11 September 2014

Catherine's defence dinner

Here is a picture of Catherine Macdonald (on the right) celebrating her successful thesis defence recently along with, from left to right: Yuko Otsuka from University of Hawai'i at Manoa (external examiner), La'aina Mo'ungaloa Kavouras (Tongan language consultant), and Diane Massam, (thesis advisor). Print Page

10 September 2014

Congratulations, Ulyana!

Ulyana Savchenko defended her doctoral thesis, "Second Language Acquisition of Russian Applicative Experiencers", on Tuesday, August 26.

On the committee were Yves Roberge, Alexei Kochetov, Ron Smyth, Diane Massam, Keren Rice and external examiner Joyce Bruhn de Garavito (University of Western Ontario).

Congratulations, Dr. Savchenko! Print Page

New Semantics CLTA

Our department would like to welcome Walter Pedersen, who is serving as a semantics professor in a limited-contract position for 2014-15. Walter has recently completed his Ph.D. at McGill University. He specializes in natural language semantics and its relationship to syntax, and he is especially interested in gradable adjectives and adverbs. At the U of T, he will be teaching LIN200 and at least two courses in semantics. Welcome to Toronto, Walter! Print Page

Thesis defense announcement rainbow

(Photo by Radu Craioveanu.)

Two weeks ago our department saw three successful thesis defenses on three consecutive days! Congratulations to the new alumni (and extra kudos to any of the faculty members who were on more than one of these committees). Print Page

07 September 2014

Phonetic Building Blocks of Speech

PBBS is being held at the University of Victoria from September 18th to 21st. Two talks and three posters involve people associated with our department:

Alexei Kochetov (faculty) is presenting “Supralaryngeal correlates of the Japanese voiceless-voiced stop distinction.”

Ph.D. alumna Nicole Rosen (University of Manitoba) is part of a presentation with colleague Christian Guilbault (Simon Fraser University): “Speaking to the beat of a different drum: Rhythmic properties of Manitoba French.”

Radu Craioveanu (Ph.D.) and Ross Godfrey (Ph.D.) are co-presenting a poster: “Vowel transparency in Harari long-distance palatalization.”

Phil Howson (Ph.D.) is presenting a poster with colleague Ekaterina Komova (University of British Columbia): “Palatalization and sound change: an ultrasound examination of trills in Russian and Czech.”

New MA alumna Maida Percival is also presenting a poster: “Acoustic variation in ejective stops in Oromo.”
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06 September 2014

Two new postdocs!

We have two new postdoctoral researchers in our department this year, joining Bronwyn Bjorkman and Nicholas Welch.

Keffyalew Gebregziabher earned his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 2013. His research involves the morphosyntax of possessive forms, especially in the Ethio-Semitic languages. He will be working with Elizabeth Cowper here.

Jessamyn Schertz has recently completed a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, working on speech production and the limits of phonological contrast. She will be working at UTSC with Yoonjung Kang on a SSRHC project entitled “Bilingualism, perceptual drift, and regularization of loadwords”.

Welcome, Keffy and Jessamyn!
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04 September 2014

LAGB 2014

Ph.D. student Yu-Leng Lin is in Oxford, England this week for the annual meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain. She is presenting a poster, “The ambiguous status of laryngeals in nasal consonant-vowel harmony”, at a poster workshop on Learning-Biases in Natural and Artificial Language.
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03 September 2014

Congratulations, Catherine!

Catherine Macdonald defended her doctoral thesis, "Functional projections and non-local relations in Tongan nominal phrases", on Wednesday, August 27.

On the committee were Diane Massam, Elizabeth Cowper, Susana Béjar, Arsalan Kahnemuyipour, Alana Johns, and Yuko Otsuka (University of Hawaii at Manoa) (external examiner).

Congratulations, Dr. Macdonald! Print Page

29 August 2014

Congratulations, Eugenia!

Eugenia Suh defended her doctoral dissertation, "Incomplete acquisition in the nominal domain of Korean by heritage language speakers", on Monday, August 25.

The committee was comprised of Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux, Ron Smyth, Yoonjung Kang, Alana Johns, Jeffrey Steele, and external examiner Tania Ionin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Congratulations, Dr. Suh!

Eugenia is joined by Radu and Mercedeh in celebration. (Photo courtesy of Kyumin Kim.)
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28 August 2014

U of T Linguistics MA, 2013-14: stellar success!

This year’s graduating MA students have truly distinguished themselves: all 11 of them are on track to complete their MA Forum papers on time. For an cohort of this size, this is a remarkable achievement – and one that is unprecedented in the department.

Back: Naomi Francis, Danielle Moed, Michael Schwan, Patrick Murphy, Kazuya Bamba, and Richard Gananathan.
Front: Emilia Melara, Emilie LeBlanc, Ruth Maddeaux, Maida Percival, and Avery Ozburn.

The MA program has a well-deserved reputation for being intense. However, on top of completing the degree, over the course of this year members of the MA class have presented papers or posters at NELS, CLA, WICCFL, WISSLR, MO(L)T(H), Agreement by Correspondence, the CRC Summer Phonetics/Phonology Workshop, the Welcome Workshop, and our departmental research-group meetings. They have done compelling research across a wide variety of subfields –syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology, language change and variation, psycholinguistics, and more – and established lively friendships with each other and much of the rest of the department.

Eight of the outgoing MA students are continuing to Ph.D. programs immediately. Ruth Maddeaux, Emilia Melara, and Patrick Murphy will be continuing on to the department’s own Ph.D. program; Emilie LeBlanc is going to York; Naomi Francis is heading to MIT; Avery Ozburn and Michael Schwan are off to UBC; and Richard Gananathan is going a little further afield – all the way to the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

All our best to the members of this powerhouse MA cohort!
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