December 25, 2018

LSA et al. 2019

The Linguistic Society of America is holding its 93rd Annual Meeting in New York City from January 3rd through 6th. Alongside it are the annual meetings of a lively, ever-increasing bunch of special-interest 'sister societies'. Participants associated with our department are as follows.

Linguistic Society of America

Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) and Bridget Jankowski (staff; Ph.D. 2013):
"Grammatical convergence or microvariation? Subject doubling in English in a French-dominant town."

Becky Tollan (Ph.D.) and Lauren Eby Clemens (State University of New York at Albany):
"Syntactic ergativity as absolutive movement in Polynesian."

Sali is also presenting a poster:
"Wait, it’s a discourse marker! Catching a recent innovation in linguistic change."

Derek Denis (faculty) and Alexandra Motut (Ph.D.) are presenting a poster:
"Data collection reciprocity as service-in-return: A case study in working with community partners."

Julien Carrier (Ph.D.) also has a poster:
"Inuktitut complex nominalization."

Monica-Alexandrina Irimia (Ph.D. 2012, now at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) and Anna Pineda (Universitat Pompeu Fabra):
"Generalizations and their exceptions: DOM in Romance diachrony."

Monica is also part of a talk with Patricia Schneider Zioga (California State University, Fullerton):
"Partitive case and abstract licensing in Kinande."

Clarissa Forbes (Ph.D. 2018, now at the University of Arizona) is presenting a poster:
"Ergative agreement switch and unlicensed absolutives in Tsimshianic."

Julie Goncharov (Ph.D. 2015, now at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Monica-Alexandrina Irimia (Ph.D. 2012, now at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia):
"Counterfactuality, focus, and embedded exhaustification."

Julie Anne Legate (MA 1997, now at the University of Pennsylvania) and Milena Šereikaitė (University of Pennsylvania):
"Lithuanian evidentials and passives of evidentials."

Paulina Lyskawa (MA 2015, now at the University of Maryland) is part of a talk being presented by a large team that also includes Hanna Muller (University of Maryland), Phoebe Gaston (University of Maryland), Bethany Dickerson (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Adam Liter (University of Maryland), Karthik Durvasula (Michigan State University), Mina Hirzel (University of Maryland), Kasia Hitczenko (University of Maryland), Margaret Kandel (Harvard University), Jacqueline Nelligan (University of Maryland), Maxime Papillon (University of Maryland), and Laurel Perkins (University of Maryland):
"Gender bias in representation and publishing rates across subfields."

Yining Nie (MA 2015, now at New York University) also has a poster:
"Refrozen scope in spray-load constructions."

Giuseppe Ricciardi (MA 2016, now at Harvard University) and Edward Gibson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology):
"Experiment on epistemic must."
Nicholas Rolle (MA 2010, now at the University of California, Berkeley):
"A cyclic account of a trigger-target asymmetry in concatenative vs. replacive tone."

Carson T. Schütze (MA 1991, now at the University of California, Los Angeles) is co-presenting a talk with Richard Stockwell (University of California, Los Angeles):
"Objectless locative prepositions in British English."

The same pair is also presenting a second talk:
"Dialects haven't got to be the same: Modal microvariation in English."

As well as a poster:
"Transparent free relatives with who: Support for a unified analysis."

Michelle Yuan (MA 2013, now at the University of Chicago):
"On the interaction of Merger and copy spell-out: Insights from Inuktitut noun incorporation."

Heather Burnett (former postdoc, now at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique) is half of a presentation with Eric Acton (Eastern Michigan University):
"Markedness, rationality, and social meaning."

Former visiting scholar Holman Tse (University of Pittsburgh) has a poster:
"Can heritage speakers innovate allophonic splits due to contact?"

American Dialect Society

We are well-represented at the ADS. Our current chair, Sali A. Tagliamonte, is leading a double life as the organization's president, and will be giving the speech at the Annual Luncheon: "Doing dialectology in the 21st century." In what may or may not be a coincidence, the first ADS session this year is entitled 'University of Toronto linguists have some things to tell you about Canadian English'. Indeed we do:

Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty), Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.), Jean-François Juneau (Ph.D.), Kinza Mahoon (Ph.D.), Andrei Munteanu (Ph.D.), Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.), Fiona Wilson (Ph.D.):
"Sounding like a 'Sounder': Dialect accommodation in Ontario, Canada."

Derek Denis (faculty), Vidhya Elango (BA), Nur Sakinah Nor Kamal (BA), Srishti Prashar (BA), and Maria Velasco (BA):
"Exploring the sounds of Multicultural Toronto English."

Bridget L. Jankowski (staff; Ph.D. 2013) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"'He come out and give me a beer, but he never seen the bear': Old preterites in Ontario dialects."

Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.):
"Tracking change in Canadian English utterance-initial discourse markers."

Other participants include:

Alexandra D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria):
"Exploring the dynamics of language change through the lens of community, caregiver, and child."

Bronwyn M. Bjorkman (former postdoc, now at Queen's University) with Anastasia Riehl (Queen's University):
"We seen 'eh' and so on: A preliminary study of three variables in the Wolfe Island English corpus."

Aaron J. Dinkin (former faculty, now at San Diego State University):
"Low back merger encroaching at a stable dialect boundary in northern New York."

Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL)

Aleksei Nazarov (faculty):
"Learning exceptionality indices for French variable schwa deletion."

Heather Burnett (former postdoc, now at Centre national de la recherche scientifique) and Olivier Bonami (Centre national de la recherche scientifique):
"A conceptual spaces model of socially motivated language change."

Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics

Frederick Gietz (Ph.D.):
"Lexical and computational tools for determining the origin of Lingala."

Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas

Michael Barrie (Ph.D. 2006, now at Sogang University):
"Prosody of Cayuga content questions."
Patricia A. Shaw (Ph.D. 1976, now at the University of British Columbia) with Severn Cullis-Suzuki (University of British Columbia):
"Intonation through the generations."

December 18, 2018

New paper: Denis and Tagliamonte (2018)

Derek Denis (faculty) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) have a paper out in English Language & Linguistics, 22(3): "The changing future: Competition, specialization, and reorganization in the contemporary English future temporal reference system."

The English future temporal reference system has long been recognized as a variable system undergoing change. The main variants in contemporary English (will and be going to) have both been argued to have gone through (and to potentially still be undergoing) grammaticalization. At the same time, be going to has been gradually increasing in frequency relative to will over the last 500 years. However, investigation of the ongoing development of this system has been sparse. This article makes use of a large contemporary sociolinguistic corpus of a mainstream variety of North American English and the apparent-time construct. Several factors that have been implicated in the development of this system (sentence type, clause type, proximity, verb type, animacy, and grammatical person of the subject) are considered and a multiplex series of changes are uncovered. Underlying an overall, albeit slow, change in frequency towards be going to, we find evidence for specialization of one or the other variant in different linguistic contexts, neutralization of a constraint consistent with ongoing loss of variant nuances through semantic bleaching, and the persistence of constraints consistent with morphological doublet competition.

December 15, 2018

New paper: Jurgec and Bjorkman (2018)

Peter Jurgec (faculty) and Bronwyn Bjorkman (former postdoc, now at Queen's University) have a paper now published in Phonology, 35(4): "Indexation to stems and words."

This paper presents an extension of indexed constraints, such that they can apply not only to individual morphemes, but also to potentially complex constituents such as the stem. This modification allows us to capture a class of long-distance morphologically derived environment effects (MDEEs) that have been previously unexplained. MDEEs typically involve an exceptional phonological pattern that is lost under affixation. Formally, MDEEs are predicted if complex constituents such as stems are treated as lexically exceptional only when every morpheme contained within them is independently exceptional. This approach further predicts asymmetries between bare roots and affixed words, between roots and affixes, and between inflected and derived words. All other things being equal, the first of each pair is more likely to be exceptional in more contexts.

December 14, 2018

Faculty/staff holiday lunch

Our faculty and staff enjoyed a holiday lunch at Her Father's Cider Bar and Kitchen on Friday, December 14. Thanks to the restaurant and its employees for their hospitality (and for taking the photo!).

Clockwise around the table from left: Sali A. Tagliamonte, Jack Chambers, Yoonjung Kang, Naomi Nagy, Phil Monahan, Barend Beekhuizen, Jessamyn Schertz, Cristina Cuervo, Susana Béjar, Aleksei Nazarov, Marisa Brook, Elaine Gold, Arsalan Kahnemuyipour, Nathan Sanders, Jennifer McCallum, Diane Massam, and Derek Denis.

December 10, 2018

Research Groups: Week of December 10-14

Wednesday, December 12, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Bissell Building 113
Morphology Reading Group

Thursday, December 13, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, SS 1086
Language Variation and Change Group
Practise talks for LSA/ADS/other conferences held alongside.

December 7, 2018

Congratulations, Emily!

Emily Clare successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, "Dynamicity in speech perception," on Friday, December 7, 2018. The committee included Jessamyn Schertz (supervisor), Yoonjung Kang, Phil Monahan, Elizabeth Johnson, Nathan Sanders, and external examiner Meghan Clayards (McGill University). Congratulations, Dr. Clare!

Elizabeth, Nathan, Meghan, Emily, Jessamyn, Yoonjung, and Phil. (Photo by Jennifer McCallum.)

December 6, 2018

Workshop: New Perspectives on Mental State Attribution

The Department of Philosophy is hosting a workshop, New Perspectives on Mental State Attribution, early next week. This will be taking place at the Jackman Humanities Building (Room 100) on Monday, December 10, and Tuesday, December 11, from 9 AM to 5 PM both days. The program features a mix of guest speakers giving in-depth presentations. Of particular interest to the linguistics community are the two talks on the Tuesday afternoon, as follows:

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM:
Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten (University of Gothenburg):
"Building attitudes in the grammar."

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Rachel Dudley (École normale supérieure):
"Pragmatic effects in child's understanding of attitude verbs."

December 5, 2018

Iranian Languages Workshop

Our department has a cluster of scholars keenly interested in the languages of Iran. On top of that, this semester's JAL401: Field Linguistics class taught by Suzi Lima (faculty) collectively investigated Gilaki, an Indo-Iranian language spoken in the northwest of the country. In other to showcase their research, we will be holding a workshop on Iranian languages: Thursday, December 6, from 10 AM through 3 PM in the department lounge. All departmental members are encouraged to attend!

Arsalan Kahnemuyipour (faculty):
"Everything I know about Gilaki."

Gregory Antono (BA):
"Allomorphy in Gilaki: An Optimality Theoretic approach."

Crystal Chen (BA):
"Adjectival order in Gilaki."

Sahar Taghipour (Ph.D.):
"Definiteness in Laki: its distribution and properties."

Rosie Webb (BA):
"Modifier reduplication in Gilaki."

Kristina Springer (BA):
"The morphophonological analysis of verb affixation in Gilaki."

Jida Jaffan (MA):
"One way and the other: assessing the origins of Arabic and Gilaki loanwords based on the undergone linguistic processes."

Koorosh Ariyaee (Ph.D.):
"Loanword adaptation in Persian."

Liam Donohue (MA):
"Locating objects in space and time: An analysis of temporal-spatial copular constructions in Gilaki."

Breanna Pratley (BA):
"Distribution of active and passive constructions in Gilaki."

December 4, 2018

Research Groups: Friday, December 7

Note that the Fieldwork Group meeting this week is cancelled.

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Language Variation and Change Research Group
Group discussion: Lewis, Mark (2018). A critique of the principle of error correction as a theory of social change. Language in Society, 47(3), 325-346. And an overview of the Journal of English Linguistics, 46(3), on practical strategies for opposing linguistic discrimination.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Syntax Group
Nico Baier (McGill University): "Unifying anti-agreement and wh-agreement."
In this talk, I investigate the sensitivity of φ-agreement to features typically associated with Ā-extraction, including those related to wh-questioning, relativization, focus and topicalization. This phenomenon has been referred to as anti-agreement (Ouhalla 1993) or wh-agreement (Chung and Georgopoulos 1988; Georgopoulos 1991; Chung 1994) in the literature. While anti-agreement is commonly held to result from constraints on the Ā-movement of agreeing DPs, I argue that it reduces to an instance of wh-agreement, or the appearance of particular morphological forms in the presence of Ā-features. I develop a unified account of these Ā-sensitive φ-agreement effects in which they arise from the ability of φ-probes to copy both φ-features and Ā-features in the syntax. In the morphological component, partial or total impoverishment may apply to feature bundles containing both φ- and Ā-features, deleting some or all of the φ-features. Impoverishment blocks insertion of an otherwise appropriate, more highly specified agreement exponent.

December 3, 2018

LIN362 poster session

The students of LIN362: Historical Linguistics, taught by Aleksei Nazarov (faculty), will be presenting their final projects in the form of a poster session in the department lounge on Tuesday, December 4, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. All department members are encouraged to attend!

December 1, 2018

Congratulations, Peter!

Peter Jurgec (faculty) has been awarded an Erasmus+ Mobility Grant, which provides considerable funding for inter-institutional exchange. We will be sending a graduate student from our department to visit Slovenia next autumn; a graduate student from Ljubljana will visit us at the same time. Two of our faculty members will be visiting Slovenia (and vice versa) for a week each sometime in the next two years. We anticipate that the grant will further strengthen our department's interests in Slavic languages from a variety of perspectives and approaches. Congratulations to Peter on the recognition and on opening up this tremendously valuable opportunity for all of us!