James Crippen interviewed by CBC

James Crippen was interviewed by CBC News in a piece about the lack of updates to the Canadian English Dictionary, emphasizing that it isn’t just English that suffers from a lack of documentation in Canada. You can read the full story here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/canadian-english-dictionary-two-decades-1.6291089

Michael Wagner in McGill Newsroom Q&A

McGill Newsroom covered Michael’s research on the iambic trochaic law that recently appeared in the Psychological Review, titled “Two-dimensional parsing of the acoustic stream explains the Iambic–Trochaic Law”. Read the full Q&A here.

Carol-Rose Little in Cornell “alumna spotlight”

McGill postdoctoral fellow Carol-Rose Little was recently featured in a Cornell University “Alumna Spotlight”, where she talks about her work as well as her (virtual) time in the McGill department. Nice work Carol-Rose!

Lydia White listed among top 2% of most cited academics worldwide

James McGill Professor Emeritus Lydia White appears on a recently published list of the top 2% of academics in the world, as determined by citation indicators (Ioannidis, J., Boyack, K. and Baas, J. 2020. Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators. PloS Biol 18(10).) There were almost 160,000 names in the top 2%, so presumably almost 8 million researchers were fed into the indicators. 460 McGill researchers made it onto the list. Congratulations, Lydia!

Jessica Coon named Director of Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative

Congratulations to Jessica Coon, who was recently named Director of the Mellon-funded Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative! Read the full story here.

McGill Undergraduate Research Event, 1/14

The Annual Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event will take place this evening, January 14th at 5pm in Leacock room 232. Students who conducted research support by Arts Research Internship Awards (ARIAs) last summer will present their work. From linguistics, these projects include:

“Long Distance relationships in Urdu-Hindi: phases or horizons”
Madelaine O’Reilley Brown, Linguistics
Prof. Lisa de Mena Travis, Linguistics

“Prosodic Transfer and the L2 acquisition of Hindi”
Avleen Mokha, Linguistics
Prof. Lydia White, Linguistics

“Intonational Tunes in English: Corpus and Experiment”
Emma Gibson, Linguistics
Prof. Micheal Wagner, Linguistics

“Enabling large-scale analysis of stop consonants across English dialects”
Micheal Goodale, Cognitive Science
Prof. Morgan Sonderegger, Linguistics

“Neural Networks, compositionality, and linguistic representation: evidence from monotonicity”
Emily Goodwin, Linguistics
Prof. Timothy O’Donnell, Linguistics

“Storage and Computation of morphology: Evidence from English”
Gregory Theos, Linguistics
Prof. Timothy O’Donnell, Linguistics

“Gender Bias in Book Reviews”
Isabella Nikolaidis, Linguistics
Prof. Andrew Piper, Linguistics

“Linguistic Fieldwork Research”
Benjamin Oldham, Linguistics
Prof. Jessica Coon, Linguistics

Benjamin Oldham’s work was also showcased on the Faculty’s webpage. Congratulations all!

Sonderegger, Bane and Graff in the news

The recent paper in Language by Sonderegger, Bane and Graff (The Medium-Term Dynamics of Accents on Reality Television) has been discussed in the press. Morgan Sonderegger has been interviewed for CTV News, as well as CBC News. The latter piece also includes Charles Boberg discussing the Montreal accent. Coverage of the paper has also appeared in the McGill Newsroom and the LSA press release.

Congratulations to the authors for this success!

Digging Into Data grant to Morgan Sonderegger

Morgan Sonderegger was part of one of 14 teams internationally receive funding through the Trans-Atlantic Platform Digging into Data Challenge. Charles Boberg and Michael Wagner are also also collaborators on the project. You can learn more about the project in the McGill Reporter:

The project, SPeech Across Dialects of English (SPADE): large-scale digital analysis of a spoken language across space and time, is led by an international team: Jane Stuart-Smith, University of Glasgow, Sonderegger, and Jeffrey Mielke, North Carolina State University, and will analyze 43 existing datasets of both Old World (British Isles) and New World (North American) English, including many private datasets held by “data guardians.”

Congratulations team!

More Arrival news

McGill Linguistics continues to make headlines with the recent release of ArrivalJessica Coon and Morgan Sonderegger both appeared on CTV National News last week, and Jessica was interviewed on CBC’s The Current last Friday. A full list of recent press, along with resources by McGill MA alum and internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch, can be found here.

Arrival arrives

Arrival, the new sci-fi movie with a world-saving linguist protagonist, premiered Friday. The Washington Post recently said it’s made linguistics look “almost cool,” and Science Magazine adds that this will our field’s “chance to set the record straight” about linguistics as a science.

Filmed in Montreal and directed by Denis Villeneuve, Arrival filmmakers worked with McGill linguists Jessica Coon, Morgan Sonderegger, and Lisa Travis. A group of Montreal-based linguists got to attend a special pre-release screening in downtown Montreal last Wednesday:

Linguists at Arrival

Linguists at Arrival

Jessica spent the last couple of weeks doing a lot of press interviews. You can read about some of them in the The Wall Street Journal, The New York ObserverThe Montreal Gazette, Wired, PCMag, Metro News, and McGill’s Alumni Magazine.

Jessica also wrote a piece for Museum of the Moving Image on aliens, fieldwork, and Universal Grammar.

You’ll notice an uncanny resemblance between Lisa’s office and the office of Dr. Louise Banks, documented on LanguageLog.

The Banks/Travis office

The Banks/Travis office

And you’ll see Morgan’s spectograms and Heptapod sounds throughout the film.


Charles Boberg in Canadian Accent Video

Charles Boberg is featured in a new video, “The Canadian English Accent“, made by Toronto independent documentary filmmaker, Jim DeLuca. The video focuses on regional variation in Canadian English, featuring ordinary Canadians from across Canada pronouncing words and an interview with Charles. Nice, eh?

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