Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

McGill at BLS 44

Berkeley Linguistics Society Meeting 44 took place on 9-11th February 2018. McGill’s linguists of past and present attended and gave the following presentations:

  • Ileana Paul & Lisa Travis: Pronoun-Noun constructions in Malagasy: variation and change
  • Gabriel Daitzchman: The most specific person: Morphological decomposition and analysis of Hebrew π
  • Carol-Rose Little: A feature-based analysis of the Ch’ol (Mayan) person paradigm
  • Lauren Clemens: Verb-initial word order in Mayan languages: Causes and consequences

Gabe Daitzchman, Ileana Paul, Carol-Rose Little, Lauren Clemens, Lisa Travis, Martha Schwartz

McGill at the 2018 LSA Annual Meeting

McGill linguists past and present attended the annual meeting of the Linguistics Society of America and its Sister Societies that took place 4-7 January 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Presentations from currently affiliated linguists included:

  • Charles Boberg: “A closer look at the short front vowel shift in Canada”
  • Natália Brambatti Guzzo: “Language contact determines prosodic representation and variation”
  • Natália Brambatti Guzzo, Heather Goad, Guilherme Garcia: “What motivates high vowel deletion in Québec French: foot structure or tonal profile?”
  • Henrison Hsieh and Yining Nie: “Clausal arguments in Tagalog”
  • Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad, Morgan Sonderegger: “Morphological and phonological motivations for prominence shifts in French”
  • Michel Paradis: “Implicit and explicit learning of natural language”

Some (but not all) of the current and past McGill affiliates gathered for a photo:

(Front (L-R): Natália Brambatti Guzzo, Hadas Kotek, Carolyn Anderson, Gretchen McCulloch) (Back (L-R): Jeffrey Lamontagne, Henrison Hsieh, Frederick Gietz, Nico Baier)

McGill at the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium

The bi-annual Amsterdam Colloquium ( brings together linguists, philosophers, logicians, cognitive scientists and computer scientists who share an interest in the formal study of the semantics and pragmatics of natural and formal languages. The 2017 edition, which took place December 20-22, featured four presentations by current and former Department members:
  1. Brian Buccola (PhD 2015, (with Andreas Haida): “Expressing agent indifference in German”
  2. Mitcho Erlewine (Postdoc 2014-15; (with Hadas Kotek, Postdoc 2014-15, “Intervention tracks scope-rigidity in Japanese”
  3. Bernhard Schwarz: “On question exhaustivity and NPI licensing”
  4. Alexandra (Sasha) Simonenko (PhD 2014, “Towards a semantic typology of specifi city markers”
Group picture, from left to right: Bernhard, Mitcho,  Sasha, Brian

Kim and Clayards at Acoustical Society of America Meeting

Donghyun Kim, Meghan Clayards, and Sarah Colby (SCSD) just returned from the Acoustical Society of America meeting in New Orleans where they each presented posters on their work:

Kim, D., Clayards, M., Kong, E. Individual differences in perceptual adaptation to phonetic categories: Categorization gradiency and cognitive abilities. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Clayards, M.. Individual differences in cue weights are correlated across contrasts. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Colby, S., Poulton, V., Clayards, M.  Inhibitory and lexical frequency effects in younger and older adults’ spoken word recognition. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Jessica Coon at headless relatives workshop

Professor Jessica Coon spent last week at the first workshop on The Morphosyntax and Semantics of Headless Relative Clauses in Mesoamerican Languages, at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. She heads back to CIESAS in January, where she’ll spend the second half of her sabbatical as a visiting researcher.

McGill at NELS

A sizeable contingent of McGill related linguistics attended the 48th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 48) this past weekend. For the first time, the conference took place outside North America, viz. at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík. As the organizers emphasized, Iceland now easily holds the record as the smallest host country for NELS in terms of both population size (previously: Canada) and land area (previously: USA).

McGill at CILLA

Justin Royer and Jessica Coon headed to the University of Texas at Austin last week for the 8th Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA). Justin’s talk was titled “Sistemas de clasificación nominal en chuj (maya)”. Jessica gave a plenary talk, presenting joint work with Lauren Clemens (SUNY Albany, McGill postdoc 2014-15), titled “Verb initial word order in Mayan: Causes and consequences.”   Robert Henderson (McGill postdoc 2013-13) also presented.

Justin Royer, Lauren Clemens (post-doc 2014–2015), Jessica Coon, Robert Henderson (post-doc 2012–2013)

McGill to present at NELS 48

McGill’s linguists will present at NELS 48 on 27-29th October 2017, which is hosted by the University of Iceland, in Reykjavík, Iceland. Here is a list of their presentations:

  • Bernhard SchwarzOn the locus of question exhaustification.
  • Daniel GoodhueA minimal theory of verum focus and context dependent bias in questions.

The program can be found here.

McGill at AMP 2017

McGill Linguists past and present presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting on Phonology last month at NYU:

  • Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad & Morgan Sonderegger: “Variability in French prominence: Evidence for weight sensitivity”
  • Jeffrey Lamontagne & Francisco Torreira: “Production planning and directionality in external sandhi”
  • Martha Schwarz (MA 2017), Morgan Sonderegger, & Heather Goad: “Representing a four-way contrast: Nepali, voiced aspirates and laryngeal realism”
  • Öner Özçelik (PhD 2012): “Phonological markedness and extraprosodicity as predictors of morphological errors in SLI”

McGill at MIT Workshop on Simplicity

McGill linguists presented at the MIT Workshop on Simplicity in Grammar Learning on Sep 23:

  • Richard Futrell and Tim O’Donnell: “A generative model of phonotactics”
  • Kevin Ellis and Tim O’Donnell: “Inducing phonological rules: Perspectives from Bayesian program learning”
  • Aron Hirsch (postdoc) and Ezer Rasin: “An evolutionary effect of simplicity bias on the typology of logical operators”




McGill at Manitoba Workshop on Person

McGill linguists presented last week at the Manitoba Workshop on Person in Winnipeg. Jessica Coon and Michael Wagner presented joint work with Stefan Keine (USC), “Hierarchy effects in copular constructions: The PCC corner of German”, and Lisa Travis presented joint work with Ileana Paul (Western), “Augmented pronouns in Malagasy”.

L to R: Bronwyn Bjorkman (BA 2006), Ileana Paul (BA 1990, PhD 2000), Elizabeth Cowper (BA 1972), Jessica Coon, Richard Compton (postdoc 2014-2014), Lisa Travis, Michael Wagner.

MOTH Syntax Workshop 2018 at McGill

Please mark your calendars! McGill is hosting MOTH 2018 (Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton Syntax Workshop) on Satrurday, April 28, 2018 at Thomson House. MOTH is an excellent venue for graduate students to present their ongoing work and get feedback. Stay tuned for more details.


MoMOT 2 (Morphology in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto) is taking place at UQAM on 18-19th November 2017. The abstract submission deadline is October 15th 2017. More details about this workshop can be found here.

McGill at Sinn und Bedeutung 22

McGill Linguists, past and present, attended Sinn und Bedeutung 22, hosted by Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS) Berlin and the Linguistics Department of the University of Potsdam, on September 7-10, 2017 (

  • Alexandra Simonenko (PhD 2014) and Bernhard Schwarz: “Decomposing universal projection in questions”
  • Vincent Rouillard (BA 2017) and Bernhard Schwarz: “Presuppositional implicatures: quantity or maximize presupposition?” (poster)
  • Yosef Grodzinsky (professor, 2002-14), Galit Agmon (visiting student, 2011-12), Kedem Snir, Isabelle Deschamps (postdoc, 2013-15) and Yonatan Loewenstein: “The analysis of less-comparatives: Evidence from the processing cost of downward entailingness”

 (Yossi Grodzinsky, BS, Ileana Paul (McGill PhD 2000),Sasha Simonenko, Vincent Rouillard)

McLing summer news, final edition!

Jurij Bozic will attend Roots V at Queen Mary, University of London (17-18th June), where he will give a talk with the title “Roots and Non-Locally Triggered Allomorphy”. He will also spend several weeks in Slovenia eliciting judgements from native speakers on several topics that he is currently researching.

September Cowley has completed her M.A. at McGill and will join UC San Diego’s Linguistics department to begin her PhD this fall.

Henrison Hsieh has been spending some of the summer presenting joint work with Luis Alonso-Ovalle at various conferences, including the upcoming Workshop on the Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages (TripleA 4) in Gothenburg, Sweden. In July, he will be attending the LSA Summer Institute at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.

The McGill acquisition group will be presenting work on Italian this summer at two conferences. Upcoming talks include:

  • Goad, H., L. White, G. Garcia, N. Guzzo, M. Mortazavinia, L. Smeets & J. Su. 2017. Effects of pause and stress on pronoun interpretation in L2 Italian. Paper to be presented at the International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB 11), University of Limerick, June 2017.
  • Goad, H., L. White, G. Garcia, N. Guzzo, M. Mortazavinia, L. Smeets & J. Su. 2017. Pronoun interpretation in Italian: assessing the effects of prosody.​ Paper to be presented at the Experimental Psycholinguistics Conference, Menorca, June 2017.

Brendan Gillon to PhiLang 2017

Brendan Gillon will be a plenary speaker at The Fifth International Conference on Philosophy of Language and Linguistics (PhiLang 2017), to take place at the University of Lodz (Poland), 12-14 May 2017. The title of his  talk is: What is the object of semantics?

McGill at SALT 2017

McGill linguists will be heading to the University of Maryland later this week for the 27th Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT 27) meeting. Presentations include:

  • Chris Bruno – Contrastive negation and the theory of alternatives
  • Henrison Hsieh and Luis Alonso-Ovalle – Anchored implicatives: Tagalog ability/involuntary action
  • Bernhard Schwarz – Strength as entropy in questions: Evidence from uniqueness presuppositions

Jenneke van der Wal and Bantu Mini Workshop, 5/3

Please join us for a special talk by Jenneke van der Wal (Harvard). The talk will be preceded by presentations from Bobangi field methods class (see here), though you are welcome to attend any part.

Where: Education 216

When: Wednesday May 3rd, 3:45–4:45pm

Title: Investigating focus marking in Luganda and Lingala

Abstract: While it is admittedly difficult to investigate information structure in an unfamiliar language, in this talk I hope to show that there are some manageable diagnostics for focus that can be applied in elicitation. Based on data from Luganda and Lingala I show why the discoveries about focus marking in Bantu languages are crucial for understanding both the synchronic analysis and the diachronic development of focus. (full abstract)

McGill at WCCFL 35

McGill’s linguists attended WCCFL 35, which was hosted at the University of Calgary on 28th – 30th April 2016. Here is a list of their presentations:

  • Henrison Hsieh and Luis Alonso-OvalleAnchored implicatives: Tagalog ability/involuntary action
  • Jurij Bozic: Non-Local Allomorphy in a Strictly Local System

The program can be found here. Current and former McGill affiliates gathered for a photo:

(Left to right: Elan Dresher, Keir Moulton, Jurij Bozic, Henrison Hsieh.)

(Left to right: Henrison Hsieh, Carol Rose.)

ACFAS Workshop May 12th

As part of the upcoming ACFAS (Association francophone pour le savoir), hosted May 8–12th at McGill, there will be a workshop: Le mot: syntaxe, morphologie, et phonologie. Talks by McGill linguists include:

  • Maire Noonan: Les prépositions de lieu complexes sous la loupe : une comparaison du français et de l’allemand
  • Lisa Travis and Heather Goad: Le rôle de la phonologie dans la violation du principe du miroir : le cas du navajo
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