The UCLA Linguistics Department proudly sponsors a wide range of research talks. Our flagship series is the Linguistics Colloquium, which includes distinguished visiting speakers and is addressed to a general audience of linguists. Specialist talks cover a variety of areas, and are most often given by in-house speakers.

If you want to look at just the schedule for some particular talk series, select the series from the drop-down menu below.

If you can't find the schedule you need, please find who is the convenor for this quarter in the Schedule of Classes, and contact the convenor by email.

If you are responsible for organizing a talk series and want to learn how you can change these schedules, visit this page.

A new web page with an obituary and memories of our late colleague Calvert Watkins is now posted.

Paul Schachter passed away on November 26, 2012.  He was a professor in our department for many years and served for three years as department chair.  We remember him as a formidably skilled linguist, a compelling teacher, and an effective administrator. He was also an extraordinarily thoughtful and kindly person.

The following is the obituary that appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Schachter, Paul Morris

May 22, 1929 - November 26, 2012

Born in Brooklyn NY to Etta and Harry Schachter, Paul Morris Schachter passed away quietly in his sleep in Westwood, California at the age of 83. A graduate of Columbia University, Paul went on to receive his Ph.d. from UCLA in linguistics in which department he taught for thirty years. Professor Schachter also served as chair of the department in the mid 1980's, and he was a recipient of The Distinguished Teaching Award in 1975. He was revered by his many colleagues and students for his intellectual rigor, keen wit, and generosity. In addition to his teaching, Professor Schachter was a celebrated scholar whose contributions to the field of linguistics were many and justly acclaimed. Paul will be deeply missed by his extended family including his beloved sister-in-law, Justine, his niece, Linda, his nephews, Peter and David and their families, as well as his stepdaughter, Leslie DeMeire, her children and his many colleagues and friends. He joins his brother Scott, his niece Barbara and his stepdaughter Jana in our thoughts and prayers.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on December 9, 2012

We now have a department blog, to which all members are invited to contribute.  The blog is at:


You can access the blog from this site from the Research, Talks and Events, or For Department Members links.



You can read the newsletter here.  It's still in progress and contributions from the department community are welcome.

Two great articles were recently in the UCLA Daily Bruin.  One on our new American Sign Language class, taught by Benjamin Lewis.  And another on our Language Documentation class, taught by Laura McPherson.  Please take a moment and have a look!



Dear Colleagues,


Please join us in congratulating ALL our Graduating students!! Linguistics Undergrads and Grads!!!  Congratulations to all of you!!! We wish you all the best! =)

Dear UCLA Linguists,


Please join me in congratulating Jason Kandybovicz, who has accepted a tenure-track faculty position in the Linguistics Department at the University of Kansas.

We wish you the best!

Dear UCLA Linguists,


Please join me in congratulating Isabelle Charnavel, who has accepted a tenure-track faculty position in the Linguistics Program at Harvard.

Great job, Isabelle! We wish you all the best.

Dear UCLA Linguists,


Please join me in congratulating Jeff Heinz, who has been awarded tenure at the University of Delaware.

We wish you the best!

Dear UCLA Linguists,


Brook Lillehaugen has just accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Haverford College (she'll be teaching at the consortium that includes

Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr) -- wowie!

The Phonetics Lab has acquired a new research capability in the form of an SR Eyelink eyetracker.  This instrument operates by means of an infrared scan of the experimental subject's eye; no apparatus touches the subject at all.  As such, it is excellent for acquisition studies with children and infants. Eye-tracking data have become important in linguistics:  they allow very fine temporal resolution and the responses gathered are spontaneous rather than the result of conscious reflection. 

The work of obtaining the eyetracker and setting it up has been the responsibility of Patricia Keating, Megha Sundara, and Henry Tehrani.  Financial support from Acting Humanities Dean David Schaberg made it possible to complete the funding package.

Paul Egré will give a series of FOUR lectures on topic related to the semantics of vagueness and gradability.  A fifth lecture may eventually be scheduled if there is enough interest from philosophically minded individuals. (Please contact Dominique Sportiche if interested)


These four lectures will take place on the following schedule and where indicated:


Wednesday, February 29th - 11-1pm in Bunche 2174

Friday, March 2nd, 2-4pm in Campbell 2122 (as Syntax and Semantics)

Wednesday, March 7th, 11-1pm in Bunche 2174

Friday, March 9th, 2-4pm in Campbell 2122 (as Syntax and Semantics



The first three lectures in particular are intended as a course and will be focused on the presentation of the framework of strict-tolerant semantics developed jointly with P. Cobreros, D. Ripley and R. van Rooij to deal with the semantics and pragmatics of vague predicates. The fourth lecture, which does not presuppose this framework, will be on the norm-sensitivity of the vague quantifier `many’.



Lecture 1: Three-valued approaches to vagueness: s’valuationism vs.

truth-functional approaches.The sorites and higher-order vagueness.


Lecture 2: The strict-tolerant framework (1). Semantical and logical aspects.


Lecture 3: The tolerant-strict framework (2). Applications to the psychology of vague predicates and comparisons with alternative frameworks.


Lecture 4: Moral asymmetries and the semantics of `many’.


A fifth lecture of interest also to philosphers, wold discuss applications of the strict-tolerant framework to the semantic paradoxes.


Lecture 5: Strict-Tolerant truth and the semantic paradoxes.


Please welcome Paul Egré:

Paul Egré is a CNRS ResearchFellow and a member of Institut Jean‐Nicod since 2005 (PhD in
philosophy in 2004). His research interests lie at the intersection of philosophical logic,
semantics and epistemology. Paul Egré has done work on several topics in these areas, in
particular on embedded questions, conditionals, epistemic logic, and the theory of
vagueness. From 2008 to 2011, Paul Egré directed the ANR (French NSF) research program
‘Cognitive Origins of Vagueness’. He has published several papers in the context of this
project, in particular on the semantics of gradable expressions, the logic of vague predicates,
the epistemic theory of vagueness, as well as on the relation between vagueness, perceptual
ambiguity and the theory of conceptual spaces. Some of his recent publications include
“Vagueness: A Conceptual Spaces Approach” (coauthored with I. Douven, R. Dietz and L.
Decock, Journal of Philosophical Logic 2011), “Tolerant, Classical, Strict” (coauthored with P.
Cobreros, D. Ripley and R. van Rooij, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 2010) and the volume
“Vagueness and Language Use”, coedited with N. Klinedinst (Palgrave Macmillan 2011).
Since 2011, Paul Egré is also Editor‐in‐Chief of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology, a
peer‐reviewed journal published by Springer.

Brain Imaging of Language


Christophe Pallier


There will be a series of four lectures all taking place in the Conference room (Campbell 2122)


Friday, January 27th, 2-4pm

Monday, January 30th, 1-3pm

Wednesday, February 1st, 1-3pm

Friday, February 3rd, 2-4pm


Christophe Pallier will also give a general colloquium on Friday January 27th, 11am-1pm (usual time, usual place on one of the topics below - most likely langauge and music).



All welcome.


General Description ( more details will follow):

What can brain imaging tell us about the cerebral bases of language?

This series of lectures will begin with an overview of modern brain imaging methods, focusing on how images of the functioning brain are obtained. Applications of these techniques to issues in speech perception and sentence processing (especially syntactic parsing) will be presented, as well as some work in the neighboring domain of perception of musical structure. Lastly, one lecture will be devoted to research on the cerebral correlates of language acquisition and bilingualism.

UCLA was very well represented (nine talks and posters) at the recent International Congress of Phonetic Sciences in Hong Kong.  For details, click here.

The newsletter is located here.

An archive of older newsletters is located here.

The Linguistics Department is pleased to inform you of an exciting new course offering this summer.

Linguistics 3
The Structure and Culture of American Sign Language
5 units (LC/PL GE Applicable)

This course will help students develop general knowledge about the properties of human languages and specific knowledge about how sign languages display these properties, covering topics ranging from how babies learn sign language to how sign language are processed in the brain. In addition to this linguistic focus, the class will also focus on the culture of Deafness in the United States and how members of this minority language community view their Deafness as a cultural characteristic, rather than as a disability. Class format will be four hours of lecture/discussion per week plus one weekly section in which students will be asked to do things like debate the medical, political, and social implications of cochlear implant technology or conduct their own fieldwork research with Deaf users of American Sign Language.

This course can be used to satisfy either Literary & Cultural Analysis or Philosophical & Literary Analysis general education requirements for undergraduates at UCLA.

Please e-mail Natasha Abner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you have questions or would like more information.

Congratulations to our first-year graduate students who won prestigious multiyear fellowship awards in this year's competitions.