Quick Links

Feed aggregator

Welcome back!

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 03:00

McLing hopes everyone had a great summer! As always, we invite you to send us your news: presentations, publications, fieldwork, courses, workshops, departmental events, student projects, jobs, etc., for presentation in upcoming newsletters. Know of a friend, colleague, or student who did something newsworthy? Send us a report and we will follow up.

Semantics Reading Group: Friday 9, Maayan Adar

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 02:00

The Semantics Research Group will meet this year on Friday’s from 3-4:30 in room 117 on days when we do not have colloquia scheduled. If your are interested in presenting any research (original or someone else’s) on anything related to semantics or one of its interfaces, please send Dan Goodhue an e-mail.

To kick off this semester (and building on our discussions about questions over the summer), Maayan Adar (MA McGill ’14) is visiting from UCLA on Friday the 9th to tell us about his research on NPI licensing in embedded questions (see abstract below). All are welcome to attend!


Welcome new graduate students!

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 01:55

Welcome to this year’s incoming class of graduate students!

Emily Kellison-Linn is interested in phonology, historical linguistics, and language change, and computational methods of studying these. She completed her B.A. in computer science at MIT.

Gouming Martens received his bachelor and master’s degree in Linguistics at Leiden University. For his master’s thesis he examined Dutch exclamative constructions and its relationship to ego-evidentiality. His main interests lie in the syntax-phonology interface and more specifically the interaction between syntax and prosody, and exclamative constructions across languages. Besides that, he is very interested in many other fields of linguistics, such as, the connection between music and language, the diachronic development of the Sino-Tibetan languages and the tonal system of Limburgish (Dutch/German dialect).

Yeong Woo Park‘s main interests lie in prosody and phonetics-phonology interface. He completed his B.A. in Linguistics at University of California, Los Angeles.

Clint Parker‘s research interests include syntax, morphosyntactic alignment systems, fieldwork, and endangered languages.  He completed a B.A. in linguistics and Chinese at the University of Kentucky.

James Tanner is interested in phonological and phonetic variation, sociophonetics, and psycholinguistics. He completed his B.A. in linguistics at the University of Kent, and his M.A. in linguistics at McGill University.

Jiaer Tao’s main research interests lie in phonetics. Particularly interested in the phonetic implementation of phonological patterns, Jiaer is mostly familiar with the acoustics and production aspects. But she also wants to discover more in her graduate study. Jiaer completed her B.A. in Chinese linguistics at Fudan University. She is looking forward to a lively research life in McGill.

Back: James Tanner, Yeong Woo Park, Clint Parker,
Front: Guoming Martens, Emily Kellison-Linn, Jiaer Tao

McLing summer news

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 01:50
What did McGill linguists do this summer? Some answers can be found below. If you didn’t get your post in on time, email the editors for round two.

Meghan Clayards co-organized a satellite workshop at LabPhon 15 on “Higher-order structure in speech variability: phonetic/phonological covariation and talker adaptation”. She also presented a poster with Hye-Young Bang as the first author titled “Structured Variation across Sound Contrasts, Talkers, and Speech Styles”.

Many more McGill linguists presented at LabPhon, held this year at Cornell University, as seen below:

McGill faculty, students, alums at LabPhon 15 banquet

Jessica Coon spent two weeks in June at CoLang (the Institute on Collaborative Language Research) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and in July she participated in the ANVILS (A National Vision for Indigenous Languages Sustainability) workshop at the University of Alberta.

rainbow from UAF campus, taken at midnight

Guilherme Garcia gave two talks at the 24th Manchester Phonology Meeting (one of which he co-authored with Natália Guzzo and Heather Goad). He then attended a workshop on Bayesian Data Analysis at the University of St. Gallen in June, and presented a poster at LabPhon 15. He also wrote the second chapter of his dissertation, which proposes a probabilistic representation of weight effects on stress—he will be presenting this at NELS and AMP later this year. In addition, he worked with Heather Goad and Natália Guzzo on a project about footing and stress in Québec French, which will also be presented at AMP. Finally, he finished writing a proceedings paper (46th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages), and prepared a workshop on data analysis using R, which he will teach in September. Brendan Gillon spent the first three weeks of May lecturing on semantics at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology. At the end of June, he participated in a workshop on Buddhist Logic (hetuvidyā / yinming / inmyō) and its Applications in East Asia sponsored by the Austrian Academy of Sciences’  Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia. Henrison Hsieh presented talks at the 26th Southeast Asian Linguistics Society and the 23rd Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association meetings entitled “An argument for the noun-verb distinction in Tagalog” and “Prosodic indicators of phrase structure in Tagalog transitive sentences”, respectively.

Henrison presenting at SEALS

Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron, Donghyun Kim, and Jeff Lamontagne, and Michael McAuliffe also presented posters at LabPhon 15.
In July, Bernhard Schwarz visited the University of Tübingen (Collaborative Research Centre 833) and presented joint work with Sasha Simonenko (PhD McGill 2015); in August, he traveled to Tokyo to present joint work with Francesco Gentile at  ”Theoretical Linguistics at Keio” (TaLK). Junko Shimoyama gave an invited talk titled ‘Connectivity effects in dislocated phrases and fragments’ at TaLK 2016 (Theoretical Linguistics at Keio) in August in Tokyo. Her joint work with Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten and Keir Moulton (postdoc 2009-2011), ’Stay inside: the interpretation of internally-headed relative clauses in Navajo’, was presented by the co-authors at the CLA meeting in Calgary. Her joint work with Alex Drummond (postdoc 2012-2014), ‘Complex degrees and an unexpected comparative interpretation’, will be presented by Alex at the annual meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) this week. Earlier in the summer, Junko co-presented with Christopher Fuhrman (ÉTS) and Maria Orjuela-Laverde (McGill TLS) at the annual SALTISE conference, sharing her experience with a new activity in Syntax 2 last year, called ‘Would you publish it?’, where the students participated in a process modelled after journal article reviewing. Many thanks to the students for trying it out! Liz Smeets presented at the EuroSLA conference in Jyvaskyla, Finland this August and in June she collected data on the acquisition of object movement on Dutch in The Netherlands. Her proceedings paper from WCCFL34 “The Syntax of Focus Association in Dutch and German; Evidence from Scope Reconstruction”, joint work with Michael Wagner, is now available online: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003036.

Liz’s view from the conference dinner

Morgan Sonderegger went to Scotland, where he co-organized a workshop and gave talks at U. Glasgow and U. Edinburgh. He co-organized the BigPhon workshop (including with Michael McAuliffe) and gave a poster at LabPhon 15 at Cornell. Michael Wagner presented a paper with Jeff Klassen (PhD ’16), Heather Goad, and Annie Tremblay – ’Prominence Shifts in English and Spanish Parallel Constructions’ — at SemDial. (Proceedings here)

2016–2017 Colloquium Schedule

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 01:50
Below is the finalized colloquium schedule for the upcoming academic year, also available here. As always, colloquia will take place Fridays at 3:30, rooms TBA. Mark your calendars! Michael McAuliffe (McGill) – September 23 Yvan Rose (Memorial Univ. Newfoundland) – October 28 Judith Degen (Stanford) – November 4 Jackie Cheung (McGill) – December 2 Dan Lassiter (Stanford) – January 27 Boris Harizanov (Stanford) – February 17 Stephanie Shih (UC Merced) – March 17 Lucie Ménard (UQÁM) – March 31 Jeremy Hartman (UMass Amherst) – April 7

LingTea, Fall 2016

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 01:50

LingTea will be held this Thursdays from 12:00–1:00pm in Linguistics Department room 117 (feel free to bring your lunch!). LingTea is a good place for students, faculty, postdocs, and visitors to present ongoing research in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. It’s also a perfect venue for dry runs of forthcoming conference talks. Anyone is welcome to give a LingTea talk! To sign up for a Ling-Tea, email this year’s organizer, Kevin Qin. Available Thursdays are:

Sept. 15th, 22nd, 29th

Oct. 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

Nov. 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th

Dec. 1st, Dec. 8th

Smeets and Wagner WCCFL proceedings

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 01:50
Liz Smeets and Michael Wagner have posted their upcoming WCCFL proceedings ‘The Syntax of Focus Association in Dutch and German: Evidence from Scope Reconstruction’ on lingbuzz. In this paper we present novel evidence for the availability of scope reconstruction of the German and Dutch equivalents constituents of the form [only + DP]. Adding to earlier arguments in Reis (2005) and Meyer & Sauerland (2009), this paper provides additional evidence against the analysis of the German equivalent of only in B uring & Hartmann (2001), which claims that it can exclusively adjoin to adverbial positions. We rely on evidence from the Prosodic Question Answer Congruence and data from the scopal interaction between exclusive operators and adverbs to support our claims. We also present a syntactic analysis which accounts for the reconstruction data, and provides an alternative explanation for some of the syntactic restrictions on its distribution for which the Adverbial Analysis was originally proposed. We conclude with a discussion of why it might be that scope reconstruction is always available from the pre field, whereas in the middle field only arguments seem to be able to reconstruct.


Klassen and Wagner in Journal of Memory and Language

McLing Newsletter - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 01:50
An article by Jeff Klassen (PhD ’16) and Michael Wagner,  ’Prosodic prominence shifts are anaphoric’, has appeared in the Journal of Memory and Linguistics. Congratulations! This paper presents evidence that shifts in prosodic prominence are anaphoric and require a contextually salient antecedent, similar to pronouns. The argument is based on a series of experiments looking at prosodic optionality in dialogues in which there are multiple potential antecedents embedded in a contextually salient coordinated structure. By looking at the interaction with adverbs that restrict the choice of antecedent, we show that the observed prosodic variability reveals different anaphoric choices, and hence different speaker intentions. The results are incompatible with the hypothesis that prominence shifts can be explained purely in reference to low-level facilitation due to repetition of the linguistic structure or accessibility of it referent, and are not reducible to existing accounts of prominence in terms of predictability.