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The seminar series continues the line of research established by Professor of Linguistics William Diver. The aim in this approach, as contrasted with formal linguistics, is to account for observed language use, with authentic text as the main source of data. For grammar, this typically entails hypotheses about linguistic signals and their meanings; for phonology, hypotheses about the relevant phonetic characteristics of phonological units. The roles of communication and a human factor are explicitly acknowledged as supporting the explanations offered. The series was begun in 1968 by Diver for the benefit of graduate students working on doctoral theses under his guidance. Since his death in 1995, the series has continued under the auspices of the Columbia School Linguistic Society, with participants presenting analyses or work in progress. Occasionally, it hosts by invitation presenters doing compatible work outside the Columbia School tradition. Work coming out of the seminar has led to numerous conference presentations and publications.

Professor Eduardo Ho-Fernández

Professor Nancy Stern


All seminars will continue to meet virtually through Fall 2021. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change.

Meeting Schedule

09/10/2022 Online Meeting
1:30 PM
The signals and meanings of Attentionworthiness in Spanish word order
Eduardo Ho-Fernández,

04/15/2022 Online Meeting
1:30 PM
On Spanish 'a': A meaning hypothesis
Roxana Risco,