June 23, 2011

Bill Samarin sighting

Jack C. ran into Bill Samarin at noon on the Clarke Institute walkway. He is healthy and well at 86, walking unencumbered with a stick that he says is mainly ornamental. He was returning from dim sum lunch on Dundas St. He spends some time in his office finishing an article, already accepted, on the origins of Sango (20k words) that will correct some of the claims that are out there. Last year he traveled to Bangui in Central Africa as part of a forensic mission to help with linguistic claims of the Bangis in the aftermath of a conflict. At the end of the year he will attend the Creole and Pidgin sessions at the LSA meetings in Portland, Ore.

Bill was on our faculty from 1967 until he retired in (I think [says Jack]) 1991. He is a world expert on African languages, especially Niger-Congo, and he is nonpareil on Gbeya and pidgin Sango.

June 10, 2011

CLA Presentation Prizes!

This year's winners of the Canadian Linguistic Association's annual student competition were announced yesterday, and Beth Macleod of our department won the paper presentation award for her talk "Perceptual salience and cross-dialectal phonetic convergence in Spanish." Additionally, Joanne Markle LaMontagne, a PhD student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese who has taken several linguistics courses, won the poster award for her poster "Acquisition of the Spanish Present Perfect by Spanish-English Bilinguals."

(You can see their abstracts here.)