Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Abstract for Contribution on Workspaces to CHM

Cambridge Handbook of Minimalism
Edited by Kleanthes K. Grohmann and Evelina Leivada

Workspaces
Chris Collins

In minimalist syntax, the syntactic objects formed at any particular step in the derivation occupy a workspace. This chapter will be about the role workspaces play in the minimalist syntax. The emphasis will be on the following questions:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

When Grammaticality Judgments Differ (version 2)

What do we do, as syntacticians, when there are differing grammaticality judgments between two speakers for a particular sentence? How do we interpret those differences theoretically? In this blog post, I outline various alternatives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Advice for Surviving Linguistics Graduate School

Sometimes graduate students ask me for general advice on doing well in graduate school. I have compiled a list of tips that I give them. The points are not presented in order of importance. If you have other tips that I should add, let me know!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Getting Oral Texts: Problems and Solutions


In this blog post, I will outline some problems that the field linguist working on highly endangered languages may encounter in trying to collect oral texts, and some possible ways around those problems.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sasi Fieldwork 2020-02-19: Goals and Report

In the following post, I describe my research goals and results for the period from Feb. 18, 2020 to March 5, 2018. During this period I worked with two separate groups in Gaborone, Botswana.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Ten Cultural Differences between Togo and Botswana


These are things I noticed while living on and off in these countries (in the Peace Corps in Togo, and doing linguistic research in both Togo and Botswana) over the last 35 years. Many of these differences extend to other countries so that the difference might be really West African versus southern Africa. They are all rather superficial, since I am essentially a stranger looking from the outside in.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Proposal for a Fieldwork Lab


This is a proposal for a Fieldwork Lab that we are working on at NYU. If anybody has feedback, let me know.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Pronominal Agreement and Bound Variable Anaphora


Abstract: In this squib, I explore the relation between pronominal agreement and bound variable anaphora in the framework of Collins and Postal 2012.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Life is Short


On February 1, 2020, at around 4:00pm, while driving home from the cattle post, my wife and I were involved in a horrible car accident. We had just gotten on to the gravel road, from the cattle post road, and I lost control of the car. The car spun 180 degrees to the right, and then flipped over 270 degrees onto the driver’s side. The top of the car is crumpled in, and the front windshield is completely shattered. The car is basically destroyed, and will be written off by the insurance company. Some pictures are at the end of the post.

Cattle Post Roads

In a previous post, I talked about cattle post roads. One reader asked for pictures, so here they are.

UCONN Talk (February 7, 2020)

Here is a rough draft of my UCONN talk to be given Friday February 7, 2020.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sasi Fieldwork 2020-01-25: Goals and Report

A report on fieldwork on Sasi conducted in Gaborone from Sunday January 26 to Friday January 31. Some pictures are included at the end of the file.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Statement of Purpose Examples

People from other countries often find writing a Statement of Purpose (SOP) for linguistics graduate school in North America to be frustrating and mystifying. To help address this issue, I am posting a set of example SOPs from current and past graduate students as examples.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

ELDP Work Package for Documenting Sasi (huc)

In case you are wondering what an ELDP project plan looks like, I am posting mine here. This award is under the category Small Grant.

ELAN Transcription and Translation Workflow


Below is a description of the workflow I follow for transcribing and translating oral texts into ELAN. 

Meta-Linguistic Awareness and Syntactic Fieldwork


Meta-linguistic awareness is an important concept in linguistic fieldwork, but as far as I know it has never before been discussed in that connection. In this blog post, I will define the concept, give several examples and explain why it is important for fieldwork.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Biking in Gaborone


I have been coming to Botswana on a regular basis since 2011 to do research on the Khoisan languages. Usually, I live somewhere in Gaborone, and then make expeditions into the field. When in Gaborone, I try to bike every morning to wake myself up.

Grading E-Mail


Everybody knows somebody who is terrible at e-mail. Here is a system of e-mail grades for your colleagues, students and friends. At the end of each year (December 31), just send them their grade, and the description of what the grades mean. I guarantee that you will see a notable improvement in their e-mail performance the following year.