Author Archive for McLing

Happy break everyone!

This is McLing’s last newsletter of 2018. We hope you all enjoy the break, keep sending us your news in the new year!

Nico Baier at UofT

Postdoctoral researcher Nico Baier was at the University of Toronto last week where he gave an invited talk “Unifying anti-agreement and wh-agreement.”

Syntax Reading Group, 12/5 – Aron Hirsch

This week, Aron Hirsch will discuss joint work in progress with Uli Sauerland on sentential structure in collective conjunction. There is no reading for this week.
We meet Wednesdays 1-2pm in Linguistics room 117. All are welcome!

Syntax Reading Group, 11/28 – Junko Shimoyama on Bhatt and Dayal

This week, Junko Shimoyama will be leading a discussion on an under review manuscript by Rajesh Bhatt and Veneeta Dayal entitled “Polar Question Particles”, focusing in particular on implications for embedded root phenomena.
As usual, we meet Wednesday 1-2pm in Linguistics Room 117. All are welcome!

McGill Fieldwork Lab, 11/29

This month’s Fieldwork Group meeting will take place Thursday 11/29 from 4:00–4:30 in room 002 of Linguistics. We will be hear short presentations on language-related community engagement and outreach from Javier Domingo, Ben Oldham, Clint Parker, and Robbie Penman. All are welcome!

Boberg et al. Handbook of Dialectology

The Handbook of Dialectology, co-edited by Charles Boberg, John Nerbonne, and Dominic Watt was published by Wiley-Blackwell earlier this year.

Bernhard Schwarz at McGill Student Association of Cognitive Science

On November 13, Bernhard gave an invited presentation “How and why: a case study in meaning”  in the Cognitive Science speaker series,x organized by McGill’s Student Association of Cognitive Science. The presentation was based on joint work with Alexandra Simonenko (McGill PhD ’14).
Abstract: The body of literature on the semantics of questions, sparked by classic works from the 1970s and 1980s, is substantial, yet most of this literature focuses narrowly on questions about individuals (Who left?or degrees (How long is it?)In this talk, I will offer some remarks about how– and why-questions like How did you open the door? or Why did the lights go out?. I will discuss why investigating the semantics of such questions is hard, what types of evidence are available to probe their meanings, and I will report on some surprising differences in logical behaviour between different types of how– and why-questions

Bozic in Linguistic Inquiry

Congratulations to Jurij Božič, who has recently learned that his paper ‘Strictly Local Impoverishment: An Intervention Effect’ has been accepted for publication by Linguistic Inquiry. An earlier version of the paper can be found on Lingbuzz.

Michael Wagner in France

Michael is back from at talk at LINGUAE at ENS in Paris, and presenting a joint keynote at the Workshop on Prosody & Meaning and SemDial in Aix en Provence. The talks reported on joint work with Dan Goodhue on their project ‘Toward an Intonational Bestiary‘.

Word Structure Research Group, 11/12

The next meeting of the Word Structure Research Group will take place Monday, 12 November, 3:30-5 PM at UQAM, room DS-3470, Pavillon J.-A.-DeSève, 320 Sainte-Catherine East.

Topic:  Subsyllabic morphemes in Mandarin: Demonstratives zhei and nei, presented by Isabelle Boyer.

Congratulations Lisa Travis!

Congratulations to Lisa Travis, who will be retiring at the end of this year. Last week, current and former students and colleagues gathered for a surprise party in Lisa’s honour. McGill alums Laura Kalin, Ileana Paul and Jozina Vander Klok presented Lisa with a book of 44 papers written on the occasion of her retirement entitled Heading in the right direction: Linguistic treats for Lisa Travis, which was published by McGill Working Papers in Linguistics and will be available online shortly.

McGill will also host a workshop on parameters in honour of Lisa’s retirement this May. See details and a call for papers here.

Syntax Reading Group, 11/7

This week, Mathieu Paillé will be presenting some data and a puzzle relating to his ongoing work on an expletive subject usage of Malay “-nya”. There is no reading for this week.
As usual, we will meet Wednesday 1-2pm in Linguistics room 117. All are welcome!

Junko Shimoyama at Ottawa

Junko Shimoyama gave a colloquium talk on Friday, Nov. 2 at the University of Ottawa, on positively biased negative polar questions in Japanese and their embeddability. This is joint work with Dan Goodhue (PhD 2018) and Mako Hirotani at Carleton University.

Syntax Reading Group, 10/31

This week, Matthew Schuurman (UQÀM) will be leading a discussion on coordination in Inuktitut. Suggested background reading is Chapter 2 of Zhang 2009.
As usual, we will meet Wednesday 1-2pm in Linguistics room 117.
Reference for reading:
Zhang, Niina Ning. Coordination in Syntax. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511770746.

Fieldwork Lab meeting, 11/1

The Fieldwork Lab will meet this Thursday from 4:00–5:30 in Linguistics room 117. This week we will hear short presentations on data elicitation and data gathering puzzles, with presentations by Natalia Brambatti Guzzo, Henrison Hsieh, Matthew Schuurman (UQÀM), Michaela Socolof, Simon Theriault (UdeM).

Colloquium, 11/2 – Nico Baier

Speaker:  Nico Baier
Date & Time: November 2, 3:30pm
Place:  Education Bldg. rm. 211
Title:  Unifying anti-agreement and wh-agreement

Abstract:

In this talk, I investigate the sensitivity of φ-agreement to features typically associated with Ā- extraction, including those related to wh-questioning, relativization, focus and topicalization. This phenomenon has been referred to as anti-agreement (Ouhalla 1993) or wh-agreement (Chung and Georgopoulos 1988; Georgopoulos 1991; Chung 1994) in the literature. While anti-agreement is commonly held to result from constraints on the Ā-movement of agreeing DPs, I argue that it reduces to an instance of wh-agreement, or the appearance of particular morphological forms in the presence of Ā-features. I develop a unified account of these Ā-sensitive φ-agreement effects in which they arise from the ability of φ-probes to copy both φ-features and Ā-features in the syntax. In the morphological component, partial or total impoverishment may apply to feature bundles containing both φ- and Ā-features, deleting some or all of the φ-features. Impoverishment blocks insertion of an otherwise appropriate, more highly specified agreement exponent. I present case studies of the effect of Ā-features on φ-agreement in three languages: the West Caucasian language Abaza (O’Herin 2002); the Berber language Tarifit (Ouhalla 1993; El Hankari 2010); and the Northern Italian dialect Fiorentino (Brandi and Cordin 1989; Suñer 1992). I show that in all three languages, the agreement exponents that appear in the context of Ā-features are systematically underspecified.

Morgan Sonderegger at University of Oregon

Morgan Sonderegger was at University of Oregon’s Department of Linguistics October 25-26, where he gave a workshop entitled “Topics in fitting and using mixed-effects regression models” and a colloquium talk, “Towards larger-scale cross-linguistic and cross-variety studies of speech”.

Junko Shimoyama at WAFL

Junko Shimoyama gave an invited talk at the 14th Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics (WAFL) at MIT last week (Oct. 19-21), which was preceded by a workshop in honor of Shigeru Miyagawa (Oct. 18). Her talk was titled “Embeddability of biased negative polar questions in Japanese”, which is joint work with Dan Goodhue (PhD 2018) and Mako Hirotani (Carleton University).

McGill at NWAV 47

McGill linguists were at New Ways of Analyzing Variation, NWAV 47 last week at NYU where they gave talks and ran a workshop.

Workshop:
  • Integrated Speech Corpus ANalysis – ISCAN: A new tool for large-scale, cross-corpus, sociolinguistic analysis – Jane Stuart-Smith (University of Glasgow), Morgan Sonderegger, James Tanner, Vanna Willerton, Michael McAuliffe (McGill University)

Talks:

  • Age vectors vs. axes of intraspeaker variation for North American and Scottish English vowel formants  – Mielke, Fruehwald, Thomas, McAuliffeSonderegger and Dodsworth
  • Dialectal and social factors affect the phonetic bases of English /s/-retraction – Stuart-Smith, Sonderegger, Macdonald, McAuliffe and Mielke

Knowles, Clayards, and Sonderegger in Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

The paper “Examining Factors Influencing the Viability of Automatic Acoustic Analysis of Child Speech,” by Thea Knowles (McGill BA 2012; now at Western University), Meghan Clayards and Morgan Sonderegger was published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Congrats!

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