Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

Guilherme Garcia and Natália Brambatti Guzzo at Phonology 2014

Gui Garcia and Natália Brambatti Guzzo each presented papers at Phonology 2014 at MIT this past weekend (Sept. 19-21). Gui presented on Weight Gradience in Portuguese  and Natália presented The prosodization of noun-preposition-noun compounds in Brazilian Portuguese—a paper based on her dissertation. This event is an annual meeting on phonology, hosted by different universities (last year hosted by UMass). Congrats Gui and Natália!



McGill at NELS 45

McGill will be well represented at the 45th annual meeting of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS 45), to be held at MIT in late October. Presentations will include work by current graduate students, post-docs, and faculty:

  • Brian Buccola – “Global semantic constraints: The case of Van Benthem’s Problem”
  • Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine – “On the position of focus adverbs”
  • Daniel Goodhue & Michael Wagner – “It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it:  Intonation, yes and no”
  • Michael Hamilton –  ”Default agreement in Mi’gmaq possessor raising and ditransitive constructions”
  • Aron Hirsch & Michael Wagner – “Prosodic evidence that parentheticals are placed by rightward movement”
  • Henrison Hsieh – “Future-oriented actuality entailments: A puzzle from Tagalog”

This year’s NELS is also co-organized by current McGill Mellon Postdoc, Hadas Kotek. The full program can be viewed here.

Erlewine at TEAL

Later this week, Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine will present at the 9th International Workshop on Theoretical East Asian Linguistics (TEAL-9), in Nantes, France.  His talk is “On the position of focus adverbs.”

Tokiko Okuma at EuroSLA 24

Tokiko Okuma presented a paper L2 acquisition of bound variable interpretation of Japanese demonstrative pronouns at the 24th annual conference of the European Second Language Association (EuroSLA) at University of York, UK, on September 3-6. She received CRBLM Graduate Travel Grant for this talk. Former PhD students, Roumyana Slabakova (1997) and Mari Umeda (2008) also presented their recent works at this conference. Information about the conference, including all programs, is available here.

A successful ETI 3



Congratulations to the participants and organizers of ETI 3 on a great workshop!

ETI 3 this week

Exploring the Interfaces (ETI) 3: Prosody and Constituent Structure will take place this week, Thursday May 8 through Saturday May 10. Check out the website for the program, registration, and other conference information.
We will also be hosting a pre-ETI gathering at Benelux on Wednesday evening starting at 8pm. Please join us to welcome the conference participants to Montréal!

Montrealers at WSCLA


Montreal-based WSCLA goers wait to see if their flight will make it out of the heavy fog


Mike Hamilton delivers his keynote talk

McGill at WSCLA

McGill linguists will be heading this week to the 19th Workshop on Structure and Constituency of Languages of the Americas (WSCLA), held this year at Memorial University Newfoundland. Talks will include:

  • Mike Hamilton (invited speaker)Implications of Prosody in Mi’gmaq”
  • Jessica Coon – “Little-v Agreement: Evidence from Mayan”
  • Richard Compton – “Discerning Genuine Object Agreement from Clitics in Inuit”

The full program can be found here. Bon voyage!

Weekend conference roundup

Our McLing correspondents in Chicago and Toronto report successful presentations, mingling, and karaoke (not pictured) at CLS and TOM this weekend!


Liz Smeets talks semantics at TOM

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Jessica, Mike, and Elise post in Hyde Park


Brian Buccola in conversation at TOM

McGill at CLS 50

A group of McGill linguists will travel later this week to Chicago for the 50th meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society.

Talks include Elise McClay and Michael Wagner ”Accented Unambiguous Pronouns: The Effect of Topicality and Focus”, as well as Michael Hamilton and Brandon Fry (Ottawa): “Long-Distance Agreement in Algonquian: Accounting for Syntactic Variation”. Jessica Coon will give an invited talk, “Little-v Agreement: Evidence from Mayan”.

The full program is here.

ETI 3: Prosody and Constituent Structure

We are pleased to announce that Exploring the Interfaces (ETI) 3: Prosody and Constituent Structure will take place on McGill campus from May 8-10, 2014. The website with information about the conference, including the preliminary program, can be found here:

We are asking interested participants to register using the online form by April 25 so that we have accurate numbers for catering. The registration fee is payable in cash on the day of the conference, and will be waived for McGill students (the dinner fee is separate).
We hope to see you there!

McGill at TOM 7

The 7th Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal (TOM) workshop will take place this year on Saturday April 12 at the University of Toronto.

Three of our students have been accepted: Brian Buccola (“A Blocking Solution to van Benthem’s Problem”), Oriana Kilbourn-Cerón (“Almost: Scope and Covert Exhaustification”), and Liz Smeets (“The Structure of Italian Pseudo Relatives: What We Learn from Scope Judgments”, poster session.) Congratulations to them!

You can read more about TOM 7 here:

Notice that the organizers have asked those attending the conference to register before April 1st.


MO{L}T{H} a success

This past weekend McGill linguistics hosted the first joint meeting of the MOTH and MOLT regional syntax and phonology workshops, with a keynote talk by Glyne Piggott. Thanks to hard work by undergraduate and graduate student volunteers, everything went off without a hitch. Talks by locals included:

  • Elise Mcclay & Michael Wagner
    Accented unambiguous English pronouns: Parallel function, or topicality and focus?
  • Michael David Hamilton
    The prosody and syntax of focus in Mi’gmaq
  • Guilherme Garcia
    Weight and stress in Brazilian Portuguese
  • Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron
    Vowel devoicing in spontaneous Japanese
  • Morgan Sonderegger and James Kirby
    Actuation without production bias
  • Michael David Hamilton and Brandon J
    Accounting for patterns of long-distance
    agreement in Algonquian



MO{L}T{H} phonology/syntax conference this weekend

This weekend McGill Linguistics will be hosting a joint meeting of two annual regional workshops: MOLT (phonology) and MOTH (syntax). The combined two-day MO{L}T{H} conference will include a joint session on the syntax–phonology interface, as well as a keynote talk by Glyne Piggott. The full program can be found here.

Things will get started Saturday morning at 9:00 in Leacock 232. If you plan to attend, please take a moment to register here so we can get an accurate head-count for catering.


McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates, 3/14-3/16

This weekend (March 14th-16th), SLUM will be holding its annual undergraduate conference, McCCLU. The Conference starts on Friday evening with a Wine & Cheese, as well as a keynote address by Matthew Masapollo, continues on Saturday and Sunday with a series of ten presentations given by undergraduate students from Ontario, Quebec, and the Northeastern U.S., and concludes on Sunday afternoon with a keynote address by Gretchen McCulloch.

You are all, of course, invited to attend McCCLU and we would be very happy to see you there!

For a more detailed schedule and information about the venues, please see our webpage, Facebook, or Twitter:

McGillian WCCFLers

March will be upon us soon and, with it, the 32nd edition of WCCFL to be held at the University of Southern California.

This year, McGill will be well represented: Oriana Kilbourn-Cerón is giving a talk based on her first evaluation paper (“Almost: Scope and Covert Exhaustification”), Sasha Simonenko is presenting a poster, based on her dissertation (“A Structural Account of the Loss of Direct Referntiality”), and Richard Compton is an alternate, also presenting a poster (“Mood Variance as Evidence for Genuine Object Agreement in Inuit”.)

As usual, acceptance rates have been very competitive (12.7% for talks and 20.8% for both talks and posters.)

Congratulations McGillian WCCFLers!

You can check the WCCFL 32 program at:

Grodzinsky and Schwarz at McGill-MIT Workshop on Gradability and Quantity in Language and the Brain

Yosef Grodzinsky and Bernhard Schwarz were in Cambridge Massachusetts this past weekend for the McGill–MIT Workshop on Gradability and Quantity in Language and the Brain. Bernhard presented a paper titled “‘At least’ and Quantity Implicature: Choices and Consequences”, Yosef presented “Quantities and Quantifiers: Sentence Verification, Weber’s Law, and Monotonicity.” The event was funded by Yosef’s Canada Research Chair in Neurolinguistics.

Exploring the Interfaces 3: Prosody and Constituent Structure

McLing is pleased to announce that the call for the third Exploring the Interfaces workshop has just been posted! Here are the details:

Exploring the Interfaces (ETI) 3 will take place at McGill University from May 8–10, 2014. This workshop will be the last of three workshops organized by the McGill Syntactic Interfaces Research Group (McSIRG) as part of a multi-year grant to study linguistic interfaces. Following ETI 1 (Word structure) and ETI 2 (Implicatures, alternatives and the semantics/pragmatics interface), the topic of ETI 3 will be Prosody and Constituent Structure.

In particular, ETI 3 will deal with issues surrounding prosodic and phonological evidence for syntactic constituent structure, with a focus on verb-initial languages.

Goals of the Workshop:

  • To bring together researchers working on issues at the syntax-phonology interface (e.g. syntactic constituency, prosodic effects on word order) from the perspectives of syntax, prosody, and phonology/phonetics
  • To bring together researchers working on a variety of different languages, with an emphasis on languages with default verb-initial word order
  • To encourage communication and discussion about methodologies that can be used for the empirical study of prosody and the syntax-phonology interface

Invited Speakers:

Judith Aissen (UC Santa Cruz)
Sasha Calhoun (Victoria University of Wellington)
Lauren Eby Clemens (Harvard)
Emily Elfner (McGill)
Jim McCloskey (UC Santa Cruz)
Norvin Richards (MIT)
Joey Sabbagh (UT Arlington)
Kristine Yu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Methods Tutorials:

In addition to the regular session, we will have two tutorials on local technological tools for fieldwork, with special reference to fieldwork on prosody:

  • Tutorial 1: Automatic Acoustic Alignment in Underdocumented Languages
  • Tutorial 2: LingSync: An Online Tool for Field Work

This conference is supported through an FQRSC team grant on Linguistic Interfaces and funding from a SSHRC Grant on Prosody and Constituent Structure.

Organizing Team:

Emily Elfner, Jessica Coon, Lisa Travis, Michael Wagner

Student Organizers:

Michael Hamilton, Henrison Hsieh, Yuliya Manyakina

Call for Papers:

Abstract submission deadline: February 28, 2014
Notification of acceptance: March 10, 2014
Conference: May 8-10, 2014

In addition to eight invited speakers, we are accepting abstracts for a limited number of additional talks (30 minutes + 10 minutes discussion) and posters. We particularly welcome papers which address the following questions:

  • What can prosodic and phonological evidence tell us about syntactic constituent structure?
  • To what extent do syntactic, phonological and prosodic evidence agree with one another regarding constituent structure?
  • What is the role of prosody in determining word order?
  • Can prosodic and phonological evidence be used to help distinguish between competing syntactic accounts of how word order is derived?

We welcome abstracts dealing with these topics in any language, but would particularly welcome abstracts on verb-initial languages in keeping with the theme of the conference.

Abstracts should be anonymous and no longer than 500 words (including examples, but not counting title or references), and should be submitted in PDF format on the following easychair site:

Please indicate on the form whether you would prefer an oral presentation, a poster presentation, or whether either would be acceptable. By default, we will first consider you for an oral presentation. Additionally, we hope to have some funding available to supplement travel costs for student presenters.

Contact with questions.

The McGill/MIT Workshop on Gradability and Quantity in Language and the Brain

The ‘McGill/MIT Workshop on Gradability and Quantity in Language and the Brain’, will take place at MIT from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, 2014.

The workshop description reads as follows:

[This workshop] is bringing together a group of neuroscientists with an interest in language and a group of experimental and formal linguists interested in the brain, in an attempt to enhance the dialogue between the linguistic and the neurophysiological cultures, and help to close the gap between these two growing groups of researchers. The theme of the workshop is centered on aspects of gradability and quantity as it pertains to the cognitive domains of Number, Space, and Time.

You can check the program here. Yosef Grodzinsky and Bernhard Schwarz are presenting.

The workshop is partially funded by Yosef Grodzinsky’s Canada Research Chair.

McGill at LSA and SSILA 2014

McGill linguists past and present were well represented at the 2014 annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), and the co-located annual meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA), both held Jan 2-5 in tropical Minneapolis.


  • Brian Buccola and Morgan Sonderegger: On the expressivity of Optimality Theory vs. rules: An application to opacity
  • Emily Elfner: Prosodic boundary strength in verb-initial structures: Evidence from English and Irish
  • Aron Hirsch (BA ’11) and Martin Hackl: Presupposition projection and incremental processing in disjunction
  • Thomas Kettig (BA ’13): The Canadian Shift: Its acoustic trajectory and consequences for vowel categorization
  • Alanah McKillen: The role of focus in determining exceptional coreference
  • Sasha Simonenko: Semantics of the DP wh-island
  • Jozina Vander Klok (PhD ’12): Yes-no question and fieldwork strategies: A case study on Paciran Javanese


  • Mike Hamilton: Deriving overt nominals in Mi’gmaq
  • Gretchen McCulloch: Mi’gmaq -asi as a middle voice marker

The full programs for LSA and SSILA can be found here and here.

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