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Sonderegger presents at Cornell

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 01:50

Morgan Sonderegger visited Cornell University last week, where he gave two talks: “The dynamics of sounds and contrasts on reality television”, as a department colloquium, and “Population dynamics in the actuation of sound change”, in the Phonetics and Phonology Reading Group.

Summer plans, round 1

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 01:50

McLing is collecting news about what members of the McGill Linguistics community––students, graduates, faculty, etc.––are up to this summer. Please send us your news!

BA students

  • Barbara Coelho plans to dive in to learning Scottish Gaelic this summer. Besides that, she will be researching her plan to apply to a Speech Pathology MA.
  • Emily Goodwin will be volunteering this summer in the MIDC (McGill Infant Development Centre) and taking a CompSci course.
  • Hannah Cohen, Maggie Labelle, and Madeleine Mees will be working as summer interns at Nuance here in Montreal. Maggie and Madeleine will be part of the User Interface Design team, and Hannah will be part of the Speech Science team.

Graduate students

  • Hye-Young Bang will be attending the LSA Summer Institute in Chicago, and presenting at the International Conference on Korean Linguistics in Chicago and the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) in Glasgow.
  • Gui Garcia will be finishing a book chapter on the prosody of English acquisition of Quebec French with Natália B. Guzzo; teaching an intro course on R to a research group at UFRGS in Brazil; and doing some fieldwork in the the Italian Immigration Area in southern Brazil. From there, he heads to the second session of the LSA Summer Institute.
  • Daniel Goodhue is also heading to Chicago for the LSA Summer Institute.
  • Oriana Kilbourn will also be attending the LSA Summer Institute, and presenting at ICPhS in Glasgow as well.
  • Jeffrey Klassen is going to the Discourse Expectation Conference (DETEC 2015) in Edmonton, Alberta (June 17-19) to present a talk, joint with Annie Tremblay: “Anticipatory focus: Processing, transfer, and grammatical architecture in L2″.

Welcome incoming graduate students!

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:55

McLing is pleased to announce the incoming class of graduate students. We’re looking forward to seeing you all in the fall!

Jurij Bozic (UBC) Christopher Bruno (U of Toronto) September Cowley (McGill U) Bing’er Jiang (Shanghai Int’l Studies U) Xi Qin (Simon Fraser U) Amanda Rizun (U of Massachusetts Amherst) Martha Schwarz (Brandeis U)

Louisa Bielig at GLEEFUL

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

BA Honours student Louisa Bielig traveled to Michigan for GLEEFUL, the Great Lakes Expo on Experimental and Formal Undergraduate Linguistics. Louisa’s talk, “Resumptive Classifiers in Chuj High Topic Constructions”, is part of her Honours Thesis project, supervised by Jessica Coon. The full program can be found here.

Louisa, front left, with the other GLEEFUL presenters

Lisa Travis at “In Her Own Words”

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

Last week, Lisa Travis was part of a panel for McGill’s “In Her Own Words: Stories from Distinguished Research Careers”. The panel members shared experiences and advice for women interested in advancing careers in academia and university administration. Nice work Lisa!

Dr. Rosie Goldstein; Prof. Lisa Travis; Prof Suzanne Fortier; Dr. Luda Diatchenko;
Ms. Jacquie Rourke




McGill at GLOW

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

PhD student Michael Hamilton and postdoc Hadas Kotek are returning from presenting work at the 38th Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) conference, held April 15–18th in Paris. Hadas gave a talk titled “Inervention Everywhere!”, and Mike presented a poster, “Feature Inheritance in Clausal and Verbal Domains: Evidence from Mi’gmaq”. Welcome back!

Hadas and Mike, GLOWing

Lauren Clemens in Toronto

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

Postdoc Lauren Clemens was at the University of Toronto last week where she gave an invited talk titled “The possibilities and limitations of using prosodic phrasing as a diagnostic for syntactic structure: A look at Chol and Niuean”. The abstract can be found here.

Charles Boberg on NPR in LA

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

Charles Boberg was was recently interviewed about current trends in American English dialects by Larry Mantle on the show Airtalk, on KPCC, an NPR-affiliate in Pasadena, CA, broadcasting to greater Los Angeles. The segment aired April 17th and can be heard here: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2015/04/17/42443/vowels-shift-regional-accents-recede-what-american/

Schwarz in “Semantics and Pragmatics”

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

“Consistency preservation in Quantity implicature: the case of at least“, a new paper by Bernhard Schwarz has been accepted for publication in Semantics & Pragmatics. Congratulations, Bernhard!

Michael Wagner at UMass

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 01:50

Michael Wagner gave a colloquium talk at the University of Massachusetts Amherst last Friday. The title of his talk was “Additivity and the syntax of ‘even’”. The abstract is here.


LingTea, 4/15 – Michael Wagner

McLing Newsletter - Mon, 04/13/2015 - 02:40

Our last LingTea of the semester will be this week:

Who: Michael Wagner
When: Wednesday, Apr. 153:00-4:00 in room 117
What: “Additivity and the syntax of ‘even’ ”

Beaver & Clark (2003, 2010) observe that certain focus operators such as ‘only’ and ‘even’ differ in various ways from focus sensitive operators such as ‘always’. This talk presents analysis that derives at least some of these differences from a difference in their syntax: ‘only’ takes two syntactic arguments, a focus constituent which can be of any type,  and a second argument, which has to compose with the first to form a proposition (following similar syntactic proposals in Rooth 1985, Mccawley 1995, Krifka 1996). The distribution of ‘only’ is further constrained by a constraint that assures that the size of the focus constituent must minimized (potentially motivated semantically, as proposed in Wagner 2006). Adverbs like ‘always’, by contrast, operate over a single argument.

A challenges to this view is the syntax of ‘even’, which seem to place it between the two categories of focus operators. We can get a better understanding of the syntax of ‘even’ once we control for whether ‘even’ is used additively or not. Whether ‘even’ carries an additive presupposition remains controversial. While Horn (1969), Karttunen and Peters (1979), Wilkinson (1996) and many others have argued that it does, Stechow (1991), Krifka (1992) and Rullmann (1997) reached the opposite conclusion. This talk identifi es a new syntactic generalization about when ‘even’ triggers an additive presupposition, which provides further evidence for the analysis of the syntax of focus operators advocated here. It also reconciles the contradictory findings about additivity in the earlier literature.  The analysis offers a new perspective on syntactic constraints on the distribution of related focus operators in German noted in Jacobs (1983) and Büring & Hartmann (2001).