March 24, 2017

MOT 2017 schedule, March 23-25

Atelier de phonologie Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto
Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto Phonology Workshop 

Université du Québec à Montréal


Vendredi/Friday 03/24
Pavillon De-Sève, 320 Ste-Catherine Est. 
Niveau métro/Metro level

13 h 30 – 14 h 20 Inscription - Registration

14 h 20 – 14 h 30 Remarques d’ouverture – Opening Remarks

Session 1 – Président/Chair: Kevin McMullin
14 h 30 – 14 h 55 Beth MacLeod (Carleton) Does phonological contrast mediate phonetic accommodation?

14 h 55 – 15 h 20 Morgan Sonderegger, Michael McAuliffe, Jurij Bozic, Chris Bruno, September Cowley, Jeffrey Lamontagne, Bing'er Jiang, Martha Schwarz, and Jiajia Su (McGill) Laryngeal timing across seven languages: phonetic data and their relationship to phonological features

15 h 20 – 15 h 45 Donghyun Kim, Meghan Clayards (McGill) The link between speech perception and production and the mechanisms of phonetic imitation

15 h 45 – 16 h 05 Pause / Break

16 h 05 – 16 h 30 Heather Yawney (UofT) The right to be faithful: Turkish Adverbials with –En and their irregular stress

16 h 30 – 16 h 55 Kevin McMullen (UOttawa) Deriving distance-based decay from optionality, gradience, and blocking

16 h 55 – 17 h 20 Bronwyn Bjorkman (Queen’s), Peter Jurgec (UofT) Indexation to stems and words : accounting for non-local morphophonological effects

Soirée au pub/Pub Night

Samedi/Saturday 03/25
Pavillon De-Sève, 320 Ste-Catherine Est.
Niveau métro/Metro level

8 h 30 – 9 h 00 Petit Déjeuner & Inscription - Breakfast & Registration

Session 3 – Présidente/Chair : Bronwyn Bjorkman

9 h 00 – 9 h 25 Eric Baković (UC San Diego), Lev Blumenfeld (Carleton) The interaction of phonological maps : a set-theoretic typology 

9 h 25 – 9 h 50 Andréia DeSouza (UQAM) Le comportement des consonnes rhotiques en portugais

9 h 50 – 10 h 15 Fabian Zuk (Lyon III/UdeM) Setting parameters in a metrical CVCV model : results from Old Romance

10 h 15 – 10 h 35 Pause / Break

Session 4 – Président/Chair : Randall Gess

10 h 35 – 11 h 00 Heather Newell (UQAM) On the epiphenominality of the Phonological Word and Phrase

11 h 00 – 11 h 25 Ievgeniia Kybalchych (UQAM) Les prefixes verbaux du russe et le hiatus

11 h 25 – 11 h 50 Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron (McGill) Production planning effects on variable external sandhi: a case study in liaison

11 h 50 – 13 h 30 Diner – Lunch (pas fourni / not provided)

Session 5 – Président/Chair : Markus Pöchtrager

13 h 30 – 13 h 55 Randall Gess (Carleton) Debuccalization of /ʒ/ in French : A phonetic case study from a B.C. speaker

13 h 55 – 14 h 20 Filiz Mutlu (Boǧaziči) Valence and saturation in phonology

14 h 20 – 14 h 45 Suyeon Yun (UofT) A typology of fricative-initial cluster adaptation and the role of intensity contour

14 h 45 – 15 h 05 Pause / Break

Session 6 – Président/Chair : Lev Blumenfeld

15 h 05 – 15 h 30 Phil Howson (UofT) A cross-linguistic examination of l-vocalization

15 h 30 – 15 h 55 Markus Pöchtrager (Boǧaziči) A structural approach to vowel reduction

15 h 55 – 16 h 20 Martha Schwarz (McGill) Nepali laryngeal contrasts

16 h 20 – 16 h 40 Pause / Break

Session 7 – Présidente/Chair : Heather Newell

16 h 40 – 17 h 40 Conférencier invité / Invited Speaker
Charles Reiss (Concordia) Sometimes an obstruent is just an obstruent

Souper - Dinner

Dimanche/Sunday 03/26
Pavillon De-Sève, 320 Ste-Catherine Est. 
Niveau métro/Metro level

9 h 00 – 9 h 30 Petit Déjeuner & Inscription - Breakfast & Registration

Session 8 – Présidente/Chair : Heather Newell

9 h 30 – 9 h 55 James Tanner (McGill) Phonetic and phonological mechanisms of Tokyo Japanese vowel devoicing

9 h 50 – 10 h 15 Rafa Monroig (Western) Influence of native language and early education in Majorcan Catalan production

10 h 15 – 10 h 40 Laura Spinu (UofT), Alexei Kochetov (UofT), Jason Lilley (Nemours Biomedical Research) Acoustic classification of Russian plain/palatalized sibilant fricatives: Spectral vs cepstral measures

10 h 40 – 11 h 00 Pause / Break

Session 9 – Présidente/Chair : Beth MacLeod

11 h 00 – 11 h 25 Binger Jiang, Meghan Clayards (McGill) Cue weighting of voice quality, pitch, and tonal contour in the tonal register contrast in Chinese Wu dialects

11 h 25 – 11 h 50 Yulia Bosworth (Binghamton) Another look at high harmony in Quebecois French : A prosodic reanalysis

11 h 50 – 12 h 15 Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad, Morgan Sonderegger (McGill) Weighting around : Motivating variable prominence assignment in French

Remarques de clôture – Closing Remarks
Réunion organisationelle – Organizational Meeting
Pizza lunch

March 13, 2017

Graduate research milestones (PhD generals papers, March 2017)

This is a new blog series profiling graduate research progress in our department, particularly PhD generals papers (each student does two, before starting their dissertation) and MA forum papers. The following are recently completed (within the past few months) or nearly completed GP2s from our current PhD 3 cohort.

Na-Young Ryu (phonology, psycholinguistics)

In my second generals paper, I investigate how Mandarin learners, whose native language has only a binary laryngeal contrast, are able to acquire the Korean three-way laryngeal contrast in stops and affricates, focusing on their L2 language proficiency levels through two perceptual experiments. The results of experiments reveal that most Mandarin learners do not reach the same level of perception accuracy as native Korean speakers; however, advanced learners perceive the Koran three-way categories more accurately than beginning and intermediate learners. In addition, Mandarin listeners are more successful at perceiving Korean aspirated stop and affricate contrasts compared to fortis and lenis regardless of L2 proficiency. Moreover, lenis is least likely to be differentiated perceptually by Mandarin listeners across all proficiency groups, indicating that they lack attention to vocalic f0, which is the most relevant dimension for native Korean listeners to discriminate lenis from fortis and aspirated consonants.

Emilia Melara (sociolinguistics, pragmatics, morphosyntax)

This paper analyzes naturally-occurring uses of the propositional anaphor variants this, that, and it in the English of three Torontonian speaker groups, each of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds (Anglo, Cantonese, and Italian), together and separately. The variation is analyzed quantitatively, using the variationist framework (Tagliamonte 2002), to examine the spontaneously-produced speech. It finds that on top of the pragmatic conditions proposed by Gundel et al. (1993), specifically that it is the least likely form to be used unless the referent proposition is the most salient one, there are additional constraints on the choice of anaphor used. The study finds that the primary predictor of anaphor choice is the type of clause that introduces the proposition, such that declarative clauses favour the demonstrative that, non-declaratives it. This is the case for all of the groups that were analyzed. A generation analysis of the Cantonese and Italian speakers shows that salience, as proposed by Gundel et al. (1993) to condition anaphor choice, is not employed by first generation speakers, unlike second generation speakers and the Anglo group as a whole. This suggests that if there are effects of language contact between the English of the speakers of Cantonese and Italian backgrounds, salience may not be a conditioning factor in Cantonese or Italian as it is in Toronto English. I explore what morphosyntactic properties of the anaphoric elements may be responsible for their preference with particular clause types and ask what it is about the pragmatic constraints that first generation speakers in the Cantonese and Italian groups do not pick up on in anaphorically referring to propositions in English.

Erin Hall (language acquisition, syntax/semantics)

My second generals paper was a language acquisition study looking at when children understand the difference between sentences with noun phrase embedding (e.g. The cup on the table is green) and coordination (The cup and the table are green). Previous studies have shown that young children have difficulty with the semantics of embedding in the CP domain, as well as with relative clause comprehension, but the PP type of subordination has not been examined in detail. I designed an iPad-based colouring experiment to test children’s comprehension of coordinated NPs as compared with two types of PP embedding, locative (in/on) and comitative (with). Children ages 3 to 5 were found to consistently understand the different interpretations of coordinates and the locative type of embedding, but they had difficulty with comitative PPs like The dog with the bone is blue; children often coloured both nouns (the dog and the bone) in these cases, treating them like coordinates rather than embedded sentences. These results suggest that children have an understanding of the semantic consequences of PP embedding within the NP as early as age 3, but their comprehension depends on the particular preposition involved. With PPs seem to be particularly challenging, likely due to the polysemy of this preposition and/or its closer semantic relationship to the conjunction and.

Ruth Maddeaux (psycholinguistics, sentence processing)

It has been argued that input from both linguistic and visual channels are combined to construct a conceptual representation of an object or event (Knoeferle & Crocker 2006, Altmann & Kamide 2007, Wolter et al. 2011). The relative salience of objects in the discourse is determined by both linguistic representations and visual perception (Wolter et al. 2011). An area of discourse that this research bears on is the processing of presuppositional information; specifically, is there any processing cost associated with adding information to the common ground through different modalities? I use an eye-tracker to determine where people look when they receive information that they are expected to accommodate, and measure whether the manner in which this information is acquired has an effect on the time it takes to process it. I focus on the presupposition trigger return, as in return the glass to the table. The results suggest that listeners have a weaker representation of an object when it is not mentioned by name. Looks to the target object are more likely in this condition, as a result of needing to strengthen the representation; that is, when it is least linguistically established in the common ground. I conclude that the manner of acquisition does have an effect on listeners’ discourse representation. Information that is received through linguistic means is more strongly established in the discourse than information received through non-linguistic means.

Patrick Murphy (semantics, psycholinguistics, sentence processing)

My second generals paper was an eye-tracking experiment investigating the Canadian English "be done NP" construction, which allows speakers of Canadian English (and a handful of U.S. dialects) to say "I'm done my homework" or "I'm finished my homework" (instead of "I've finished my homework" or "I'm done/finished *with* my homework"). A recent paper (Fruehwald & Myler 2015) argued that this construction involves aspectual adjectives directly taking an NP complement, without silent verbal or prepositional structure intervening. The paper also argued that these aspectual adjectives are similar to aspectual verbs (like "begin", "finish", etc.) in requiring a particular interpretation mechanism (complement coercion or type-shifting) for entity nouns (like "the resume" or "the coffee"—contrast with event nouns like "the interview" or "the party"). Previous studies (in self-paced reading and eye-tracking) have found evidence for complement coercion / type-shifting for aspectual verbs in the form of longer reading times for entity nouns than event nouns after these verbs. My own study had similar results: longer reading times for entity nouns than event nouns in the "be done NP" construction. This supports Fruehwald & Myler's claim that these aspectual adjectives behave similarly to aspectual verbs in requiring complement coercion / type-shifting for entity nouns.

March 10, 2017

Canada 150 "From Quaint to Cool" pictures

The Department of Linguistics is hosting three events in celebration of Canada's Sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation this year in 2017. The first, "From Quaint to Cool: 150 years of Language Change in Toronto", was held on March 3rd. Here are some pictures!

Jack Chambers (faculty)

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.), Sali Tagliamonte (faculty), Laura Rupp (visiting scholar), in front of the Canadian Language Museum exhibit on Canadian 'eh'

Erin Brassel Ubertelli (M.A. 2012) (and her son), and Jack Chambers (faculty)
Alex D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria), Emily Blamire (Ph.D.), and Marisa Brook (Ph.D. 2016, now at Michigan State University), by the Canadian Language Museum exhibit

An audience!
Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.), Diane Massam (faculty), by the Canadian Language Museum exhibit
Sali Tagliamonte (faculty)
Lex Konnelly (Ph.D.), Sarah Loriato (visiting student from the University of Bergamo, Italy), Kinza Mahoon (M.A.), Cater Chen (M.A.)

March 9, 2017

TULCON 10 (March 4th and 5th, 2017)

This past weekend, the Society of Linguistics Undergraduate Students (SLUGS) held the 10th annual Toronto Undergraduate Linguistics Conference (TULCON). Students from nine different universities around North America presented original research talks on all aspects of linguistics. There were also four posters presented during a Saturday afternoon poster session. The conference featured two keynote talks: we opened with Professor Naomi Nagy presenting Cross-Cultural Sociolinguistic Surprises and closed with PhD student Alex Motut presenting What naturalness ratings and eye-tracking can tell us about the syntax of non-obligatory control. The organizing committee, headed by undergraduate students Katharine Zisser and Cedric Ludlow, did a fantastic job – overall TULCON10 was a great success!

A link to all conference abstracts can be found here, and a link to more photos of the event can be found here on Google Photos.

Patrick Sonnenberg, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, presents his poster The intersection of gender identity and political affiliation in the perception of the presidency

Keara Boyce, University of Ottawa Centre for Child Language Research, presents Production benefits recall of novel words with frequent, but not infrequent phonotactic probabilities

Mia Sara Misic, Vivian Che & Fernanda Lara Peralta, University of Toronto, present Nasal harmony in Mostec Slovenian

Aaron Mueller, University of Kentucky, presents A lemma-based approach for English-Uyghur statistical machine translation

Alex Motut, University of Toronto, delivers the closing keynote talk

A captive audience

March 7, 2017

Yining Nie named LSA Bloch Fellow

Congratulations to Yining Nie (MA 2015), who has been selected by the Linguistic Society of America as the 2017-2019 Bloch Fellow! As Bloch Fellow, Yining will serve a two-year term as the student representative to the LSA Executive Committee and chair of the LSA Committee on Student Issues and Concerns. The Bloch Fellowship also includes a full scholarship to the 2017 Linguistic Institute at the University of Kentucky this summer. See the official announcement here:

March 6, 2017

Ryan DeCaire featured in the Toronto Star

Ryan DeCaire, assistant professor in the Centre for Indigenous Studies and Department of Linguistics, was profiled by the Toronto Star on language revival. Check out the article: U of T assistant prof reviving Mohawk language"

March 2, 2017

Yu-Leng Lin begins new post-doc in Hong Kong

Recent alumna Yu-Leng Lin (Ph.D. 2016) began her new post-doc position at Hong Kong Polytechnic University on February 15th. Congrats, Yu-Leng!