August 29, 2014

Congratulations, Eugenia!

Eugenia Suh defended her doctoral dissertation, "Incomplete acquisition in the nominal domain of Korean by heritage language speakers", on Monday, August 25.

The committee was comprised of Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux, Ron Smyth, Yoonjung Kang, Alana Johns, Jeffrey Steele, and external examiner Tania Ionin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Congratulations, Dr. Suh!

Eugenia is joined by Radu and Mercedeh in celebration. (Photo courtesy of Kyumin Kim.)

August 28, 2014

U of T Linguistics MA, 2013-14: stellar success!

This year’s graduating MA students have truly distinguished themselves: all 11 of them are on track to complete their MA Forum papers on time. For an cohort of this size, this is a remarkable achievement – and one that is unprecedented in the department.

Back: Naomi Francis, Danielle Moed, Michael Schwan, Patrick Murphy, Kazuya Bamba, and Richard Gananathan.
Front: Emilia Melara, Emilie LeBlanc, Ruth Maddeaux, Maida Percival, and Avery Ozburn.

The MA program has a well-deserved reputation for being intense. However, on top of completing the degree, over the course of this year members of the MA class have presented papers or posters at NELS, CLA, WICCFL, WISSLR, MO(L)T(H), Agreement by Correspondence, the CRC Summer Phonetics/Phonology Workshop, the Welcome Workshop, and our departmental research-group meetings. They have done compelling research across a wide variety of subfields –syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology, language change and variation, psycholinguistics, and more – and established lively friendships with each other and much of the rest of the department.

Eight of the outgoing MA students are continuing to Ph.D. programs immediately. Ruth Maddeaux, Emilia Melara, and Patrick Murphy will be continuing on to the department’s own Ph.D. program; Emilie LeBlanc is going to York; Naomi Francis is heading to MIT; Avery Ozburn and Michael Schwan are off to UBC; and Richard Gananathan is going a little further afield – all the way to the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

All our best to the members of this powerhouse MA cohort!

Ron Smyth, Movie Star - Coming to TIFF!

David Thorpe's documentary Do I Sound Gay?, about the phonetics and acoustics of voices across sexual orientations (as well as stereotypes and homophobia), is complete and has been accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, with post-production financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, includes our faculty member Ron Smyth and his research on gay voices and dialects; also featured are George Takei, David Sedaris, Margaret Cho, Dan Savage, and more. The TIFF presentation is on Sunday, September 7th at Ryerson, with a live introduction by Thorpe and Savage. Tickets go on sale starting one week in advance.

August 27, 2014

Aaron Dinkin in the Star

Faculty sociolinguist Aaron Dinkin was one of several people interviewed for a Star article in July about the variable pronunciation of the word 'lieutenant' in North America.


Ph.D. students Ailís Cournane and Becky Tollan were at the 20th Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference, held at Purdue University on May 2 and 3. They presented a collaborative paper, "Climbing trees: Syntax-semantics alignment in re-analysis of West Germanic modal verbs".

August 26, 2014

Dog Days III Syntax Workshop

The third Dog Days syntax workshop took place August 7. In this picture, three Dog Days guests: Martha McGinnis (MA 1993), Betsy Ritter (Postdoc 1988) and Tova Rapoport (left to right).

August 15, 2014

International Society for the Linguistics of English 3

ISLE 3 is taking place in Zürich, Switzerland, from the 24th to the 27th of August.

Sali A. Tagliamonte is presenting two papers: "Using the architecture of variable systems to predict language change", and, with colleague Suzanne Evans Wagner (Michigan State University), "Incrementation in adolescence: Tapping the force that drives linguistic change".

Former visiting student Claire Childs will be presenting "Not or no? Variation in sentential negation across varieties of Northern British English".

Good news from Kyumin Kim (Ph.D. 2011)

Congratulations to alumna Kyumin Kim (Ph.D. 2011), who has accepted a one-year position as Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, beginning July 1, 2014. In addition, Kyumin has been awarded a Korean Studies Grant from the Academy of Korean Studies. The project title is 'Animacy and verb in Korean'.

(Post courtesy of Diane Massam.)

August 12, 2014

"Translating the Land" exhibit at Robarts Library

Robarts Library is hosting an exhibit on three First Nations languages that has been extended until the end of October.

August 4, 2014

Methods in Dialectology 15

Methods in Dialectology 15 will be taking place in Groningen, Netherlands, from August 11th to 15th. Lots of U of T faculty members and alumni are going to be involved!

Naomi Nagy (faculty) is giving one of the plenary talks:
"Heritage languages as new dialects."

There will also be presentations by:

J. K. Chambers (faculty):
"Global demise of a venerable change in progress."

Aaron Dinkin (faculty) and colleague Robin Dodsworth (North Carolina State University):
"Gradience, allophony, and the Southern shift trigger."

Sali Tagliamonte (faculty) along with Suzanne Evans Wagner (Michigan State University):
"What makes a panel study work? Researcher and participant in real time."

French professor Anne-José Villeneuve is co-presenting two papers. One is with colleague Philip Comeau (University of Ottawa): "The future in a Continental French dialect: Polarity versus temporal distance." The other is with Nanna Haug Hilton (University of Groningen): "Structural convergence in minority languages in Europe."

Alumnus Wladyslaw Cichocki (Ph.D. 1986, now at the University of New Brunswick) is presenting "Vocalic duration variability in regional varieties of New Brunswick Acadian French" with Yves Perreault and Sid-Ahmed Selouani (Université de Moncton).

Alumni Sheila Embleton (Ph.D. 1981, now at York University) and Eric Wheeler (Ph.D. 1980, now also at York University) are presenting a joint paper with colleage Dorin Uritescu: "A comparison of three digital systems for dialect geography."

Eric Wheeler is also co-presenting "Creating the Chinese online dialect atlas" with Robert Sanders of the University of Auckland.

French Linguistics alumnus David Heap (now at UWO) is presenting "Linguistic Atlas of the Iberian Peninsula: Archival materials and web facsimiles to online cartography."