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McGill at Ba-TOM 1

Students from the Winter 2022 Linguistic Field Methods class will be traveling to Toronto later this week to present their work on Kirundi at the first Toronto–Montreal Bantu Colloquium, Ba-TOM 1, hosted at the University of Toronto Scarborough May 27th and 28th. Presenters include Chase BolesBrandon ChaperonTerrance Gatchalian, Claire HendersonKatya Morgunova, Willie Myers, and David Shanks.

MULL-lab, 04/06 – David Shanks

MULL-lab will be meeting this Wednesday, April 6th at 4pm. David will be presenting: The Southern Tutchone NP. The abstract is attached below:

Abstract: Southern Tutchone is a critically endangered Dene (Athabaskan) language spoken in the southern Yukon. This talk focuses on two processes in the nominal domain: possession and nominalization. I will first outline the possessive system before focusing on innovative processes in Southern Tutchone that differ from nearby Dene languages. For example, binding in clausal subject and object pronouns appears to have influenced possession. I will then discuss nominalization, which can be divided into two forms: unmarked nominalizations, which are used to form most nouns in Southern Tutchone; and marked nominalizations, which are found in temporal subordinate constructions.

MULL-lab, 03/30 – Brandon Chaperon

MULL-lab will be meeting this Wednesday, March 30th at 4pm. Brandon will be presenting: Igala’s Dual Negation. Abstract is attached below:

Abstract: This talk presents a puzzle pertaining to two different surface forms for negation in Igala (Niger-Congo). Negation can either surface as a (super) high tone on the subject or as a pre-verbal particle. I will first go over the general distribution patterns of these two segments. Afterwards, I will lay out some tests that showcase the interaction and restrictions of negation with other phenomena (e.g., modals and conditionals). These will hopefully hint at what causes them to surface differently.

MULL-lab, 03/23 – Katya Morgunova

MULL-lab will be meeting this Wednesday, March 23rd at 4pm. 

Katya will be presenting: Augmenting the Kirundi augment. Abstract is attached below:

 

Abstract: The augment is a nominal prefix found in some Bantu languages. It is usually associated with the semantics of definiteness and is often argued to be a D-head. In this talk, I present some new data collected from ongoing fieldwork on the distribution of the augment in Kirundi (Great Lakes Bantu). Following a discussion of prior work in Kirundi and other Bantu languages, I also share my initial analysis of the syntax and semantics of the Kirundi augment.

MULL-lab, 03/16 – Terrance Gatchalian

MULL-lab will be meeting this Wednesday, March 16th at 4pm. 

Terrance will be presenting work on Ktunaxa causatives. Abstract is attached below:

 

Abstract: This talk presents data on the Ktunaxa causative construction, which are morphologically complex, consisting of a valency-preserving causative morpheme and a more general valency-increasing morpheme. I discuss various proposals for the structure of causatives, and show that Ktunaxa demonstrates the need for the syntactic separation of causativization and the introduction of an additional causer argument, along the lines of Pylkkänen’s (2008) theory of causatives. I end with a puzzle on the distribution of causatives.

MULL-lab, 03/09 – Yoann Léveillé

MULL-lab will be meeting this Wednesday, March 9th at 4pm. 

Yoann will be presenting his talk Some observations on the morphosyntax of Inuktitut demonstratives . Abstract is attached below:

Abstract: This talk presents a morphosyntactic overview of demonstratives in Nunavimmiutitut, a dialect of Eastern Canadian Inuktitut spoken in Nunavik, focusing on ongoing work with a consultant and data presented in Beach (2011). First, I present a quick overview of the internal structure of Inuktitut demonstratives. Second, I discuss a few distributional facts and cooccurrence restrictions: ability to bear affixal attributive adjectives, cliticization on nouns and verbs, etc. Third, the incorporation of demonstratives is put in relation to that of other nominals. Finally, I consider the implications of these facts for the categorial status of Inuktitut demonstratives.

MULL-lab, 2/16 – Lisa Travis

The MULL-lab will be meeting on Wednesday, February 16th at 4pm. Lisa Travis will be presenting the second part of Event structure through the lens of Malagasy morphology. Please see the abstract below.

Abstract:

This talk will present a particular view of event structure as suggested by the morphological breakdown of particular verb forms in Malagasy.  The proposal is that Malagasy has morphemes for v (state, inchoative, cause), a verbal base (V), as well as an intervening functional category, Inner Aspect, that encodes telicity. Further, an argument will be made that Achievements are formed by merging a verbal base with a telic Inner Aspect and a stative v.

 

Please register in advance at the link below to receive the Zoom link: https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpfumsrTsoGNy1hDF4Y6B-kGgUQXE_Zcr1

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

MULL-lab, 2/9 – Lisa Travis

The MULL-lab will be meeting on Wednesday, February 9th at 4pm. Lisa Travis will be presenting Event structure through the lens of Malagasy morphology. Please see the abstract below.

Abstract:

This talk will present a particular view of event structure as suggested by the morphological breakdown of particular verb forms in Malagasy.  The proposal is that Malagasy has morphemes for v (state, inchoative, cause), a verbal base (V), as well as an intervening functional category, Inner Aspect, that encodes telicity. Further, an argument will be made that Achievements are formed by merging a verbal base with a telic Inner Aspect and a stative v.

 

Please register in advance at the link below to receive the Zoom link: https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpfumsrTsoGNy1hDF4Y6B-kGgUQXE_Zcr1

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

MULL-lab, 2/2 – Willie Myers

The MULL-lab will be on Wednesday, February 2nd at 4pm. Willie Myers will be presenting Nasals, Glides and Complex Onsets in Kirundi. Please see the abstract below.

Abstract:

This talk presents three phonology puzzles based on preliminary fieldwork in Kirundi. The first puzzle examines NC clusters with a focus on nasal + voiceless stop clusters (which are commonly prohibited in Bantu languages). The second puzzle looks at the distribution of glides in the language. The third puzzle brings these two nasals and glides together to analyze Kirundi’s complex onset clusters – unexpected based on Proto-Bantu’s traditional (C)V syllable structure.

Please register in advance at the link below to receive the Zoom link: https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpfumsrTsoGNy1hDF4Y6B-kGgUQXE_Zcr1

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

MULL-Lab, 01/26 – Will Johnston

The MULL-lab will be on Wednesday, January 26th at 4pm. Will Johnston will be presenting ‘Disposal’ constructions in Hmong. Please see the abstract below.

Abstract:

In this talk, I present three interrelated puzzles involving so-called ‘Disposal’ serial verb constructions (SVCs) in Hmong. These involve the use of two or more transitive verbs (with shared subject and object arguments) to jointly describe a single event, as in (1). The first puzzle is the word order of Disposal SVCs, which in contrast to other Hmong SVCs (i) is flexible, and (ii) takes into account semantic/temporal information. The second relates to a type of object shift unique to Disposal constructions (and unattested in the literature). The third is the unique behavior of examples involving a particular verb, muab `to take’, which suggests they require a separate treatment.

 

  1. nws        tsa                          cov taws                           txhoov pov        cia
  2. 3SG        stand.up              CLF.PL firewood                 cut          throw    set.aside

‘He stood up the wood, chopped it, and threw it aside (into storage).’

 

Please register in advance at the link below to receive the Zoom link: https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpfumsrTsoGNy1hDF4Y6B-kGgUQXE_Zcr1

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

MULL-lab, 01/19 – First meeting

This semester, the MULL-lab will be meeting Wednesdays at 4 pm on Zoom. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, January 19th.

Please register in advance at the link below to receive the Zoom link:

https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpfumsrTsoGNy1hDF4Y6B-kGgUQXE_Zcr1

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

MULL-Lab, 12/07 – David Shanks

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, December 7 at 4:30pm. David Shanks will give a talk titled Possession in Southern Tutchone. An abstract for the talk is below. If you would like to attend but haven’t registered for MULL-Lab, you can do so here.

Description: Southern Tutchone is an indigenous language of the Dene (Athabaskan) family spoken in the Yukon. Like other Dene languages, it has morphologically rich verbs and simple nominals. This talk will outline the possessive system, which differentiates alienable, or optional, possession from inalienable, or obligatory, possession.

MCQLL Meeting, 11/30 – Julien Carrier

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, November 30 at 4:30pm. Julien Carrier (UQAM) will give a talk titled Topicality and referentiality in Inuktitut. An abstract for the talk is below. If you would like to attend but haven’t registered for MULL-Lab, you can do so here.

Abstract: In this talk, I argue that Inuktitut is a discourse-configurational language whose grammatical functions have distinct discourse qualities. I demonstrate using a variationist approach with naturalistic data from speakers of North Baffin Inuktitut that nominal arguments marked with the absolutive case or the ergative case are, respectively, aboutness topics and familiar topics based on Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl’s (2007) typology of topics, while other nominal arguments marked with an oblique case or incorporated into the verb are non-topics. I also propose that D heads in Inuktitut are interpreted as a choice function whose existential closure may apply anywhere at LF (e.g., Reinhart 1992, 1997; Winter 1997) except for nominal arguments marked with the absolutive case or the ergative case as the latter move overtly to the CP-domain and systematically have wide scope over operators like negation.

MULL-Lab, 11/16 – Clint Parker

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, November 16 at 4:30pm. Clint Parker will give a talk titled Toward an analysis of Shughni causative constructions. A description for the talk is below. If you would like to attend but haven’t registered for MULL-Lab, you can do so here.

Description: Shughni (Iranian; Tajikistan & Afghanistan) has at least three commonly used causative-like constructions: a morphological causative, a (biclausal) syntactic construction, and a causative~instrumental syncretism built off the locative postposition -ti. Each type of causative exhibits certain peculiarities. In this talk, I will present an overview of each type of causative along with findings from fieldwork and initial thoughts on possible analyses.

MULL-Lab, 11/09 – Terrance Gatchalian

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, November 9 at 4:30pm. Terrance Gatchalian will give a talk titled Some Notes on Ktunaxa causatives. A description for the talk is below. If you would like to attend but haven’t registered for MULL-Lab, you can do so here.

Description: I will be presenting some preliminary data and generalizations on Ktunaxa causatives, showing that the basic causative construction introduces causative semantics but no additional causer argument. To introduce the causer, Ktunaxa requires both the causative suffix and a separate valency-increasing morpheme.

MULL-Lab, 11/02 – Willie Myers

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, November 2 at 4:30pm.  Willie Myers will give a talk titled High, Low, and No Absolutive Mayan Syntax: Effects of No Object Raising in Heritage Mam.  An abstract for the talk is below.  If you would like to attend but haven’t registered for MULL-Lab, you can do so here.
Abstract: Coon et al. (2014) propose that absolutive morphemes come from two different sources in Mayan languages: finite Infl in HIGH-ABS languages like Mam, and v in LOW-ABS languages like Cho’l. As a result, the languages also differ in a variety of properties related to syntactic ergativity. This talk brings in new data from a heritage speaker of Mam which does not demonstrate any of the expected HIGH-ABS properties in transitive clauses. I argue that this variation is a consequence of an underlying lack of object raising and that the heritage Mam requires a new option for parametrization – NO-ABS – in which absolutive morphemes are never licensed in transitive clauses. I show that NO-ABS Mam patterns with LOW-ABS languages in the parameter, supporting Coon et al.’s (2021) claim that object raising is the source of HIGH-ABS syntax and providing additional evidence for the role of the transitive object in creating syntactic ergativity in Mayan.

MULL-Lab, 10/26 – Jessica Coon and Justin Royer

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, October 26, at 4:30pm.  Jessica Coon and Justin Royer will be presenting their paper titled Object raising bleeds binding: A new correlate of high-absolutive syntax in Mayan (see abstract below).  If you have not registered for MULL-Lab but would like to attend, you can register here.

Abstract: A subset of Mayan languages prohibit the extraction of subjects from transitive sentences, a phenomenon known as the Ergative Extraction Constraint (EEC) (Aissen 2017, Coon et al. 2021). One family of accounts connects the EEC to object raising: the object consistently raises above the subject in transitive sentences, which consequently blocks extraction of the subject (Campana 1992, Coon et al. 2014). A second family of accounts leaves the object in its canonical position, but ties the EEC to optimality; in short, a construction other than a regular transitive sentence is available in cases of subject extraction, and a ranking of constraints enforces the use of that construction (Stiebels 2006, Erlewine 2016). In this talk, we provide new evidence for the object raising approach. We show that object raising leads to a configuration in which the subject does not bind into the object, with important repercussions for the distribution of coreferential nominals in Mayan languages that exhibit the EEC.

MULL-Lab, 10/21 – Sigwan Thivierge

MULL-Lab will be meeting this Tuesday at 4:30pm.  Sigwan Thivierge (Concordia University) will be presenting on community-led language reclamation.  If you would like to attend but haven’t registered, you can do so here.

MULL-Lab, 10/12 – Will Johnston

MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, October 12, at 4:30pm.  This week, Will Johnston will be presenting on motion predicates in Hmong.

Montreal Underdocumented Languages Linguistics Lab (MULL-Lab) launched

We are happy to report that the former McGill Fieldwork Lab has been reconfigured into the Montreal Underdocumented Languages and Linguistics Lab (MULL-Lab), led by McGill faculty members Jessica CoonJames Crippen, and Martina Martinović, together with Lisa Travis, Richard Compton (UQAM) and Sigwan Thivierge (Concordia).

Learn more at the new website:

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