November 11, 2019

Research Groups: Week of November 11-15

Wednesday, November 13, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS2116
Morphology Reading Group
Gavin Bembridge (York University) leading a discussion of his paper: "Negative incorporation as polarity conditioned stem allomorphy."

Friday, November 15, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Psycholinguistics Group
Presentation by Jie Ren (postdoc, Department of Psychology).

Friday, November 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM in SS560A
Phonology Group
Thesis proposal of Heather Yawney (Ph.D): "Velars and uvulars in Kazakh."

Friday, November 15, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS 560A
Fieldwork Group
Nadia Takhtaganova (MA): "Allons enfants de la patrie ! Minority language documentation and revitalisation in metropolitan France."

November 8, 2019

Indigenous language materials at the Fisher Rare Book Library

On Friday, November 15 from 3 PM through 5 PM, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is holding an open house on the Indigenous language documents and resources that it has available for use in research!

November 7, 2019

Fall Convocation 2019

Our department held receptions on Tuesday, November 5, and Wednesday, November 6, celebrating the convocations of our latest Ph.D. and MA graduates!

Seven alumni, along with family members and/or partners, celebrated receiving their Ph.D. diplomas: Joanna Chociej, Julianne Doner, Dan Milway, Patrick Murphy, Na-Young Ryu, Becky Tollan, and Tomohiro Yokoyama.

And our new MA alumni from 2019 are: Lauren Bigelow, Liam Donohue, Jida Jaffan, Caitlyn Martinuzzi, Ekaterina Prigaro, Xiaochuan Qin, Sadaf Rahmanian, Matthew Riopelle, and Philippe Thompson.

We are so proud of you all!

Special thanks to Jennifer McCallum (staff) for her considerable efforts in preparing the receptions despite a noticeably above-average number of problems acquiring pre-ordered cakes.

November 4, 2019

Urban and Rural Language Research: Variation, Identity, and Innovation

In conjunction with colleagues at the University of Graz, Austria, our departmental sociolinguists are holding a small workshop at Trinity College this weekend on dialects inside and outside urban areas. Note: if you are interested in attending any of the talks, please email Sali.

U of T sociolinguists presenting are as follows.

Jack Chambers (faculty) is giving one of the keynote talks:
"Discontinuities in the dialect continuum."

Derek Denis (faculty) is giving another of the keynote talks:
"Enregisterment, resistance, and the spread of linguistic alterity in the most multicultural city in the world."

Marisa Brook (faculty) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"City rels, country rels: Prestige and the urban-rural divide in Ontario."

Karlien Franco (postdoc) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"Lexicalization in grammatical change? The simple past/present perfect alternation in Canadian English."

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"'I think (that) you have to have a certain confidence': The influence of urban professional life on complementizer that."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.):
"Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Michael Iannozzi (BA 2014, now at the University of Western Ontario):
"A road diverged on a farm: Diverging identites from a shared beginning."

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.) and Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.) are both serving on a panel: 'The social and psychological challenges of fieldwork'.

November 2, 2019

Mo-MOT 4

The fourth workshop on Morphology in the Montréal/Ottawa/Toronto Area (Mo-MOT) is taking place at Queen's University on November 8 and 9. Several current graduate students are presenting:

Liam Donohue (Ph.D.):
"Making perfect sense: The morphosemantics of Georgian present perfects."

Andrew Peters (Ph.D.):
"Accusative in Mongolian and Dependent Case Theory."

Jean-François Juneau (Ph.D.) is part of a talk with Gavin Bembridge (York University):
"Root alternations for discourse effects in Japanese: A challenge for locality?"

Recent faculty member Nicholas LaCara is also giving a presentation:
"Synthetic compounding in Distributed Morphology with phrasal movement."

October 31, 2019

Halloween wug cookies!

(Photo by Mia Sara Misic.)

Happy Halloween, linguists! Laura Davidson (a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology) and Mia Sara Misic (MA 2018, now also in Speech-Language Pathology) baked a whole bunch of mummy-wug and Frankenstein-wug cookies - plus some chocolate pops - for the bake-sale in the Sidney Smith lobby earlier this afternoon.

The proceeds went to Hear2Speak, a charity established by Speech-Language Pathology students and faculty at the U of T. Hear2Speak aims to improve the quality and accessibility of speech-language and hearing services around the world. The Halloween bake-sale is specifically supporting underserved clinics in Pakistan with resources and various assessment tools.

Laura and Mia and wug cookies all getting into the holiday spirit. (Photo by Marisa Brook.)

October 30, 2019

NELS 50: alumni extravaganza!

This year's meeting of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS) - the 50th so far - took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from October 25 through 27. Not only were our alumni all over the program, a bunch of them even banded together to get a photograph of people with U of T connections!

Julie Goncharov (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Tromsø) and Lavi Wolf (Ben Gurion University of the Negev):
"The role of time in double NPI constructions with epistemic accessibility relations."

Will Oxford (Ph.D. 2014, now at the University of Manitoba):
"It’s all in the probe: Variation in inverse marking and its implications for probe structure."

Will also had a poster with Yadong Xu (University of Manitoba):
"One probe to Agree with them all: Kickapoo portmanteau agreement is syntactic."

Fulang Chen (MA 2017, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology):
"Split partitivity in Mandarin: A diagnostic for argument-gap dependencies."

Shay Hucklebridge (MA 2016, now at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst):
"Quantified nouns in Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀ relative clauses."

Michelle Yuan (MA 2013, now at the University of California, San Diego):
"Deriving variation in ergativity across Eskimo-Aleut."

Nicholas Rolle (MA 2010, now at Princeton University) was part of a talk with Emily Clem (University of California, San Diego) and Virginia Dawson (University of California, Berkeley):
"Post-syntactic altruism."

Rachel Walker (MA 1993, now at the University of Southern California):
"Gradient feature activity in Korean place assimilation."

Maayan Abenina-Adar (BA 2012, now at the University of California, Los Angeles):
"Ever free-relative clauses and Maximize Presupposition."

Bronwyn M. Bjorkman (former postdoc, now at Queen's University) presented a poster:
"Reduplication without segments: Verb doubling as a prosodic repair."

U of T alumni! Front: Bronwyn, Michelle, and Fulang. Back: Will, Maayan, Shay, Neil Banerjee (BA 2016, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Filipe Hisao Kobayashi (who has an MA from the U of T Department of Spanish and Portuguese, now also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Photo courtesy of Bronwyn.

October 28, 2019

Report from Welcome Workshop 11

On Friday, October 25, the LGCU held its 11th annual Welcome Workshop, a casual and amiable way for new graduate students to introduce themselves and their research thus far to each other and to other departmental members. The afternoon was lively and followed by a reception in the department lounge. Well done to all the organizers and presenters! Thanks to Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.) for the photos.

Greg Antono (MA): "Pluractionality in Macuxi: A first look."

Sadaf Kalami (MA): "The structure of DP in Ardalani Kurdish."

Gabrielle Dumais (MA): "Gender-neutral speech in Canadian French: How are non-binary identities expressed in a gendered language?"

Nadia Takhtaganova (MA): "Devoir devrait devoir: Epistemic modality in French."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.): "Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Kaleigh Woolford (Ph.D.): "'They just say, oh, you're a Geordie': The development of just in Tyneside English."

Zhanao Fu (Ph.D.): "Decay of memory traces for pitch."

Shabri Kapoor (Ph.D.): "Language contact in Canada: Restructuring of ditransitive constructions in Heritage Hindi."

Time to celebrate!

October 27, 2019

Research Groups: Friday, November 1

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Language Variation and Change Research Group
Pocholo Umbal (Ph.D.): "Adjective intensifiers in heritage and homeland Tagalog."
Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.): "Perceiving um and uh across registers."

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Syntax Group
Andrew Peters (Ph.D.) presenting on accusative subjects in Mongolian.

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Semantics Research Group
Ilia Nicoll (Ph.D.) leading a discussion of: Partee, Barbara H., and Vladimir Borschev (2012). Sortal, relational, and functional interpretations of nouns and Russian container constructions. Journal of Semantics, 29(4), 445-486.

October 26, 2019

Elan at COLMEX

Elan Dresher (faculty) was an invited speaker at the launch of a new Spanish translation and critical edition by Esther Herrera Zendeyas and Michael Herbert Knapp of N. S. Trubetzkoy's Grundzüge der Phonologie (1939) at El Colegio de México (COLMEX) on October 15, 2019. The event was attended by 150 people! The following day, Elan gave a talk: 'Foundations of Contrastive Hierarchy Theory' for COLMEX’s Centro de Estudios Lingüísticos y Literarios (CELL). (Photos courtesy of Elan.)

Elan (second from left) among the invited speakers.

A well-attended event!

October 25, 2019

Happy many birthdays!

Around the table, left to right: Ph.D. students Radu Craioveanu, Fiona Wilson,
Jessica Yeung, Lex Konnelly, and Robert Prazeres (photo by Marisa Brook).

Our department has a statistically improbable number of people born in October. On Friday, October 18, in order to celebrate, ardent baker Emily Blamire (Ph.D.) brought along a vegan pumpkin cake and we had a birthday party for a whole bunch of us.

October 24, 2019


The seventh Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP) was held from October 11 through 13 at Stony Brook University.

Maida Percival (Ph.D.) and Alexei Kochetov (faculty) were part of a talk with Laura Spinu (City University of New York):
"An articulatory perspective on the secondary palatalization contrast in Romanian postalveolar fricatives."

Nicholas Rolle (MA 2010, now at Princeton University) and Princeton colleague Florian Lionnet presented a poster:
"Phantom structure: A representational account of floating tone association."

October 23, 2019

Guest speaker: Amanda Edmonds (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3)

The Department of French and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are very pleased to be co-hosting a talk by Amanda Edmonds, a faculty member in the department of English-language studies from l'Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3: "Grammatical gender marking in additional-language French and Spanish before, during and after a stay abroad." This will be taking place on Monday, October 28, at 2 PM, in 231 Northrup Frye Hall.

According to many authors, acquiring the ability to express grammatical gender in an additional language (AL) is often "notoriously difficult" (Lyster, 2006, p. 71, with respect to French), particularly for speakers whose native language does not instantiate grammatical gender (Costa et al. 2003). This morphosyntactic phenomenon has moreover attracted the attention of numerous researchers in the field of second language acquisition, who have identified various linguistic and extralinguistic factors thought to influence the expression of gender. However, these previous studies have largely focused on one or a small number of these factors, leaving open the question of if and how they interact with one another to explain gender-marking behavior. Moreover, the bulk of previous research on gender marking in an AL has taken a cross-sectional approach; given the often non-linear nature of development and variation among individuals, taking a long view on the development of gender expression has the potential to provide new insights into the “longitudinal pace and pattern of development” (Ortega and Byrnes, 2008, p. 3). In this talk, I will report on collaborative research (conducted with Aarnes Gudmestad) in which we have built on insights from previous research in order to analyze the longitudinal development of gender-marking behavior in AL French and in AL Spanish with respect to a wide range of potentially influential factors. Both analyses were carried out on the longitudinal LANGSNAP corpus (Mitchell, Tracy-Ventura, and McManus, 2017). This publicly available corpus contains data from British learners of Spanish (n= 27) and French (n= 29) who were followed over a period of 21 months, including an academic year spent in a target language community. Oral and written data were collected from these participants six times; in the context of the current project, data from three of the six data-collection periods have been analyzed in order to identify all instances of either a determiner or an adjective modifying a referent. In total, more than 16,000 tokens in AL Spanish and 14,000 tokens in AL French were coded for a wide set of factors identified in previous research as influencing gender-marking behavior. Generalized linear mixed models were carried out on the datasets from the two languages in order to identify which linguistic and extralinguistic factors worked in concert to significantly predict target-like use of gender marking. In addition, for each significant effect, a possible interaction with time was explored in order to identify how the learners' gender-marking system may change over the course of 21 months. Taken together, the results from these two analyses contribute to our understanding of gender-marking expression by characterizing the complex interplay among predictive factors and how this interplay changes over time.

October 22, 2019

LGCU Welcome Workshop 11

The LGCU's Welcome Workshop, an informal and friendly event held annually in the autumn to help introduce new graduate students to each other and each other's research, is now in its 11th year! This time around, it will be held in the afternoon of Friday, October 25, with the introductory remarks at 1 PM. Note that the meeting of the Fieldwork Group normally scheduled for this time has been cancelled to allow the workshop to be held in SS560A. The presenters - all beginning graduate programs in our department this year - are as follows:

Greg Antono (MA):
"Pluractionality in Macuxi: A first look."

Sadaf Kalami (MA):
"The structure of DP in Ardalani Kurdish."

Gabrielle Dumais (MA):
"Gender-neutral speech in Canadian French: How are non-binary identities expressed in a gendered language?"

Nadia Takhtaganova (MA):
"Devoir devrait devoir: Epistemic modality in French."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.):
"Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Kaleigh Woolford (Ph.D.):
"'They just say, oh, you're a Geordie': The development of just in Tyneside English."

Zhanao Fu (Ph.D.):
"Decay of memory traces for pitch."

Shabri Kapoor (Ph.D.):
"Language contact in Canada: Restructuring of ditransitive constructions in Heritage Hindi."

A reception will follow in the department lounge. Kudos to the organizers: Koorosh Ariyaee (Ph.D.), Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.), Bruno de Oliveira Andreotti (Ph.D.), and Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.).

October 21, 2019

Hispanic Linguistics Symposium 2019

The Hispanic Linguistics Symposium 2019 is taking place at the University of Texas at El Paso, from October 24 through 26. Among the organizers is Natalia Mazzaro (Ph.D. 2011, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, now at the University of Texas at El Paso).

Laura Colantoni (faculty) is giving a plenary talk:
"Coarticulation and language acquisition."

Cristina Cuervo (faculty) and Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux (faculty) are presenting:
"Restricted prepositions in the nominal domain."

October 20, 2019

Research Groups: Week of October 21-25

Note: this week's meeting of the Fieldwork Group is cancelled; also, the Syntax Group will be meeting next week, not this week.

Wednesday, October 23, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS2116
Morphology Reading Group
Liam Donohue (Ph.D.): "Morphosemantics of Georgian present perfects."

Friday, October 25, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Psycholinguistics Group
Guest talk by Elizabeth Spelke (Harvard University).

Friday, October 25, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Phonology Group

October 19, 2019

51st Algonquian Conference

The 51st Algonquian Conference is taking place at McGill University from October 24 through 27.

Fiona Wilson (Ph.D.) is presenting "Negative particles in Muskeg Cree: A variationist approach."

Katherine Schmirler (MA 2015, now at the University of Alberta) is presenting "Negation in a Plains Cree corpus." She is also a part of two joint talks. One, with Antti Arppe (University of Alberta), is "Plains Cree actors and goals: Across time periods and genres." The other, with Antti as well as Eddie Antonio Santos (University of Alberta), Atticus Harrigan (University of Alberta), and Arok Wolvengrey (First Nations University of Canada): "Towards a morphologically intelligent on-line dictionary of Plains."

October 18, 2019

Peter at Symposium Obdobja 38

Peter Jurgec (faculty) will shortly be off to the Symposium Obdobja 38 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, taking place from October 23 through 25. Based on extensive research that he and research assistants have been conducting, Peter will be presenting "Phonological studies of Slovenian dialects at the University of Toronto."

This paper summarizes the results of three recent phonological studies of Slovenian di­alects at the University of Toronto: compensatory lengthening in the speech of Šmartno, nasal harmony in Mostec, and palatalization consonant harmony in the Zadrečka Valley. We use new methods for acoustic and articulatory analysis (ultrasound and nasalance mask) to uncover previously misunderstood phenomena, which complement our know­ledge of possible variation in the world’s languages.

October 17, 2019

Linguistic events at Indigenous Education Week

For Indigenous Education Week at the University of Toronto (plus some overlap with the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages) there are several language-related events occurring next week on our campus.

The first is the imagineNATIVE Wiki Page Edit-A-Thon, related to Indigenous languages as represented in film. This event will be taking place on Tuesday, October 29, from 11 AM to 1 PM in Robarts 4033 (the Electronic Classroom), and will be led by Jamie Lee Morin (staff, University of Toronto Libraries), the Indigenous Metadata Initiatives (TALint) Intern. Note that attendance is free but that registration is required to guarantee a spot at a computer.

Then there are two talks on Wednesday, October 30. The first is by Khelsilem Rivers (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Council), on Indigenous language rights; this will be held from 1 PM to 2:30 PM in the Main Activity Hall of the Multi-Faith Centre. The second is by Bonnie Jane Maracle (faculty), on language revitalization, from 6 PM to 8 PM in room 360 of the Myhal Centre.

October 16, 2019

Report from NWAV 48

A (decidedly non-comprehensive) set of NWAV 48 folks with links to either the U of T or York! Back: Miriam Neuhausen (former visiting scholar, now at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg), Lex Konnelly (Ph.D.), Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.), Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.), Naomi Nagy (faculty), and Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.). Front: Marisa Brook (faculty), Poco Umbal (Ph.D.), Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.), Robert Prazeres (Ph.D.), Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.), and Greg Guy (formerly at York University, now at New York University).

New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 48 took place at the University of Oregon from October 10th through 12th. We had four faculty, one postdoc, several alumni, and an impressive eight Ph.D. students on the program. Thanks to Poco Umbal (Ph.D.) for all the awesome photos!

One of this year's plenary speakers was Alexandra D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria), introduced by Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty).

The Lillian B. Stueber Prize, a new award recognizing "the best student paper that treats variation in languages that have been missing from or are less frequently represented at NWAV", went to Ph.D. student Robert Prazeres, for "Profiling nominal genitive variability in Moroccan Arabic". Congratulations, Robert!

Panayiotis Pappas (Simon Fraser University), Robert, and Naomi.

Tim, Lauren, Lisa, and Poco present their talk on Multicultural Toronto English with Derek Denis (faculty).

Lex Konnelly (Ph.D.) and their poster on the linguistic features of craft-beer talk.

Katharina's talk on yod-dropping (or not?) in Toronto.

Miriam reporting on the fieldwork she conducted last year on English in Ontario Mennonite communities.

Poco's poster on what Canadians of Filipino descent are doing with respect to sound changes.

October 15, 2019

Sali and Derek in Maclean's

Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) and Derek Denis (faculty) are are in Maclean's magazine this week talking about federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and his ability to code-switch/style-shift on the political stage.

October 14, 2019

Research Groups: Friday, October 18

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Language Variation and Change Research Group
Group discussion on methodology anchored on: Angouri, Jo (2010). Quantitative, qualitative or both? Combining methods in linguistic research. In Lia Litosseliti (ed.), Research methods in linguistics, 29-45. London: Continuum International.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Phonology Research Group
Presentation by Koorosh Ariyaee (Ph.D.).

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Semantics Research Group
Liam Donohue (Ph.D.): "Morphosemantics of Georgian present perfects."

October 13, 2019

2019 Undergrad Tea

We held our annual Undergrad Tea on Thursday, September 26, from 4 through 6 PM. Thanks to Deem Waham (staff) for her organizational efforts and for the photos!

Alexei Kochetov (faculty) and Nathan Sanders (faculty) with the new SLUGS executives!

October 12, 2019

21st Inuit Studies Conference

The 21st Inuit Studies Conference took place at the Université du Québec à Montréal from October 3 through 6, with Richard Compton (Ph.D. 2012, now at l'Université du Québec à Montréal) at the helm of the organising committee. Two current department members made presentations about Inuit linguistics:

Alana Johns (faculty): "Inuttut kautâmat ukauset, Inuttitut everyday words: New app!"

Julien Carrier (Ph.D.): "Century of changes."

October 11, 2019

Congratulations, Matt!

Congratulations to Matt Hunt Gardner (Ph.D. 2017, now at St. Mary's University), who has accepted a two-year postdoc position at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, on the project 'Variation is difficult, uniformity is easy - or is it? Complexity and choice in language production', under the direction of Benedikt Szmrecsanyi. All the best, Matt, on this new European adventure!

October 10, 2019


New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 48 is taking place at the University of Oregon from October 10 through 12. Current and former department sociolinguists are all over the program!

Karlien Franco (postdoc) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"What’s going on here anyway(s)? A sociolinguistic perspective on specialization."

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.) and Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty):
"I/Ø fed the squirrels: The impact of cognitive decline on subject omission in one individual's diaries over the lifespan (1985-2016)."

Naomi Nagy (faculty) with Miriam Meyerhoff (University of Auckland):
"The role of standards in the field of variation."

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.), Tim Gadanidis (Ph.D.), Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.), Pocholo Umbal (Ph.D.), and Derek Denis (faculty):
"Why are wasteyutes a ting?"

Lauren Bigelow (Ph.D.):
"Neo-hosers up north: Locally constructed meaning and FACE and GOAT ungliding in rural Ontario."

Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.):
"Individual cognitive differences as predictors of participation in sound change."

Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.):
"Is [nuz] really the new [njuz]? Yod dropping in Toronto English."

Robert Prazeres (Ph.D.):
"Profiling nominal genitive variability in Moroccan Arabic."

Patrick Murphy (Ph.D. 2019) and Phil Monahan (faculty) have a poster:
"Cross-dialectal perception of Canadian Raising."

Lex Konnelly (Ph.D.) has a poster:
"Brutoglossia: Democracy, authenticity, and the enregisterment of connoisseurship in 'craft beer talk'."

Lisa Schlegl (Ph.D.) has a poster:
"That's what we do in the North: Place identity and variation in Northern Ontario."

Pocholo Umbal (Ph.D.) has a poster:
"Filipinos front too! A sociophonetic analysis of Toronto English /u/-fronting."

Alexandra D'Arcy (Ph.D. 2005, now at the University of Victoria) is giving one of the plenary talks: "Language history, language synchrony, and kids these days."

Former visiting scholar Miriam Neuhausen (Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg) will be reporting on her data collection from last year: "To raise or not to raise in Pennsylvania German English in Canada."

Former postdoc Heather Burnett (Centre nationale de la recherche scientifique) is part of a talk with Andrea Beltrama (University of Pennsylvania) and Stephanie Solt (Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft): "How pragmatic precision affects social perception: A socio-pragmatic study."

October 9, 2019

Report from SPIPS

Peter Jurgec (faculty) and Radu Craioveanu (Ph.D.) were recently in Tromsø, Norway, for the Segmental Processes in Interaction with Prosodic Structure (SPIPS) workshop held on September 19 and 20. Thanks to Peter for sharing this photo!

Radu and Peter in front of the Tromsø Cathedral after the conference dinner.

October 8, 2019

New rooms!

Following the rapid construction last week, we now have two glass-walled rooms in the library area. Kudos to the staff and the faculty nearby who endured the noise and dust!

To honour two beloved late members of the faculty who were instrumental in the development of our department, we have named the new room at the end of the library by the east-facing windows the Ed Burstynsky Room, and the one closer to the office the Hank Rogers Room.

Please note that the walls do not extend all the way up to the ceiling and so neither of these spaces is soundproof. Please be careful about sensitive information and about sound levels.

Both rooms can be booked via the departmental Google Calendar, or through Jennifer if need be. Graduate/emeritus faculty who do not have their own private offices in our department have priority (and exclusive use of these rooms on Fridays), followed by course instructors who need space to meet with students.

October 7, 2019

Research Groups: Week of October 7-11

Wednesday, October 9, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS2116
Morphology Reading Group
Sahar Taghipour (Ph.D.) reporting on the progress of her experiment investigating multiple suffixation in English.

Friday, October 11, 2019, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Psycholinguistics Group
Emily Blamire (Ph.D.)'s thesis proposal: "Guess who: Linguistic and social factors of voice recognition."

Friday, October 11, 2019, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM in SS560A
Syntax Group
Songül Gündoğdu (postdoc): "Complex predicates in Northern Kurdish revisited."

Friday, October 11, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM in SS560A
Fieldwork Group
Paper discussion led by Virgilio Partida Peñalva (Ph.D.): Bird, Sonya (2018). Designing mobile applications for endangered languages. In K. L. Rehg and L. Campbell (eds.), The Oxford handbook of endangered languages, 841–861. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

October 6, 2019

Freaky Friday

Did someone tell Marisa Brook (faculty) and Sadaf Kalami (MA) to try to dress as similarly as possible on Friday the 4th? Nope, but Gabrielle Dumais (MA) pointed out that it sure looked like it!

October 5, 2019

Derek in the U of T Magazine

Derek Denis (faculty) is in the University of Toronto Magazine this week talking about the emergence of Multicultural Toronto English in suburban communities where immigrants from a variety of backgrounds have all raised a generation of young people together.

October 2, 2019

Construction zone

Renovations are currently occurring in our library area outside the main office. For the short term, please excuse the disruption. For the long term, please watch out for brand-new walls and doors.

October 1, 2019

Ex-APP 2019

LeAnn Brown (Ph.D. 2015, now at Aix-Marseille Université) and Naomi Nagy (faculty) reunited in Münster, Germany at the 4th Conference on Experimental Approaches to Perception and Production of Language Variation (Ex-APP 2019), which took place from September 26 through 28.

LeAnn and Aix-Marseille Université colleagues Aron Arnold, Maria Candea, Oriana Reid-Collins, and James German presented "'Gender: it's complex': Including non-binary gender identities in experimental linguistic research."

Naomi, along with Michol Hoffman (York University), Ronald Beline Mendes (University of São Paulo), and James Walker (LaTrobe University) presented "How do ethnolects mark ethnic identity? An experimental approach."

They also enjoyed walking and biking around beautiful Münster!

Photo by Naomi.

Photo by Nancy Niedzielski (Rice University).

Photo by Nancy Niedzielski (Rice University).

September 30, 2019

Research Groups: Friday, October 4

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Language Variation and Change Research Group
Practice talks for NWAV 48, taking place in Oregon from October 10 through 12.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Phonology Research Group
Presentation by Arvind Iyengar (visiting scholar).

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Semantics Research Group
Presentation by Angelika Kiss (Ph.D.) on biased questions.
Biased questions are frequently represented in dynamic frameworks that takes into account the Speaker's discourse commitments. In this talk, some arguments will be presented for the importance of the Addressee's perceived beliefs by looking at polar rhetorical questions and negative wh-constructions using Farkas and Roelofsen's (2017) model. There is reason to think that both question types have highlighted alternatives, but fitting them into Farkas and Roelofsen's model raises some questions. While Farkas and Roelofsen consider intonation as a pragmatic phenomenon, I suggest, based on recent work on the prosodic realization of biased questions that intonation is not mere pragmatic decoration.

September 29, 2019

New paper: Moulton (2019)

Keir Moulton (faculty) has a new paper in the Canadian Journal of Linguistics: "Adverbs in VP ellipsis: An experimental investigation of antecedent selection."

This paper presents a case study of verb phrase ellipses with adverbially modified antecedents. It is shown experimentally that there is a preference for resolving ellipses in certain embedded clauses with unmodified VPs. The effect is hypothesized to reflect a general requirement to minimize the complexity of accommodated content. Four experiments support this hypothesis over plausible candidate hypotheses, including syntactic approaches to the effect (Matsuo 2001; Sailor 2014).

September 28, 2019

Guest speaker: Virginia Valian (Hunter College/CUNY Graduate Center)

The Cognitive Science Program, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the 'Entitlement' project under the aegis of the Jackman Humanities Institute are delighted to be co-hosting a guest lecture by Virginia Valian, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Hunter College who is cross-appointed as a faculty member in Psychology, Linguistics, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research has two main strands: a) the social psychology of gender equality as it intersects with language, and b) language acquisition, especially morphosyntax in L1 and the cognitive science of adult bilingualism. Her talk, "Are 2-year-olds copying their parents, or just speaking the same language?" will be taking place on Friday, October 4, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, in VC215.

September 25, 2019

Beginning-of-semester party

We rang in the new academic year with a departmental party on Friday, September 13! Our Department Chair, Sali A. Tagliamonte, and Graduate Coordinator, Yoonjung Kang, welcomed the new departmental members and welcomed back everyone else. We congratulated the 8 students who have finished MAs and the 9 who have completed Ph.D.s in the last year! Well done to all of our hard-working new graduate alumni.

Also, Kaz Bamba (Ph.D.), on behalf of the Linguistics Graduate Course Union, presented the annual Excellence in TA Supervision Award to Susana Béjar (faculty), and also recognized runner-up Guillaume Thomas (faculty). Congratulations! And many thanks to the students, staff, and faculty involved in the arrangements. Here's to a good academic year for all of us.

September 24, 2019

Research Groups: Week of September 23-27

Wednesday, September 25, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM in SS2116
Morphology Reading Group
Paper discussion led by Ross Godfrey (Ph.D.): Roberts, Ian (2017). The Final-Over-Final Condition in morphology. In Michelle Sheehan, Theresa Biberauer, Ian Roberts, and Anders Holmberg (eds.), The Final-over-Final Condition: A syntactic universal, 323–345. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Friday, September 27, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Psycholinguistics Group
Nayoun Kim (postdoc): "Hold, release, and retrieve: The study of Wh-Filler-Gap Dependencies and ellipsis."
This talk is concerned with how components in memory structures and online structure building processes interact by investigating the online processing of Wh-Filler-Gap Dependencies (WhFGD) and ellipsis constructions. Resolving long-distance dependencies involves linking the dependent element to the controlling element. In the case of Wh-gap dependency formation, the wh-element is linked to the gap. In the case of ellipsis resolution, the ellipsis site is linked to the antecedent. In the processing of long-distance dependency resolution, I point out that two component processes are involved: the storage/maintenance component and the retrieval component. A series of studies on WhFGD formation reveals that the sentence processing mechanism involves maintenance component on top of the retrieval component. Studies on ellipsis constructions further reveals that when the antecedent is retrieved, detailed grammatical structural information should be retrieved, thus grammatical and structural information must be encoded in memory. Based on the results of these studies, I specifically argue for the following points: (i) the filler is released from memory, depending on the grammatical requirement of the filler; (ii) given that information associated with the filler being retrieved reflects the extent to which the filler is maintained, the parser retrieves grammatical information associated with the wh-filler; and (iii) the parser is sensitive to grammatical distinctions at the ellipsis site in contrast to the processing of anaphoric one and pronoun it. These studies provide evidence that both the maintenance and retrieval process are heavily constrained by grammatical information associated with the elements that engage in dependency formation.

Friday, September 27, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM in SS560A
Syntax Group
Guest talk by Amy Rose Deal (University of California, Berkeley).

Friday, September 27, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM in SS560A
Fieldwork Group
Julianne Doner (Ph.D. 2019), reporting on her fieldwork in Guatemala this past summer.

September 23, 2019

Guest speaker: Amy Rose Deal (University of California, Berkeley)

As part of the Non-Canonical Relatives project, our department is very pleased to welcome Amy Rose Deal, who is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She works on syntax and semantics, particularly from a typological point of view, and will be giving two talks to our department on Friday the 27th.

The first, "Uncentered attitude reports", will be at the meeting of our Syntax Group (11:30 AM-1 PM in SS560A).

One of the major discoveries in attitude semantics over the last thirty years has been the fact that certain types of attitude reports require interpretation de se. This finding has prompted a move among semanticists to treat attitude verbs as uniformly quantifying over centered worlds (typically modeled as triples of worlds, individuals, and times), rather than merely over possible worlds, and likewise a move to treat attitude complements as uniformly denoting sets of centered worlds, rather than mere sets of possible worlds. Thus "A believes P" is true iff P holds of all triples such that A believes that she might be x in w at t. Proponents of a Uniformity Thesis of this type include Schlenker (1999), Ogihara (1999), von Stechow (2003), Anand (2006), Pearson (2015), and Grønn and von Stechow (2010). In this talk I present evidence against the Uniformity Thesis, drawing from my fieldwork on Nez Perce (Sahaptian). I show that dedicated de se devices (shifty 1st person indexicals, relative tenses) are possible in one type of attitude report in Nez Perce, but not in another type, and argue that the difference between the two types of attitude report crucially reflects the semantics of the attitude verb and its complement. I argue in particular that some attitude verbs quantify over centered tuples, making it possible to include dedicated de se devices, whereas others quantify merely over possible worlds, ruling such devices out.

The second, "Interaction, satisfaction, and the PCC", will be taking place from 3 PM to 4:30 PM, also in SS560A.

Person-case constraint (PCC) phenomena involve restrictions on the relative person of the two objects of a ditransitive. In this talk, I present an account of four types of PCC patterns within the Interaction/Satisfaction theory of Agree (Deal 2015), and demonstrate some advantages of this view over various competitors. Advantages include the ability to account for both strong and weak PCC effects without invoking multiple types of Agree, and the ability to capture the rather complex relationship between PCC effects and morphological marking of Agree (i.e. in some languages PCC holds only when IO and DO clitics are combined, whereas in others PCC effects hold even though IO and DO clitics are not combined, and in still others IO and DO clitics combine without triggering PCC effects). I will also discuss the extent to which the theory can capture the role of number in PCC effects.

September 21, 2019

Bonnie, Suzi, and Greg in The Varsity

Bonnie Jane Maracle (faculty), Suzi Lima (faculty), and Greg Antono (MA) have been interviewed for a story in The Varsity on the necessity of preserving Indigenous languages and cultures, both here and around the globe.

September 20, 2019

Segmental Processes in Interaction with Prosodic Structure

A workshop on Segmental Processes in Interaction with Prosodic Structure (SPIPS) is taking place at the University of Tromsø, Norway, on September 19 and 20.

Peter Jurgec (faculty) is giving one of the invited talks: "Further predictions of indexation to stems and words."

Radu Craioveanu (Ph.D.) is also presenting: "The weight of preaspiration: Laryngeal segmenthood and syllabic structure."

September 19, 2019

Canadian Language Museum exhibit opening

Following a preview at this year's meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, the Canadian Language Museum, under the direction of retired faculty member Elaine Gold, is launching its latest exhibit: 'Beyond Words: Dictionaries and Indigenous Languages'. The opening is at the permanent home of the Canadian Language Museum at Glendon College, today from 7 PM through 9 PM. More details here.

September 18, 2019

Guest speaker: Ur Shlonsky (University of Geneva)

In conjunction with the Syntax of Nominal Linkers and the Agreement in Copular Clauses projects, we are very pleased to welcome Ur Shlonsky, a syntactician from the University of Geneva who has worked extensively on the structure of Semitic and Romance languages as well as typological issues; he is a leader in the Cartography framework. He will be spending Thursday the 19th at our Mississauga campus and the 20th downtown, and will be giving talks at each one. The first, "Cartography and selection", is taking place from 1-3 PM in Maanjiwe nendamowinan 4107. It is meant to be conducive to a lively discussion.

On the assumption that a head syntactically selects the head of its sister phrase, the following question arises: How is selection satisfied in a left periphery with a rich functional sequence (Rizzi 1997, etc.)? In many languages, left-dislocated topics can precede wh-words in indirect questions: "You asked me this book to whom I should give" (okay in Hebrew, Italian, Spanish and some people's English). If the Topic sits in Spec/Top, how can the interrogative-selecting V 'ask' "see" the wh-word?

 Then, his second talk will be at 3 PM in SS 560A, incorporating collaborative work with Luigi Rizzi (University of Geneva) and Isabelle Roy (Centre national de la recherche scientifique): "Copular sentences and their subjects."

Hebrew copular sentences in the present tense look like small clauses, leading one to think that the structure of (i) is equivalent to the reduced structure attributed to the bracketed part of (ii).

(i) Daniela balʃanit mecuyenet.
Daniel linguist excellent
'Daniela is an excellent linguist.'

(ii) Bill considers [Daniela an excellent linguist].

I believe this is a false analogy. I try to demonstrate that the copula-less sentences in (i) contain a (perhaps surprisingly) rich functional structure and incorporate (at least) two distinct subject positions. The presentation starts out with a discussion of copular sentences in French, where the evidence for two subject positions is overt, and proceeds to a presentation and analysis of Hebrew.

September 17, 2019

Research Groups: Friday, September 20

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Language Variation and Change Research Group
Arvind Iyengar (visiting scholar): "Scripting change: The orthographic and sociolinguistic impact of intergeneration phonological change in Indian Sindhi."

Sindhi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in southern Pakistan and in various parts of India. In Pakistan, the language is officially written in the Perso-Arabic script – a modified version of the Arabic script. However, the minority Sindhi community in India has vigorously debated for several decades now on which script to write the language in – in Perso-Arabic, or in the Devanāgarī script otherwise widely used in India. Supporters of the Devanāgarī script emphasise its supposedly superior representation of Sindhi phonology compared to the Perso-Arabic script.

However, the Sindhi language in India has been undergoing subtle shifts in phonology over the last seventy years. Because of this, certain features of the Devanāgarī script touted as an advantage by its supporters might actually hinder reading and learning, while features of the Perso-Arabic script might  somewhat ironically  lend themselves well to a pan-dialectal Sindhi orthography.

This talk will explore the details of the orthographic nuances mentioned above, which are often lost in the noise of emotional debates on script, language and identity within the Indian Sindhi community. It will also outline the potential impact of phonology-orthography mismatches on pedagogy and literacy in, and maintenance of this minority language in India.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Phonology Research Group

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Semantics Research Group
Naomi Francis (MA 2014, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology): "Presupposition denials with even."

This talk will explore a puzzle about even and its crosslinguistic kin. Even-like items in several languages are subject to a surprising restriction when they appear in declarative sentences that deny presuppositions: these items acceptable in negative presupposition denials but not in positive ones, as shown in (1) for English.

(1) A: Did Kenji bring his wife to the picnic? (Presupposes: Kenji has a wife, i.e., is married) 
B: Kenji isn’t even married!
B': #Kenji’s even unmarried/a bachelor!

The contrast between sentences like (1B) and (1B') is not straightforwardly reducible to independent properties of even or of presupposition denial, but instead reflects something about how even and presupposition denial interact. I propose a solution to the puzzle that makes crucial use of i) the controversial additive presupposition of even, ii) presuppositions triggered within the salient focus alternatives, and iii) an independently motivated mechanism for denying presuppositions under negation. I explore crosslinguistic predictions of the proposed analysis and discuss what the puzzle can teach us about focus-sensitive operators, presuppositions, and focus alternatives in discourse.

September 16, 2019

Goodbyes and hellos for 2019-20

At the beginning of the new academic year, we say farewell to:
  • Amos Key (faculty), stepping into the role of Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement at Brock University.
  • Na-Young Ryu (Ph.D. 2019), joining the Department of Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University as a teaching-stream Assistant Teaching Professor.
  • Becky Tollan (Ph.D. 2019), joining the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in syntax and psycholinguistics.
  • ...and our 8 new MA alumni.
We welcome:
  • Cassandra Chapman (postdoc), working with Keir Moulton.
  • Songül Gündoğdu (postdoc), working with Arsalan Kahnemuyipour.
  • Nayoun Kim (postdoc), working with Daphna Heller and Keir.
  • Arvind Iyengar (visiting scholar), from the University of New England in Australia, working with Keren Rice.
  • Sander Nederveen (visiting scholar), an MA student from Simon Fraser University working with Keir.
  • Žiga Povše (visiting scholar), an MA student visiting from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, working with Peter Jurgec.
Best of luck to Naomi Nagy as she begins a well-deserved sabbatical, and to Guillaume Thomas, who has a half-year's leave. Conversely, we welcome back faculty members Michela Ippolito, Alexei Kochetov, and Keren Rice.

We also have 17 students beginning graduate programs in 2019: 6 in the Ph.D. and 11 MAs. Welcome!

September 10, 2019

Research Groups: Friday, September 13

Note that the meeting of the Psycholinguistics Research Group is cancelled.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Syntax Group
Alec Kienzle (Ph.D.): "Stuck in the middle: The syntax-(lexicon)-morphology interface in a
Hebrew middle template."

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM in SS 560
Fieldwork Group

September 5, 2019

Visiting Scholar: Arvind Iyengar (University of New England)

Arvind Iyengar is Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale, Australia. His research interests include writing systems, sociolinguistics, and phonology. With the kind support of the U of T Department of Linguistics and funding from a UNE Early Career Researcher Award, Arvind will be spending time here from August to October, conducting research on the development and sociolinguistics of writing systems in Indigenous Canadian languages, and exploring opportunities for research collaboration with U of T faculty.

During his time here, he will also present at the Language Variation and Change Research Group on September 20, and at the Phonology research group on October 4. The talks will draw on his research on the Sindhi language of South Asia, focusing on intergenerational changes in the language’s phonology and the orthographic and pedagogical implications thereof. Further details of his talks will be out shortly.

September 4, 2019

New Sounds 2019

The 2019 International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech (New Sounds 2019) took place at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan between August 30 and September 1.

Laura Colantoni (faculty), Alana Johns (faculty), Gaby Klassen (Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese), Matthew Patience (Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese), Malina Radu (Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese), and Olga Tararova (University of Western Ontario) presented: "The production of L2 English sentence types by Inuktitut, Mandarin, and Spanish speaker: Is typology enough?"

Juli Cebrian (Ph.D. 2002, now at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Angelica Carlet (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), Nuria Gavalda (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Celia Gorba (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), and Wolf De Witte (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona): "Perceptual training, cross-linguistic similarity, and L2 perception and production."

Anabela Rato (faculty, Department of Spanish and Portuguese) and Owen Ward (Ph.D., Department of Spanish and Portuguese): "The predictive role of cross-language phonetic similarity in L2 consonant learning."

Owen Ward (Ph.D., Department of Spanish and Portuguese): "Perception of L2 Spanish lexical stress by L1 English listeners."

September 1, 2019

Sali in the Huffington Post

Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) is in the Huffington Post this weekend, talking about the task of getting more Canadian words/meanings into the Oxford English Dictionary.

August 30, 2019

TWPL 41: Proceedings of MOT 2019

The 41st volume of Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics (TWPL 41) has now been released; it contains a range of papers from the Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto Workshop in Phonology/Phonetics (MOT 2019), which took place here in March, co-hosted by us and by York University. Many thanks to those whose articles appear in this volume, to incoming editor Pocholo Umbal (Ph.D.), and - especially - to outgoing editor Ruth Maddeaux (Ph.D.), whose prodigious efforts have underlain the TWPL revival since 2015-2016. Well done, all!

August 29, 2019


UK Language Variation and Change (UKLVC) 12 is taking place in London, England, from September 3 through 5, co-hosted by Queen Mary University of London and University College London.

Naomi Nagy (faculty), Timothy Gadanidis (Ph.D.), and Joyce Woo (BA) are presenting:
"Covariation in heritage Cantonese in Toronto."

Former postdoc Heather Burnett (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) is part of a presentation with Andrea Beltrama (University of Paris 7-Diderot) and Stephanie Solt (Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Berlin):
"The effect of precision and context on social perception."

Former visiting scholar Claire Childs (University of York):
"Ripping open the envelope of variation: Stative have (got) and auxiliary-/negative-contraction in British English."

August 28, 2019

Congratulations, Patrick!

Patrick Murphy defended his doctoral dissertation, "Listening to writers and riders: Partial contrast and the perception of Canadian raising," on Wednesday, August 28. On the committee were Phil Monahan (supervisor), J. K. Chambers, Jessamyn Schertz, Yoonjung Kang, Nathan Sanders, and external examiner Kathleen Currie Hall (University of British Columbia). Congratulations, Dr. Murphy!

August 22, 2019


Our Mississauga campus is hosting a workshop on Saturday, September 7: Building Synergies between Psychology, Language Studies, and Computer Science (PsyLinCS UTM), organised by Barend Beekhuizen (faculty), Craig Chambers (faculty), Emily Clare (Ph.D. 2018), Elizabeth Johnson (faculty), and Jessamyn Schertz (faculty).

The aim of this workshop is to showcase existing work and promote new collaborations in research at the intersection of the fields of Psychology, Linguistics, and Computer Science. Along with keynote talks, the workshop will include oral and poster presentations by workshop attendees.

The invited speakers are Suzanne Stevenson (faculty, Department of Computer Science) and Bob McMurray (University of Iowa). Note that attendance is free but anyone aiming to attend is asked to RSVP by the end of the day on Sunday the 25th.

August 16, 2019

Julie in Guatemala

Julie Doner (Ph.D. 2019) has just returned from the Guatemala Field Station run by the University of Maryland. With the four-week K'iche' Language School and Field Research Program, Julie and a number of colleagues completed two weeks of K'iche' language classes and two weeks of research.

Julie and her host family.

Julie and several of the other students in traditional Mayan clothes.

Julie giving a talk about her work (in Spanish!).

Doing elicitation.

August 11, 2019

Research Groups: Week of August 12-16

Wednesday, August 14, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM in SS 560A
Syntax Group
Bridget Copley (Centre national de la recherche scientifique/Université Paris 8) presenting joint work with Heidi Harley (University of Arizona): "What would it take to tame the verbal Hydra?"
Like the mythological Hydra, prominent theories of the syntax-semantics interface in the verb phrase boast multiple verbal heads, either in parallel (Folli and Harley 2005a, 2005b), or in series (Ramchand 2008). In either case, the need for syntactic heads to select appropriate lexical roots requires that a considerable amount of information is duplicated between the lexicon and the syntax. In this paper we hypothesize a single unified verbal head for dynamic predicates, with the aim of reducing the selection problem to ordinary type-driven semantic composition. To construct the denotation of the unified verbal head, we adopt two recent ontological innovations to the theory of event structure: the use of degree arguments to represent change (Hay et al. 1999, Kennedy and McNally 1999, Kennedy and Levin 2008, Kennedy 2012) and the use of force arguments to represent energy (Copley and Harley 2015). For the single-head analysis to work for major predicate classes and basic modifiers, we find that the tweaks to compositional theory that are needed are relatively minor, and raise interesting questions about the relationship between roots and structures.

August 10, 2019

Report from ICPhS 2019

The International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2019) has just wrapped up in Melbourne, Australia. Thanks to Na-Young Ryu (Ph.D. 2019, now at Pennsylvania State University) for this photo of several U of T folks!

Connie Ting (MA 2018), Lisa Sullivan (Ph.D.), Yoonjung Kang (faculty), Na-Young Ryu (Ph.D. 2019, now at Pennsylvania State University), Kiranpreet Nara (Ph.D.), Alexei Kochetov (Ph.D.), and Kiranpreet's poster!

August 4, 2019

ICPhS 2019

This year's International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2019) is taking place in Melbourne, Australia, from August 5 through 9. Our current departmental members and alumni are very well-represented, and across a range of subfields that intersect with phonetics:

Alexei Kochetov (faculty), Laura Colantoni (faculty), Yoonjung Kang (faculty), and Jeffrey Steele (faculty):
"Linguopalatal contact differences between /n/ and /t/ across six languages."

Yoonjung Kang (faculty), Na-Young Ryu (Ph.D. 2019, now at Pennsylvania State University), and Suyeon Yun (former postdoc, now at Ewha Womans University):
"Contrastive hyperarticulation of vowels in two dialects of Korean."

Alexei Kochetov (faculty) and Kiranpreet Nara (Ph.D.), with colleague Matthew Faytak (University of California, Los Angeles):
"Manner differences in the Punjabi dental-retroflex contrast: An ultrasound study of time-series data."

Na-Young Ryu (Ph.D. 2019, now at Pennsylvania State University) and Yoonjung Kang (faculty):
"Web-based high variability phonetic training on L2 coda identification."

Alexei Kochetov (faculty), Paul Arsenault (Ph.D. 2012, now at Tyndale University College), and Jan Heegård Petersen (University of Copenhagen):
"A preliminary acoustic investigation of Kalasha retroflex (rhotic) vowels."

Alexei Kochetov (faculty) with Mayuki Matsui (University of Amsterdam):
"Laryngeal coarticulation in two types of devoicing: An electroglottographic study of Russian and English."

Alexei Kochetov (faculty) with Jason Shaw (Yale University) and Karthik Durvasula (Michigan State University):
"The temporal basis of complex segments."

Angelika Kiss (Ph.D.), with Roger Yu-Hsiang Lo (University of British Columbia) and Maxime Tulling (New York University):
"The prosodic properties of the Cantonese sentence-final particles aa1 and aa3 in rhetorical wh-questions."

Maida Percival (Ph.D.) has a poster:
"Contextual variation in the acoustics of Hul'q'umi'num' ejective stops."

Juli Cebrian (Ph.D. 2002, now at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), with Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona colleagues Zhao Liu and Celia Gorba:
"Effects of learning an additional language on VOT perception."

Nicole Rosen (Ph.D. 2007, now at the University of Manitoba) with Sky Onosson (University of Victoria) and Lanlan Li (University of Manitoba):
"Ethnolinguistic differentiation and the Canadian Shift."

Nicole Rosen (Ph.D. 2007) with Jesse Stewart (University of Saskatchewan), Michele Pesch-Johnson (University of Manitoba) and Olivia Sammons (University of Alberta):
"VOT in Michif."

Phil Howson (Ph.D. 2018, now at the University of Oregon) with Melissa Redford (University of Oregon):
"Listener preference is for reduced determiners that anticipate the following noun."

Gloria Mellesmoen (MA 2016, now at the University of British Columbia) and Marianne Huijsmans (University of British Columbia):
"The relationship between pronunciation and orthography: Using acoustic analysis as a practical illustration of ʔayʔaǰuθəm (Comox-Sliammon) vowel quality."

Gloria Mellesmoen (MA 2016, now at the University of British Columbia) with Molly Babel (University of British Columbia):
"Perceptual adaptation to stereotyped accents in audio-visual speech."

July 28, 2019

SPF 2019

This year's Summer Phonology Forum will be taking place on Tuesday, July 30, from 11 AM through 4:30 PM, in SS 2106. The registration form is available here.

The organisational committee is Alessandro Jaker (postdoc), Peter Jurgec (faculty), Yoonjung Kang (faculty), Phil Monahan (faculty), Keren Rice (faculty), Nathan Sanders (faculty), and Jessamyn Schertz (faculty).

Lisa Sullivan (Ph.D.) is giving the B. Elan Dresher Phonology Prize Talk:
"Allomorphy and morphophonology: Where do we draw the line?"

Other speakers from our department are:

Koorosh Ariyaee (Ph.D.):
"Hiatus resolution strategies in Persian."

Heather Yawney (Ph.D.):
"The Kazakh velar and uvular distribution."

Lisa Sullivan (Ph.D.):
"The effects of cognitive processing style on the perceptual compensation of stop voicing for place of articulation."

Andrei Munteanu (Ph.D.):
"Emotional phonetics cues in the speech of chess grandmasters."

Ekaterina Prigaro (MA):
"Interaction of stress shift and palatalization in Russian nominal systems."

Gajathree Ananthathurai (BA), Laurestine Bradford (BA), Araz Derohan (BA), Siobhan
Galeazzi (BA), Khadija Jagani (BA) and Yoonjung Kang (Ph.D.):
"Sound symbolism of gender in personal names: Western Armenian and Kutchi."

Patricia A. Shaw (Ph.D. 1976, now at the University of British Columbia) with colleagues Emily Elfner (York University) and Nicoline Butler (York University):
"Guess who? Game-play, questions, and intonation in Kwak’wala."

July 27, 2019

Congratulations, Shayna!

We're delighted to have heard that Shayna Gardiner (Ph.D. 2017, now at Receptiviti) has accepted a position as a Natural Language Processing Engineer at Dialpad. Congratulations, Shayna, and all the best from us as you begin this well-deserved new job!

July 26, 2019

LSA Institute 2019

The four-week 2019 Linguistic Institute run by the Linguistic Society of America has just wrapped up at the University of California, Davis. Our department was involved in three ways.

Several of our students - Gregory Antono (BA), Rosalind Owen (BA), and Max Haohang Xi (BA) - were in attendance this year and navigated an intense month of classes, symposiums, social events, and networking.

One of the themes of this year's Institute recognized the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, and the associated Dene Languages Conference included presentations by Keren Rice (faculty) and Alessandro Jaker (postdoc).

We also had two current departmental members teaching. The other of this year's Institute themes was Linguistics in the Digital Era; in conjunction with this, Marisa Brook (faculty) and Emily Blamire (Ph.D.) teamed up to teach 'Topics in Sociolinguistics and Computer-Mediated Communication'.

Marisa and Emily explain the Internet, or at least the linguistic elements thereof. (Photo by Mark Richard Lauersdorf.)

July 25, 2019

Sali and Bridget in the Bulletin

Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) is interviewed in this week's U of T Bulletin about her new paper with Bridget Jankowski (Ph.D. 2013; staff) on dialectical patterns in Canadian English surrounding 'goodness', 'gosh', 'jeez', 'OMG', and other present-day English exclamations originating in ways of referring, strongly or euphemistically, to deities.

July 24, 2019

Congratulations, Na-Young!

Na-Young Ryu defended her doctoral dissertation, "Effects of web-based auditory training on the perception of Korean sounds by Mandarin learners of Korean," on Wednesday, July 24. On the committee were Yoonjung Kang (supervisor), Philip Monahan, Jessamyn Schertz, Anabela Rato, Nathan Sanders, and external examiner Ocke-Schwen Bohn (Aarhus University). Congratulations, Dr. Ryu!

Na-Young is departing shortly to take up a position as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University. We'll miss you very much, Dr. Ryu, but we're also thrilled to get to send you off!

July 19, 2019

Congratulations, Joanna!

Keren, Nathan, Joanna, Peter, and Yoonjung. (Not pictured: Alexei and Maria.) (Photo by Jennifer McCallum.)

Joanna Chociej defended her doctoral dissertation, "Exceptional faithfulness and exceptional alternation: A case study of Polish vowel-zero alternations as deletion and epenthesis," on Friday, July 19. On the committee were Keren Rice (supervisor), Yoonjung Kang, Alexei Kochetov, Peter Jurgec, Nathan Sanders, and external examiner Maria Gouskova (New York University). Congratulations, Dr. Chociej!

July 18, 2019

Coordinated coral colleagues

July around the department is normally quiet, but this at least frees up some time for everyone - up to and including our hard-working department chair, Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty) - to get some research done! Here, Sali and Katharina Pabst (Ph.D.) have a chance to work on the final revisions for a paper going into the Journal of English Linguistics - and discover an ability to be synchronized in more than one way!

July 17, 2019

2019 Cowper Syntax Prize and Dresher Phonology Prize

We are delighted to announce the winners of our annual graduate student term-paper awards: the Elizabeth Cowper Syntax Prize and the B. Elan Dresher Phonology Prize. These are awarded to the authors of outstanding papers in the graduate syntax and phonology courses offered over the past academic year.

Cowper Syntax Prize: Alec Kienzle (Ph.D.): "Agents, paths, and states in the Hebrew middle templates."

Dresher Phonology Prize: Lisa Sullivan (Ph.D.): "Allomorphy and morphophonology: Where do we draw the line?" and "An OT analysis of –(i)an demonym allomorph selection."

Congratulations to Alec and Lisa for their excellent work!

July 10, 2019

New paper: Nagy and Lo (2019)

Naomi Nagy (faculty) and Samuel Lo (BA) have a paper out in Asia-Pacific Language Variation, 5(1): "Classifier use in Heritage and Hong Kong Cantonese."

Heritage language speakers have frequently been reported to have language skills weaker than homeland (monolingual) speakers. For example, Wei and Lee (2001:359), a study of British-born Chinese-English bilingual children’s morphosyntactic patterns (including classifier use), report “evidence of delayed and stagnated L1 development.” However, many studies compare heritage speaker performance to a prescriptive standard rather than to spontaneous speech from homeland speakers. We compare spontaneous speech data from two generations of Heritage Cantonese speakers in Toronto, Canada, and from Homeland Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong. Both groups are similar in a strong preference for general and mass classifiers, and classifier choice being primarily governed by the noun’s number. We observe specialization of go3 to singular nouns, a grammaticalization process increasing with each generation. The similarity between homeland and heritage patterns replicates previous studies utilizing the same corpus.

July 2, 2019

Suzi Lima's REP course in Arts & Science News

Back in May, Suzi Lima (faculty) led a Research Opportunity Program course to Brazil with students Octavia Andrade-Dixon (BA), Greg Antono (BA), and Guilherme Teruya (BA). This week, their adventures are chronicled in the Arts & Science News.

July 1, 2019

2019 Dene Languages Conference

This year's Dene Languages Conference is taking place at the University of California, Davis, on July 6 and 7.

Keren Rice (faculty) is presenting "Phonological effects of contact between related languages: Tsiigehtshic Gwich'in and Fort Good Hope Dene."

Alessandro Jaker (postdoc) is presenting "A verb grammar of Tetsǫ́t’ıné Yatıé."