Joel C. Wallenberg

About Me:

Image I am currently Lecturer in Language Change at Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, and a Principle Investigator at Newcastle's Centre for Behaviour and Evolution (CBE). Before that, I worked for the National Science Foundation at the University of Iceland, where my collaborators and I built a syntactically parsed, diachronic corpus of Icelandic, The Icelandic Parsed Historical Corpus (IcePaHC).




Take this little baby. He doesn't know shit about social stratification.
--William Labov, p.c.

Current Research

My most current research focuses on the application of Information Theory to language, particularly language change in progress, to the declarative memory processes of recollection and familiarity, and to the interaction between them. My ongoing research forms part of our ESRC-funded CAIL project: Constraints on the Adaptiveness of Information in Language.


Curriculum Vitae



Selected Publications

2019 A variational theory of specialization in acquisition and diachrony. In Anne Breitbarth, Miriam Bouzouita, Lieven Danckaert, and Melissa Farasyn eds., The Determinants of Diachronic Stability p. 245-262.
PRE-PUB DRAFT
PUBLICATION

2016 Extraposition is Disappearing Language 92: 4, e237-e256
PRE-PUB DRAFT
PUBLICATION

2013 with Caroline Heycock
Explaining the loss of verb movement: How embedded V2 and V-in-situ conspired against V-to-T. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 16, 2-3: 127--157
DRAFT. PDF

2013 Scrambling, LF, and Phrase Structure Change in Yiddish. Lingua 133: 289-318
DRAFT. PDF

To appear Antisymmetry and Heavy NP Shift Across Germanic, PDF DRAFT. Syntax over Time: Lexical, Morphological and Information-Structural Interactions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Presented at DIGS 12, 2009. Slides

2012 Language Acquisition in German and Phrase Structure Change in Yiddish, PDF DRAFT. Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Presented at DIGS 11, 2009. Slides

To appear with Josef Fruehwald and Jonathan Gress-Wright
Phonological Rule Change: The Constant Rate Effect, PDF
Proceedings NELS 40
Presented at NELS 40, 2009

2008 with Mark Dredze
Further Results and Analysis of Icelandic Part of Speech Tagging, PDF
Technical Report MS-CIS-08-13, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania

2008 with Mark Dredze
Icelandic Data Driven Part of Speech Tagging, PDF
Proceedings of The 46th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computation Linguistics (ACL)
Presented at ACL 46

2007 English Weak Pronouns and Object Shift, PDF
Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 27-29 April, 2007, University of California at Berkeley. Cascadilla Press.

2006 Formal linguistics meets the Boojum: metrical variation in Lewis Carroll’s verse, PDF
Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, University of California at Berkeley
Presented at BLS 31

2005 The Story of the American –self: a case study in morphological variation, PDF
Penn Working Papers in Linguistics Vol. 11.1: Proceedings of the 28th Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium
Presented at PLC 28

Selected Presentations


2019  
How useful is information theory in predicting patterns of language use? Slides
Talk presented at the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution
Newcastle University
May 14th, 2019

2017  
(with Henri Kauhanen and Caroline Heycock)
A theory of variational specialization across domains of the grammar Slides
Talk presented at the 4th Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation (FWAV 4)
University of York, York, U.K.
June 29th, 2017

2016  
A theory of variational specialization across domains of the grammar Slides
Talk presented at the 7th International Conference on Formal Linguistics
Nankai University, Tianjin, China
December 3, 2016

2016  
Towards a model of variational specialization in acquisition Slides
Talk presented at project meeting
University of Iceland
October 6, 2016

2015  
(with Betsy Sneller) Allophonic Emergence: three ways allophonic rules come to be Slides
Presented at the Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation (FWAV) Workshop
Háskóli Íslands
May 28, 2015

2013  
A unified theory of stable variation, syntactic optionality, and syntactic change. Slides
Presented at 15th Diachronic Generative Syntax (DiGS) Conference. DiGS 15
University of Ottawa (L'Úniversité d'Ottawa).
August 2, 2013

2013     with Josef Fruehwald
Optionality is Stable Variation is Competing Grammars. Slides
Presented at 25th Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics, Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation (FWAV) Workshop. SCL 25
Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland).
May 15, 2013

2012     with Anton Karl Ingason and Einar Freyr Sigurðsson
Antisocial Syntax: Disentangling the Icelandic VO/OV parameter and its lexical remains. Slides
Presented at 14th Meeting of the Diachronic Generative Syntax (DIGS) Conference DIGS 14
University of Lisboa.
July 6, 2012

2012     Diachrony as a Laboratory for Syntactic Theory: the two Germanic subject positions and change in English. Slides
University of York.
January 25, 2012.

2011     with Anton Karl Ingason and Einar Freyr Sigurðsson
Distinguishing change and stability – a quantitative study of Icelandic oblique subjects Slides
Presented at 13th Meeting of the Diachronic Generative Syntax (DIGS) Conference DIGS 13
University of Pennsylvania.
June 4, 2011

2011     with Caitlin Light
On the use of passives across Germanic Slides
Presented at 13th Meeting of the Diachronic Generative Syntax (DIGS) Conference DIGS 13
University of Pennsylvania.
June 5, 2011

2011     Towards A Field of Comparative Quantitative Information Structure Slides
Presented at 9th Meeting of the Symposium on Historical English Syntax (SHES) SHES 9
University of Leiden.
April 17, 2011

2010     What Doesn’t Change, Doesn’t Change:
antisymmetry and HNPS across Germanic.
Handout Slides
Presented at 12th Meeting of the Diachronic Generative Syntax (DIGS) Conference DIGS 12
Queens College, University of Cambridge.
July 14, 2010

2010     Antisymmetry and the Information Structure
of Heavy NP Shift Across Germanic.
Slides
Presented at 25th Meeting of the Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop CGSW 25
University of Tromsø, Norway.
June 11, 2010

2010     with Anton Karl Ingason and Einar Freyr Sigurðsson
Extending the Comparative Dimension of Diachronic Syntax:
A Parsed Corpus of Icelandic from the 12th Century to Modern Times
. Slides
Presented at University of Massachusetts, Amherst May 11, 2010
and at New York University, May 14 2010

2010     with Anton Karl Ingason and Einar Freyr Sigurðsson
12th Century Homilies: the cutting edge in parsing. Slides
Presented at Íslensk Máltækni 2010
Háskólinn í Reykjavík (Reykjavík University) April 15, 2010


Dissertation

I received my Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania, and it focused on scrambling, the Antisymmetry Hypothesis, and syntactic change (especially in Germanic). The thesis is entitled Antisymmetry and the Conservation of C-Command: Scrambling and Phrase Structure in Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective.