November 19, 2021

Alumna Publication: Nominal types on Gitksan split absolutive agreement

Clarissa Forbes (PhD 2018) has a paper in the most recent volume of Natural Langauge and Linguistic Theory! The paper is entitled  "Nominal types on Gitksan split absolutive agreement" and it studies a split absolutive-nominative agreement pattern found in Gitksan (Tsimshianic) that co-occurs with ergative agreement.

Is this ringing a bell for anyone? Forbes' PhD thesis offered a morphosyntactic analysis of the agreement patterns in the Tsimshanic language family, with a primary focus on Gitksan. 

We love seeing how projects that began at UofT expand! Be sure to check out both her thesis and her new publication! 

November 18, 2021

New Publication: Agreement with Deficient Pronouns in Laki: A Syntactic Repair to a Clitic Cluster Restriction

Sahar Taghipour (PhD Candidate) and Arsalan Kahnemuyipour (Faculty) have published a paper entitled "Agreement with Deficient Pronouns in Laki: A Syntactic Repair to a Clitic Cluster Restriction". They argue that Laki, a dialect spoken in the city of Kahdadht in northwestern Iran, has split ergativity which comes from the presence of a single locus of Agreement on T in past intransitive and present clauses, versus two loci of Agreement on T and v in past transitive clauses.

This is a must-read for syntax and morphology lovers! 

Taghipour, S., & Kahnemuyipour, A. (2021). Agreement with Deficient Pronouns in Laki: A Syntactic Repair to a Clitic Cluster Restriction. In 38th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (pp. 417-426). Cascadilla Proceedings Project.


 Congratulations to our students convocating on November 18!

We are especially excited that this included Kai Herzog-Hara, our current Undergrad Admin Assistant.

Virtual ceremony:

YouTube Noon on November 18

November 17, 2021

Workshop: Complex Sentences in South American Languages

Complex Sentences in South American Languages will be held virtually on November 17th-19th.  The workshop's objective is to help researchers find common ground in how they describe the different phenomena involved in complex sentences. 

There will be a UofT presence at this workshop:  Suzi Lima (faculty) and Guillaume Thomas (faculty). Lima will be presenting her work on the acquisition of conjunctions in Yudja. Thomas, an invited speaker, will be presenting his work on restructuring and evidentiality in Mbyá Guaraní.

Welcome Party!

 Our (almost) annual Welcome Party took place on October 8th 2021! 

Arsalan Kahnemuyipour  (Grad Chair) welcomed the department and incoming students were introduced. 

The awards for Excellence in TA Supervision for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 were presented! For the 2018-2019 academic year, the award went to Marisa Brook (faculty)! Nathan Sanders (faculty) received an honourable mention! For the 2019-2020 year, Suzi Lima (faculty) took home the award. Another honourable mention went out to Nathan Sanders for being the runner-up once again! 

Everyone enjoyed great food and drinks with the greatest company! Of course, we cannot leave out the lovely toast made by Jack Chambers (faculty)! 

Major thank you goes out to Chris (staff), Mary (staff, always working behind the scenes and avoiding photos), Arsalan, and Kai (the new undergrad admin) for all their hard work in organizing this successful event! 

Suzi accepting her award

Marisa accepting her award 

Nathan Sanders

Chris & Arsalan


Pedro & Suzi 


November 14, 2021 nature!

Naomi Nagy (faculty),  Abram Clear (graduate student) and Angela Cristiano (visiting from U Bologna) enjoyed a beautiful walk through Bronte Creek Provincial Park! They spent the day hiking, carving pumpkins and of course, chatting all things sociolinguistics!  Who wouldn't want to discuss language change while the leaves change colour?

3 linguistics and their Jack-o'-lanterns

Angela and Abram taking in the view 

The view

Proof linguists can make excellent pumpkin carvers! 

November 5, 2021

2021 MA students Sweep Stueber Prize at NWAV49!!

Huge congratulations to  Justin Leung (PhD Student) and Christopher Legerme (former MA student) for sweeping the runner up category for the Stueber Prize at NWAV49

Leung presented work regarding variation in path encoding in motion events in Toronto Heritage Cantonese. He defined and described a new variable for Chinese languages and gave a thoughtful interpretation of the outcomes. 

Legerme, who is now at MIT for his PhD,  presented work regarding phonological variation and change in Haitian determiners. Sounding familiar? Legerme also won the NWAV student abstract award this year for his presentation! 

Congrats to both Leung and Legerme for this excellent work! 

We also want to give a shout-out to the winners:

Sadlier-Brown, Salles & Salomon, Exploring variation & change in a small-scale indigenous society: the case of (s) in Pirahã.
They did an excellent job grappling with the issue of determining how to interpret language variation and change in a context where no information on standards or norms is available, as well as countering reported descriptions of the language. They also contribute to ongoing debate about the reasons behind the generalization that women often lead linguistic change.

SLUGS Academic Seminar Success!

Professor Alexei Kochetov (Faculty) spoke at the SLUGS Fall Semester Academic Seminar! He presented his work on phonetic realization and the change-in-progress regarding Kalasha laterals! Kochetov was asked many questions by our eager undergraduate linguists! 

Photo courtesy of SLUGS

October 25, 2021

New Publication: Learning Island-Insensitivity from the Input: A Corpus Analysis of Child-and Youth-Directed Text in Norwegian!

Dave Kush (Faculty) and colleagues have published a new article in Glossa!  This new article describes a corpus study that examines youth-directed reading materials to assess what direct evidence Norwegian children receive for filler-gap dependencies in island structures. Kush, Sant and Strætvern consider how different learning models would fare on the acquisition of target generalizations and speculate on how the observed description of filler-gap dependencies reflect the interaction of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic conditions! 

Kush, D. & Sant, C. & Strætkvern, S. B., (2021) “Learning Island-insensitivity from the input: A corpus analysis of child- and youth-directed text in Norwegian”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 6(1). doi:

October 22, 2021

SLUGS Academic Seminar!

 Professor Alexei Kochetov is presenting at the SLUGS academic seminar on Monday, October 25th! He will be presenting his work on Kalasha laterals; Phonetic Realizations and Change in Progress! 

For the full abstract please see the SLUGS website! Zoom link and password are also available on the website. 

Hope to see you all there!! 

October 20, 2021

Research Ethics Workshop!

The Junior Forum session on October 26th will be open to all members of the department to discuss research ethics! Suzi Lima (faculty) and Susana Béjar (faculty) will be joining on behalf of the department's Ethics Committee. 

The workshop will feature:

Please refer to the listserv email for more details! 

Congratulations Christopher!

Former MA student Christopher Legerme (now pursuing his PhD at MIT) has won the NWAV student abstract award for his work on Haitian determiners. This work evolved out of his MA Forum paper, which was completed in the summer of 2021 and was supervised by our very own Sali Tagliamonte (Faculty).

We are enormously proud of Christopher and we look forward to his presentation!

The title of his thesis (and NWAV talk) is "Creole on the Cusp: Phonological Variation and Change in Haitian Determiners.

He won this award based on anonymous reviewer comments, which include these (read out at the conference opening):

"super important paper, and the abstract is well-written. We know exactly what has been done and why, and we know the results upon which the interpretations and claims are made."

"Good empirical methods, as long as the nasal/non-nasal distinction can really be coded perceptually. Good engagement with relevant literature. Data on a variety that's well-studied but not with variationist methods."

October 19, 2021

Restarting the Morphology Research Group!

Martin Renard (PhD Student) has brought back the Morphology Research Group alongside Gavin Bembridge (York U)! 

This group is meant to be an informal space to discuss issues related to the field of morphology (based on members' research, work and/or interest).  Members are invited to present and suggest discussion topics for future meetings! 

To participate, please email Martin ( to sign up for the email list! 

October 14, 2021

Publication: Learning Embedded Verb Placement in Norwegian: Evidence for Early Overgeneralization

Dave Kush (faculty) has co-authored a new publication! Learning Embedded Verb Placement in Norwegian: Evidence for Early Overgeneralization investigates how children acquire generalization of work orders from ambiguous and infrequent input.  Tina Ringstand (co-author) and Kush focus on verb placement in relative and complement clauses in Norwegian. 

Great work Professor Kush! 

Ringstad, T., & Kush, D. (2021). Learning embedded verb placement in Norwegian: Evidence for early overgeneralization. Language Acquisition, 1-22.

October 13, 2021

UofT Linguist Involved with the Jackman Humanities Institute!

Professor Ana Perez-Leroux is a part of the Jackman Humanities Institute Alumni Research Lecture Series! Perez-Leroux video, Telling the Story of Another Vaccine, covers how the people of the Dominican Republic came together to fight against polio. This is a great way to learn about the largest volunteer organization in the DR! Plus, the topic is fitting for the time we are in!

October 12, 2021

North East Linguistics Society 52

Rutgers University will be hosting The North East Linguistics Society 52 this year from October 29th-31st.  PhD student Samuel Jambrović (in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese) is scheduled to present on October 31st! Jambrović will be presenting work on the Evidence for Predicativism in Restrictive Apposition and the Proprial Article. 

This is a presentation you do not want to miss! 

Information regarding registration has yet to come! 

Call for Study Group Volunteers!

SLUGS is once again hosting facilitated study groups for linguistic undergraduate courses! This semester they are holding FSG from LIN228 and LIN232.  There is a call for volunteers to help guide the study groups and answer students questions. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the Volunteer Form

This is a great way to give back to the Linguistics Department and help out some eager undergraduate linguists! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! The department is thankful to have such amazing faculty members and students! Hope you all enjoy some turkey and pumpkin pie! 

October 6, 2021

Linguistics students are getting down to work

Neither bad weather nor the restrictions for social distancing and safety keep these students from getting down to serious discussion!

Angela Cristiano, Maya Blumenthal, Ryan MacDonald and Parker Robbins enjoy Sid Smith's East Patio

Angela Cristiano, Maya Blumenthal, Ryan MacDonald and Parker Robbins enjoy Sid Smith's East Patio.

October 5, 2021

Professor Lima + Access and Inclusion Peer Program!

Dr. Suzi Lima (faculty) is currently working with the Access and Inclusion Peer Program here at UofT.  Lima will be in attendance at the Latin American Students and Clubs Welcome on Oct 15! This event provides the opportunity for undergraduate students to interact with the Latin American community here at UTSG! 

For those interested, please register before October 15th!