Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

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

McGill at TOM Workshop on Semantics

McGill Linguistics was well represented at the 10th Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal Workshop on Semantics, held this year at the University of Toronto on April 22nd. Presentations included:
  • Vincent Rouillard – Minimize Restrictors! Beyond Definite Descriptions
  • Francesco Gentile – A new presuppositional semantics for how many-questions
  • Chris Bruno – Contrastive negation and alternatives
  • Invited speaker: Prof. Junko Shimoyama – On Inverse Trace Conversion and the maximal informativeness analysis of Japanese internally-headed relative clauses (joint work with Keir Moulton, Simon Fraser University)
  • Invited speaker: Prof. Luis Alonso-Ovalle – Against the Odds: On the Modal Component of the Ability/Involuntary Action Verbal Inflection in Tagalog (joint work with Henrison Hsieh (McGill University)

Junko, Chris, Luis, Henrison, and Francesco at TOM

Afternoon Bantu Workshop, May 3rd

Please join us for an afternoon Bantu Workshop, to celebrate the end of this semester’s Bobangi Field Methods class. There will be presentations by some of the undergraduate and graduate students, our Bobangi consultant Mpoke Mimpongo (UQAM), and invited speaker Jenneke van der Wal (Harvard). All talks will take place in McGill Education Building, room 216. The schedule is below–all are welcome!

12:30–12:45 – Jiaer Tao, A Study on object asymmetry in Bobangi

12:45–1:00 – Benjamine Oldham, Object marking in Bobangi: A pronominal incorporation analysis

1:00–1:15 – Renata Masucci, Tone in Bobangi

1:15–1:30 – Paulina Elias, Object asymmetry in Bobangi

1:30–1:45 – BREAK

1:45–2:00 – Sara Carrier-Bordeleau, Verbal reduplication in Bobangi

2:00–2:15 – Jasmine Zhang, Vowel sandhi in Bobangi

2:15–2:30 – Emily Kellison-Linn, Intonation of polar questions and declarative statements in Bobangi

2:30–2:45 – Yeong Park, High boundary tone in Bobangi

2:45–3:00 – Rosie Barnes, Agent nominalizations in Bobangi

3:00–3:15 – BREAK

3:15–3:45 – Mpoke Mimpongo (UQAM), TBA

3:45–4:45 – Invited Speaker – Jenneke van der Wal (Harvard University)

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)

Meghan Clayards to London

Meghan will be traveling to London to give three presentations at the Workshop on Speech Perception and Production across the Lifespan, held at University College London April 26–27th. These include:

  • Sarah Colby, Meghan Clayards & Shari Baum: “Top-down and bottom-up perceptual learning for speech is maintained in older adults”
  • Elizabeth Wonnacott, Anastasia Giannakopoulou, Helen Brown & Meghan Clayards:  “High or Low? Comparing high- and low variability phonetic training in adult and child second-language learners”
  • Sarah Colby, Victoria Poulton & Meghan Clayards:  “Inhibition predicts lexical competition in older adults’ spoken word recognition”

The full program is available here.

Jessica Coon at Silicon Valley Comic Con

Jessica is returning this week from San Jose, where she spent the weekend at Silicon Valley Comic Con. She gave a public lecture, “The Linguistics of Arrival: Aliens, Fieldwork, and Universal Grammar”, and participated on a panel for women in STEM. She also met some interesting characters:

Recently, she was featured on the BBC Radio 4’s “The Film Programme”. Up-to-date Arrival-related media is on her website.

McGill at GASLA 14

McGill linguists attended GASLA 14, which was hosted at the University of Southampton on 7-9th April 2017. Here is a list of their presentations:

  • Liz SmeetsUltimate attainment at the syntax-discourse interface: L1 effects and object movement in Dutch
  • Heather Goad, Lydia White, Guilherme D. Garcia, Natália B. Guzzo, Marzieh Mortazavinia, Liz Smeets and Jiajia SuPronoun interpretation in L2 Italian: effects of pause and stress
  • Natália B. Guzzo, Heather Goad, Guilherme D. GarciaLearners can acquire structurally-conditioned variation: High vowel deletion in Quebec French

Current and past McGill affiliates gathered for a photo:

McGill at CLAUSE

The 2017 Canadian Linguistics Annual Undergraduate Symposium (CLAUSE̥) took place this past weekend at Concordia University. Talks by McGill linguists included:

  • Teresa Addo – Overcoming perceptual illusions: Ultimate attainment by Japanese-speaking learners of English
  • Sara Carrier-Bordeleau – Orphan prepositions as DP ellipsis
  • Sarah Mihuc – Effects of focus and word order in Kabyle
  • Victoria Poulton, Sarah Colby, Meghan Clayards – Investigating influences of working memory and inhibition on lexical frequency effects in older adults
  • Clea Stuart – Where the Malagasy adverbs are

McGill at CLAUSE: Sarah Mihuc, Sara Carrier-Bordeleau, Maya Keshev, Jacob Schermer, Helen Baer, Victoria Poulton, Clea Stuart

There were also two workshops, led by current and former McGill students Sonia Massi and Emilio Assuncao, as well as a plenary talk by McGill PhD (’08) Heather Newell (UQÀM).

Henrison Hsieh and Luis Alonso-Ovalle at AFLA

Henrison Hsieh presented collaborative work with Luis Alonso-Ovalle at the 24th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (AFLA 24), which took place this past weekend at the University of Washington in Seattle. The title of their talk was “Anchored implicatives: Tagalog ability/involuntary action“.


McGillians at AFLA: Ileana Paul (PhD ’00), Jozina vander Klok (PhD ’12), Tingchun Chen (BA ’10), Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine (Post Doc ’14-15), Henrison Hsieh (current PhD)



Tim O’Donnell in Leiden

Tim O’Donnell was in Leiden last week for the The Comparative Biology of Language Learning workshop, held at the Lorentz Center April 3–7. He gave a talk Thursday, title and abstract below:

Bayesian Program Learning of Morphophonological Rules
Both children and linguists confront a similar problem of inference:
given utterances produced by speakers, together with aspects of the
meaning of those utterances, discover the grammatical principles that
relate form to meaning. We study this abstract computational problem
within the domain of morphophonology, contributing a computational
model that learns phenomena from many natural languages and
generalizes in humanlike ways from data used in behavioral studies of
artificial grammar learning.
Our work draws on two analogies. The child-as-linguist analogy holds
that both children and linguists must solve the same abstract
inductive reasoning problem, even though the nature of the input data
and underlying mental algorithms are surely different in precise
detail. Accordingly we isolate the problem of learning
morphophonological systems, and show that a single solution to this
problem can capture both linguistic analyses from natural languages
and infant rule learning of artificial languages. We adopt the
framework of “Bayesian Program learning” (BPL) – in which learning is
formulated a synthesizing a program which compactly describes the
input data. This learning-as-programming analogy lets us exploit
recent techniques from the field of program synthesis to induce
morphophonological rules from data. While child-as-linguist poses the
computational problem, learning-as-programming offers a solution.

Lydia Felice at ACAL

BA Honours student Lydia Felice presented a poster at the 48th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 48), which took place March 31-April 2 at Indiana University Bloomington. Her poster, based on her Honours thesis work, was titled “On the State Distinction and Case in Kabyle Berber”.

CLAUSE 2017 at Concordia

The 2017 Canadian Linguistics Annual Undergraduate Symposium (CLAUSE̥) is coming up this weekend, April 7th–9th, at Concordia University. Though the full program is still TBA, several McGill students will be presenting. We’ll report back with more info next week, or check the website for program updates.

Martha Schwarz at FASAL

Martha Schwarz presented a poster on “Case Assignment in Nepali” at the Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages conference at MIT, March 4-5th. This poster grew out of her summer fieldwork in India, funded by a MITACs travel grant.

McGill at MOTH5

McGill BA student Clea Stuart will be presenting at this year’s MOTH syntax workshop, held at McMaster University April 8th. The title of her talk is “Where the Malagasy Adverbs Are”. The full MOTH program can be found here.

McGill at MOT 2017

UQAM is hosting the 2017 Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto (MOT) Phonology Workshop on 24th-26th March, 2017. McGill linguists will attend the meeting to present their work:

  • Morgan Sonderegger, Michael McAuliffe, Jurij Bozic, Chris Bruno, September Cowley, Jeffrey Lamontagne, Bing’er Jiang, Martha Schwarz, Jiajia Su: Laryngeal timing across seven languages: phonetic data and their relationship to phonological features
  • Donghyun Kim, Meghan Clayards: The link between speech perception and production and the mechanisms of phonetic imitation
  • Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron: Production planning effects on variable external sandhi: a case study in liaison
  • Martha Schwarz: Nepali laryngeal contrasts
  • James Tanner: Phonetic and phonological mechanisms of Tokyo Japanese vowel devoicing
  • Binger Jiang, Meghan Clayards: Cue weighting of voice quality, pitch, and tonal contour in the tonal register contrast in Chinese Wu dialects
  • Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad, Morgan Sonderegger: Weighting around: Motivating variable prominence assignment in French

The entire program can be found here.


McGill at DP60

Current and past McGill linguists gathered at MIT Saturday for a surprise workshop in honour of David Pesetsky’s 60th birthday. Attendees presented posters and attended panels, which can be found on the website.

Lauren Clemens, Bronwyn Bjorkman, Jessica Coon, Laura Kalin, Hadas Kotek, Aron Hirsch

Lauren Clemens, Bronwyn Bjorkman, Jessica Coon, Laura Kalin, Hadas Kotek, Aron Hirsch

Jessica Coon’s paper, “Two types of ergative agreement: Implications for case” appeared in the Festschrift volume (along with 59 other contributions, including by Bjorkman, Kotek, and Hirsch).


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