Archive for the 'Undergraduate news' Category

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]

Linguistics at Open House

McGill Linguistics had a table at McGill’s Open House this past Sunday.  Thanks to Claire Bautista, Shannon Fiedler, Fiona Higgins, Hayley Ostrega, Alele Rangel, Nicole Ryan (pictured left), Vicky Svaikovsky and Tea Vincic (pictured right) who volunteered at the event — it was a great success!

7th Annual Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event – 1/17, 4:30-6:30 PM

The 7th Annual Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event is on Tuesday, 1/17, from 4:30-6:30 in Leacock 232. The event features posters and presentations by students who received an Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Award in Summer 2017, including several projects involving linguistics students and faculty. The following linguistics-related posters will be showcased:

  • Eva Portelance, “Narrative Frameworks”, supervised by Andrew Piper (LLCU)
  • Lydia Felice, “Free State/Construct State Alternation in Kabyle”, supervised by Jessica Coon
  • Theodore Morely (Computer Science), “Web-Tools for Linguistic Research”, supervised by Morgan Sonderegger
  • Elias Stengel-Essen (Cognitive Science), “Linguistic Enrichment of Speech-Corpus Tools”, supervised by Morgan Sonderegger

Lydia Felice and Eva Portelance will also be speaking at the event.

All are welcome!

Undergraduate Linguistics Awards

The Department of Linguistics is pleased to announce this year’s Linguistics Undergraduate award recipients. Congratulations all!

Departmental Award

Cremona Memorial Prize in Linguistics: Michaela Socolof

In-House Undergraduate Student Awards

Academic Leadership: Daniel Biggs

Department Citizenship Award: Christopher Burnett

Excellence in Research Award: Cora Lesure

U2 Academic Achievement Award: Eva Portelance

Summer news round-up, 1st edition

See below for what McGill linguists are up to this summer. Did you miss this edition? Send your summer plans to and we’ll get you in for round 2.

Undergrad news

Lydia Felice is finishing U2 and received an ARIA award to continue her work on Kabyle over the summer with Jessica Coon. She will be looking at so-called “free state” and “construct state” alternations.

Recent graduate Cora Lesure will head to Boston in the fall to start a Linguistics PhD at MIT. Cora’s honours thesis was titled Prosodic Boundary Marking in Ch’ol: Acoustic Indicators and Their Applications.

Dorothy Loong, who is finishing U2, will be doing an internship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong at their Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre.

Sarah Mihuc will be going to Johns Hopkins University for a summer research internship in the Computer Science department, working on machine translation of world languages with Dr. David Yarowsky.  She will also be working in the Prosody Lab.

Michaela Socolof will graduate and then will be working in the Montreal Language Modeling Lab, on software development and other MLML projects. In the fall she will head to the University of Maryland Linguistics Department as a Baggett Fellow.
Elias Stengel-Eskin (Cogsci) received an ARIA award to work over the summer with Morgan Sonderegger.  He will be working on Speech Corpus Tools and other MLML projects.

Grad student news

Chris Bruno is heading to New Jersey for the North American Summer School on Logic, Language, and Information (NASSLLI), held this year at Rutgers.

Gui Garcia will give two talks in late May at the 24th Manchester Phonology Meeting, at the University of Manchester. One of the talks investigates the role of suprasegmental information in lexical access. The second talk is joint work with Natália B. Guzzo and Heather Goad (Guzzo, Goad and Garcia), and explores high vowel deletion (/i/) patterns as evidence for vestigial iambs in Québec French. In June, he will participate in the Global School of Empirical Research Methods, at the University of St. Gallen, where he will take an intensive course on Bayesian data analysis. In July, he will present a poster (joint work with Natália B. Guzzo) on English stress acquisition by Québec French speakers at the 15th LabPhon, at Cornell University. Finally, in early September, he will be presenting a poster on extrametricality and default stress at GALANA, at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).

Henrison Hsieh will be presenting a talk at the South East Asian Linguistics Society meeting (SEALS 26) titled “An argument for the noun-verb distinction in Tagalog”. He’ll also be presenting a talk at the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association meeting (AFLA 23) titled “Prosodic indicators of phrase structure in Tagalog transitive sentences”. Finally, he’s in the process of arranging a visiting student position at the Department of Linguistics at the University of the Philippines Diliman to gather data and do research for his dissertation.

Martha Schwarz will be spending the summer doing fieldwork in India through a Mitacs Globalink Research Award.  She will be staying in the Nepali-speaking Darjeeling region, collecting data on Nepali ergativity and Nepali laryngeal contrasts.  The ergativity project is co-supervised by Jessica Coon and Ayesha Kidwai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi).

Liz Smeets will be collecting more data from L2 learners of Dutch on the acquisition of semantic and discourse constraints on object movement in The Netherlands in June. In August she will be presenting this work at EuroSLA at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland (

Faculty news

Meghan Clayards will be presenting a poster with Hye-Young Bang at LabPhon 15 at Cornell, and where she is also co-organzing a workshop on Higher-order structure in speech variability: phonetic/phonological covariation and talker adaptation.

At the end of June Jessica Coon will head to Fairbanks, Alaska for the CoLang 2016 Institute for Collaborative Language Documentation. In July she will participate in an Indigenous Language Sustainability Workshop, held concurrently with CILLDI at the University of Alberta.

Brendan Gillon will be giving guest lectures at the Nanjing Institute of Technology and Shanghai Maritime University in May. In June he will give a lecture at Workshop on Logic in East Asia, sponsored by the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Junko Shimoyama will be giving an invited talk at TaLK 2016 (Theoretical Linguistics at Keio) in Tokyo in August.

Morgan Sonderegger will be attending LabPhon 15 at Cornell, where he will give a poster with Michael McAuliffe and Michael Wagner and is co-organizing a workshop on tools for “big data” in laboratory phonology (BigPhon).

Michael Wagner will be presenting an invited talk at a workshop on Speech Planning at LabPhon 15, and will be teaching a class at the DGFS summer school on Mapping Meaning: Theory – Cognition – Variation in Tübingen, Germany in August.

Kabyle Mini Workshop

This year’s Field Methods class wrapped up with a successful Kabyle Mini Workshop. A subset of the class is pictured below, along with invited speaker Karim Achab and language consultant Karima Ouazar.


back row: Michaela Socolof, Karim Achab, Daniel Biggs, Dejan Milacic, Morgan Sonderegger, Jeffrey LaMontagne
front row: Jessica Coon, Lydia Felice, Sarah Mihuc, Inés Patiño Anaya, Alex Elias, Karima Ouazar


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