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Cora Lesure at Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event

Recent BA graduate Cora Lesure will be presenting work from her Summer 2015 ARIA award at this year’s Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event. The event takes place Tuesday January 19th at 4:30. This work formed part of her Honours thesis, which she completed this past semester co-supervised by Jessica Coon and recent postdoc, Lauren Clemens. Congrats Cora!

Jessica Coon and Cora Lesure at CILLA

Jessica Coon and BA Honours student Cora Lesure are at the University of Texas at Austin this week for the 7th Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA). The title of Jessica’s talk is “Inergativos, antipasivos y la categorización de raíces: Evidencia en Chuj.” Cora is presenting collaborative research with recent Postdoc Lauren Clemens (SUNY Albany): “An investigation of the acoustic correlates of prosodic phrasing in Chol.”

Congratulations BA graduates!

45 Linguistics concentrators––Majors, Minors, Honours, and Joint Honours––students will be graduating from McGill today, June 1st01. Nice work everyone!

Congratulations award recipients!

Congratulations to this year’s Linguistics award recipients!

  • Cremona Memorial Prize in Linguistics – Louisa Bielig
  • Academic Leadership Award – September Cowley
  • U2 Academic Achievement Award – Michaela Socolof
  • Department Citizenship Award – Maggie Labelle
  • Excellence in Research Award – Liam Bassford

More information on the awards can be found here.

Summer plans, round 2

McLing continues its end-of-year reporting on local linguists’ summer plans:

BA students

  • Second-year Linguistics major Stephanie Gervais will be interning this summer at the Technical University of Berlin as a research assistant in Cognitive Linguistics, while also learning German.
  • Cora Lesure received an ARIA summer research internship for her Honours Thesis work on Chol phonetics and prosody. She will travel to Chiapas, Mexico in July with supervisors Lauren Clemens and Jessica Coon.

Graduate students

  • Colin Brown heads to British Columbia where he’ll be doing fieldwork this summer on Gitskan, in preparation for his MA thesis.
  • In August, Francesco Gentile is planning to head to the European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI 2015), held this year at his alma mater, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Donghyun Kim will be presenting at the Korean Society of Speech Sciences Conference and also at the Linguistic Society of Korea Conference during his summer visit to Korea.


Louisa Bielig at Harvard

Louisa Bielig traveled to present her Honours thesis work at the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium last week. Her talk was titled “Resumptive classifiers in Chuj high topic constructions”. The full program is available here.

Louisa Bielig at GLEEFUL

BA Honours student Louisa Bielig traveled to Michigan for GLEEFUL, the Great Lakes Expo on Experimental and Formal Undergraduate Linguistics. Louisa’s talk, “Resumptive Classifiers in Chuj High Topic Constructions”, is part of her Honours Thesis project, supervised by Jessica Coon. The full program can be found here.

Louisa, front left, with the other GLEEFUL presenters

Louisa, front left, with the other GLEEFUL presenters

McGill at MOLT 2015

McGill Linguistics was well represented at this year’s Montreal-Ottawa-Laval-Toronto Phonology Workshop (MOLT), which took place this past weekend at the University of Toronto. There were talks by graduate students, undergraduate students, alumni, and faculty (subset pictured below). The full program can be found here.


McLing Special Issue – McCCLU Conference Saturday March 14th at New Residence Hall


This year’s McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergrads–McCCLU–will take place Saturday March 14th at New Residence Hall. The program is below, and the full conference booklet is here: McCCLU 2015 Program. In addition to talks by our very own Liam Rogers Bassford and Louisa Bielig, there will be a keynote talk by postdoctoral fellow Hadas Kotek. Hope you can make it!

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Louisa Bielig at Arts Research Fair

McGill BA student Louisa Bielig presented at the Arts Undergraduate Research on January 14th. Her presentation, “Possession in Mayan Languages – An analysis of Kaqchikel, Chuj, and Tzotzil,” grew out of her ARIA-sponsored summer research project with Jessica Coon. She is continuing her work on Mayan this year for her Honours thesis on Chuj nominal classifiers and their interaction with A-bar extraction asymmetries.

McCCLU call for papers

The McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates – McCCLU – will be held on March 13-15, 2015. It will be hosted at McGill by the Society of Linguistics Undergraduates of McGill (SLUM).

The aim of this conference is to encourage original endeavors into the world of research as well as to enrich the present academic undergraduate community within the field of linguistics. Although McCCLU remains a smaller-scale conference, it gives students from all subfields of linguistics the opportunity to present their theses and to have them reviewed, often for the first time. Each participant will have 20 minutes to present their research, followed by a 10 minute question period.

Call for Papers:

We are now calling for undergraduate students to submit abstracts for presentation at the conference on any subject matter within the domain of linguistics. Each abstract should detail material for a 20-minute presentation, with a 10-minute question period on issues raised afterward. Abstracts should be a maximum of one page in length (12 point font, 1 inch margins). The call deadline is February 2nd.

Please submit abstracts to mccclu2015gmail.com

LING 415 at Tibetan Bazar

Members of the LING 415 Field Methods class headed to the Montreal Tibetan Bazaar this weekend, where they watched a traditional yak dance, ate momos, and tested their ability to recognize stacked consonants during the calligraphy demonstration.

Summer news round up, undergrad edition

Liam Bassford and Maggie LaBelle both spent time this summer working in Morgan Sonderegger’s Montreal Language Modelling Lab (MLML). They annotated many, many word-initial stops, both voiced and voiceless, to add to Morgan’s data on phonetic variation in the reality TV show, Big Brother UK. Maggie also worked with Thea Knowles (BA ’14) on Plotmish, the interface that Misha Schwartz (also BA ’14) created to measure and annotate vowel formants as another way of modelling phonetic variation.

Louisa Bielig spent six weeks this summer doing fieldwork in Guatemala as part of an ARIA internship on Mayan languages with Jessica Coon. She travelled to Patzun and Tecpan to work on Kaqchikel,  and north to Santa Eulalia to gather Chuj data. In Tecpan, she took a two-week intensive Kaqchikel class to learn the grammatical foundation and basic vocabulary of the language, and then gathered data in Tecpan, Patzun, and Santa Eulalia. The collected data will be used for her thesis this upcoming year.
Louisa, front second-from-left, with Kaqchikel teachers and classmates

Louisa, front second-from-left, with Kaqchikel teachers and classmates

Hannah Cohen spent this summer working for Morgan at MLML and Michael at ProsodyLab. At MLML, she wrote python scripts to analyze data and organize the lab. For ProsodyLab, she was doing truncation, annotation, alignment, and also ran participants in experiments.

Cora Lesure traveled to Barcelona, and where she spent time thinking about language planning, bilingualism, minority language politics and the like. She reports that she was reminded a lot of Montreal, and is now interested in researching the similarities and differences in these bilingual cities. Cora also started reading about spoken Hawaiian and was reminded of some of the nominal classificatory systems she learned about in LING 410 Structure of Mayan last year.

Jielin Liu attended an Amazonian linguistics summer field school in Peru in July. She spent the first two weeks studying theoretical concepts in Amazonian and Andean linguistics in the PUCP campus in Lima. For the second half of the course, the group traveled to the Peruvian Amazon to do field work on Kakataibo (Panoan). They created a small multilingual dictionary and recorded an oral history.

Jielin at work

Jielin at work

Joyce Xiao worked this summer for Postdoctoral Fellow Jakob Leimgruber. She also put her Linguistics skill to work helping friends who are trying to learn English and Japanese.

Congratulations graduates

Congratulations to this year’s BA Linguistics concentrators who graduated before the storm hit Tuesday! Among the graduates were this year’s award recipients. More information on the awards can be found here.

  • Cremona Memorial Prize in Linguistics – Misha Schwartz
  • Academic Leadership Award – Lauren Garfinkle
  • U2 Academic Achievement Award – Elena Russo
  • Department Citizenship Award – Andrew MacLachlan
  • Excellence in Research Award – Louisa Bielig

News is still trickling in about what this year’s graduates will be up to next year, but we can tell you that linguistics major Jason Kobelski Olszewski will be joining the Masters in Multilingualism program offered by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and neuroscience major Yan Jun Chen will be staying at McGill to study Speech Pathology. Lizzie Carolan has just returned from a trip to Guatemala researching Mayan languages and will work part-time next year as an RA for Jessica Coon. Andrew MacLachlan will head to University of Toronto in August to study Law and Kaylee Avrashi will head to graduate school for Speech Language Pathology at University of Ottawa.

We also have news of graduates from previous years. Liwen Hou (’13) will begin a PhD program in Computer Science at Northeastern University this fall where she plans to study Natural Language Processing. Ruth María Martínez (’13) is enrolled in the MA program at UdeM.

Future Week – 3/25-3/28

SLUM’s Future Week is this week. There are a few events that may be of interest to graduate students (and others):

Tuesday, March 25th – Panel of Professionals, 2:30-4:30pm, Room 002 (Ling Building).
A panel of linguistics professionals from several fields and backgrounds will be explaining how they got to where they are today and how you can get there too. They’ll share their professional and education stories, but will also be open to questions.

Wednesday, March 26th – Speech Pathology Info Session, 11:00-12:00pm, Room 002 (Ling Building).
Two speech pathologists from the HSCD department will be discussing the field of speech pathology with us. They’ll be talking about the program here at McGill and might even give out some tips for future applicants. If you’re interested in speech pathology as a potential future career, this will be a very informative event.

Friday, March 28th

– Sociolinguistics Info Session, 2:00-4:00pm, Room 117 (Ling Building).
Anne Marie Trester, a sociolinguist from Georgetown University, will be giving a talk about life as a sociolinguist, how she got her start in the field, and how you can pursue a career in sociolinguistics too. We are very lucky to have this special guest join us this year, so don’t miss out! Especially if you’re interested in sociolinguistics and related fields, this will be a very interesting talk.

– Sociolinguist Wine & Cheese, 4:00-6:30pm
To wrap up the week and thank our special guest, there will be a wine & cheese directly following the info session.

McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates, 3/14-3/16

This weekend (March 14th-16th), SLUM will be holding its annual undergraduate conference, McCCLU. The Conference starts on Friday evening with a Wine & Cheese, as well as a keynote address by Matthew Masapollo, continues on Saturday and Sunday with a series of ten presentations given by undergraduate students from Ontario, Quebec, and the Northeastern U.S., and concludes on Sunday afternoon with a keynote address by Gretchen McCulloch.

You are all, of course, invited to attend McCCLU and we would be very happy to see you there!

For a more detailed schedule and information about the venues, please see our webpage, Facebook, or Twitter:

Louisa Bielig to present at Arts Undergraduate Research Event – 2/6

Linguistics undergraduate Louisa Bielig will present this Thursday at the 4th Annual Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event (4pm Leacock 232). Louisa will present the results of her Fall independent study course, co-supervised by Jessica Coon and Richard Compton. With the help of iLanguage Lab’s Gina Cook, Louisa used the collaborative database application LingSync to turn a copy of an Inuktitut bible into a searchable corpus. The corpus was used to investigate the distribution of ergative and antipassive patterns in the language. All are welcome to attend!

McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates (McCCLU)

March 14-16, 2014

SLUM is looking for speakers for the next McCCLU – a three-day conference held in the spring each year. Undergraduate Linguistics students will be coming from all over the Northeastern U.S., Ontario, and Quebec to give talks about their research. For more information, or to submit an abstract, please see our post on the Linguist List: http://linguistlist.org/callconf/browse-conf-action.cfm?ConfID=169873
All are welcome (and encouraged) to attend!

Language Exchange: Russian, 11/14 – RUSS and SLUM

Thursday, Nov. 14, 5:30-7:00
688 Sherbrooke, Room 495

SLUM’s second Language Exchange event will be happening this Thursday. This time we will be joined by the Russian Undergraduate Students’ Society, who will be talking a bit about the Russian language, Old Church Slavonic, the Cyrillic alphabet, and more. All are welcome and Russian-themed snacks will be provided.

McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates

March 14-16, 2014

SLUM is looking for speakers for the next McCCLU – a three-day conference held in the spring each year. Undergraduate Linguistics students will be coming from all over the Northeastern U.S., Ontario, and Quebec to give talks about their research. For more information, or to submit an abstract, please see our post on the Linguist List: http://linguistlist.org/callconf/browse-conf-action.cfm?ConfID=169873
All are welcome (and encouraged) to attend.

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