October 26, 2012

Research Report

This week, Alana Johns is in Washington, D.C. presenting at the 18th Inuit Studies Conference. The title of her talk is 'Anaphoric Agreement in Eastern Inuttitut.' Next week Alana will be a keynote speaker at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association (APLA 36). The talk she will deliver there is entitled 'Ergativity through different lenses.'

Several other department members (past and present) will also be presenting at APLA 36. Elizabeth Cowper is presenting a talk entitled 'The rise of featural modality in English.' Alumnus Daniel Currie Hall (Saint Mary's University) is presenting 'Contrast, features, and acquisition in the Parallel Structures Model.' Alumnus Sara Mackenzie (Memorial University) is presenting joint work entitled 'Allophonic variation in production and perception: English light and dark /l/' with Erin Olson (McGill University), Meghan Clayards (McGill University) and Michael Wagner (McGill University). And Alumnus Wladyslaw Cichocki (University of New Brunswick) presents joint work with Louise Beaulieu (Université de Moncton) 'A study of three subordinating conjunctions in Acadian French: confirming some apparent-time findings.'

October 21, 2012

LGCU Welcome Workshop IV

On October 12th we held our fourth annual LGCU Welcome Workshop! This workshop was started in order to provide a forum for our new graduate students to introduce their research interests to each other and to other members of the department, while also providing the new students with an opportunity to learn about some of the current research being undertaken by other members of our department as well.

This year, several of our new MA and PhD students, a few of our 2nd year PhD students, and one alumnus participated, giving talks on a wide range of topics based on previous work undertaken as undergraduate students, generals papers in progress, and current side projects.

The workshop was well attended; many faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and alumni came to listen to the talks. Many interesting questions were posed, and it was quite interesting to see where research interests overlapped between various members of the department.

The workshop concluded with a catered dinner in the lounge.

Alumnus Kenji Oda discussing the complexities of Irish 
New LGCU co-president Christopher Spahr presenting syllable length in Estonian
New MA students Matt Pankhurst, Jada Fung, Michelle Yuan, new PhD student Shayna Gardiner, and PhD student Iryna Osadcha enjoying a coffee break in between presentations
New PhD student Julien Carrier and PhD student Élodie Thomas
New MA students Emily Blamire and Phil Howson, and new PhD student Julie Doner
A list of the talks presented is given below:

Julie Doner:           "An exception to pro-drop in Italian and its implications for the EPP''
Clarissa Forbes:     "Gitxsan relative clauses: A diagnostic for adjectives''
Shayna Gardiner:   "Some morphosyntactic properties of Middle Egyptian''
Ross Godfrey:        "Inner and outer causatives in Amharic and Hindi-Urdu''
Phil Howson:         "Czech trills revisited: Ultrasound, EGG and acoustic study''
Kenji Oda:             "Adjective fronting in nominal predicates in Modern Irish''
Matt Pankhurst:     "Breaking the syllable structure: Over-rhotacization and nasality in
                                Northeastern Mandarin Chinese''
Christopher Spahr: "The role of floating features in the (morpho)phonology of Estonian
                                quantity: An overlong story short''
Élodie Thomas:      "Le parler-jeune de Courcouronnes: Some notes on the vernacular spoken                                 in the suburbs of Paris''
Becky Tollan:         "On the relationship between inflectional morphology and verb raising:                                 What can be concluded from changes in the history of English?''
Michelle Yuan:        "Left-peripheral movement in Twic East''

Thank you to the organizers and to all who attended for making this workshop a success!

Photo credits: Alex Motut

October 19, 2012

U of T Linguists at Large

This weekend, Elan Dresher, Christopher Harvey & Will Oxford will be presenting a paper at NELS 43 in New York (CUNY). The title of their talk is "Contrast shift as a kind of diachronic change".

Next week, Marisa Brook and Naomi Nagy are presenting a Pecha Kucha talk at the "Road Less Travelled" Heritage Language conference (http://individual.utoronto.ca/perezleroux/site/roadlesstravelled.html) at Victoria College in October. The title is "Speech rate across generations in two Toronto heritage languages". This stems from a project Marisa undertook in LIN 1256 with Naomi last Fall.
Alumnus Marina Sherkina-Lieber will also be presenting a Pecha Kucha talk, and former postdoctoral fellow Nelleke Strik will be presenting a poster at the same conference. Marina will be presenting "Probing for productive capacity in receptive bilinguals: Elicited imitation in Labrador Inuttitut", and Nelleke will be presenting "Interrogative inversion in Spanish-English bilinguals: Instances of bidirectional transfer" (joint work with Alejandro Cuza, a U of T alumnus from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese).

Naomi will also be an invited speaker at the Heritage Language conference, with the title "Sociolinguistics of Heritage Languages". Earlier this month, Naomi participated in an international workshop in Wuppertal, Germany, "Heritage languages: language contact-change-maintenance and loss in the wave of new migration landscapes". The title of her talk was "Looking for contact-induced change in heritage languages".

Also next week,  NWAV 41 will be taking place in Bloomington, Indiana (http://www.indiana.edu/~nwav41/) , with several talks by U of T linguists. Sali Tagliamonte is a plenary speaker with: "The elephant and the pendulum: Variationist perspectives". She will also be giving a joint talk with U of T alumnus Alexandra D'Arcy (Univ. of Victoria):  "Vernacular repercussions of adaptive change".

Two graduate students will also be presenting their work at NWAV. James Smith is giving a talk entitled: "It's a bik deal: Sociophonetic Variation of Word-Final Stop Voicing in Toronto English". Matt Hunt Gardner is presenting joint work with Rebecca Roeder (Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte): "The Phonology of the Canadian Shift Revisited: Thunder Bay and Cape Breton". Rebecca is a former U of T postdoctoral fellow.

Also at NWAV was sociolinguist Anne-José Villeneuve, assistant professor in the French Department.