Workshop: Sublexical Statistics and Loanword Detection

We are delighted to announce details about Hahn Koo’s workshop which will take place tomorrow – Wednesday November 4th, 2.00-3.00 pm, in Clark Hall 445:

Hahn discusses how sublexical statistics can be used to characterize difference in sound patterns between native words and loanwords. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach, Hahn also presents a computer program that automatically identifies loanwords in unlabeled monolingual corpora. In the process, he reviews the basics of n-gram models, naive Bayes classifiers, and the expectation-maximization algorithm.

Staff and all students welcome!

A Post-Symposium Thank You

A huge thank you to all the speakers, audience members and volunteers who came from near and far to make yesterday’s 2015 Symposium such a fabulous event! We were delighted to have such a diverse program of topics (from cricket commentary and long consonant clusters, to a comparative dictionary and copular verbs in ESL grammars) involving a range of languages (from Bernese German to Blackfoot, and Standard Spoken Tamil to Urban Jordanian Arabic) – to mention but a few… As the program was subject to a few last-minute twists and turns, here is the full and final version of the day’s proceedings.

– Juliet Solheim, on behalf of the LLDSA

P.S. The 2016 Symposium will be the fifth annual event which will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the LLD Department. Watch this space…!!

program end

LLDSA Symposium 2015

At the LLDSA, we are ridiculously proud to present a fantastic program of papers at our annual Linguistics and TESOL symposium which takes place this Friday, 23 October, 10.30-4.45, at SJSU, Engineering Building 285 & 287. Please come and support past and present classmates and colleagues from other LLD departments around California and (well) beyond…

…for what promises to be a genuinely stimulating event.
Please contact us at for further details.


Conceptual Metaphors Workshop

With due apologies for last-minute notification of the first of this two-part workshop led by Kevin Moore which looks fascinating. In Kevin’s own words:


When people use conceptual metaphors, they systematically talk about one kind of thing as if it were another. For example we can talk about understanding as if it were seeing: If we understand an idea well, we can say that we “see” it “clearly”; and if we don’t understand it, we can say that it is “not clear”. That is, it is hard to “see” well. But if we “shine some light” on it, we can “see” it better; in other words, it becomes easier to understand. Another example of systematic correspondences involves moving objects and time. If a time is in the future, we can say it is “far away”. For example on Monday, Friday seems so far away. Then, as the days “go by”, Friday gets “closer and closer”, as if days were moving objects that could approach and then pass by us. (These ideas are from Lakoff & Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By.)

In the first session of the workshop I will present and explain various conceptual metaphors in English, and teach participants how to analyze them. These metaphors have to do with different aspects of experiences in life. For example, talking about achieving goals as motion (I am “half way through” the job), emotions as forces (They “exploded” with anger), and importance as size (That was a “huge” achievement). For the second session, I will ask participants to bring examples of ordinary everyday conceptual metaphors from different languages that they know or work on, and we will analyze those data together.

The first session is this Tuesday, 13 October from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in Clark 412.
The second session is Tuesday 20 October from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in Clark 412.

Please let me ( know if you plan to come, so I can estimate how many handouts to make, but come anyway even if you don’t get a chance to let me know.

LLDSA October Mixer

Take a well deserved break from the stresses and strains of October mid-terms, projects and assignments! Join us at Whispers at 150 South Second St, SJ, on Thursday 15 October from 5.00 p.m. for fun and friendly conversation over a drink and free appetizers!

You can RSVP on our Facebook page or just turn up on the day.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!