November 11, 2019

Research Groups: Week of November 11-15

Wednesday, November 13, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS2116
Morphology Reading Group
Gavin Bembridge (York University) leading a discussion of his paper: "Negative incorporation as polarity conditioned stem allomorphy."

Friday, November 15, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Psycholinguistics Group
Presentation by Jie Ren (postdoc, Department of Psychology).

Friday, November 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM in SS560A
Phonology Group
Thesis proposal of Heather Yawney (Ph.D): "Velars and uvulars in Kazakh."

Friday, November 15, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS 560A
Fieldwork Group
Nadia Takhtaganova (MA): "Allons enfants de la patrie ! Minority language documentation and revitalisation in metropolitan France."

November 8, 2019

Indigenous language materials at the Fisher Rare Book Library

On Friday, November 15 from 3 PM through 5 PM, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is holding an open house on the Indigenous language documents and resources that it has available for use in research!

November 7, 2019

Fall Convocation 2019

Our department held receptions on Tuesday, November 5, and Wednesday, November 6, celebrating the convocations of our latest Ph.D. and MA graduates!

Seven alumni, along with family members and/or partners, celebrated receiving their Ph.D. diplomas: Joanna Chociej, Julianne Doner, Dan Milway, Patrick Murphy, Na-Young Ryu, Becky Tollan, and Tomohiro Yokoyama.

And our new MA alumni from 2019 are: Lauren Bigelow, Liam Donohue, Jida Jaffan, Caitlyn Martinuzzi, Ekaterina Prigaro, Xiaochuan Qin, Sadaf Rahmanian, Matthew Riopelle, and Philippe Thompson.

We are so proud of you all!

Special thanks to Jennifer McCallum (staff) for her considerable efforts in preparing the receptions despite a noticeably above-average number of problems acquiring pre-ordered cakes.

November 4, 2019

Urban and Rural Language Research: Variation, Identity, and Innovation

In conjunction with colleagues at the University of Graz, Austria, our departmental sociolinguists are holding a small workshop at Trinity College this weekend on dialects inside and outside urban areas. Note: if you are interested in attending any of the talks, please email Sali.

U of T sociolinguists presenting are as follows.

Jack Chambers (faculty) is giving one of the keynote talks:
"Discontinuities in the dialect continuum."

Derek Denis (faculty) is giving another of the keynote talks:
"Enregisterment, resistance, and the spread of linguistic alterity in the most multicultural city in the world."

Marisa Brook (faculty) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"City rels, country rels: Prestige and the urban-rural divide in Ontario."

Karlien Franco (postdoc) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"Lexicalization in grammatical change? The simple past/present perfect alternation in Canadian English."

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"'I think (that) you have to have a certain confidence': The influence of urban professional life on complementizer that."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.):
"Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Michael Iannozzi (BA 2014, now at the University of Western Ontario):
"A road diverged on a farm: Diverging identites from a shared beginning."

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.) and Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.) are both serving on a panel: 'The social and psychological challenges of fieldwork'.

November 2, 2019

Mo-MOT 4

The fourth workshop on Morphology in the Montréal/Ottawa/Toronto Area (Mo-MOT) is taking place at Queen's University on November 8 and 9. Several current graduate students are presenting:

Liam Donohue (Ph.D.):
"Making perfect sense: The morphosemantics of Georgian present perfects."

Andrew Peters (Ph.D.):
"Accusative in Mongolian and Dependent Case Theory."

Jean-François Juneau (Ph.D.) is part of a talk with Gavin Bembridge (York University):
"Root alternations for discourse effects in Japanese: A challenge for locality?"

Recent faculty member Nicholas LaCara is also giving a presentation:
"Synthetic compounding in Distributed Morphology with phrasal movement."

October 31, 2019

Halloween wug cookies!

(Photo by Mia Sara Misic.)

Happy Halloween, linguists! Laura Davidson (a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology) and Mia Sara Misic (MA 2018, now also in Speech-Language Pathology) baked a whole bunch of mummy-wug and Frankenstein-wug cookies - plus some chocolate pops - for the bake-sale in the Sidney Smith lobby earlier this afternoon.

The proceeds went to Hear2Speak, a charity established by Speech-Language Pathology students and faculty at the U of T. Hear2Speak aims to improve the quality and accessibility of speech-language and hearing services around the world. The Halloween bake-sale is specifically supporting underserved clinics in Pakistan with resources and various assessment tools.

Laura and Mia and wug cookies all getting into the holiday spirit. (Photo by Marisa Brook.)

October 30, 2019

NELS 50: alumni extravaganza!

This year's meeting of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS) - the 50th so far - took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from October 25 through 27. Not only were our alumni all over the program, a bunch of them even banded together to get a photograph of people with U of T connections!

Julie Goncharov (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Tromsø) and Lavi Wolf (Ben Gurion University of the Negev):
"The role of time in double NPI constructions with epistemic accessibility relations."

Will Oxford (Ph.D. 2014, now at the University of Manitoba):
"It’s all in the probe: Variation in inverse marking and its implications for probe structure."

Will also had a poster with Yadong Xu (University of Manitoba):
"One probe to Agree with them all: Kickapoo portmanteau agreement is syntactic."

Fulang Chen (MA 2017, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology):
"Split partitivity in Mandarin: A diagnostic for argument-gap dependencies."

Shay Hucklebridge (MA 2016, now at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst):
"Quantified nouns in Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀ relative clauses."

Michelle Yuan (MA 2013, now at the University of California, San Diego):
"Deriving variation in ergativity across Eskimo-Aleut."

Nicholas Rolle (MA 2010, now at Princeton University) was part of a talk with Emily Clem (University of California, San Diego) and Virginia Dawson (University of California, Berkeley):
"Post-syntactic altruism."

Rachel Walker (MA 1993, now at the University of Southern California):
"Gradient feature activity in Korean place assimilation."

Maayan Abenina-Adar (BA 2012, now at the University of California, Los Angeles):
"Ever free-relative clauses and Maximize Presupposition."

Bronwyn M. Bjorkman (former postdoc, now at Queen's University) presented a poster:
"Reduplication without segments: Verb doubling as a prosodic repair."

U of T alumni! Front: Bronwyn, Michelle, and Fulang. Back: Will, Maayan, Shay, Neil Banerjee (BA 2016, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Filipe Hisao Kobayashi (who has an MA from the U of T Department of Spanish and Portuguese, now also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Photo courtesy of Bronwyn.

October 28, 2019

Report from Welcome Workshop 11

On Friday, October 25, the LGCU held its 11th annual Welcome Workshop, a casual and amiable way for new graduate students to introduce themselves and their research thus far to each other and to other departmental members. The afternoon was lively and followed by a reception in the department lounge. Well done to all the organizers and presenters! Thanks to Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.) for the photos.

Greg Antono (MA): "Pluractionality in Macuxi: A first look."

Sadaf Kalami (MA): "The structure of DP in Ardalani Kurdish."

Gabrielle Dumais (MA): "Gender-neutral speech in Canadian French: How are non-binary identities expressed in a gendered language?"

Nadia Takhtaganova (MA): "Devoir devrait devoir: Epistemic modality in French."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.): "Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Kaleigh Woolford (Ph.D.): "'They just say, oh, you're a Geordie': The development of just in Tyneside English."

Zhanao Fu (Ph.D.): "Decay of memory traces for pitch."

Shabri Kapoor (Ph.D.): "Language contact in Canada: Restructuring of ditransitive constructions in Heritage Hindi."

Time to celebrate!

October 27, 2019

Research Groups: Friday, November 1

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Language Variation and Change Research Group
Pocholo Umbal (Ph.D.): "Adjective intensifiers in heritage and homeland Tagalog."
Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.): "Perceiving um and uh across registers."

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Syntax Group
Andrew Peters (Ph.D.) presenting on accusative subjects in Mongolian.

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Semantics Research Group
Ilia Nicoll (Ph.D.) leading a discussion of: Partee, Barbara H., and Vladimir Borschev (2012). Sortal, relational, and functional interpretations of nouns and Russian container constructions. Journal of Semantics, 29(4), 445-486.

October 26, 2019

Elan at COLMEX

Elan Dresher (faculty) was an invited speaker at the launch of a new Spanish translation and critical edition by Esther Herrera Zendeyas and Michael Herbert Knapp of N. S. Trubetzkoy's Grundzüge der Phonologie (1939) at El Colegio de México (COLMEX) on October 15, 2019. The event was attended by 150 people! The following day, Elan gave a talk: 'Foundations of Contrastive Hierarchy Theory' for COLMEX’s Centro de Estudios Lingüísticos y Literarios (CELL). (Photos courtesy of Elan.)

Elan (second from left) among the invited speakers.

A well-attended event!

October 25, 2019

Happy many birthdays!

Around the table, left to right: Ph.D. students Radu Craioveanu, Fiona Wilson,
Jessica Yeung, Lex Konnelly, and Robert Prazeres (photo by Marisa Brook).

Our department has a statistically improbable number of people born in October. On Friday, October 18, in order to celebrate, ardent baker Emily Blamire (Ph.D.) brought along a vegan pumpkin cake and we had a birthday party for a whole bunch of us.

October 24, 2019


The seventh Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP) was held from October 11 through 13 at Stony Brook University.

Maida Percival (Ph.D.) and Alexei Kochetov (faculty) were part of a talk with Laura Spinu (City University of New York):
"An articulatory perspective on the secondary palatalization contrast in Romanian postalveolar fricatives."

Nicholas Rolle (MA 2010, now at Princeton University) and Princeton colleague Florian Lionnet presented a poster:
"Phantom structure: A representational account of floating tone association."

October 23, 2019

Guest speaker: Amanda Edmonds (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3)

The Department of French and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are very pleased to be co-hosting a talk by Amanda Edmonds, a faculty member in the department of English-language studies from l'Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3: "Grammatical gender marking in additional-language French and Spanish before, during and after a stay abroad." This will be taking place on Monday, October 28, at 2 PM, in 231 Northrup Frye Hall.

According to many authors, acquiring the ability to express grammatical gender in an additional language (AL) is often "notoriously difficult" (Lyster, 2006, p. 71, with respect to French), particularly for speakers whose native language does not instantiate grammatical gender (Costa et al. 2003). This morphosyntactic phenomenon has moreover attracted the attention of numerous researchers in the field of second language acquisition, who have identified various linguistic and extralinguistic factors thought to influence the expression of gender. However, these previous studies have largely focused on one or a small number of these factors, leaving open the question of if and how they interact with one another to explain gender-marking behavior. Moreover, the bulk of previous research on gender marking in an AL has taken a cross-sectional approach; given the often non-linear nature of development and variation among individuals, taking a long view on the development of gender expression has the potential to provide new insights into the “longitudinal pace and pattern of development” (Ortega and Byrnes, 2008, p. 3). In this talk, I will report on collaborative research (conducted with Aarnes Gudmestad) in which we have built on insights from previous research in order to analyze the longitudinal development of gender-marking behavior in AL French and in AL Spanish with respect to a wide range of potentially influential factors. Both analyses were carried out on the longitudinal LANGSNAP corpus (Mitchell, Tracy-Ventura, and McManus, 2017). This publicly available corpus contains data from British learners of Spanish (n= 27) and French (n= 29) who were followed over a period of 21 months, including an academic year spent in a target language community. Oral and written data were collected from these participants six times; in the context of the current project, data from three of the six data-collection periods have been analyzed in order to identify all instances of either a determiner or an adjective modifying a referent. In total, more than 16,000 tokens in AL Spanish and 14,000 tokens in AL French were coded for a wide set of factors identified in previous research as influencing gender-marking behavior. Generalized linear mixed models were carried out on the datasets from the two languages in order to identify which linguistic and extralinguistic factors worked in concert to significantly predict target-like use of gender marking. In addition, for each significant effect, a possible interaction with time was explored in order to identify how the learners' gender-marking system may change over the course of 21 months. Taken together, the results from these two analyses contribute to our understanding of gender-marking expression by characterizing the complex interplay among predictive factors and how this interplay changes over time.

October 22, 2019

LGCU Welcome Workshop 11

The LGCU's Welcome Workshop, an informal and friendly event held annually in the autumn to help introduce new graduate students to each other and each other's research, is now in its 11th year! This time around, it will be held in the afternoon of Friday, October 25, with the introductory remarks at 1 PM. Note that the meeting of the Fieldwork Group normally scheduled for this time has been cancelled to allow the workshop to be held in SS560A. The presenters - all beginning graduate programs in our department this year - are as follows:

Greg Antono (MA):
"Pluractionality in Macuxi: A first look."

Sadaf Kalami (MA):
"The structure of DP in Ardalani Kurdish."

Gabrielle Dumais (MA):
"Gender-neutral speech in Canadian French: How are non-binary identities expressed in a gendered language?"

Nadia Takhtaganova (MA):
"Devoir devrait devoir: Epistemic modality in French."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.):
"Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Kaleigh Woolford (Ph.D.):
"'They just say, oh, you're a Geordie': The development of just in Tyneside English."

Zhanao Fu (Ph.D.):
"Decay of memory traces for pitch."

Shabri Kapoor (Ph.D.):
"Language contact in Canada: Restructuring of ditransitive constructions in Heritage Hindi."

A reception will follow in the department lounge. Kudos to the organizers: Koorosh Ariyaee (Ph.D.), Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.), Bruno de Oliveira Andreotti (Ph.D.), and Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.).

October 21, 2019

Hispanic Linguistics Symposium 2019

The Hispanic Linguistics Symposium 2019 is taking place at the University of Texas at El Paso, from October 24 through 26. Among the organizers is Natalia Mazzaro (Ph.D. 2011, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, now at the University of Texas at El Paso).

Laura Colantoni (faculty) is giving a plenary talk:
"Coarticulation and language acquisition."

Cristina Cuervo (faculty) and Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux (faculty) are presenting:
"Restricted prepositions in the nominal domain."

October 20, 2019

Research Groups: Week of October 21-25

Note: this week's meeting of the Fieldwork Group is cancelled; also, the Syntax Group will be meeting next week, not this week.

Wednesday, October 23, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS2116
Morphology Reading Group
Liam Donohue (Ph.D.): "Morphosemantics of Georgian present perfects."

Friday, October 25, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Psycholinguistics Group
Guest talk by Elizabeth Spelke (Harvard University).

Friday, October 25, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Phonology Group

October 19, 2019

51st Algonquian Conference

The 51st Algonquian Conference is taking place at McGill University from October 24 through 27.

Fiona Wilson (Ph.D.) is presenting "Negative particles in Muskeg Cree: A variationist approach."

Katherine Schmirler (MA 2015, now at the University of Alberta) is presenting "Negation in a Plains Cree corpus." She is also a part of two joint talks. One, with Antti Arppe (University of Alberta), is "Plains Cree actors and goals: Across time periods and genres." The other, with Antti as well as Eddie Antonio Santos (University of Alberta), Atticus Harrigan (University of Alberta), and Arok Wolvengrey (First Nations University of Canada): "Towards a morphologically intelligent on-line dictionary of Plains."

October 18, 2019

Peter at Symposium Obdobja 38

Peter Jurgec (faculty) will shortly be off to the Symposium Obdobja 38 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, taking place from October 23 through 25. Based on extensive research that he and research assistants have been conducting, Peter will be presenting "Phonological studies of Slovenian dialects at the University of Toronto."

This paper summarizes the results of three recent phonological studies of Slovenian di­alects at the University of Toronto: compensatory lengthening in the speech of Šmartno, nasal harmony in Mostec, and palatalization consonant harmony in the Zadrečka Valley. We use new methods for acoustic and articulatory analysis (ultrasound and nasalance mask) to uncover previously misunderstood phenomena, which complement our know­ledge of possible variation in the world’s languages.

October 17, 2019

Linguistic events at Indigenous Education Week

For Indigenous Education Week at the University of Toronto (plus some overlap with the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages) there are several language-related events occurring next week on our campus.

The first is the imagineNATIVE Wiki Page Edit-A-Thon, related to Indigenous languages as represented in film. This event will be taking place on Tuesday, October 29, from 11 AM to 1 PM in Robarts 4033 (the Electronic Classroom), and will be led by Jamie Lee Morin (staff, University of Toronto Libraries), the Indigenous Metadata Initiatives (TALint) Intern. Note that attendance is free but that registration is required to guarantee a spot at a computer.

Then there are two talks on Wednesday, October 30. The first is by Khelsilem Rivers (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Council), on Indigenous language rights; this will be held from 1 PM to 2:30 PM in the Main Activity Hall of the Multi-Faith Centre. The second is by Bonnie Jane Maracle (faculty), on language revitalization, from 6 PM to 8 PM in room 360 of the Myhal Centre.

October 16, 2019

Report from NWAV 48

A (decidedly non-comprehensive) set of NWAV 48 folks with links to either the U of T or York! Back: Miriam Neuhausen (former visiting scholar, now at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg), Lex Konnelly (Ph.D.), Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.), Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.), Naomi Nagy (faculty), and Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.). Front: Marisa Brook (faculty), Poco Umbal (Ph.D.), Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.), Robert Prazeres (Ph.D.), Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.), and Greg Guy (formerly at York University, now at New York University).

New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 48 took place at the University of Oregon from October 10th through 12th. We had four faculty, one postdoc, several alumni, and an impressive eight Ph.D. students on the program. Thanks to Poco Umbal (Ph.D.) for all the awesome photos!

One of this year's plenary speakers was Alexandra D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria), introduced by Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty).

The Lillian B. Stueber Prize, a new award recognizing "the best student paper that treats variation in languages that have been missing from or are less frequently represented at NWAV", went to Ph.D. student Robert Prazeres, for "Profiling nominal genitive variability in Moroccan Arabic". Congratulations, Robert!

Panayiotis Pappas (Simon Fraser University), Robert, and Naomi.

Tim, Lauren, Lisa, and Poco present their talk on Multicultural Toronto English with Derek Denis (faculty).

Lex Konnelly (Ph.D.) and their poster on the linguistic features of craft-beer talk.

Katharina's talk on yod-dropping (or not?) in Toronto.

Miriam reporting on the fieldwork she conducted last year on English in Ontario Mennonite communities.

Poco's poster on what Canadians of Filipino descent are doing with respect to sound changes.