Monthly Archive for April, 2012

Syntax-phonology group 5/3: Hamilton, Hirsch, Noonan, Simonenko

This week will be the last syntax-phonology reading group before the SIRG workshop, which beings this Sunday, May 6th. Again we will have a longer session with a break, and discuss the following papers:

  • Sasha Simonenko and Maire Noonan will present Øystein Vangsnes‘ “Syncretism and functional expansion in Germanic wh-expressions” and parts of “The polyfunctionality of which in Övdalian” (contact Maire for the paper)
  • Mike Hamilton will present Richard Compton and Christine Pittman‘s (2010) “Word-formation by phase in InuitLingua 120.
  • Aron Hirsch will present Jonathan Bobaljik‘s (in press) “Universals in comparative morphology: Suppletion, superlatives and the structure of words” [PDF from his website]. Aron will present material found throughout chapters 1–5, but suggests reading the summary at the beginning of chapter 5 if you don’t have time to get through all of it.

When: Thursday 5/3, 10:00–1:00
Where: Linguistics 117

Chen Qu to begin postdoc at UQAM

Graduate student Chen Qu has just received an FQRSC fellowship for a two-year postdoctoral position at UQAM. She will be working together with Prof. Rushen Shi in the psychology department’s Language Research Lab on a project titled “The acquisition of Mandarin tonal system by English and French speakers.” Congratulations Chen!

Undergraduates travel to New York to present

Two McGill undergraduates, Thea Knowles and Carol Little, will head to the Hunter Undergraduate Linguistics and Language Study (HULLS 2) conference in New York this coming weekend. They will present their collaborative work: “Didja know: A comparative study of affrication across word boundaries in Canadian and American English.” Carol will also present work from her joint honours thesis “American Regional Lexical Survey: Age and gender in lexical change in the South”

Linguistics department receives 3 ARIA internships

We are pleased to announce that the linguistics department has received 3 ARIA internships to support undergraduate research projects over the summer: “The purpose of the Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Award (ARIA) is to support undergraduate students who undertake research during the summer under the direct supervision of a faculty member.” You can learn more about the program on the ARIA webpage.

Erica Yoon (Cognitive Science honours) will work with Junko Shimoyama, on a research topic that examines, both experimentally and theoretically, the nature of scopal interactions between negation and quantificational DPs in Korean. Part of the internship will take place in Seoul, Korea, where Erica will run an experiment with adult native speakers of Korean.

Kalyna Franko (Linguistics & Psychology major) will work in the neurolinguistics lab on a project that examines the behavioral and neural reflections of the processing of different quantifier types. Together with Galit Agmon, Isabelle Deschamps and Yosef Grodzinsky, Kalyna will be working on the design, implementation and analysis of a Reaction Time experiment, as well as a functional MR imaging study, of positive and negative degree and proportion quantifiers such as many, few, more-than-half and less-than-half.

Madeleine Revill (Linguistics honours) will experimentally examine the acquisition of Spanish plural by native speakers of English, under the supervision of Heather Goad. The topic will be examined from the perspective of the Prosodic Transfer Hypothesis which states that difficulties that learners have with the production of functional morphology stem from constraints on prosody that are transferred from the native language grammar.

Congratulations all!

Walter Pedersen to receive Faculty of Arts teaching award

McLing has just learned that Walter Pedersen has been awarded one of only three Teaching Assistant Awards made within the Faculty of Arts for the 2011–2012 academic year. From the Faculty:

The Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Teaching Awards is designed to recognize outstanding teaching in the Faculty by graduate students,
and will be awarded at the April Faculty meeting. All full-time Arts graduate students in good standing who are Teaching Assistants or Course
Lecturers are eligible for this award, and any student or member of the academic staff may submit a nomination. Three awards of $500 each will be made.

The awards will be presented Tuesday, April 24th at 3:00pm in Leacock 232, all are invited to attend. Congratulations Walter!

Back from Modality@OttawaU

McLing reporters have just come back from a special trip to Modality@OttawaU, a two-day workshop on modality held at the University of Ottawa, were they were sent to cover presentations by David Étienne-Bouchard, Jozina van der Klok, Junko Shimoyama and Luis Alonso-Ovalle. The reporters want to convey that the workshop was very successful. To justify their McLing salary, they have contributed some graphical documentation. Enjoy!

Syntax-Semantics reading group 4/23 – Pedersen

This week Walter is presenting on his on-going work on ‘again’ ambiguities. All are welcome! Students who work in the areas of syntax and semantics are particularly encouraged to attend.

When: Monday, April 23, 2012, 3:00-4:30 pm
What: Walter Pedersen: Again and measures-of-change: A unified account of again-ambiguities.
Background reading: Pedersen, Walter A. (2010) Two sources of again-ambiguities: Evidence from degree-achievement predicates [PDF], in Maria Aloni et al. (eds.), Logic, Language and Meaning: 17th Amsterdam Colloquium revised selected papers, vol. 6042 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 355-363, Springer.

Syntax-phonology group 4/26 – Coon, McCulloch, Newell

This week we will have another extended Syntax-Phonology group in order to prepare for the upcoming SIRG workshop:

Where: Linguistics 117
When: Thursday April 26, 10am–1pm (with a break)


FQRSC Grant to Luis Alonso-Ovalle

Luis Alonso-Ovalle has been awarded one FQRSC (Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs) grant. The title of his project is “Variations entre langues dans la sémantique des groupes nominaux indéfinis : l’expression de l’ignorance et de l’indifférence.” Congratulations!

Jozina Vander Klok to speak at McMaster

As McLing goes to press today, Jozina Vander Klok will be at McMaster University giving a talk as an invited speaker on semantic fieldwork methodology. Her talk will be based on her experience working on Javanese, and is titled “The task of the semantic fieldworker: Building controlled contexts to target specific interpretations”.

Syntax-semantics group 4/16: David Nicolas

Who: David Nicolas

What: The logic of mass expressions.

When: April 16, 2010, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Where: Room 117

Syntax-phonology group 4/19: Newell, Leu

The upcoming meetings of the Syntax-Phonology research group will focus on work related to the upcoming  upcoming Exploring the Interfaces: Word Structure workshop, to take place at McGill May 6–8. This week we will begin with a rescheduled presentation from last week, and continue with work by Tom Leu. Please note the earlier start time.
Heather Newell will present: (i) Tobias Scheer‘s Chunk definition in phonology: prosodic constituency vs. phase structure [PDF from his website], and (ii) Zeljko Boskovic (2007) On the Locality and Motivation of Move and Agree: An Even More Minimal Theory (LI 38.4:589 – 644)
Tom Leu will present his own work: “The indefinite article – Indefinite? – Article?” (on Lingbuzz)
When: Thursday April 19th, 9:30–11:30
Where: Linguistics 117

SLUM’s final exam review sessions (FREE!)

SLUM is offering free review sessions for all linguistics classes! Some review sessions are led by students who have previously taken the class, and others are informal reviews for you to get together with other students in the class to go over course material. All review sessions will take place in the linguistics building (1085 Dr. Penfield). Below is the schedule for the April 2012 exam season:

LING 455: Monday April 16, 2:30-4:30, ling lounge (informal review)

LING 330: Wednesday April 18, 2:30-4:30, ling lounge

LING 350: Thursday April 19, 2:30-4:30, ling lounge (informal review)

LING 200: Friday April 20, 2-4pm, rm. 117

LING 371: Tuesday April 24, 2:30-4:30, ling lounge (informal review)

LING 201: Tuesday April 24, 2:30-4:30, rm. 117

LING 320: Thursday April 26, 2:30-4:30, ling lounge

McGill at Ottawa Modality Workshop

McGill will be well-represented at the upcoming Modality@Ottawa workshop later this week. Presentations include work by McGill faculty and graduate students:

  • Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Junko Shimoyama will present collaborative work “Modality in the nominal domain: exploring Japanese wh-ka indeterminates”
  • Luis will also present a talk with Paula Menendez-Benito (Göttingen University): “Indifference and modality: the case of Spanish uno cualquier”
  • David-Etienne Bouchard will present a poster “Opinion verbs are not opaque”
  • Jozina Vander Klok will present a poster titled “Towards a semantic typology of modality: evidence from Paciran Javanese”

You can see the full conference program here.

Jessica Coon returns from Reed

Jessica Coon returned last week from giving a colloquium talk at her undergraduate alma mater Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Her talk, which was based on collaborative work with Omer Preminger, was titled “Taking ‘ergativity’ out of ‘split ergativity’: A structural account of aspect and person splits.”

Post-McGill plans, round 1

Many of our finishing and recently-finished linguistics undergraduates have exciting plans for the coming year. This post presents just a few, please continue to let McLing know of your plans!

  • Recent graduate Aron Hirsch will begin MIT’s PhD program in linguistics this fall
  • Hannah Pinksy will head to UVM to begin a program in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Recent graduate Alexandra Piwowarek will begin an MA program in Saarbrücken this fall
  • Maude Poirier-Caron will spend a year off in England and then plans to head to graduate school in the future

Congratulations and good luck to all!

Brian Buccola Gets a NASSLLI Scholarship

Brian Buccola has received a full scholarship to attend this year’s NASSLLI (North American Summer School of Logic, Language, and Information), a week-long summer program for graduate students in linguistics, logic, philosophy, computer science, and related fields, which will take place at UT Austin. Congratulations, Brian!

Conferences round-up

This was a busy weekend of conferences for McGill students. First year student Gretchen McCulloch traveled to Oklahoma to present her work on indefinites in Mi’gmaq at the Oklahomah Workshop on Native American Languages (OWNAL). This workshop is  part of the 40th Symposium on the American Indian.

Sasha Simonenko traveled to Santa Cruz to present at the 30th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL). Her talk is based on her first Evals paper and is titled “Clitic-hood as a Phonological Correlate of Phase-head Status: Evidence from the Germanic DP“.

Last but not least, local linguistics undergraduates Thea Knowles, Carol Little, and Yuliya Manyakina presented this weekend at Harvard’s Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium. Carol and Thea presented collaborative dialectology work titled “Didja know? A comparative study of affrication across word boundaries in Canadian and American English”. Yuliya, a Concordia student who has been involved in the McGill Mi’gmaq project, prestented “Obviation and Number Marking in Mi’gmaq”.

Alan Bale accepts tenure-track position at Concordia

Alan Bale, McGill PhD (’06) and current Faculty Lecturer, has just accepted a tenure-track position at Concordia University, which he will being July 1st of this year. Please join us in congratulating Alan!

Ling-Tea 4/11 – Jozina Vander Klok

In this week’s Ling-Tea Jozina Vander Klok will give a practice presentation for the upcoming modality workshop at the University of Ottawa, to take place April 20–21st.

Title: Towards a semantic typology of modality: evidence from Paciran Javanese
When: Wednesday 4/11, 3–4pm
Where: Linguistics 117


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