November 19, 2015

Report from NWAV44

Our department co-hosted NWAV44 with York University from October 22-25. This was a massive undertaking that had seen ongoing effort over several years from seven faculty members on the committee (including our own Aaron Dinkin, Naomi Nagy, and Sali A. Tagliamonte, as well as former U of T French faculty member Anne-José Villeneuve, now at the University of Alberta), plus more than forty student volunteers.

The city of Toronto did its part and helped welcome sociolinguists from all over the world to Hart House with some gorgeous fall weather.

                                (Photo by Sali A. Tagliamonte.)                                                                                   (Photo by Marisa Brook.)

On the Thursday, faculty member Sali A. Tagliamonte hosted a workshop on cross-disciplinarity: four faculty members from very different backgrounds were chosen to analyze the same phenomenon (was/were variation in the city of York, England) and then discuss their findings together. One of the four was faculty member Diane Massam, who gave her account of the variation from a syntactic/Minimalist perspective. Later in the afternoon, once the committee had welcomed the attendees, Ph.D. student Ruth Maddeaux introduced the first 'Crossroads' workshop speaker, David Adger (Queen Mary University of London).

In the morning, plenary speaker Jack Chambers (faculty) took attendees through a history of sociolinguistics as studied in Canada over the years.

(Photo by Sali A. Tagliamonte.)       

Current department members and alumni who presented on the Friday included Emilie LeBlanc (MA 2014, now at York University), Katherine Rehner (faculty), Darcie Blainey (postdoc), and Julien Carrier (Ph.D.). The day's plenary was given by faculty member Elizabeth Johnson from the Mississauga campus, whose research is centered on language acquisition.

Hart House also welcomed a number of Great Hall Birds.

(Photo by Radu Craioveanu.)

The evening poster session included contributions from Heather Burnett (postdoc), Paulina Lyskawa (MA 2015, now at the University of Maryland), Emilia Melara (Ph.D.), Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.), Michael Iannozzi (BA 2014, now at the University of Western Ontario), and Shannon Mooney (MA 2012, now at Georgetown University).

Saturday's events included talks that involved Claire Childs (former visiting student, now back at Newcastle University), Alexandra D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria), Aaron Dinkin (faculty) and Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.). The day concluded with a lively party in the Great Hall.

(Photo by Radu Craioveanu.)

Talks on Sunday included those by Maddie Shellgren (MA 2011, now at Michigan State University), Derek Denis (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Victoria), Bridget Jankowski (Ph.D. 2013), Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty), Marisa Brook (Ph.D.), and Emily Blamire (Ph.D.).

The conference concluded with an address/summary by William Labov, introduced by one of his former graduate students, Aaron Dinkin (faculty). Labov, along with all of the other plenary speakers, received a special hand-knitted toque with an NWAV44 patch on it as a thank-you for his contribution to the conference.

(Photo by Marisa Brook.)

The conference will be staying on this side of the border for next year: NWAV45 is being held in downtown Vancouver, co-hosted by the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.

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