't know yet. I loved studying language change but it's not very marketable, and also enjoyed syntax quite a bit. Now I work as an applied linguist at a company that makes language learning software (where I've had to study a lot of SLA and do some field linguistics on low-resource languages), so I'm completely mixed up about what to do. I'm hoping to narrow that down in grad school... :)
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#8 paigemont

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:54 AM

I've never really gotten into semantics (beyond the intro stuff of course). Who's big in that field? I never thought of UCLA as being a semantics place; who would you work with there?


It depends on the kind of semantics you want to do. For formal semantics I guess the Massachusetts schools - both MIT and UMass - have been very productive in the last decade or more. I haven't found one place that had more than 3 people who do (what I consider) interesting work, and I applied to almost all of the places that had 2. At UCLA I'd probably work with either Daniel Büring or with Edward Keenan. Jessica Rett also seems to be doing some very interesting work but she was just hired this year and I don't think she'll take on advisees next year. There are also a couple of profs doing computational and mathematical linguistics, which I'd be interested in exploring during my graduate studies.


I'd like to know your opinion of Peter Lasersohn at UIUC, if you have one. I know absolutely nothing about formal semantics (the closest I get, and even just barely, is lexical semantics), but am definitely interested in taking a course or two. If I accept UIUC's offer, I'm guessing he would be the main (only?) source of guidance in this area.
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#9 fuzzylogician

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:18 AM

I think Peter Lasersohn's research is great and focuses on some very popular subjects nowadays like events and plurality. I've read some of his work for one of my projects and enjoyed it very much. I'm sure you'd get a great education taking his semantics courses. The only problem is that I don't recognize any other name on the UIUC website and it can be a bit limiting only getting one perspective on a subject. But if it's only 1-2 courses, it should be fine.
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#10 danil

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:52 AM

I chose others, as my field is more towards applied linguistics.
I wrote my MA thesis using conversation analysis and although I'm not quite sure how things will turn out
as to which program I choose to go for my PhD, my concentration will still be pretty much focused on CA and SLA and
interlanguage pragmatics.

Wow, it's nice to be able to talk about this with people who understand what I'm talking about!
I find people asking me what I'm studying when I tell them I'm going to grad school, and then when I do tell them,
they pull these faces..... like they have no IDEA what I'm talking about. :!:
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#11 nocturne

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:06 AM

Question to whoever voted for morphology (or anyone for that matter): do you think of morphology as a more syntactic or more phonological process? Or something else?


I definitely think of morphology as more structure/meaning based, and therefore more closely related to syntax and semantics than to phonology, especially since the same morpheme can be represented by different phonemes, and vice versa.
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#12 nocturne

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:08 AM

they pull these faces..... like they have no IDEA what I'm talking about. :!:


I know what you mean; I actually had a coworker at the restaurant I work for recoil in horror when she looked over my shoulder at what I was reading (a linguistics text). Granted, she's never been the sharpest tool in the shed, as the saying goes, but her reaction was as though she would melt from looking at it.
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#13 fuzzylogician

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:21 AM

I definitely think of morphology as more structure/meaning based, and therefore more closely related to syntax and semantics than to phonology, especially since the same morpheme can be represented by different phonemes, and vice versa.

That's very interesting. I always thought morphology went hand-in-hand with phonology. I can think of more phonologists who have published about morphology than syntacticians, and intro to phonology courses at my university always devote several weeks to morphology. Syntax classes touched on morphology but with an entirely different aim in mind.
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The advice in this post is based on my own personal experience. YMMV.
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#14 paigemont

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:42 AM

That's very interesting. I always thought morphology went hand-in-hand with phonology. I can think of more phonologists who have published about morphology than syntacticians, and intro to phonology courses at my university always devote several weeks to morphology. Syntax classes touched on morphology but with an entirely different aim in mind.


Distributed morphology is the main syntactic approach that comes to my mind. If you go to Penn or Arizona or NYU, there'll be some people who can tell you lots about it. It's a bit too extreme for my tastes, but it does account for lots of data well.

http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~rnoyer/dm/

Are there any others? The next closest thing I can think of is A-morphous morphology cf Stephen Anderson.

Random tangent: anyone else regretting not applying to a certain school? I suddenly wish that I had applied to Yale...
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#15 Dinali

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:55 PM

Yeah, distributed morphology is a bear. I spent almost half a quarter studying it in a syntax class though, so that'll tell you where IT lies at least.

On another subject, I've had this conversation too many times:

"I'm particularly interested in phonology."

"Wait, what? You mean . . . analyzing the bumps on people's heads?"

At that point I have to just say yes and offer to do a reading.
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#16 nocturne

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:02 PM

Yeah, distributed morphology is a bear. I spent almost half a quarter studying it in a syntax class though, so that'll tell you where IT lies at least.

On another subject, I've had this conversation too many times:

"I'm particularly interested in phonology."

"Wait, what? You mean . . . analyzing the bumps on people's heads?"

At that point I have to just say yes and offer to do a reading.


It's funny to me that more people would know about phrenology (a long-dead "science") than phonology (a living science).
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#17 Dinali

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:38 PM

It's funny to me that more people would know about phrenology (a long-dead "science") than phonology (a living science).


Funny to me in a sad way. The same sad way that more people know about astrology than astronomy.
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#18 psycholinguist

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:11 PM

Agreed!
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#19 paigemont

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:09 AM

I think it's bizarre that nobody here has voted for computational linguistics yet. Is it just unfamiliar territory that you might explore, or do you know something about it and want to do something else?
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#20 danil

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:54 AM

"I'm particularly interested in phonology."

"Wait, what? You mean . . . analyzing the bumps on people's heads?"



hahahahahahah.
That's hilarious!!!! :lol:
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