February 17, 2018

Heather Burnett's new book: Gradability in Natural Language

Congratulations to Heather Burnett, who was formerly a post-doc in our department, on the publication of her book Gradability in Natural Language! Click here for the book website.

This book presents a new theory of the relationship between vagueness, context-sensitivity, gradability, and scale structure in natural language. Heather Burnett argues that it is possible to distinguish between particular subclasses of adjectival predicates--relative adjectives like tall, total adjectives like dry, partial adjectives like wet, and non-scalar adjectives like hexagonal--on the basis of how their criteria of application vary depending on the context; how they display the characteristic properties of vague language; and what the properties of their associated orders are. It has been known for a long time that there exist empirical connections between context-sensitivity, vagueness, and scale structure; however, a formal system that expresses these connections had yet to be developed.
This volume sets out a new logical system, called DelTCS, that brings together insights from the Delineation Semantics framework and from the Tolerant, Classical, Strict non-classical framework, to arrive at a full theory of gradability and scale structure in the adjectival domain. The analysis is further extended to examine vagueness and gradability associated with particular classes of determiner phrases, showing that the correspondences that exist between the major adjectival scale structure classes and subclasses of determiner phrases can also be captured within the DelTCS system.

February 16, 2018

Suyeon Yun to Ewha Womans University in Seoul

Congratulations and farewell to Suyeon Yun (Postdoctoral Fellow, UTSC), who is leaving for Korea to take up a faculty position at the Department of English Education at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.

February 15, 2018

Phil Howson in Phonetica

Phil Howson (Ph.D.) has recently had his paper "Rhotics and Palatalization: An Acoustic Examination of Upper and Lower Sorbian" published in the journal Phonetica. The work is from his first generals paper. He traveled to Germany, with the help of the Germany/Europe Fund, and collected data at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Sorbian Institute.

In the paper he examines the acoustics of rhotics in Upper and Lower Sorbian (related Slavic languages spoken in eastern Germany) to better understand the resistance of rhotics to palatalization, and the acoustic cues of rhotics as a class. You can find the paper here.

Congrats, Phil!

February 13, 2018

TULCON 2018

The 11th annual Toronto Undergraduate Linguistics Conference (TULCON) is being held on March 10-11 (Saturday and Sunday) 2018. It is now the longest-running undergraduate linguistics conference in North America!

Saturday 10 March 2018
Sidney Smith Hall SS2125, University of Toronto
9:30 Breakfast and Registration
10:00 Opening Keynote: Nathan Sanders, University of Toronto
Articulatory and Perceptual Patterns in Sign Language Lexicons
11:00 Break
11:15 Maya Keshav, McGill University
North American Regional Variation in Uptalk
11:45 Christina McDermott, Rachel Thomas, Thalia Cruzat, University of California Berkeley
Examining Style-Shifting in Speakers of Boston English
12:15 Catered Lunch
13:15 Victoria Svaikovsky, McGill University
The Americanization of Québécois L2 English
13:45 Claudia Valdivia, University of California Berkeley
Effect of Speaker on the Nonword Repetition Task in Monolingual and Bilingual Children and
Adults

14:15 Hayley Ostrega, McGill University
The Effects of Crosslinguistic Influence in the Acquisition of Morphosyntax in SLI Children
14:45 Break
15:15 Poster Session
Sidney Smith Hall Linguistics Lounge, 4th Floor
Courtney Dalton, Bryn Mawr College
Merging Morphemes: The Focus Marker and Copula in Kikamba
Jesse Hancock-Teed, University of Toronto
Language Movements and Reconciliation: The Impacts of Final Agreements
Aimee Padillo, University of Toronto
Do I Have an Accent? Effects of First Language on Canadian English

Sunday 11 March 2018
9:30 Breakfast
10:00 William Merrill, Yale University
Sense Abstraction: A Generalization of Intensionality for the Semantics of Subordinate Clauses
10:30 Akshayraj Aitha, University of California Berkeley
Telugu Complex DPs: A Novel Analysis
11:00 Break
11:15 Catherine Wang, University of Southern California
Fact or Opinion: Interpreting Subjective Adjectives in News Discourse
11:45 Insiya Bhalloo, University of Toronto
Investigating the Influence of Phonological Memory on the Word Recognition Abilities of Arabic Readers vs. Native Speakers
12:15 Catered Lunch
13:15 Janessa Tam, University of Toronto
Processing Digraphic Text (Cantonese-English) in Social Media Settings
13:45 Closing Keynote: Lex Konnelly, University of Toronto
The Stylistic Use of Creaky Voice in Non-Binary Transition Vlogs

February 3, 2018

Philip Monahan in the Annual Review of Linguistics

Philip Monahan (faculty) has recently published an article in the Annual Review of Linguistics (Volume 4, 2018, pp 21-47) called "Phonological Knowledge and Speech Comprehension". He talks about the role of phonological distinctive features in perception and predictive processing, with evidence from psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic research. Click here to read the article!

February 2, 2018

International Journal of the Sociology of Language: Special Issue on Francoprovençal

The International Journal of the Sociology of Language has recently released a special issue on Francoprovençal (Volume 2018, Issue 249, Jan 2018), a Gallo-Romance language primarily spoken around where France, Switzerland, and Italy meet. The issue was edited by Naomi Nagy (faculty) and Jonathan Kasstan. Two particular papers of interest:

"An overview of Francoprovençal vitality in Europe and North America" by Alessia Zulato (Illinois), Jonathan Kasstan (Queen Mary University of London), and Naomi Nagy.

"Faetar null subjects: a variationist study of a heritage language in contact" by Naomi Nagy, Michael Iannozzi (BA 2014, now at Western), and David Heap (PhD from UofT French Linguistics, now at Western).

Click here to access the issue.