April 30, 2018

Alana Johns: National Achievement Award, Canadian Linguistic Association (2018)

Alana Johns has been announced as one of the two 2018 laureates of the National Achievement Award from the Canadian Linguistic Association. She will give a plenary talk at the CLA's Annual Meeting at the University of Regina at the end of May. Congratulations on this wonderful honour, Alana! Here is the CLA's announcement:


Dr L. Alana Johns has had a substantial impact on three areas of Canadian linguistics: theoretical morphosyntax, comparative research on Inuit dialects, and community work in language revitalization, maintenance, and documentation.
Dr Johns is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto, where she also served as Director of Aboriginal Studies/the Centre of Aboriginal Initiatives. She spent the first part of her career at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. At both institutions, she inspired, trained and mentored many linguistics students, some of whom she brought to northern regions of Canada to engage in fieldwork. Today, an impressive number of her students have distinguished careers as scholars and as collaborators with Indigenous communities.
The core of Dr. Johns’ theoretical contributions lies in her research on the morphosyntax of Inuktitut, specifically in her work on noun incorporation and on syntactic properties that underlie ergativity. Originating in her PhD dissertation and expanded throughout her career, this influential research has redefined our understanding of cross-linguistic variation in the domain of argument structure, agreement, tense, and case assignment. Furthermore, it has contributed to our knowledge of dialectal variation within the Inuit languages. Dr Johns has also collaborated with other scholars on issues such as phonological change, sentence prosody, and receptive bilingualism in Labrador Inuttitut heritage speakers.
A strong advocate of participatory research between linguists and Indigenous communities, Dr Johns has contributed tremendously to creating a space for fruitful collaborations based on mutual trust and on the needs of the communities. In doing so, she has also contributed to redefining attitudes toward Indigenous people. In her work, she has trained and mentored community members to become Inuit language specialists. Her involvement in collecting and transcribing Inuktitut stories has contributed to preserving and enhancing the collective memory of the Inuit. Her language maintenance projects have produced grammars and teaching manuals on Inuktitut and Inuttitut as well as research documents such as the Dictionary of Utkuhiksalingmiut Inuktitut Postbase Suffixes (co-authored with Jean Briggs and Conor Cook), which is foundational to future revitalization efforts.
In sum, Dr Johns has been a driving force in the study and promotion of the Inuit dialects of Canada. Her ongoing efforts to support language documentation and revitalization have enhanced the status of Indigenous languages and have served the field of linguistics. We are very pleased to recognize her advocacy and inspirational work by awarding her the National Achievement Award of the Canadian Linguistic Association for 2018.

April 24, 2018

WSCLA and SAIL at the University of Ottawa (2018)

WSCLA (23rd Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of the Languages of the Americas) and SAIL (Symposium for American Indian Languages) were recently held together at the University of Ottawa (April 13th and 14th, 2018).

Current faculty/students/visiting scholars that presented their work at WSCLA/SAIL:

  • Suzi Lima (faculty): A typology of the count/mass distinction in Brazil and its relevance for count/mass theories (invited talk, WSCLA)
  • Guillaume Thomas (faculty): Resultatives in Mbyá and the grammar of causativization (talk, WSCLA)
  • Suzi Lima: The Kawaiwete pedagogical grammar (talk, SAIL)
  • Vidhya Elango (undergraduate), Isabella Coutinho (Universidade Estadual de Roraima), and Suzi Lima: Language vitality in Macuxi and Wapichana in Terra Indígena Serra de Lua, Roraima, Brazil (poster, SAIL)
  • Fábio Bonfim Duarte (visiting scholar): Is Tentehara a head-final over head-initial language? (talk, WSCLA)
  • Fábio Bonfim Duarte (with colleagues Camargos and Castro): The parallel between verbs and nouns in the Tenetehára language (poster).

Several alumni, former post-docs and former visiting scholars presented their work in one of these events: Nicholas Welch (former post-doc, now at McMaster), Richard Compton (PhD 2012, now at UQAM), Will Oxford (PhD 2014, now at UManitoba), Michael Barrie (PhD 2006, now at Sogang University), Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada (former visiting scholar, now at UAlberta), and Michelle Yuan (MA 2013, now at UofT)

Vidhya Elango

Suzi Lima

Fábio Bonfim Duarte and Guillaume Thomas

April 20, 2018

Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics Vol. 40: Special Issue from CRC-Sponsored Phonology/Phonetics Workshops

Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics is happy to announce the publication of a special volume dedicated to research presented at the recurring phonology/phonetics workshop during Keren Rice’s time as Canada Research Chair.

This online volume can be found at the following link: http://twpl.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/twpl/index

We are very grateful to the authors, to the TWPL editorial staff, and to Keren, for making this volume possible.

April 15, 2018

Grading and lasagne

Naomi, Lex and Julien celebrated the end of a long grading day with a lasagne feast.

April 10, 2018

Linguistic Perspectives on Variation: Toronto-Buffalo Workshop (2018)

On Friday, April 6th, 2018, the first annual Buffalo-Toronto Workshop on Linguistic Perspectives on Variation was held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Presentations from our department:

Variation and change in reduplication and repetition in Ontario dialects — Sali Tagliamonte (faculty) & Katharina Pabst (PhD)

A socio-indexical feature in Heritage Italian: VOT in Toronto — Naomi Nagy (faculty), Rosalba Nodari (Scuola Normale Superiore) & Chiara Celata (Scuola Normale Superiore)

Height or hide? Partial contrast, dialect exposure, and the perception of Canadian Raising  — Patrick Murphy (PhD) & Philip Monahan (faculty)

Evidence of intradialect variation in Scottish English  — Fiona Wilson (PhD)

Accented stops? L1-based variation in L2 English stop production  — Jessamyn Schertz (faculty)

Group Photo (LtoR): Derry Moore (Buffalo), Patrick Murphy (Toronto), Randi Moore (Buffalo), Katharina Pabst (Toronto), Sali Tagliamonte (Toronto), Christian DiCanio (Buffalo), Jessamyn Schertz (Toronto), Thomas St. Pierre (Buffalo), Naomi Nagy (Toronto), Jeff Good (Buffalo), Fiona Wilson (Buffalo), David Fertig (Buffalo)

Katharina Pabst and Sali Tagliamonte

Naomi Nagy

Fiona Wilson

Jessamyn Schertz

April 9, 2018

New book: Nominal Contact in Michif

Carrie Gillon (MA 1999, now at Quick Brown Fox Consulting) and Nicole Rosen (PhD 2007, now at University of Manitoba) have a new book: Nominal Contact in Michif. From the OUP website, the book:

  • Offers a detailed formal description of the structure of Michif with extensive examples
  • Accessible to linguists from all theoretical and descriptive backgrounds
  • Explores the validity of 'mixed language' as a category
  • Proposes a new classification of Michif as an Algonquian language with French contact influence

April 2, 2018

New book: Direct Objects and Language Acquisition

Congratulations to Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux (Faculty, Dept. of Linguistics, Department of Spanish and Portuguese), Mihaela Pirvulescu (Faculty, Dept. of Language Studies UTM, Graduate Department of French), and Yves Roberge (Faculty, Dept. of French, Graduate Dept of Linguistics) on the publication of their book: "Direct Objects and Language Acquisition" with Cambridge University Press.

You can take a peek at the exciting contents inside at the following site: