Cornell Linguistics Circle


The Cornell Linguistics Circle is the graduate student organization of the Cornell Department of Linguistics. It provides a platform to represent the graduate student body at both the department and university level. The CLC also aims to encourage balance between academic and social life by coordinating graduate student events. We also host reading groups and curate an array of resources for linguistics graduate students, such as a library, a database of teaching materials, and a variety of useful links and information. The CLC has also been in charge of copyediting and publishing the proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) since its inception.

CLC Officers 2018-2019

President: Jacob Collard
Treasurer: Jing Gao
Junior Treasurer: Lingzi Zhuang
Speaker Series Coordinator (Senior): Nielson Hul
Speaker Series Coordinator (Junior): Yexin Qu
SALT Editors (Senior): Forrest Davis & Katie Blake
SALT Editors (Junior): Joseph Rhyne & Kaelyn Lamp
GPSA Representative: Zahra Alzebaidi
Web Administrators: Forrest Davis & Kaelyn Lamp
Librarian: Yexin Qu
Social Committee: Rachel Vogel (chair), Jasmim Drigo & Frances Sobolak
Colloquium Caterer: Brynhildur Stefánsdóttir
Outreach Liaison: Brynhildur Stefánsdóttir

For more information, please contact Jacob Collard at

CLC Colloquium Speakers

Each year CLC members invite selected linguists to come present and discuss their current research.
This speaker series is funded in part by the GPSAFC

Florian Schwarz (October 11, 2018)

The role of linear order in interpretation -- A case study on presupposition projection from conjunction

Is the basic mechanism behind presupposition projection and filtering fundamentally asymmetric or symmetric? This is a foundational question for the theory of presupposition, which has been at the center of attention in the literature recently (Schlenker 2008b, 2009; Rothschild 2011/2015 a.o.). It also bears on broader issues concerning the source of asymmetries observed in natural language: are these simply rooted in superficial asymmetries of language use (since language use unfolds in time, which we experience as fundamentally asymmetric) or can they be, at least in part, directly encoded in linguistic knowledge and representations? In the work reported in this talk, we aim to make progress on these questions by exploring presupposition projection across conjunction, which has typically been taken as a central piece of evidence that presupposition filtering is asymmetric. As a number of authors have recently pointed out, however, the evidence which has typically been used to support this conclusion is muddied by independent issues concerning judgments of redundancy, and additional concerns arise with regards to the possibility of local accommodation. We report on a series of experiments, building on previous work by Chemla &Schlenker (2012); Schwarz (2015), using inference and acceptability tasks, which aim to control for both of these potential confounds. In our results, we find strong evidence for asymmetric left-to- right filtering across conjunctions, but no evidence for right-to-left filtering—even when right-to-left filtering would, if available, rescue an otherwise unacceptable sentence. These results suggest that presupposition filtering across conjunction is indeed asymmetric, contra suggestions made by recent frameworks advanced in the literature (Schlenker 2008a, 2009 a.o., Rothschild 2011), and pave the way for the investigation of further questions about the nature of this asymmetry and presupposition projection more generally. Our results also have methodological implications, as the results of our acceptability and inference tasks in testing for ‘projected content’ exhibit some important differences, which in turn have theoretical repercussions for understanding the nature of projection and presuppositions more generally.

Mark Hale (February 22, 2018)

Second Positions in Latin

Jessica Coon (October 12, 2017)

Feature Gluttony and Hierarchy Effects

Edith Aldridge (March 23, 2017)

Case and Parameter Change in Chinese

John Goldsmith (November 3, 2016)

Unsupervised Learning of Morphology, and What It Teaches Us about Learning and Explanation

Dan Jurafsky (October 20, 2016)

Discovering Laws of Semantic Change and Extracting Social and Pragmatic Meaning from Everyday Interactions: On applying Computational Linguistics to the Social Science of Language

Roger Levy (September 23, 2016)

Bayesian Pragmatics: Lexical Uncertainty, Compositionality, and the Typology of Conversational Implicature

Martin Hackl (April 7, 2016)

On the Role of Question Answer Congruence, Scalar Presupposition, and the Structure of Alternatives in the Acquisition and Processing of "Only"

Keith Johnson (March 3, 2016)

Adventures in Phonetic Neuroscience

Judith Tonhauser (October 8, 2015)

Projection variability

Alan Yu (September 10, 2015)

The United States Supreme Court oral arguments as a sociophonetic corpus

Mandy Simons (April 16, 2015)

How questions and answers cohere

Paul Kiparsky (April 9, 2015)

Syntactic drift and convergence

Patricia Keating (March 19, 2015)

Linguistic voice quality

Jason Merchant (February 19, 2015)

Joint selection


The CLC hosts a number of recurring and one-time workshops throughout the academic year.

Workshops for 2018-2019

  • 10/18/2018 - LaTeX for Linguists: By Forrest Davis and Mia Wiegand
  • 11/8/2018 - How to Build a Website: By Jacob Collard

Workshops for 2017-2018

  • 3/1/2017 - How to Build a Website: By Jacob Collard
  • 10/26/2017 - LaTeX for Linguists: By Mia Wiegand, Carol-Rose Little, and Jacob Collard.

Workshops from 2016-2017

  • 9/29/2016 - LaTeX for Linguists: By Todd Snider, Zac Smith, and Mia Wiegand
  • 12/1/2016 - How to build your Webpage 101: By Zac Smith and Jacob Collard

Workshops from 2015-2016

  • 9/25/2015 - Profession development workshop: By department faculty.
  • 10/6/2015 - Natural Language Processing with SpaCy: By Jacob Collard
  • 10/29/2015 - LaTeX for Linguists: By Todd Snider & Zac Smith
  • 10/29/2015 - How to build your webpage 101: By Zac Smith & Todd Snider

We have also held on-time workshops on parsing, developing grammars for NLP, and writing abstracts, among other topics.

Social Events

The CLC organizes a variety of social events every year, including ski trips, movie nights, and picnics.

Recurring Events

  • Weekly Coffee & Cake Hour
  • Welcome Back, Year End, and Summer BBQ Picnics
  • Holiday Party
  • Prospective Students Weekend
  • Apple Picking
  • Skiing

Pictures of Past Events

Reading Groups

The primary aim of the CLC reading groups is to foster informal discussion of a wide range of topics. Members can also present their own research projects at various stages of development, from ideas just starting out to polished conference talks.

Syntax Circle

Syntax Circle meets weekly to discuss papers chosen by the participants or to hear presentations from members. Topics range from formal grammars to distributed morphology and everything in between. SynCirc currently meets every Wednesday at 1:30 PM in Morrill 201. For more information, contact Lingzi Zhuang.

Semantics Group

Semantics Group meets every week and provides an opportunity for students and faculty to come together to tackle current issues related to semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, and the syntax-semantics interface. Meetings are held Mondays at 12:15 PM in Morrill 107. For more information, contact Jacob Collard.


The Ph2 (Phonetics and Phonology) Reading Group hosts biweekly meetings to discuss current topics of interest in phonetics and phonology. The group meets on Fridays at 12:20 PM in Morrill B11. For more information, contact Rachel Vogel.

Historical Reading Group

Historical Group meets every week and provides an opportunity for students and faculty to come together to tackle current issues related to historical linguistics. Meetings are held Wednesdays at 12:20 PM in Morrill 201. For more information, contact Joseph Rhyne.

Computational Reading Group (SielSief)

The Computational Reading Group meets every week and provides an opportunity for students and faculty to come together to tackle current issues related to computational linguistics, corpus lingusitics, and natural language processing. The group meets on Thursdays at 3:00 PM in Morrill B07. For more information, contact Jacob Collard.
The CLC has also hosted occasional reading groups based on the current interests of members. In the past we have had a Language Research Group. Our members also attend a variety of interdisciplinary reading groups including the Emergent System Group, the Cognitive Science Reading Group, and the NLP Group among others.