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The McGill Linguistics Department Newsletter
Updated: 5 hours 16 min ago

Brambatti Guzzo in Journal of Linguistics

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 02:00

Congratulations to Natalia Brambatti Guzzo, who has just published the paper ‘The prosodic representation of composite structures in Brazilian Portuguese’ in the Journal of Linguistics.


In previous research, word–word compounds and stressed affix + word structures have been assigned to the same prosodic domain in Brazilian Portuguese (BP), on account of certain similarities in phonological behaviour (Silva 2010, Toneli 2014): both types of composite structures undergo vowel raising at the right edge of each element in the construction, and vowel sandhi processes between their elements. In this paper, I show that word–word compounds and stressed affix + word structures exhibit significant differences in stress patterns in BP, which supports their prosodization in two separate domains. While stressed affix + word structures are assigned secondary stress following the phonological word (PWd) stress algorithm, each element in word–word compounds behaves as an independent PWd with regard to the stress pattern that it exhibits. I thus propose that while stressed affix + word structures are recursively prosodized in the PWd domain, word–word compounds are prosodized in the composite group, the domain proposed by Vogel (2008, 2009) that immediately dominates the PWd and accounts for the prosodization of structures with compositional characteristics. The analysis reconciles two views on prosodic structure that are traditionally assumed to be mutually exclusive: the view that prosodic domains can be recursive (e.g. Inkelas 1990, Selkirk 1996) and the view that the prosodic hierarchy includes an additional domain specific to composite structures above the PWd (e.g. Vogel 2009, Vigário 2010).

McGill at TOM 11

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 02:00

The annual Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal workshop in semantics (TOM) is an informal event that brings together semanticists working at universities in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It is a great opportunity for graduate students to present work in progress and obtain feedback from colleagues. This year’s edition of the workshop (TOM 11) took place on Saturday, March 17 at the University of Ottawa, and featured the following presentations by McGill students:

  • Francesco Paolo Gentile: “Non-local modification of possible: a ‘tough’ analysis”
  • Esmail Moghiseh: “Existential free-choice items and contradiction-free strengthening” (joint work with Luis Alonso-Ovalle)
  • Mathieu Paillé: “Knowing whether and ignorance inferences” (joint work with Bernhard Schwarz)

McGill at DGfS 2018

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 02:00
Justin Royer traveled to the University of Stuttgart in Germany where he presented some of his research at the 40th annual conference of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS). His talk was titled Specificity, (in)definiteness, and noun classifiers in Chuj (Mayan). 

Justin Royer receives Mitacs Award

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 02:00

Justin Royer has received a Mitacs award to do fieldwork in Mexico this summer. He will be doing fieldwork on Chuj and will also spend some time at CIESAS (centro de investigaciones y estudios superiores en antropología social) with Prof. Roberto Zavala.


McGill at ConCALL 3

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 02:00

Clint Parker presented some of his recent research on alignment in Shughni at the third Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics (ConCALL 3) at Indiana University March 2-4. His talk was titled Vestigial Ergativity in Shughni: Typology and Analysis.

McGill at Current Issues in Comparative Syntax

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 02:00

Jessica Coon presented a talk at the workshop Current Issues in Comparative Syntax, held last week at the National University Singapore. Her talk was titled “Feature Gluttony and the Syntax of Hierarchy Effects” (joint work with Stefan Keine). Other past McGill affiliates were also in attendance:

Mitcho Erlewine (former McGill post-doc), Jessica Coon, Mark Baker (former McGill faculty)