Feb 17

Call for Papers: LL Journal’s Vol. 12, No. 1

Updated! The editors of the LL Journal have extended the deadline for submissions to March 25, 2017!

The LL Journal is a publication of the students of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages PhD program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Find out more about the LL Journal and browse their most recent issue (Vol. 11, No. 2) and archives on their Commons site.


Recibimos trabajos originales en español, inglés o portugués, sobre literatura, estudios culturales, visuales y de género, lingüística teórica y sociolingüística que se relacionen con los mundos hispanos y luso-brasileños.

Envíos a lljournal[dot]cuny[at]gmail[dot]com.

And be sure to check out the LL Journal on Facebook and Twitter!

Feb 17

Xoán Carlos Lagares Diez: “Gallego y/o portugués: identidad e (in)definición lingüística”

The PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages

invites you to attend

“Gallego y/o portugués: identidad e (in)definición lingüística”

A lecture by

Professor Xoán Carlos Lagares Diez, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói

About the lecture: La lingüística románica y la historiografía lingüística del portugués y del gallego, que tradicionalmente han actuado bajo la ideología del nacionalismo lingüístico, organizan sus relatos históricos sobre el origen de esas variedades condicionados por diferentes proyectos de construcción de lengua. Los discursos sobre el pasado, desde la negación del origen común hasta la idealización de una lengua medieval más o menos homogénea y estable, con las características de las modernas lenguas nacionales, están al servicio de la formación de identidades lingüísticas y de proyectos glotopolíticos en conflicto.

About Professor Lagares Diez: Xoán Lagared Dies es doctor en Lingüística y Literatura en el ámbito gallego portugués por la Universidade da Coruña (2000). Actualmente es profesor de la Universidade Federal Fluminense. Sus trabajos de investigación giran en torno a la lingüítica histórica y la lingüística aplicada y tratan principalmente los siguientes temas: la historia social y cultural de la lengua y la política lingüística.

This event is sponsored by the Xoán González Millán Chair in Galician Studies and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Feb 17

Roundtable Discussion “Gender, Race, Language”

The PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages

invites you to attend

“Gender, Race, Language: The Politics of Identity in the 2016 Election and Beyond”

A roundtable discussion with

Professor Virginia Valian, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Professor Nelson Flores, University of Pennsylvania
Professor Wesley Leonard, University of California, Riverside
and moderated by Professor José del Valle, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Nov 16

“Puro GUANAJUATO!!!!!! BITCHESSSSSS: Place Identity in YouTube Comments”

The PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages

invites you to attend

“Puro GUANAJUATO!!!!!! BITCHESSSSSS: Place Identity in YouTube Comments”

Professor Cecelia Cutler teaches Middle and High School Education and Linguistics at Lehman College and The Graduate Center. Her research focuses on sociolinguistics, language and identity, youth language and hip hop culture, and general linguistics.

This event is free and open to the public.

Nov 16

CFP: 22nd Annual HLBLL Graduate Student Conference

Over the Wall/Saltar el muro:
Compromiso público y academia/Public Engagement & Academia

The PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Literatures and Languages

invites abstract submissions for its

XXII Annual Graduate Student Conference

Conference Dates: April 27-28, 2017.
Keynote Speakers: Lydia Otero (University of Arizona) and Ariana Mangual Figueroa (Rutgers University)

Deadline for Abstracts: January 15, 2017


The information below has been provided by the organizing committee of the 22nd Annual HLBLL Graduate Student Conference.

Over the Wall/Saltar el muro:
Compromiso público y academia/Public Engagement & Academia

In current debates, the idea of a wall becomes a point of discussion from which to explore the relationship between public engagement and academia. Are the walls that separate intellectual, linguistic, artistic, social, and political practices insurmountable? What other metaphors of the wall speak to us? How do we imagine these metaphors and what forms do they take? Who constructs them and who challenges them? When are they useful and when are they not? How do we cross them?

This conference proposes to jump over, perforate, cross, and tear down walls. It invites us to transgress academic hermeticism in order to overcome isolation and promote reflection on intellectual work, its social dimension and its relationship with the public. Through original investigations, we hope to discuss limits and their forms, whether they be self-imposed or constructed, and strategies to overcome these limits.

In order to approach these issues, we seek to reflect on the following themes, without limiting ourselves to them:

  • Language of the wall and walls of language
  • Points of departure for outlining walls
  • Public engagement or “just another brick in the wall”
  • Glotopolitics and other sociolinguistic challenges
  • Contemporary language mapping
  • Multilinguism and the preservation of languages
  • Translation, demolitions and acculturations
  • Identity, immigration and culture
  • lntertextuality/intermediality/interdisciplinarity
  • Walls and coloniality
  • Gender/Género/Genre walls
  • Bodies and walls
  • Jumping over walls in performing practices
  • Social networks: the virtual wall
  • Walls and urban practices

The doctoral students of the PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York invite you to submit abstracts (250 words) to congreso.hlbll.cuny@gmail.com before 01/15/2017. In the body of the email, please include your name, contact information, academic affiliation and any needed audiovisual equipment. Your presentations are limited to a maximum of 20 minutes and can be presented in Spanish, English or Portuguese.

Sep 16

CFP: LL Journal’s Volume 11, Number 2

Call for Papers: LL Journal’s Volume 11, Number 2

Deadline for submission: October 3, 2016

The LL Journal is a publication of the students of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages PhD program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Find out more about the LL Journal and browse their most recent issue (Vol. 11, No. 1) and archives on their Commons site.



LL Journal recibe trabajos originales, escritos en español, inglés o portugués, sobre literatura, estudios culturales, visuales y de género, lingüística teórica y sociolingüística, que se relacionen con los mundos hispanos y luso-brasileños.

Para nuestra sección temática recibimos artículos, piezas de creación (narrativa y poesía), entrevistas y reseñas bajo el lema: “¿Post?nación: identidades, fracturas y desplazamientos.”

Todos los trabajos deberán respetar las orientaciones propuestas en las Directrices para autores y se enviarán al siguiente correo electrónico: lljournal [dot] cuny [at] gmail [dot] com.

Para mantener el anonimato durante el proceso de selección, se requiere indicar los datos personales en el cuerpo del correo electrónico y no en el archivo adjunto que contiene el artículo. Los autores seleccionados serán notificados en un plazo no mayor a dos meses.

LL Journal es una publicación coordinada por las y los estudiantes del Programa Doctoral de Lenguas y Literaturas Hispánicas y Luso-Brasileñas. CUNY, The Graduate Center, Nueva York.

Aug 16

SSOFT: The Linguist’s Kitchen

This is the final HLBLL blog feature in Summer Series on Fall Teaching (SSOFT). We hope that our brief writeups and links to resources in the CUNY world and beyond have helped you prepare for the upcoming semester of teaching in CUNY.

This week, SSOFT features The Linguist’s Kitchen.

Past SSOFT features:

Open Educational Resources
The Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center
Free course sites and Social Paper: OpenCUNY, The CUNY Academic Commons, and Social Paper
Resource Repositories: CUNY Syllabus Project, CUNY Academic Works

The Linguist’s Kitchen

Ian Phillips, PhD candidate in Linguistics at the Graduate Center, developed The Linguist’s Kitchen with the support of the New Media Lab and a Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant. The application will be launched shortly. Ahead of its launch, creator Ian Phillips shared a bit about how The Linguist’s Kitchen came to be and how CUNY instructors and students might use it in the classroom. Read our interview below.


The Linguist's KitchenThe site is called “The Linguist’s Kitchen.” So what does it mean to “cook” data?

If you go out there and collect linguistic data in the world, that’s a bit messy, you need to clean it up. So the idea is that [using The Linguist’s Kitchen] you can cook it up, clean it up. In linguistics, cooked data will allow you to learn something, come to a generalization.

Could you tell me a bit about how you came up with the idea for the Linguist’s Kitchen? Why do you think it’s a helpful application?

At the time I was in the ITP [Instructional Technology and Pedagogy certificate] program and also teaching a course at City College called Languages and Dialects in Cross-Cultural Perspective. I was teaching this course and most of the students had never thought about language as a system, something that could be analyzed for something other than meaning. One of the important parts of the course is talking about syntax and how all languages have syntax. But we didn’t get really deep because it was introductory. We talked about syntactic constituents and identified phrase structure rules. And the students had a hard time with that because there are so many ways to analyze a sentence.

The other part of it, I had 41 students in that class and there were something like 29 different languages spoken by students in the class. So we talked about how what makes a dialect different than a “standard” language is perception. “Standard” languages are spoken by people in power. And homework examples [for this class] would focus on dominant, standard languages, but you wouldn’t do a lot of work analyzing those other languages that students spoke and most of the students who spoke non-standard language varieties (of English or Spanish mostly) also didn’t have a high opinion of their own language. They viewed these languages as “broken” or “incorrect.”

So the idea was, since all languages have rules, why can’t we analyze their own language practices. That was the motivation [for this site], and maybe it will help student engagement because they are analyzing their own languages. They are the experts.

How do you expect to see The Linguist’s Kitchen being used in classrooms?

Test groups thought that even just a portion of this site, like identifying parts of speech of a sentence, would be great for some classes. A recurring theme is that it would be good to use in conjunction with classroom instruction. It’s not quite at the point where the students can just go at it alone.

It can be used for students to analyze their own languages, but a good starting point would be to have instructors give students lists of sentences to be analyzed that they know would work out well.

This interface also would be good to analyze sentences where there is code switching, which a lot of students are interested in.

It could also be used for any course where you’re teaching anything about language learning. Sometimes students come in and don’t know the parts of speech.

I’d like to emphasize that this was an experiment in pedagogy, and I really just wanted to see if this could improve teaching and learning in the classroom.


As tips for use of The Linguist’s Kitchen in your classroom, Ian also adds that while the end goal is to have instructor and student roles, and possibly even a researcher interface, at this point the site will be most beneficial for student learning if paired with classroom instruction and if students are given curated sentences to “cook.”

If you choose to use The Linguist’s Kitchen in your classroom this fall, Ian appreciates feedback on how you and your students use the site, and on any bugs you find.

Mar 16

GC: CUNY Linguistics Colloquium

Speaker: Richard Sproat – Google Research, New York
(Joint work with Kyle Gorman)

Title: Text normalization: Reading words that are not words

Abstract: The web page for this talk lists it as occurring on “APR 07, 2016 | 4:15 PM TO 6:00 PM” at “The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue.” Any competent speaker of English knows to read the date and time as “April seventh, twenty sixteen, four fifteen p m to six p m”; and the address as “three sixty five” (rather than “three hundred sixty five”) Fifth Avenue.  Most of the written material in these expressions does not consist of ordinary conventionally spelled words; speakers must mentally translate these “non-standard words” into ordinary words as part of their process of reading.

Text normalization is the problem of building computational algorithms that mimic this process— for example as part of a text-to-speech synthesizer.

Since there are many classes of “non-standard words” — besides dates, times and addresses, there are currency amounts, measures, abbreviations, among many others — building a wide-coverage text normalization system for a language is labor intensive. For some languages, such as Russian with its complex inflectional morphology, the process can be especially difficult. In this talk I will outline the problem, and give specific examples of why it is hard, why it is linguistically interesting, and why large parts of text normalization systems are still constructed by hand, rather than trained using machine-learning algorithms.

I will also discuss one of several areas where we are investigating machine learning alternatives to hand-constructed grammars: a system that learns to verbalize number names from their digit representation using a small amount of training data, and making use of a large amount of domain-specific linguistic knowledge.

All are welcome: please come!

Feb 16

HLBLL: “Las minorías lingüísticas europeas: la diversidad sostenible como responsabilidad democrática”

“Las minorías lingüísticas europeas: la diversidad sostenible como responsabilidad democrática”

a lecture by

Fernando Ramallo (Universidade de Vigo)

Doctor en Lingüística y Profesor Titular en la Universidade de Vigo (Galicia, España). Miembro correspondiente de la Real Academia Galega; miembro del Comité de Expertos de la Carta Europea para las Lenguas Regionales o Minoritarias (Consejo de Europa). Sus investigaciones giran en torno a los procesos de minorización lingüística y sus consecuencias políticas, sociales, culturales y lingüísticas. En los últimos años, ha trabajado con neohablantes de lenguas minoritarias europeas, particularmente con neofalantes de gallego sobre su relevancia en la transformación del orden sociolingüístico y en la revitalización del idioma desde propuestas críticas, innovadoras e influyentes. Más recientemente, ha trabajado en el análisis ideológico de los graffiti en contextos urbanos de micro-superdiversidad.

This event is free and open to the public

Feb 16

CFP: “Forging Linguistic Identities” at Towson University

Forging Linguistic Identities

a conference of

The Department of Foreign Languages
Towson University

Conference Dates: March 16-18, 2017
Location: Towson University; Towson, Maryland
Keynote: Dr. Jennifer Leeman, Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at George Mason University and Research Sociolinguist at the US Census Bureau
Deadline for Abstracts: October 1, 2016

The information below has been provided by the conference organizers:

The conference seeks to examine language as socially embedded within historical and geographical contexts.   Possible topics might include, but not be limited to:

  • Dialects/diglossia and their role in group identity formation
  • The standardization of national and/or majority language(s) and its impact on national or regional politics
  • Multi-lingualism in states and regions and its negotiation and practice by the communities of use.
  • Use(s) of indigenous languages under transnational states
  • National reception of dialect/minority-language literature and verbal culture
  • Migration
  • Translation studies

The scope of the conference is not limited by region, language, or time period.  Proposals involving languages taught by the Department of Foreign Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Ancient Greek, Biblical and Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) are especially encouraged.  Proposals are welcomed across disciplines, from scholars of languages and literatures, education, geography, history, psychology and sociology.  Please send an abstract of 250 words by email to: Prof. George McCool (gmccool [at] towson [dot] edu).  Please include your name, full address, institution affiliation, day telephone, fax and email address.  Please note that Conference papers must be limited to 20 minutes.

Faculty at all ranks are encouraged to participate. We will offer discounted hotel rooms near campus, and a graduated scale of conference fees.


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