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End-of-year news

Paulina Elias (BA ’18) will begin the masters program in Speech Language Pathology at Western University.

Masashi Harada will present a poster at GLOW in Asia Xll in Seoul, South Korea. The poster about his first Eval paper will be titled “Contextual effects on case in Japanese copular constructions”. For this research trip, Masashi will be funded by the CRBLM.

Francesco Gentile and Bernhard Schwarz will be presenting their new joint work on how many questions at the Workshop “Exhaustivity in Questions and Answers – Experimental and theoretical approaches” in Tübingen, Germany. The  title of their talk is: “An argument that higher order wh-quantification is over existentials only“.

Parameters Workshop

The Parameters Workshop in Honour of Lisa Travis took place Friday and Saturday last week at Thomson House, and included a number of current and former McGill affiliates, especially students, colleagues, and collaborators of Lisa Travis.

workshop participants outside Thomson House

The workshop included two full days of talks and posters on the topic of parameters. Special thanks to grad student organizers Masashi Harada, Henrison Hsieh, Mathieu Paillé, and Justin Royer.

Lisa gave the plenary talk

McGill at SALT 29

McGill linguists traveled to California last week for the 29th meeting of SALT (Semantics and Linguistic Theory), held May 17th–19th at UCLA. Talks and posters by McGill affiliates included:

  • Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Esmail Moghiseh – Neutralizing Free Choice Items via Domain Restriction: Farsi -i Indefinites
  • Aron Hirsch and Bernhard Schwarz – Singular “which”, mention-some, and variable scope uniqueness
  • Bernhard Schwarz, Alexandra Simonenko (PhD ’14), and David Oshima – Factive islands from necessary blocking

The full program can be found here. Some current and former McGill linguists gathered for a photo:

McGill @ SALT: Bernhard, Esmail, Luis, mitcho Erlewine (postdoc ’14–
’15), Aron, Maayan Adar (MA ’14)

Parameters Workshop this Friday and Saturday!

This Friday and Saturday McGill will be posting a Parameters Workshop in Honour of Lisa Travis, who is retiring at the end of this year. Full information is available on the workshop website, here: https://lingconf.com/parameters/

McGill at GLOW 42

GLOW 42 was hosted at the University of Oslo between 7-11 May. McGill linguists gave presentations at the conference, and McGill alumnus Jozina Vander Klok (PhD, 2013) was one of its organizers. The full program can be viewed on GLOW’s website here.

McGill’s linguists gathered for a quick photo:

Left-to-right: Jurij Bozic, Jozina Vander Klok (PhD ’12), Cornelia Loos (visiting student, ’06-07)

McGill at MOTH

The 2019 Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton (MOTH) Syntax Workshop took place this past weekend at Carleton University in Ottawa. Lisa Travis gave an invited talk, and Mathieu Paillé presented a talk title “Unergatives in Malay inside-verbals.”

McGill at MOTH: Kumiko Murasugi (postdoc ’93-’94), Lisa, Mathieu, and Bronwyn Bjorkman (BA ’06) 

Register for the Parameters Workshop in Honour of Lisa Travis, May 17th and 18th

Lisa Travis is retiring at the end of this year and we are throwing a party––in the form of a conference on parameters––to celebrate her career and her many years of contributions to the McGill Linguistics Department. The schedule for the Parameters Workshop in Honour of Lisa Travis is now available here: https://lingconf.com/parameters/schedule/
We have a great line-up of 8 invited presentations (including by the guest of honour), as well as shorter talks and a poster session. The two-day event will be held at Thomson House, Friday and Saturday May 17th and 18th, and you are all invited.
Registration is free if you register before May 10th. Please register here: https://lingconf.com/parameters/registration/
We hope to see you there!
The organizing team: Jessica Coon, Masashi Harada, Henrison Hsieh, Matthieu Paillé, Ileana Paul, Justin Royer, and Junko Shimoyama

Clint Parker at SAIL and NACIL

Clint Parker is at the University of Arizona this week for two conferences.  This past weekend he presented a poster at the Symposium on American Indian Languages.  His poster, based on work from his second Eval paper, was titled “On the roles and responsibilities of universities in Indigenous Language Revitalization: A Canadian Perspective”.  Next weekend he will give a talk titled “Agreement, clitic doubling, and vestigial ergativity in Shughni” at the Second North American Conference on Iranian Linguistics.

Clint with at his poster with SAIL organizer Wilson Silva

McGill at CUNY 2019 Conference on Human Sentence Processing

Graham Adachi-Kriege, Greg Theos, (both undergraduate researchers working with Tim) and Vanna Willerton presented their posters at the CUNY 2019 Conference on Human Sentence Processing (https://www.colorado.edu/event/cuny2019/) held on March 30-April 01. Graham and Vanna covered their recent work on the rate of child over-irregularization errors, focusing on the English past tense. Greg presented his evaluation of a theory of morphological productivity using simulated lexical decision time data.

Liz Smeets at GASLA

Liz Smeets is just back from the 15th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (GASLA) conference where she presented on her thesis work. Her talk was entitled “Testing L1 transfer at the syntax-discourse interface: the case of CLLD in Italian.” Congrats Liz!

GASLA attendees, including Liz (4th from left) and McGill alumna Silvina Montrul (5th from left)

TOM 12 – 3/30

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, 2019. For details and registration, see https://tom12mtl.wixsite.com/tom12. All are welcome. Those planning to attend are requested to register. Registration is free.

Workshop on Amazigh Languages, 3/21—3/22

McGill linguistics will host a Workshop on Amazigh languages on March 21st and March 22nd. 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.

All are welcome! If you do you plan on attending for some or all, please email organizer Nico Baier ideally by Monday, March 11.

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

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