Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

P* Reading Group, 11/13

P* Reading Group (Tuesday, 11 am)
This week, Bing’er will be leading a discussion on  Feldman et al.’s (2013) A Role for the Developing Lexicon in Phonetic Category Acquisition. P* Group will take place in room 002 of the Linguistics Building, from 11 am until noon. All are welcome to attend!

Semantics Group

This Friday, Jason Borga will be leading a discussion on Rudin’s (2018) “Head-Based Syntactic Identity in Sluicing”. As usual, the meeting will take place in Room 117, from 3pm to 4:30pm. All are welcome to attend!

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.

Alonso-Ovalle, Shimoyama,and Schwarz Awarded Insight Grant

Congratulations to Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Junko Shimoyama, and Bernhard Schwarz who have been awarded an SSHRC Insight grant for their application Modality across Categories: Modal Indefinites and the Projection of Possibilities!

Linguists at Arts Undergraduate Research Event

Linguistics undergraduates presented the results of their summer work at the Arts Annual Undergraduate Research Event, January 18th. The five students who won summer internships to conduct research with linguistics faculty members in 2017 were:

“Documentation and Revitalization of the Chuj Language”
Paulina Elias, Linguistics
Prof. Jessica Coon, Linguistics
PDF icon Paulina Elias [.pdf]

“Perceptual Discrimination of /s/ in Hearing Impaired Children”
Fiona Higgins, Linguistics
Prof. Heather Goad, Linguistics
PDF icon Fiona Higgins [.pdf]

“Understanding high adverbs in Malagasy and the nature of clefts”
Clea Stuart, Linguistics
Prof. Lisa Travis, Linguistics
PDF icon Clea Stuart [.pdf]

“How does structured variability help talker adaption?”
Claire Suh, Linguistics
Prof. Meghan Clayards, Linguistics
PDF icon Claire Suh [.pdf]

“Syntactic Representation and Processing in L2 Acquisition”
Yunxiao (Vera) Xia, Linguistics
Prof. Lydia White, Linguistics
PDF icon Yunxiao (Vera) Xia [.pdf]

Colloquium: Sharon Goldwater, 01/12

Sharon Goldwater from the University of Edinburgh will be giving a talk entitled Bootstrapping Language Acquisition as part of the McGill Linguistics Colloquium Series on Friday, January 12th at 3:30pm in room 433 of the Education Building. All are welcome to attend! For the abstract and for any other colloquium information, please clear here to visit the Colloquium Series web page.

Paulina Elias and Justin Royer at TOMILLA

BA student Paulina Elias and PhD student Justin Royer traveled to Toronto to present their work on Chuj at the first Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal Indigenous Languages of Latin America (TOMILLA) workshop at the University of Toronto. Paulina’s talk was “Positionals and directionals in Chuj” and Justin’s was “Noun classifiers, (in)definiteness, and pronouns in Chuj”.

Kim, Clayards, and Goad to be published in the Journal of Phonetics

Congratulations to Donghyun Kim, Meghan Clayards, and Heather Goad for the acceptance of their paper “A longitudinal study of individual differences in the acquisition of new vowel contrasts” by the Journal of Phonetics.

McLing summer news, final edition!

Jurij Bozic will attend Roots V at Queen Mary, University of London (17-18th June), where he will give a talk with the title “Roots and Non-Locally Triggered Allomorphy”. He will also spend several weeks in Slovenia eliciting judgements from native speakers on several topics that he is currently researching.

September Cowley has completed her M.A. at McGill and will join UC San Diego’s Linguistics department to begin her PhD this fall.

Henrison Hsieh has been spending some of the summer presenting joint work with Luis Alonso-Ovalle at various conferences, including the upcoming Workshop on the Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages (TripleA 4) in Gothenburg, Sweden. In July, he will be attending the LSA Summer Institute at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.

The McGill acquisition group will be presenting work on Italian this summer at two conferences. Upcoming talks include:

  • Goad, H., L. White, G. Garcia, N. Guzzo, M. Mortazavinia, L. Smeets & J. Su. 2017. Effects of pause and stress on pronoun interpretation in L2 Italian. Paper to be presented at the International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB 11), University of Limerick, June 2017.
  • Goad, H., L. White, G. Garcia, N. Guzzo, M. Mortazavinia, L. Smeets & J. Su. 2017. Pronoun interpretation in Italian: assessing the effects of prosody.​ Paper to be presented at the Experimental Psycholinguistics Conference, Menorca, June 2017.

McGill at Fourth Workshop on Sound Change

McGill linguists are attending the Fourth Workshop on Sound Change on 19-22 April, 2017, at the University of Edinburgh, to present their work:

  • Morgan Sonderegger, Michael McAuliffe, Hye-Young Bang: Segmental influences on F0: cross-linguistic and interspeaker variability of phonetic precursors
  • Hye-Young Bang, Morgan Sonderegger, Meghan Clayards: Speaker variability in cue weighting for laryngeal contrasts: the relationship to sound change

Departmental Picnic: Laurier edition

McGill linguists made the most of a hot and sunny late summer day to mark the beginning of the Fall term, with good and plentiful food and conversation, at the department’s annual picnic.  The picnic was held in the picturesque Parc Laurier in Le Plateau.  Some pictures:

Epistemic Indefinites

Epistemic IndefinitesEpistemic Indefinites: Exploring Modality Beyond the Verbal Domain, a collected volume edited by Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito has just been published by Oxford University Press. Congratulations to all contributing authors and to the editors!

 

Summer plans, round 1

McLing is collecting news about what members of the McGill Linguistics community––students, graduates, faculty, etc.––are up to this summer. Please send us your news!

BA students

  • Barbara Coelho plans to dive in to learning Scottish Gaelic this summer. Besides that, she will be researching her plan to apply to a Speech Pathology MA.
  • Emily Goodwin will be volunteering this summer in the MIDC (McGill Infant Development Centre) and taking a CompSci course.
  • Hannah Cohen, Maggie Labelle, and Madeleine Mees will be working as summer interns at Nuance here in Montreal. Maggie and Madeleine will be part of the User Interface Design team, and Hannah will be part of the Speech Science team.

Graduate students

  • Hye-Young Bang will be attending the LSA Summer Institute in Chicago, and presenting at the International Conference on Korean Linguistics in Chicago and the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) in Glasgow.
  • Gui Garcia will be finishing a book chapter on the prosody of English acquisition of Quebec French with Natália B. Guzzo; teaching an intro course on R to a research group at UFRGS in Brazil; and doing some fieldwork in the the Italian Immigration Area in southern Brazil. From there, he heads to the second session of the LSA Summer Institute.
  • Daniel Goodhue is also heading to Chicago for the LSA Summer Institute.
  • Oriana Kilbourn will also be attending the LSA Summer Institute, and presenting at ICPhS in Glasgow as well.
  • Jeffrey Klassen is going to the Discourse Expectation Conference (DETEC 2015) in Edmonton, Alberta (June 17-19) to present a talk, joint with Annie Tremblay: “Anticipatory focus: Processing, transfer, and grammatical architecture in L2”.

McGill at upcoming GLOW and WCCFL

McGill linguists will travel to Vancouver for WCCFL 33 later this month, to be held at Simon Frasier University. Heather Goad will give a plenary talk titled “Phonotactic evidence from typology and acquisition for a coda+onset analysis of initial sC clusters“. PhD student Guilherme Duarte Garcia will give a talk “Stress and gradient weight in Portuguese.” Here is the rest of the program.

In April, PhD student Michael Hamilton and post-doctoral fellow Hadas Kotek will both head to Paris for GLOW. Mike’s talk will be “Feature Inheritance in clausal and verbal domains: Evidence from Mi’gmaq”, and Hadas’s is titled “Intervention everywhere“.  The full program can be found here.

Luis Alonso-Ovalle at Cornell

Luis Alonso-Ovalle has just returned from a trip to Cornell University where he gave a colloquium talk at the Department of Linguistics. The title of his talk was: “Modality in the Nominal Domain: Random Choice and Modal Harmony”

Syntax-Semantics Reading Group: Buccola on Al-Khatib, part II – 06/27

Brian Buccola made a presentation last Friday on Al-Khathib (2013) ‘Only’ and Association with Negative Antonyms. Ph. Diss. MIT. He will continue the presentation on Friday 27 at the Syntax-Semantics Reading Group (room 117, from 3:00 to 4:30).

Syntax/Semantics Reading Group – Shimoyama, Drummond, Schwarz and Wagner on Dislocation, 6/6

Date Presentation Background reading(s)
Friday, June 6, 2014
10:00 – 11:30 am(Room 117)
Shimoyama, Drummond, Schwarz and Wagner, “Dislocation, fragments, and ellipsis” Ott, Dennis and Mark de Vries (2013) Right-dislocation as deletion. Ms. Univ. of Groningen.http://amor.cms.hu-berlin.de/~ottdenni/papers/rightdisl.pdf

Course Announcement –– LING 460: Semantics 2

A course announcement from Brendan Gillon:

LING 460: SEMANTICS 2

Fall 2014: MWF 10h30–11h30
Course prerequisite: LING 360 or permission of instructor
This course can be taken for graduate credit by linguistics graduate students, provided they register for it under a graduate level course number.

Course Description:

The aim of the course (LING 460: Semantics 2) is to introduce students to the two most fundamental tools in semantic theory, namely, Lambek calculus and the Lambda calculus, a thorough understanding of which is necessary for advanced work in semantic theory. The Lambek calculus, due to Jim Lambek, professor emeritus of McGill University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is a generalization of the propositional calculus and it has applications in a variety of domains in mathematics, and perhaps surprisingly, in linguistics too, where it provides the mathematics of syntactic categories. In other words,
viewed in the right way, the propositional calculus can be used to formalize the syntactic categories of natural language expressions. The Lambda calculus is a notation developed by Alonzo Church to represent all functions in mathematics. It is widely used by natural language semanticists to express the values which can be associated with the expressions of a natural language. It turns out that there is a deep and elegant connection between the Lambek calculus and the Lambda calculus, which natural language semanticists find very useful to exploit. This connection is known as the Curry-Howard isomorphism.

Making all this clear as well as showing how these tools apply in an enlightening way to a variety of natural language expressions, including those involving coordination, quantificational expressions and comparative expressions, is what the course aims to do.

The course presupposes nothing other than what is covered in the introductory logic course (PHIL 210). Anyone with this much preparation is welcome to enrol.

Success in the course requires that one is at ease with, and not at all a whiz at, elementary logic and that one has the self discipline to work regularly at studying the material. Assessment is based on problem sets and class participation only.

Last year, a student who was an undergraduate major in English at McGill University and had taken only the introductory logic course (PHIL 210), took this course and did extremely well. The same student, who has gone on to graduate studies in linguistics at Oxford University, reports that he is `ahead of the game’ as a result of this when he started his studies there.

This fall will be the third time the course is offered. I shall be joined by Dr. Eliot Michaelson in teaching the course. Dr. Michaelson graduated from UCLA with a doctorate in philosophy and works in the area of philosophy of language. He is a Mellon post doctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy.

The course will continue to use Bob Carpenter’s textbook, Type logical semantics. This book, though it is an introductory textbook, is a little on the steep side. To ease the gradient, I have written notes designed to reduce the slope in going from the level of introductory logic to the Carpenter textbook.

Ling Tea, 3/26 – Jeesun Nam

After a brief hiatus, Ling Tea is back this week!

Who: Jeesun Nam (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
When: Wednesday, March 26, 3:00-4:00 pm, Rm. 117
Title: Linguistic Resource-based Approach to Automatic Annotation of Polarity-Shifted Expressions

Abstract:

Among a vast amount of work devoted to the analysis of subjective expressions that contain opinions, evaluations or sentiments, comparatively little work has been conducted in examining polarity shifting devices (PSDs) such as negation markers (Polanyi & Zaenen 2004, Kennedy & Inkpen 2006 and Li et al. 2010). PSDs make inappropriate the assumption that the sentimental orientation of the whole text depends on the simple sum of the prior polarities of content words. For example, in the sentence I was hardly satisfied that is comprised of a positive opinion word satisfied, the polarity of whole sentence is reversed because of a PSD hardly. PSDs should be taken into consideration to properly calculate the polarity of opinion sentences.

This study presents ongoing work on a linguistic resource-based approach to automatic annotation of polarity-shifted expressions. In the literature, given that lexicon- or rule-based approaches have shown serious shortcomings such as ‘performed-on-word-level’ problems or ‘poor-recall’ problems, statistical approaches have dominated the research in opinion classification and achieved the state-of-the-art performance. However, the latter approaches rely on the availability of a large amount of human-tagged training data, and the performance is hard to improve unless more reliable linguistic information is provided.

The linguistic resources I propose in this study essentially include two types: Korean electronic dictionary DECO (Nam 2010) conceptually corresponding to the French electronic dictionary DELA constructed in LADL at Paris 7 University, and local syntactic information represented by finite-state local graphs (i.e. Local Grammar Graphs (LGGs) (Gross 1997, 1999)). The lexicon DECO provides the information of inflectional classes, POS types, and morpho-semantic properties including polarity-orientation of opinion words. The LGGs graphically represent PSDs such as negation markers (e.g. ani ‘not’), polarity-reversing predicates (e.g. silphayha– ‘(to) fail’) or concessive connectors (e.g. –ciman ‘although’) occurring in online review texts. The lexicon DECO and LGGs are applied to the detection and automatic annotation of the polarity-shifted expressions through the multi-lingual text processing platform UNITEX, compatible with the above linguistic resources (Paumier 2003, University Paris-Est-Marne-la-Vallée: http://www-igm.univ-mlv.fr/~unitex).

In this talk, I will briefly introduce the organization of the electronic dictionary DECO as well as those of the DELA-French and DELA-English, and the LGG formalism by illustrating some examples of the LGGs on polarity-reversed expressions in Korean and in English. Finally, I will discuss how to recognize and annotate these expressions by applying the dictionaries and LGGs to online review corpora through a freeware platform UNITEX. If time permits, I will demonstrate how to process non-European languages such as Thai or Arabic by UNITEX.

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.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.