Department of Linguistics Honors Colloquium

Tue June 7th 2022, 12:00 - 1:00pm

Based on new guidance from the School of Humanities & Sciences, and concern about the recent spike in Covid cases among students, this is now a hybrid event; in-person (for Stanford students, faculty, and staff only) and Zoom (open to everyone). 

In-Person for current Stanford students, faculty, and staff only:
Margaret Jacks Hall

048 Large Meeting Room 

Zoom attendance is open to everyone:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

    Password: 576351

Jane Boettcher

Honors student in Linguistics

Faculty Advisor: Katherine Hilton

Title: Exchange and distribution of the questioning floor under new oral argument structure in the Supreme Court

Abstract: In fall 2021, the Supreme Court changed its rules for oral arguments. Rather than competing to question counsel during a joint open questioning period, justices each have their own questioning
period which the Chief Justice assigns. Using discourse analysis to examine transitions between questioning periods, this thesis reveals that the new oral argument structure can tangibly impact how much justices are able to advance their questioning goals and who controls this ability. This study indicates that, while initially the new oral argument rules seem to distribute questioning time across justices, they also localize who is controlling this distribution. In the Supreme Court, where questioning directly impacts the decision that justices come to, this control represents power over which opinions are given more floor space or who controls the narrative of the oral argument.


Andrew Yang

Honors student in Linguistics

Faculty Advisor: Chris Potts

Title: Orthographic convergence of the Chinese binome

Abstract: Unanalyzable disyllabic lexemes in Chinese, known as binomes, display unique orthographic properties not found in other classes of lexemes. In particular, the written form of a binome is thought to generally consist of two characters with an orthographic-semantic component in common. To quantitatively verify this claim, I propose and implement a large hierarchical inventory of Chinese and Chinese-derived characters organized by their composition structures. Using this inventory, I find that binomes overwhelmingly admit written forms consisting of two characters with a shared component. I also find that binomes with recorded orthographic variation tend to appear in modern usage in a dominant form with this feature.