This week’s colloquium: Arika Okrent and Derrick Higgins

This week’s colloquium features two talks designed to get students thinking about private sector careers that their linguistics skills will enable them to pursue. Our speakers will talk about their work in a way that would be appropriate for advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students. There will be time for discussion and questions.

Friday, March 27, 3:00pm, Curtin 309. All are welcome!

Arika Okrent, Writer for Mental Floss, Author of “In the Land of Invented Languages” (PhD in Linguistics, University of Chicago)

Derrick Higgins, Lead Data Scientist, Civis Analytics, Chicago (PhD in Linguistics, University of Chicago)

Prasad in S-Group this Friday

Rashmi Prasad (Depts of Health Informatics and Administration, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) will present a talk in the S-Group this coming Friday, March 27, at 12:00 noon in Curtin 535. All are welcome!

Title: Semantic Relations in Discourse and their Annotation in the Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB)

Abstract: A major aspect of understanding discourse comes from understanding how the events, states, conditions, beliefs, dialogue acts and other types of abstract objects mentioned in the discourse are related to each other, by relations such as Cause, Contrast, and Condition. In this talk, I will present my work in the PDTB project, wherein we have been working on describing the semantics of discourse relations, their lexicalization, and on developing a large scale annotated corpus of discourse relations over the Penn Wall Street Journal Corpus.

This week’s colloquium: Karl Swinehart

Our first colloquium of the semester takes place this Friday, March 13, at 3:00pm in Curtin 309. All are welcome! Details:

Karl Swinehart, Society of Fellows, University of Chicago

“Ayllu on the Airwaves: Rap, Reform, and Redemption on Aymara National Radio”

Of the indigenous languages of the Americas, Aymara counts among the few with more than one million speakers; yet, in the country with its greatest number of speakers, Bolivia, concerns of language shift to Spanish are widespread, making it the focus of varied political, linguistic, educational, and cultural interventions. This comparative account of three Aymara language media platforms in Bolivia—a Jesuit radio station, a hip-hop collective, and the radio station of the Aymara Education Council—addresses the models of Aymara language and personhood each projects. Through coordinated attention to the content and form of their broadcasts, and the institutional conditions of their production, I examine how differing conceptions of the Aymara public inform the semiotic registers these media workers advance. Identifying relationships between the medium of transmission (contrasting linguistic registers) and the messages transmitted by them illuminates contemporary processes of identity formation and transformation unfolding in a period in Bolivia that scholars and Aymara community members alike characterize as a moment of heightened decolonization.