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The McGill Linguistics Department Newsletter
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McGill at AFLA 25

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 02:00

This past weekend, some current and former McGill linguists participated in AFLA 25 (the Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association) at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Their presentations were:

  • Kie Zuraw (Invited speaker, UCLA, McGill BA ’94): Frequency and Predictability: How and Why do They Influence Phonological Rules
  • Tingchun (TC) Chen (MIT, McGill BA): Multiple case assignment and case-stacking in Amis
  • Cheryl Lim & Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine (National University of Singapore, McGill postdoc ’14-’15): Agent extraction and topicalization in Bikol
  • Carol-Rose Little (Cornell, McGill BA) & Ekarina Winarto: Kinds, classifiers and definiteness in Indonesian: Two grammars in one
  • Michaela Socolof (McGill BA ’16, incoming PhD student) & Junko Shimoyama: The Distribution of the Māori Genitive Relative Construction

Henrison, Mitcho, Michaela, TC, Junko, Kie

Marielle Côté-Gendreau wins two research prizes

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 02:00

Undergaduate student Marielle Côté-Gendreau  has won two research prizes in the value of $1000 (CAD) each, one for the project “Contribution onomastique à l’histoire sociale : Napoléon, son prénom et son mythe dans le Canada français du XIXe siècle“, and the other for having a promising profile as a researcher. Both prizes were awarded at the 86th ACFAS meeting. Marielle was congratulated, along with two other winners, by Rémi Quirion, Quebec’s scientifique en chef for their achievements, which can be viewed here.

Congratulations!

 

 

Clayards at UMass Amherst

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 01:50

Meghan Clayards gave a colloquium talk at UMass Amherst Linguistics on April 18, entitled “Flexibility and individual differences in speech perception”.

 

McGill Symposium on the Role of the University in Supporting Indigenous Languages

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 02:30

The McGill Symposium on the Role of the University in Supporting Indigenous Languages will take place this Thursday and Friday, May 10th and 11th, on McGill Campus and in Kahnawà:ke. As noted on the Symposium website:

In response to Call to Action #34 of the Final Report of McGill’s Task Force on Indigenous Education and Indigenous Studies, on May 10th and 11th, the Department of Linguistics and the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education are jointly hosting a symposium examining the role of the university in Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization.

Organized with the support of the Kanien’keháka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Centre, McGill Faculties of Arts and Education, the McGill Indigenous Studies Program, and McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development, the purpose of this Symposium is to: (a) signal McGill’s commitment to Indigenous languages in this province and (b) examine more closely what role the University should play in supporting the health of Indigenous languages, locally and regionally.

The Symposium will involve both closed-door and public sessions with the goals of establishing a broad consultative body on this question and developing a concrete plan of action for McGill to pursue. Special invitees include Indigenous language teachers, scholars, and university program directors from across Canada.

More details, including information about invitees and panels, can be found on the symposium website.

Dan Goodhue to the University of Maryland

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 02:00

McLing is thrilled to report that PhD student Daniel Goodhue has just accepted a postdoctoral position in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland. He will be working with Dr. Valentine Hacquard and Dr. Jeffrey Lidz at the intersection of semantics and language acquisition. The position begins in August 2018.

Congratulations Dan!

O’Donnell presents at Conference on Quantitative Approaches to Language Science

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 02:00

Tim O’Donnell gave a talk on May 5th at the Conference on Quantitative Approaches to Language Science hosted by the University of California Irvine. The title of his talk was Algorithmic program synthesis of morphophonological rules. The entire program ca be found here.

Smeets and Wagner in Semantics and Pragmatics

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 02:00

Liz Smeets and Michael Wagner have just published the paper Reconstructing the syntax of focus operators in Semantics and Pragmatics. The early access version can be found here.

Congratulations!

 

Abstract:

This paper presents novel evidence that the exclusive operator alleen in Dutch (and nur in German) can directly attach to the focus constituent it associates with, and against an analysis like the one in Jacobs 1983 and Büring & Hartmann 2001 which analyzes all instances of alleen/nur as sentential adverbs that take a single syntactic argument that denotes a proposition. Instead, we argue that alleen/nur takes two syntactic arguments, which combine to denote a proposition. The evidence comes from novel data showing scope reconstruction of [alleen/nur + DP] sequences from the prefield in Dutch (and German), adding to earlier arguments in Reis 2005 and Meyer & Sauerland 2009.

 

Syntax Reading Group, 01/5

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 02:50

In the upcoming Syntax Reading Group meeting, Michaela Socolof (via Skype) and Junko Shimoyama will be giving a practice talk for AFLA as follows: “On the distribution of Maori genitive relative construction“. The meeting with take place on Tuesday, May 1, 12:30-1:30pm in Room 117 (1085 Dr. Penfield).

Everyone is welcome!

MOTH 6 a Success

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 02:00

McGill hosted MOTH 6 (the 6th annual Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton workshop on syntax) on Saturday, April 28, 2018. It was a big success. Thank you to all the participants, and to the student organizers Gouming Martens and Clint Parker for all the work!

McGill presenters:

  • Nico Baier (invited speaker) – Reassessing the link between anti-agreement and A’-movement
  • Masashi Harada – Japanese Sluicing with an AP Remnant as a Copular Sentence-Based Sluicing
  • Henrison Hsieh – Peripheral extraction in Tagalog: implications for syntactic ergativity
  • Gouming Martens – Frozen by Context: Focus Effects on Syntactic Freezing
  • Clinton Parker – A feature-based analysis for vestigial ergativity in Shughni

The full program can be found here.

 

Semantics reading group, May 4 : Bruno, Gentile, Goodwin

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 01:50

At the Semantics Research Group on May 4, Chris Bruno, Francesco Gentile, and Emily Goodwin will be presenting on some ongoing research on compositional semantics and monotonicity in neural network models.

The meeting is at 3 PM in room 117.

 

McGill at WCCFL 36

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 01:50

McGill linguists past and present gathered at UCLA this past weekend to present their research at the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL).

McGill linguists past and present gathered at UCLA this past weekend to present their research at the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL).

Talks:

Matthew Barros & Hadas Kotek (McGill postdoc 2014-16): “Some Issues with Sluicing as Anaphora to Issues“
Mathieu Paillé & Bernhard Schwarz: “Knowing whether and ignorance inferences“

Posters:

Aron Hirsch: “Epistemically-sensitive ‘only’ ”
Maayan Abenina-Adar (McGill MA 2014): “Surprising”
Guilherme D. Garcia (McGill PhD 2017) and Heather Goad: “Can you have stress without feet?”
Jeffrey Lamontagne: “Acoustic Evidence of Phonemicization: Laxing Coarticulation in Canadian French”

Photo, from left to right: Mathieu, Maayan, Heather, Aron, Bernhard

Left to right: Mathieu, Maayan, Heather, Aron, Bernhard

 

Upcoming Colloquium: Karen Jesney (April 27th)

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 02:20

Karen Jesney from Carleton University will be giving a talk titled “Constraint Scaling Factors and Patterns of Variation in Phonology” on Friday, April 27th in Leacock 210. All are welcome to attend, and those wishing to arrange a meeting before the talk should contact Emily Kellison-Linn. The abstract for this talk, as well as information about our other departmental colloquia, is available here.

Goodhue gives talk at workshop “Meaning and Commitment”

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 02:00

Last week, Daniel Goodhue (PhD 2018) presented a talk based on his thesis titled Epistemic bias in polar questions at the workshop on Meaning and Commitment at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.

MOTH 6 at McGill this Saturday (28th April)

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 02:00

MOTH 6 (the 6th annual Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton workshop on syntax) is coming up on Saturday, April 28, 2018, hosted at Thomson House, McGill University. We hope to see many of you there! McGill presenters are:

  • Nico Baier – TBA
  • Jason Borga – Sprouting, Preposition Stranding, and Sluicing Identity
  • Masashi Harada – Japanese Sluicing with an AP Remnant as a Copular Sentence-Based Sluicing
  • Henrison Hsieh – Peripheral extraction in Tagalog: implications for syntactic ergativity
  • Gouming Martens – Frozen by Context: Focus Effects on Syntactic Freezing
  • Clinton Parker – A feature-based analysis for vestigial ergativity in Shughni

The full program is found here.

McGill at WSCLA 23

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 02:00

McGill linguists presented at the 23rd Workshop on Structure and Constituency of Languages of the Americas (WSCLA 23), held last week at the University of Ottawa.

BA student Paulina Elias presented “The role of directionals in positional and locative constructions in Chuj“, and faculty lecturer Nico Baier presented collaborative work with Zachary O’Hagen (Berkeley), titled “Morphological Reflexes of Subject Extraction in Caquinte“. The full program can be found here.

ARIA grants

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 02:00

Several undergraduate students received Arts Research Internship Awards (ARIA) to  work with Linguistics faculty this summer:

Emma Gibson: “Intonational Tunes in English: Corpus and Experiment”, working with Michael Wagner

Michael Goodale: “Enabling large-scale analysis of stop consonants across English dialects”, working with Morgan Sonderegger

Emily Goodwin: “Neural Networks, compositionality, and linguistic representation: evidence from monotonicity”, working with Tim O’Donnell

Avleen Mokha: “Prosodic Transfer and the L2 acquisition of Hindi”, working with Lydia White

Benjamin Oldham: “Linguistic Fieldwork Research”, working with Jessica Coon

Madelaine O’Reilley Brown: “Long Distance relationships in Urdu-Hindi: phases or horizons”, working with Lisa Travis

Gregory Theos:  “Storage and Computation of morphology: Evidence from English”, working with Tim O’Donnell

Congratulations!

Jobs for linguists outside academia: 4/18 3-5:30

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 01:50

This Thursday there will be a special session of the McGill Linguistics Graduate Seminar:

Jobs for linguists outside academia

For everyone who is curious what might be some options outside of academia if you’re a linguist.

Wednesday, April 18 2018, time: 3-5.30pm
Location: Arts Room W-20 (basement of Leacock Building)

Speakers:

Gretchen McCulloch (All things linguistics)
Moti Lieberman (Lingspace)
Madeleine Mees & Marc Fabiani (Nuance)
Fred Mailhot (Ask Media Group)

Please RVSP for better planning here

Clayards Phonetica paper Editor’s Choice

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 01:50

Meghan Clayards’ Phonetica paper, “Individual Talker and Token Covariation in the Production of Multiple Cues to Stop Voicing” (December 2017), has been selected as an Editor’s Choice paper. It was also the most-read article in this journal last month.

Congratulations!

WORDS Group meeting, 4/10

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 02:50

The next meeting of the Word Structure Research Group will take place on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 12-1:30pm, in DS-3470 at UQAM (http://carte.uqam.ca/pavillon-ds). We will be discussing Kayne & Pollock (2012) and Kayne (2017).

Everyone is welcome!

  • Kayne, Richard S. 2017. Clitic doubling, person and agreement in French hypercomplex inversion.
  • Kayne, Richard S., and Jean-Yves Pollock. 2012. Locality and agreement in French hyper-complex inversion. InFunctional heads:The cartography of syntactic structures, volume 7, ed. Laura Bruge, Anna Cardinaletti, Giuliana Giusti, Nicola Munaro, and Cecilia Poletto. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Daniel Pape colloquium: April 13

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 02:20

Daniel Pape (McMaster University) will be giving a talk entitled “Linking speech production to speech perception: A cross-linguistic comparison of the phonological voicing contrast and its phonetic realization”. The talk with take place in room 433 of the Education Building at 3:30 pm on Friday, April 13th. The abstract, along with information about other colloquia in the department, is available on the McGill Linguistics Colloquium Series website (https://www.mcgill.ca/linguistics/events/colloquium-series).

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