August 27, 2015

Congratulations, Ailís!

Ailís Cournane defended her thesis, "Modal development: Input-divergent L1 acquisition in the direction of diachronic reanalysis", on Thursday, August 27. The committee consisted of Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux (supervisor), Michela Ippolito, Yves Roberge, Cristina Cuervo, Mihaela Pirvulescu, and external examiner Laura Wagner (Ohio State University). Congrats, Dr. Cournane!

August 23, 2015

SLE 2015

The 48th annual meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea is being held in Leiden, Netherlands, from September 2nd to 5th.

Elizabeth Cowper (faculty), Bronwyn Bjorkman (postdoc), Daniel Currie Hall (Ph.D. 2007), Rebecca Tollan (2007), and Neil Banerjee (BA) are presenting: "There then and now."

Julianne Doner (Ph.D.) is presenting "Spanish morphemes at the interface: How syntactic position affects prosody.

Alumna Monica Irimia (Ph.D. 2011, now at the University of York) is part of a presentation with colleagues Andrea Ceolin (University of York), Aaron Ecay (University of Pennsylvania), Cristina Guardiano (Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Giuseppe Longobardi (University of York), Dimitris Michelioudakis (University of York), and Nina Radkevich (Harvard University):
"Sic transeunt parametri mundi."

Alumna Lyn Tieu (MA 2008, now at CNRS) is part of a talk with Kazuko Yatsushiro (Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft), Alexandre Cremers (CNRS), Jacopo Romoli (University of Ulster), Uli Sauerland (Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft), and Emmanuel Chemla (CNRS): "Disjunction in child language: Inclusive, exclusive, or conjunctive?"

August 22, 2015

In memoriam: Emma Johnson (1977-2015)

We are deeply saddened to have learned that alumna Emma Johnson (MA 2003) passed away on August 20th after a battle with cancer. Emma did research in psycholinguistics in our department, and later received a degree in speech pathology and worked in Ottawa for a number of years. We would like to extend our condolences to Emma's family, including her partner, Jason, and their children, Joey and Maddie. Rest in peace, Emma.

August 17, 2015

Research Groups: Week of August 17-21

Wednesday, August 19 - 10 AM to 12 PM in SS 2111
Syntax/Semantics Group
Ivona Kučerová (McMaster University): "The ergative puzzle."

There’s a growing body of work attempting to unify various ergativity phenomena under a common denominator, the most common denominators being aspect, (various versions of) semantic scope, and information structure. Putting aside that these unifying proposals have only a partial empirical coverage, there are other properties that these approaches cannot account for (though their technical implementations rely on them): prevalence of nominalized structures, applicative-like structures in transitive environments, and commonality of VP fronting. The empirical landscape offers itself to three possible accounts: (i) there is a common denominator but it lies elsewhere; (ii) what appears to be a unified phenomenon is in fact a conspiracy of several factors; and (iii) ergativity is an artificial construct based on Indo-European centred conception of grammar. In this presentation - more a brainstorming session - I will go over some recent ideas about factors that might underpin syntactically `special’ behaviour of arguments and how they relate to notions of locality, transitivity and argument alignment in general, in the hope of finding possible correlates expected under (i) & (ii).

August 10, 2015

Congratulations, Jaehee!

Congratulations to Jaehee Bak (Ph.D. 2011), who has accepted a tenure-stream position in the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Chungnam National University in Daejeon City, South Korea (just south of Seoul). He starts this position on September 1st 2015. Great news, Jaehee!

August 7, 2015

Congratulations, Kyumin!

Congratulations to alumna Kyumin Kim (Ph.D. 2011), who has accepted and begun a new tenure-track job as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Cheongju University in South Korea!

Congratulations, Alana!

Congratulations to Alana Johns and her colleagues Jean L. Briggs and Conor Cook on the publication of the Dictionary of Utkuhiksalingmiut Inuktitut Postbase Suffixes! The work is being published by Nunavut Arctic College and will be released shortly. Based on Jean Briggs's fieldwork conducted with speakers of the Utkuhiksalingmiutitut dialect of Inuktitut in Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven) and Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), the book is a comprehensive list of word-forming suffixes with examples taken from real speech and morphological and phonological analysis.

The work reflects the efforts of a team of scholars over many years - in Briggs's case, many decades. Briggs, an anthropologist, learned the Utkuhiksalingmiut dialect while conducting doctoral research between 1963 and 1968 in the camp at Chantrey Inlet, now located in Nunavut. Writing down words was originally just a learning aid for Briggs, but it evolved into a dictionary project once Briggs made contact with linguists working with Inuktitut, who were unfamiliar with the Utkuhiksalingmiut dialect. When the Utkuhiksalingmiut people moved to Gjoa Haven, they too became interested in documenting their dialect, given the new contact with other dialects that had the potential to alter it.

The idea of creating a dictionary of postbases was Alana’s, and her linguistic expertise and extensive knowledge of Inuktitut has been informing the project for over a decade. Conor Cook, a former University of Toronto student now working in Iqaluit, was in charge of the database searching, drafting and proposing entries and putting the manuscript together.

Congratulations to Alana and the entire team on this milestone.

(Photo courtesy of Sali A. Tagliamonte.)

August 6, 2015

ICPhS 2015

The 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) is meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, from August 10th to 14th. Our department is well-represented!

Maida Percival (MA 2014, incoming Ph.D. student) is presenting "Dene stop contrasts: Data from Délįnę Slavey." She is also one of the recipients of the conference's IPA Student Awards. Congratulations, Maida!

Paulina Lyskawa (MA) is presenting "The ultrasound study of /ɹ/ in non-native speakers."

Mercedeh Mohaghegh (Ph.D.) and Craig Chambers (faculty) are presenting "How phonological context affects comprehension: The case of assimilated nasals and stops."

Phil Howson (Ph.D.) and Alexei Kochetov (faculty) are presenting "An EMA examination of liquids in Czech."

Jessamyn Schertz (postdoc), Yoonjung Kang (faculty), and Alexei Kochetov (faculty), with colleagues Eun Jong Kong and Sungwoo Han, are presenting: "Dialectal variability in place and manner of Korean affricates."

Phil is additionally presenting a talk with colleagues Noriko Yamane and Po-Chun Wei: "An ultrasound examination of taps in Japanese."

Alexei is also part of a talk with Stefania Marin and Marianne Pouplier: "Timing patterns of word-initial obstruent-sonorant clusters in Russian."

Alexei is additionally presenting a poster: "Length in Kannada alveolar and retroflex laterals: A preliminary acoustic study" at the Satellite Workshop on Geminate Consonants across the World.

Yoonjung is also part of a presentation with colleagues Hye-Young Bang, Morgan Sonderegger, Meghan Clayards, and Tae-Jin Yoon: "The effect of word frequency on the timecourse of tonogenesis in Seoul Korean."

Yoonjung is part of another presentation with colleagues Tae-Jin Yoon, Sungwoo Han, Hyeseon Maeng, Jiae Lee, and Kyounghue Kim: "A corpus-based approach to dialectal variation in Korean vowels."

Juli Cebrian (Ph.D. 2002, now at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) is presenting "Reciprocal measures of perceptual similarity".

Juli is also presenting a talk co-authored with Angelica Carlet: "Phonetic similarity, Identification vs. discrimination training: Learning effects for trained and untrained sounds."

Ewan Dunbar (MA 2008, now at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, CNRS, France) is presenting a poster "Quantitative methods for comparing featural representations", co-authored with Gabriel Synnaeve and Emmanuel Dupoux.

Richard Gananathan (MA 2014, now at the Chinese University of Hong Kong) is presenting a paper with colleagues Yanjun Yin and Peggy Mok: "Interlanguage influence in cues of narrow focus: A study of Hong Kong English."

Manami Hirayama (Ph.D. 2009) is presenting a poster: "Complete and incomplete neutralizations between underlying and derived geminates in Japanese: Evidence from three gemination processes."

Sara Mackenzie (Ph.D. 2009, now at Memorial University of Newfoundland) is presenting a talk with Paul De Decker and Rosanna Pierson: "An acoustic and articulatory study of /l/ allophony in Newfoundland English."

Nicole Rosen (Ph.D. 2007) is part of a presentation with Justin Turner, Fangfang Li, and Nicole Netelenbos: "VOT Production among school children in Francophone vs. French immersion schools in Anglo-dominant Southern Alberta."

Former visiting student Michael Wagner is part of two talks: "Production planning and coronal stop deletion in spontaneous speech" (with James Tanner and Morgan Sonderegger), and "Acoustic correlates of focus marking in Polish" (with Fatima Hamlaoui, Marzena Żygis, and Jonas Engelmann).

Congratulations, Sandrine!

Alumna Sandrine Tailleur (Ph.D. 2012, now at l'Université du Québec à Chicoutimi) would like to introduce Lucas McDonough, born on March 9, 2015. Congratulations to Sandrine and her family!

(Lucas's wardrobe handmade by department Ph.D. student and artist Ailís Cournane.)

August 4, 2015

Dog Days Syntax Workshop

This year's Dog Days Syntax Workshop will take place on Wednesday, August 12, in SS 2106. The workshop will begin with breakfast/coffee at 8:00 AM; talks will begin at 9 AM and conclude shortly before 6 PM. Each talk has a 25-minute slot: 15-20 minutes for the presentation and the rest for questions. Presenters will be as follows:

Bronwyn Bjorkman (postdoc 2012-2015, now at Queen's University): "The Case of aspect."

Monica Irimia (Ph.D. 2011, now at the University of York) with colleague Sonia Cyrino (State University of Campinas, Brazil): "Syntactic positions for DOM: The case of Brazilian Portuguese and Romanian."

Dan Milway (Ph.D.): "Formalizing Agree."

Brandon Fry (University of Ottawa): "A unified view of Agree."

Neil Banerjee (BA): "Associate positions in historical English expletive 'there' constructions."

Mark McAndrews (BA): "Modelling near-synonymous suffix alternation in an Inuktitut corpus."

Kenji Oda (Ph.D. 2012, now at Syracuse University): "Reconsidering Irish non-verbal predication."

Bethany Lochbihler (University of Edinburgh), Will Oxford (Ph.D. 2014, now at the University of Manitoba), and Nicholas Welch (postdoc): "Inanimacy as personlessness: Evidence from Dene and Algonquian."

Guillaume Thomas (faculty): "Cumulative readings of 'each'?"

Julie Goncharov (Ph.D.): "Mindful de se constructions."

Ivona Kucerova (McMaster University): "What happened when a puppy slept: An attempt to derive the syntactic structure of a two-word sentence in Czech."

Eric Mathieu (University of Ottawa): "Feature-free parameters."

Anna Seltner (MA): "The conjoint-disjoint alternation in Bantu languages: Evidence for low focus?" This paper is the 2015 (inaugural) winner of the Elizabeth Cowper Prize in syntax.

Bridget Copley (CNRS/Université Paris 8): "What can cause what: futurates and have causatives at the interfaces with semantics."

Cristina Cuervo (faculty): "The importance of less productive transitivity alternations."

Leslie Saxon (MA 1979, now at the University of Victoria): "The Tłı̨chǫ syntactic causative (and inchoative)."

Research Groups: Week of August 3-7

Wednesday, August 5 - 10 AM to 12 PM in SS 2111
Syntax/Semantics Group
Julianne Doner (Ph.D.): "Spanish morphemes at the interface: How syntactic position affects prosody."