• Founded
  • Seminar Number

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 Nancy Stern

Professor Wallis Reid

Rebecca Stout

All seminars will meet over Zoom for the 2020 fall semester. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. 

Meeting Schedule

10/09/2020 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
English Word Order: The System of Degree of Control
Nancy Stern, City College, CUNY

10/30/2020 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Exploring the value relations for must, may and could
Lauren Whitty, University of Victoria (New Zealand)

12/11/2020 Online Meeting
12:30 PM
Considering a possible meaning-hypothesis for Spanish 'a'
Roxana Risco, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina)