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Michael at UofT

Michael Wagner presented a keynote talk titled “Toward a Bestiary of the Intonational Tunes of English” at the 4th Intonation Workshop at University of Toronto last Friday, reporting on joint work with McGill PhD alum Dan Goodhue on the on the intonational bestiary.

TOM 12 at McGill/Concordia – Call for abstracts

The 12th annual Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal Semantics Workshop (TOM 12) will be co-hosted by the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics at Concordia University and the Department of Linguistics at McGill University on Saturday, March 30, 2018. TOM is an informal workshop aiming to bring 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.

Invited speaker: Grégoire Winterstein (UQAM)

We invite the submission of anonymous abstracts for talks and posters. Abstracts should be at most one page in length, with one-inch margins and a 12 point font (Times or similar). Please indicate whether you wish the abstract to be considered for a talk, poster, or both. Talks will be 20 minutes long with 10 minutes for questions. Please send your abstract by email attachment to tom12abstracts@gmail.com

Deadline for abstract submission: Sunday, February 24, 2019, 11:59pm.

Contact person at the Concordia University: Alan Bale (alancbale@gmail.com)
Contact person at the McGill University: Bernhard Schwarz (bernhard.schwarz@mcgill.ca)

Workshop on Amazigh Languages, 3/21 – Save the date!

McGill linguistics will host a Workshop on Amazigh languages on March 21st. The workshop will have invited talks by Karim Achab (University of Ottawa), Hamid Ouali (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Khokha Fahloune (UQAM), as well as short presentations on Kabyle by the students in this semester’s Field Methods course. A full schedule will be released soon. Attendance is free and all are welcome! For more information, contact organizer Nico Baier.

McGill at LSA 2019

The Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America took place this past weekend in New York, and McGill linguists were there presenting. Presentations by current affiliates included:

  • Nico Baier – Anti-agreement in Selayarese
  • Aron Hirsch and Uli Sauerland (ZAS) – Adverbs in collective conjunctions
  • Jeffrey LaMontagne – Acoustic evidence of phonemicization: Lax high vowels in Quebec French

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.

  • 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)


  • 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

McGill at Annual Meeting on Phonology

McGill linguists attended the Annual Meeting on Phonology that took place at UC San Diego on October 5-7. The following posters were presented by current members of the department:
  • “Native and non-native patterns in conflict: Lexicon vs. grammar in loanword adaptation in Brazilian Portuguese” — Natália Brambatti Guzzo
  • “Evidence for a pitch accent in Saguenay French” — Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad and Morgan Sonderegger
  • “Evidence of phonemicization: Lax vowels in Canadian French” — Jeffrey Lamontagne
In the picture, from left to right:
Natália Guzzo, Marc Garellek (BA 2008), Sara Mackenzie (post-doc 2010-2011), Jeff Lamontagne, Erin Olson (BA 2012), Joe Pater (PhD 1997), Sharon Rose (PhD 1997)

McGill at NELS 49

The 49th meeting of the Northeast Linguistics Society (NELS 49) took place 5-7 October at Cornell. The following papers and posters were presented by current McGillians.

Number inflection, Spanish Bare Interrogatives, and Higher-Order Quantification
Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Vincent Rouillard

Feet are parametric – even in languages with stress
Guilherme D. Garcia and Heather Goad

Control-Forming Domains are Not Only Phases: Evidence for Probe Horizons
Jurij Božič (poster)

Domain restriction and noun classifiers in Chuj (Mayan)
Justin Royer (poster)

McGill affiliates of present and past gathered for a photo:

Carol-Rose Little (BA hon 2012), Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Vincent Rouillard (BA hon 2017), Mark Baker (McGill prof 1986-1998), Nico Baier, Justin Royer, Heather Goad

McGill at GALANA

Several papers by members of the Department were presented at GALANA (Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America) in Bloomington, Indiana, Sept. 27–30. Presentations included:
  • “Intervention effects in adult L2 processing of relative clauses” – Vera Xia and Lydia White
  • “Pronoun interpretation in L2 Italian: prosodic effects revisited” – Heather Goad, Lydia White, Guilherme Garcia, Natalia Guzzi, Sepideh Mortazavinia, Liz Smeets, and Jiajia Su
  • “Competence and performance in language acquisition revisited: drawing a fine line” – Keynote talk by Lydia White

Gui Garcia, Lydia White, Liz Smeets, Silvina Montrul, Alan Munn

Lydia White and Vera Xia also presented a poster at EUROSLA, Münster, Germany, Sept. 5-8. on “Intervention effects in L2 representation and processing”.

McGill at Sinn und Bedeutung 23

McGill Linguists, past and present, attended Sinn und Bedeutung 23, hosted by the Centre de Lingüística Teòrica at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, on September 5-7, 2018. Presentations included:

  • Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Esmail Moghiseh – Contradiction-Free Strengthening and Alternative Discharge: Persian -i Indefinites
  • Amir Anvari, Brian Buccola (PhD McGill 2016) and Andreas Haida – Alternative questions in Farsi
  • Alan Bale (PhD McGill 2006) and Bernhard Schwarz – Reverse proportionality without context dependent standards.
  • Daniel Goodhue (PhD McGill 2018) – High negation questions and epistemic bias.

Brian, Luis, Dan, and Bernhard at SuB 23

Symposium on Second Language Acquisition in Honour of Lydia White

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Linguistics will be hosting the Symposium on Second Language Acquisition in Honour of Lydia White, August 31–September 1, 2018. The program is attached. Everyone is invited to attend. You can find the program here.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our McGill sponsors: Provost’s Research Fund, Dean of Arts’ Development Fund, as well as the Department of Linguistics.

McGill at ISPBAC

Lydia White has presenting a poster at the International Symposium on Bilingual and L2 Processing in Adults and Children in Braunschweig, Germany, May 24-25 (https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/anglistik/isbpac). The title of the paper is ‘How prosody affects L2 processing: Pronoun interpretation in L2 Italian‘, with the following  o-authors: Heather Goad, Natalia Brambatti Guzzo, Guiherme Garcia, Sepideh Mortazavinia, Liz Smeets and Jiajia Su.

John Matthews, Phaedra Royle, Shanley Allen, Lydia White, Makiko Hirakawa, Theres Grueter, Karsten Steinhauer.

McGill at SALT 28

Former and current McGill linguist gathered at MIT this past weekend for Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 28 (https://salt28mit.org/). Their talks included:

  • Maayan Abenina-Adar (McGill MA 2014) and Yael Sharvit: “Domain uniformity in questions”

While the following gave poster presentations:

  • Keely New and Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine (McGill postdoc 2014-15): “The expression of exhaustivity and scalarity in Burmese”
  • Bernhard Schwarz and Alexandra Simonenko (McGill PhD 2014): “Ways and reasons: probing the semantics of how- and why-questions”
  • Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Aron Hirsch: “Keep only strong”

Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, Maayan Abenina-Adar, Aron Hirsch, Bernhard Schwarz, Luis Alonso-Ovalle

McGill at the Primer Encuentro de Estudios sobre el Chuj

The McGill Chuj group was at the Universidad Autónoma de México last week for the Primer Encuentro de Estudios sobre el Chuj, May 17th and 18th. Their presentations were:

  • Robert Henderson, Paulina Elias, Justin Royer, and Jessica Coon – La composición de la estatividad en chuj
  • Justin Royer – La (in)definitud en Chuj y su relación con los clasificadores nominales
  • Jessica Coon – Distinguiendo adjetivos y cláusulas relativas en chuj (con la ayuda del ch’ol)

Robert Henderson (post-doc ’12–’13), Paulina Elias (BA ’18), Jessica Coon, Justin Royer


Workshop group at Teotihuacán

McGill at AFLA 25

This past weekend, some current and former McGill linguists participated in AFLA 25 (the Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association) at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Their presentations were:

  • Kie Zuraw (Invited speaker, UCLA, McGill BA ’94): Frequency and Predictability: How and Why do They Influence Phonological Rules
  • Tingchun (TC) Chen (MIT, McGill BA): Multiple case assignment and case-stacking in Amis
  • Cheryl Lim & Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine (National University of Singapore, McGill postdoc ’14-’15): Agent extraction and topicalization in Bikol
  • Carol-Rose Little (Cornell, McGill BA) & Ekarina Winarto: Kinds, classifiers and definiteness in Indonesian: Two grammars in one
  • Michaela Socolof (McGill BA ’16, incoming PhD student) & Junko Shimoyama: The Distribution of the Māori Genitive Relative Construction

Henrison, Mitcho, Michaela, TC, Junko, Kie

O’Donnell presents at Conference on Quantitative Approaches to Language Science

Tim O’Donnell gave a talk on May 5th at the Conference on Quantitative Approaches to Language Science hosted by the University of California Irvine. The title of his talk was Algorithmic program synthesis of morphophonological rules. The entire program ca be found here.

MOTH 6 a Success

McGill hosted MOTH 6 (the 6th annual Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton workshop on syntax) on Saturday, April 28, 2018. It was a big success. Thank you to all the participants, and to the student organizers Gouming Martens and Clint Parker for all the work!

McGill presenters:

  • Nico Baier (invited speaker) – Reassessing the link between anti-agreement and A’-movement
  • 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

The full program can be found here.


McGill at WCCFL 36

McGill linguists past and present gathered at UCLA this past weekend to present their research at the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL).

McGill linguists past and present gathered at UCLA this past weekend to present their research at the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL).


Matthew Barros & Hadas Kotek (McGill postdoc 2014-16): “Some Issues with Sluicing as Anaphora to Issues“
Mathieu Paillé & Bernhard Schwarz: “Knowing whether and ignorance inferences“


Aron Hirsch: “Epistemically-sensitive ‘only’ ”
Maayan Abenina-Adar (McGill MA 2014): “Surprising”
Guilherme D. Garcia (McGill PhD 2017) and Heather Goad: “Can you have stress without feet?”
Jeffrey Lamontagne: “Acoustic Evidence of Phonemicization: Laxing Coarticulation in Canadian French”

Photo, from left to right: Mathieu, Maayan, Heather, Aron, Bernhard

Left to right: Mathieu, Maayan, Heather, Aron, Bernhard


Goodhue gives talk at workshop “Meaning and Commitment”

Last week, Daniel Goodhue (PhD 2018) presented a talk based on his thesis titled Epistemic bias in polar questions at the workshop on Meaning and Commitment at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.

MOTH 6 at McGill this Saturday (28th April)

MOTH 6 (the 6th annual Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton workshop on syntax) is coming up on Saturday, April 28, 2018, hosted at Thomson House, McGill University. We hope to see many of you there! McGill presenters are:

  • Nico Baier – TBA
  • 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

The full program is found here.

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