Cigar Society of Chicago

M I K E   F R A Z I E R
You Don't Say?

Meaningful silences are ubiquitous in human language. We’re all familiar with the pregnant pause or the deferred response in a conversation, but silence can carry meaning at much finer scales as well, even within otherwise normal sentences. Converging evidence from linguistics and psycholinguistics indicates that silent words and phrases haunt our speech, contributing in subtle but profound ways to the meanings of our utterances and providing key insight into the organization of our mental grammars. In this talk I consider several of the different ways that silences can be linguistically meaningful, and what the evidence we’ve learned about the processing and representation of unpronounced linguistic material can tell us about the relationship between unconscious knowledge and real-time comprehension.
Mike Frazier is a lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Leipzig. His research in theoretical and experimental syntax focuses on mismatches between linguistic form and meaning, and in particular on the processing and representation of elided constituents. He received his doctorate from Northwestern University in 2015 with a dissertation on the role of agreement-related cues in the working-memory retrieval of ellipsis antecedents. After spending some time in the software industry working on NLP systems, he moved to his current position in Leipzig in 2019.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021
5:30-7:00 pm CDT

Sign in 5:00-5:30 pm for informal cigar and cocktail chatter.
The event will be called to order at 5:30.
There will be a Q&A session following the lecture. Audience participation is invited.
The event will conclude at 7 pm.
An optional cocktail party and discussion will continue after the event.
Be sure to have your cocktails and cigars at ready hand.

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About the Cigar Society of Chicago

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the city clubs of Chicago is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits.  The Cigar Society of Chicago embraces this tradition and extends it with its Informal Smokers, University Series lectures, and Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.  To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the secretary at