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The McGill Linguistics Department Newsletter
Updated: 1 day 6 hours ago

McGill at the 2018 LSA Annual Meeting

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 02:00

McGill linguists past and present attended the annual meeting of the Linguistics Society of America and its Sister Societies that took place 4-7 January 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Presentations from currently affiliated linguists included:

  • Charles Boberg: “A closer look at the short front vowel shift in Canada”
  • Natália Brambatti Guzzo: “Language contact determines prosodic representation and variation”
  • Natália Brambatti Guzzo, Heather Goad, Guilherme Garcia: “What motivates high vowel deletion in Québec French: foot structure or tonal profile?”
  • Henrison Hsieh and Yining Nie: “Clausal arguments in Tagalog”
  • Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad, Morgan Sonderegger: “Morphological and phonological motivations for prominence shifts in French”
  • Michel Paradis: “Implicit and explicit learning of natural language”

Some (but not all) of the current and past McGill affiliates gathered for a photo:

(Front (L-R): Natália Brambatti Guzzo, Hadas Kotek, Carolyn Anderson, Gretchen McCulloch) (Back (L-R): Jeffrey Lamontagne, Henrison Hsieh, Frederick Gietz, Nico Baier)

WORDS Group, 1/16

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 02:50

The next meeting of the Word Research Group will take place on Tuesday, January 16th, 12-2pm, in DS-3470 at UQAM ( Timothy O’Donnell will be giving a talk on his research.

Everyone is welcome!

Synt-ex Reading Group, 1/16

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 02:50

We are starting up our experimental syntax reading group for the winter semester! Our first meeting is this Tuesday, the 16th at the Linguistics building, room 117 at 12pm. There will be snacks, and feel free to bring your lunch. In addition to outlining our plan for the semester, we will discuss this short Scientific American article:

For inspiration, here are some topics we have thought we would like to include: artificial grammar, syntax in songbirds, L2 syntax acquisition, prosody and syntax, computational models, syntax in sign language.

We hope to see you at the first brainstorming meeting !

Colloquium: Sharon Goldwater, 01/12

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 10:48

Sharon Goldwater from the University of Edinburgh will be giving a talk entitled Bootstrapping Language Acquisition as part of the McGill Linguistics Colloquium Series on Friday, January 12th at 3:30pm in room 433 of the Education Building. All are welcome to attend! For the abstract and for any other colloquium information, please clear here to visit the Colloquium Series web page.

WORDS Group meeting, 9/1

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 02:50

The first meeting of the Word Research Group will take place on Tuesday, January 9th, 12-2pm, in DS-3470 at UQAM (

The topic for this term is clitics and agreement, although from time to time group members will present on other topics related to words. We’ll be hoping to finalize a good chunk of the schedule for readings during this first meeting.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

McGill at the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 02:00
The bi-annual Amsterdam Colloquium ( brings together linguists, philosophers, logicians, cognitive scientists and computer scientists who share an interest in the formal study of the semantics and pragmatics of natural and formal languages. The 2017 edition, which took place December 20-22, featured four presentations by current and former Department members:
  1. Brian Buccola (PhD 2015, (with Andreas Haida): “Expressing agent indifference in German”
  2. Mitcho Erlewine (Postdoc 2014-15; (with Hadas Kotek, Postdoc 2014-15, “Intervention tracks scope-rigidity in Japanese”
  3. Bernhard Schwarz: “On question exhaustivity and NPI licensing”
  4. Alexandra (Sasha) Simonenko (PhD 2014, “Towards a semantic typology of specifi city markers”
Group picture, from left to right: Bernhard, Mitcho,  Sasha, Brian

Alonso-Ovalle and Menéndez-Benito published in Journal of Semantics

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:00

Congratulations to Luis Alonso-Ovalle who together with Paula Menéndez-Benito have a new paper, “Projecting Possibilities in the Nominal Domain: Spanish Uno Cualquiera” appearing in the Journal of Semantics!

Kim and Clayards at Acoustical Society of America Meeting

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:00

Donghyun Kim, Meghan Clayards, and Sarah Colby (SCSD) just returned from the Acoustical Society of America meeting in New Orleans where they each presented posters on their work:

Kim, D., Clayards, M., Kong, E. Individual differences in perceptual adaptation to phonetic categories: Categorization gradiency and cognitive abilities. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Clayards, M.. Individual differences in cue weights are correlated across contrasts. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Colby, S., Poulton, V., Clayards, M.  Inhibitory and lexical frequency effects in younger and older adults’ spoken word recognition. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Kim, Clayards, and Goad published in Journal of Phonetics

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:00

Congratulations to Donghyun Kim, Meghan Clayards, and Heather Goad  whose new paper, “A longitudinal study of individual differences in the acquisition of new vowel contrasts” has just been published in the Journal of Phonetics!

Ph.D Oral Defence, 12/4 – Hye-Young Bang

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 03:00

Hye-Young Bang is defending her Ph.D. dissertation “The structure of multiple cues to stop categorization and its implications for sound change” on Monday, December 4th, 2017 at 1:00 pm in the Arts Bldg. (Rm. 160). The defence will be followed by a reception in the lounge (Rm. 212).

WORDS Group, 12/8

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 02:20

The WORDS Group will be meeting on Friday 8th December, at McGill, Dr. Penfield Ave. 1085 (room 117) at 1pm-2.30pm. Tim O’Donnell will present “Inducing phonological rules: Perspectives from Bayesian program learning”, his joint work with Kevin Ellis (Kevin Ellis & Tim O’Donnell).

Everyone is welcome to attend!



Jessica Coon at headless relatives workshop

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 02:00
Professor Jessica Coon spent last week at the first workshop on The Morphosyntax and Semantics of Headless Relative Clauses in Mesoamerican Languages, at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. She heads back to CIESAS in January, where she’ll spend the second half of her sabbatical as a visiting researcher.