December 4, 2010
United in one small department lounge (and the hallway) on December 3rd were faculty, Ph.D. students, visiting students, MA students (including all of the new ones),undergrads, alumni (Dylan, we see you!), staff, and family-members.
Christmas and Hanukkah songs were provided by the ever-reliable F-ZERO, now joined by MA student Christopher Spahr on bass guitar.
Refreshments included an inordinate number of varieties of cheese; and thanks to MA student Maddie Shellgren, we were all treated to the sight (and taste) of a twelve-inch-tall gummy-bear.
November 11, 2010
On Thursday the 11th members of the psychology and linguistics departments got together to "meet the people at the other end of the hall" in the Linguistics Lounge. Opening remarks were made and the departmental band, F-ZERO, provided entertainment.
October 29, 2010
Half of the new MA students opted to take part, along with Ph.D. students Ross Krekoski, Will Oxford, and LeAnn Brown. The presentations were interspersed with coffee, cheese, and pastries; and then followed by leftovers and an impressively lengthy period of standing around in the room and talking.
October 22, 2010
October 4, 2010
September 28, 2010
This workshop, to be held on 1‐2 October, 2010, will be an opportunity to explore current issues and re‐assess generally accepted premises on the relationship between lexical meaning and the morphosyntax of sentences. A central question in the study of language concerns the mechanisms by which the participants in an event described by a sentence come to occupy their positions in the structure and acquire their interpretation. A long‐standing approach is based on the assumption that it is the lexical meaning of a verb that determines, albeit indirectly, the basic properties of sentence structure at the level of verbal meaning, including asymmetric relations, thematic roles, case, and agreement. An alternative approach claims that the syntax itself greatly restricts possible verbal meanings on the basis of the legitimate relations that can exist between syntactic heads, complements, and specifiers.
If we think that all systematic aspects of verbal meanings (licensing of external argument, number and type of ‘obligatory’ and extra arguments, agentivity, causativity, aksionsart, etc.) are dependent on configurational properties, what is left for lexical entries? Do generalizations such as the
UTAH and other prominence hierarchies need to be stated explicitly, or are they derived from more general principles of syntactic operations (and structures) and semantic compositionality? What is left unexplained by syntax‐driven approaches?
In order to promote an open exchange of ideas, we have in mind a real workshop format rather than a regular conference around themes that will be determined in consultation with the invited participants, based on their contributions. A small number of papers will be selected from open submissions.
Mark Baker (Rutgers University)
Heidi Harley (University of Arizona)
Lisa Travis (McGill University)
Invited student participant:
Grant Armstrong (Georgetown University)
September 24, 2010
September 21, 2010
I spent several days hanging out in Brantford (home of Wayne Gretsky!) and other parts of the Greater GTA. Turns out there are lots of speakers of Cellese, the Francoprovençal dialect "from across the valley" to Faetar, where I did fieldwork in the early '90s. These speakers came from Celle, in southern Italy, in the 1950's, mostly, and have been living in Ontario, and continuing to speak Faetar and Cellese ever since. So far, I've talked to over 30 people. Given that there are only about 600 left in Faeto and Celle, this is a pretty good sample! I went to their summer picnic (140+ people, a variety of sausages, and a great bocce tournament) and will be meeting the Rochester contingent at their Polenta Dinner (Migliazzate) next month.
Side benefits, besides getting to practice my Faetar and drink "real" Italian coffee, include tasting the fruits (and veges (?)) of their gardens, prosciutto from Faeto, and their homemade wine, as well as meeting race car drivers, artists, and shoemakers. And I keep busy during the non-interviewing days transcribing some of the highlights of these interviews. Sadly, I have no photos to post, but you can see some great pix of Faeto, taken by one of my favorite speakers, here.
Omni TV is sponsoring a Language and Cultural Expo Oct. 2-3, 2010 at Exhibition Place. Looks like a variety of events, and maybe a great place to recruit speakers for various research projects...
If you go, come back and blog about it!
June 15, 2010
May 31, 2010
The following members of the department gave talks:
- Rashid Al-Balushi
- The licensing of structural case in Standard Arabic
- Ailis Cournane
- A cline of subject clitic doubling: Grammaticalization in small steps
- Elizabeth Cowper
- Where auxiliary verbs come from
- Yoonjung Kang and Seung-Joon Park
- Variation of consonant-final nouns in heritage Korean in Toronto
- Loredana Andreea Kosa
- Sibilant harmony: Investigating the connection between typology and learnability
- Diane Massam
- On the status of inversion in an inverse language
- Alexandra Motut
- A puzzle for the syntax and semantics of depictives
- Kenji Oda
- Dependent verbal morphology in Modern Irish: A distributed morphology approach
- Will Oxford
- Same, other, and different: A first look at the microsyntax of identity adjectives
- Yves Roberge and Nelleke Strik
- L'omission Wh: théorie et acquisition
- Michelle St-Amour
- On being definitely unique in Inuktitut
- Nelleke Strik
- French wh-questions in child L2 acquisition
And the following members of the department presented posters:
- Elizabeth Cowper and Daniel Hall
- Structures for possession in Upper Sorbian and Czech
- Liisa Duncan
- Consonant gradation in Finnish dialects
- Julie Goncharov
- 'Definite' adjectives in Slavic
- Maria Kyriakaki
- What Greek DETs do: The restrictive DP
- Annick Morin
- Diachrony and synchrony of /l/ gemination in Québec French
- Ana Pérez-Leroux and Yadira Alvarez
- How to BE in Spanish: The acquisition of copula and existential constructions by Spanish speaking children
Last but not least, Naomi Nagy was a panelist in a round-table discussion entitled "Corpora: Heritage and Preservation."
Congrats to all who participated!
(If anyone has inadvertently been omitted from this lengthy list, please contact the blog committee at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.)
May 24, 2010
There were over 80 talks presented from researchers at institutions throughout the world including North America, Europe, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Sudan, and others. Five parallel sessions were needed at times at the conference to accommodate the great number of participants!
Talks were presented covering numerous aspects of formal linguistic theory and language studies, including sessions centered around Phonology, Tonology, Phonetics, Syntax, Semantics, Acquisition, Language Variation, Language Policy, Language Contact, and others.
University of Toronto linguistics graduate students Isaac Gould, Safieh Moghaddam, and Nicholas Rolle each presented a paper at the conference in distinct syntax sessions. Isaac presented on the absentive marker and Safieh presented on focus constructions, both in Lamnso’ [Bantoid: Cameroon], while Nicholas presented on morphosyntactic aspects of personal pronouns in Esan [Edoid: Nigeria]. All three of these talks come from continued work on these languages stemming from past Field Methods courses taught by University Professor Keren Rice.
The conference ended with a bang, held at the hall of the Eritrean Canadian Association of Toronto. There, the participants feasted on a great variety of foods from East and West Africa, sipped on Ethiopian beer, all to the tunes of a great Zimbabwean band Asaansi (sp?), whose name in Shona means “Waves”. The night was capped by lots of dancing, both by the band and by the participants. You can see more of the festivities here:
Our linguistics students Derek Denis, Nicholas Rolle, and Isaac Gould
Co-organizer Peter Avery
Wonderful African food
The great Zimbabwean band
Plenary Speaker Sharon Rose
Plenary Speaker Sammy Beban Chumbow
Co-organizer Bruce Connell
Women in traditional Nigerian garments
Profs. James Essegbey and Salikoko Mufwene
The conference was organized by Peter Avery, Parth Bhatt, Bruce Connell, Juvenal Ndayiragije, Emmanuel Nikiema, Keren Rice, and Nicholas Rolle, with the help of volunteers too numerous to mention here in full.
May 20, 2010
Despite years of scholarship going back to the Renaissance, dating the books of the Hebrew Bible remains a controversial enterprise. Professor Dresher will discuss contemporary methods in historical linguistics and sociolinguistics that can be used to evaluate the relative age of the language in the Bible's many books.
The event runs from 7-9 pm and will include a reception and a question period. Please RSVP to William Forrest <email@example.com>, so that we know how much food to buy!
The event is co-sponsored by flaut (Friends of Linguistics at the University
of Toronto) and Spring Reunion 2010.
May 13, 2010
It was her first time in Germany, and she was delighted to find an abundance of chocolate, as well as common interest in systematic approaches to understanding contact-induced language change.
May 1, 2010
-- but regular users of our departmental lounge will understand just how heartwarming the preceding photo is!
The conference will take place from Thursday, May 6 to Saturday, May 8. May 6 and 7 are in Sidney Smith Hall, University of Toronto, while May 8 is at the Glendon Campus.
Registration begins on Wednesday, May 5, at 5:00pm, in the linguistics lounge on the 4th floor of Sidney Smith Hall.
Visit the conference website for full details.
April 6, 2010
The title of her talk was:
"Arabic sociolinguistics and mobility: Exploring the social reinterpretation of old urban varieties in contemporary North Africa"
She's off to another conference at U of Texas next week. and she'll make sure to take pictures this time :-)
appointment at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics in Tokyo. The
Institute is one of the marvels of the linguistics world, a corporation founded in 1948
and occupied continuously by teams of linguists doing pure research. It is a great place
for Manami to get started. Manami's project is phonology and her boss is Haruo Kubozono.
The Institute moved to a new glass-and-chrome building a few years ago in Tachikawa, on
the western edge of Tokyo, and the commute for Manami from her parents' house is almost 2
hours each way. She is also going to start a part-time teaching job in a few weeks.
She says, "I've been seeing my friends and people whom I hadn't seen for a long time,
which is nice as well. I miss Toronto very much, at the same time, however. People are in
Maybe she'll send us some pictures to link? of the "Dialect research room"?
March 9, 2010
Friends of Linguistics At the University of Toronto
presents a lecture by
University Professor, University of Toronto
In this talk, Keren Rice explores the sounds of language and the sounds of nature in the north Mackenzie area of the Northwest Territories. Learn about the languages, see some pictures, and hear some unusual sounds in this first flaut presentation in our department’s new location.
PRESENTATION, INFORMAL DISCUSSION AND RECEPTION
Thursday march 18, 2010
7 – 9 p.m.
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS
SIDNEY SMITH HALL
100 St. George Street
OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY AND FRIENDS
March 5, 2010
We would like to thank all of you for kind and supporting messages about the baby.
It has really been great comfort and encouraging in this super-stressed time.
We also want to let you know that MinJae is finally discharged from the hospital and in a good condition to fly
back to Calgary! We are leaving next Tuesday.
Best wishes to all of you and thanks again!
Kyumin and Jae.
February 24, 2010
Daphna Heller wishes to share a photo from her recent trip to Tucson, Arizona. There she gave a colloquium at the University of Arizona, and met with Adam Ussishikin to discuss their collaboration on lexical access in Modern Hebrew.
February 22, 2010
Kyumin and Jae write:
We are excited to announce our baby boy's arrival. He was born in Feb 13, at 6:29pm, which was 6 weeks earlier than expected. (so, he's born in Toronto, not in Calgary). He weighs 2.165kg. His name is Min Jae Park. He is under NICU care, as he is premature. But, he is fine, he just needs to grow up more. He will be discharged from the hospital probably in one and a half weeks later.
These pictures are of Min Jae, one day old, still in an incubator.
February 16, 2010
Over the winter break in December and January, two of our current Master's students, Isaac Gould and Nik Rolle, took a trip to New Zealand. Here are some of the pictures from their trip.
February 10, 2010
More pictures from the party can be found by following this link.
February 4, 2010
This project – the first articulatory kinematic study of these varieties – consists of a series of experiments examining variation in the articulation of coronal consonants, the processes of nasal place assimilation and s-deletion, and a change in progress in Buenos Aires Spanish resulting in the depalatalization of palatal nasals. EPG is particularly suitable for this kind of research, as it records the timing and location of the tongue constriction during speech using an artificial palate equipped with 62 electrodes. Data collection and analysis for the project (funded by Connaught) are being performed in the Linguistics Department Phonetics Lab, with the assistance of a work-study student Bojana Radovanovic.
Some of the results from the project have been presented at the 158th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of the America in San Antonio, TX in October, 2009 (poster), the 23rd conference Going Romance in Nice, France in December 2009 (slides), and will be presented soon at the 28th West Coast Conference in Formal Linguistics in Los Angeles, CA (February 2010), the 40th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages in Seattle, WA (March 2010), and at the 12th conference on Laboratory Phonology in Albuquerque, NM (July 2010).
Alexei and Laura are currently looking for more speakers of Cuban Spanish from Havana. Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you happen to know suitable candidates.
We are very sorry to report the death of Professor Emeritus Hank Rogers, a member of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto since 1967.
We will miss him!
To learn more about Hank, visit his website.
Further information and directions to his funeral can be found at: www.chass.utoronto.ca/linguistics/news_events/rogers/.
You are invited to make donations in his memory to the Henry Rogers Undergraduate Scholarship in Linguistics.
Please share your thoughts about Hank by commenting on this post.
February 3, 2010
The Heritage Language Variation and Change Project is nearing the end of the interviewing and recording phase, but we still need to find a few types of speakers. So, if you know of anyone who fits these categories, please let me (Naomi) know!
We are looking for Russian speakers who are from Moscow or St. Petersburg
Female, age 38-40, lived in Moscow or St. P. until she was ~20, then moved to the GTA
Female, older than 40, parents born in the GTA, grandparents from Moscow or St. P.
Male, under age 40, born in the GTA, parents born in Moscow or St. P.
Male, under age 40, parents born in the GTA, grandparents from Moscow or St. P.
And, if you know ANY third generation Koreans who speak Korean, we'd love to talk to them! (3rd generation means their grandparents are from Seoul, but their parents and they were born in the GTA.)
January 25, 2010
Our family is all excited to announce our new baby daughter's arrival! She was born 22.01.10 at 3:33 pm, weighing 3476 g, height 51 cm. Her name is Yana Maria Lieber ('Yana' rhymes with 'Hannah', her big sister's name, and the Russian nickname for 'Hannah' is 'Anya', which in Russian is spelled as the reverse of 'Yana'; 'Maria' was my grandmother's name).
Both Yana and me are happy and healthy. We attach a picture of Yana, almost one day old, with her big sister and Mommy.
Marina, Zeev and Hannah
January 23, 2010
January 18, 2010
This video was taken on the first day in December 2009 that members of our dept. actually started using the new dept. It was mid-move and I think it shows the magical moment when the grad students transformed an empty lounge into our new living quarters.
January 7, 2010
(Students leaving after a linguistics class)
Student 1: I'm just walking this way, but not because I'm scared of getting mugged or anything. Even if we meet a mugger, we can stand together and beat 'em like two dogs attacking a bear!
Student 2: You know, that was exactly what I was thinking!
(Some time later...)
Student 2: Well, you know, despite our skinny frames, we are mighty warriors wielding language!
(Spotted by Elan)