Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

MOTH 6 at McGill

We are happy to announce the program of the 6th annual Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton workshop on syntax (MOTH 6) on Saturday, April 28, 2018, hosted at Thomson House, McGill University:

Nico Baier (Faculty lecturer) is the invited speaker, and there will be five presentations by McGill students:

  • Jason Borga – Sprouting, Preposition Stranding, and Sluicing Identity
  • Masashi Harada – Japanese Sluicing with an AP Remnant as a Copular Sentence-Based Sluicing
  • Henrison Hsieh – Peripheral extraction in Tagalog: implications for syntactic ergativity
  • Gouming Martens – Frozen by Context: Focus Effects on Syntactic Freezing
  • Clinton Parker – A feature-based analysis for vestigial ergativity in Shughni

If you’re planning to attend, please register online by the deadline so that we can place appropriate orders for food. Registration link:

Registration deadline: Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

McGill at MOT 2018

The Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto Workshop on Phonology/Phonetics was held March 24-25 at McMaster University. The following papers were presented by McGill students and faculty:

  • Emily Kellison-Linn and Morgan Sonderegger: ‘A large-scale study of consonant voicing effects on F0 in spontaneous English speech’
  • Jiaer Tao, Francisco Torreira & Meghan Clayards: ‘Durational cues to word boundaries in spontaneous speech’
  • Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad & Morgan Sonderegger: ‘Morphological and phonological motivations for prominence shifts in French’
  • Heather Goad, McGill and Lisa deMena Travis: ‘Phonological evidence for morpho-syntactic structure in Athabaskan’

Past and present McGillians were well represented:

Emily Elfner (post-doc 2012-2014), Elan Dresher (BA 1971), Jeff Lamontagne, Emily Kellison-Linn, Jiaer Tao, Yeong Woo Park, Heather Goad

McGill at TOM 11

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

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). 

McGill at ConCALL 3

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

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)

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)

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.