May 28, 2016

Report from DiPVaC 3 and CVC 9

Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change 3 (May 4-6) and Change and Variation in Canada (May 7-8) both took place at the University of Ottawa this month.

Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) and Bridget Jankowski (Ph.D. 2013) helped kick off DiPVaC 3 with a look at the uses of there and here as non-locative deictic markers in Northern Ontario - a characteristic feature of the region.

(Photo by Nathalie Dion.)

Derek Denis (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Victoria) presented joint work with Alexandra D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria) and Martina Wiltschko (University of British Columbia) on how to break down the multiple functions of utterance-final particles from the perspective of microsyntax.

Sali and Bridget returned to the stage to present on particles of the left periphery of the clause in Canadian English.

(Photo by Marisa Brook.)

Former visiting student Claire Childs (Newcastle University) gave a presentation on effects of different kinds of interviewers on how negative tags are produced in dialects of British English.

Claire's talk ultimately won the Best Student Paper award of the conference. Well done, Claire! Also, MA student Mary Aksim won the book draw.

Brianne Süss (MA), Mary Aksim (MA), Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.), Marisa Brook (Ph.D.), and Shayna Gardiner. (Ph.D.) (Photo by Sali A. Tagliamonte.)

DiPVaC 3 was also notable for being likely the first linguistics conference at which a certain Canadian game-show host put in an appearance.

Derek Denis (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Victoria) and Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.) provide a hint.

Change and Variation in Canada began the day after DiPVaC 3 and also featured a number of linguists associated with our department.

Marisa Brook (Ph.D.) presented on two linked levels of morphosyntactic change affecting subordinate clauses after perception verbs in Canadian and British English.

Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.), Paulina Lyskawa (MA 2015, now at the University of Maryland), Emilia Melara (Ph.D.), and Naomi Nagy (faculty) gave a presentation about whether code-switching is correlated with contact effects between English in Toronto and heritage Polish spoken by immigrants and their descendants.

Alexah Konnelly (MA) presented on uses of discourse like in the queer community of Toronto and the role of small versus medium sample sizes.

Brianne Süss (MA) presented about uses of 'eh?' in rural parts of Ontario west of Ottawa, where the form enjoys a higher degree of popularity as in the nearest large cities.

Shayna Gardiner (Ph.D.) gave a presentation of a meta-analysis of studies in the journal Language Variation and Change, probing whether cases of stable variation require a continuous factor to be essentially holding them in place.

Mary Aksim (MA) presented an analysis of -s versus -th third-person-present verbal inflection in Early Modern English as represented by three female letter-writers of the time.

Incoming Ph.D. student Katharina Pabst (University of Buffalo) and faculty member Sali A. Tagliamonte, presented results of a project undertaken with Sali's class from the 2015 Linguistic Society of America Institute in Chicago, on words for 'very good' (cool, awesome, excellent, wonderful, splendid, superb, etc.) in Ontario English.

Katharina and Sali's talk. (Photo by Nathalie Dion.)

 Katharina describes a 'cool' pattern. (Photo by Nathalie Dion.)

The last talk of CVC 9 was by Sali and Ruth, on 'small' and 'little' and their synonyms in various Northern Ontario communities.

(Photo by Nathalie Dion.)

And with that, five days of intense LVC-ing came to an end. Special thanks to the organizers of the conferences for even more hard work than usual!

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