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Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas

The 21st Worskhop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas will take place at UQAM in April 1-3. You will find the conference workshop here: https://sites.google.com/site/wscla2016/.  Here is the program.

Bernat Bardagil-Mas (visiting us from the University of Groningen): Clitic-doubling and split ergativity in Panará.

Jérémie Beauchamp: The syntax and semantics of locatives and existentials in Mébengokre.

Brandon Fry: Cross-clausal agreement in Algonquian: its wide implications for syntactic theory. [Invited presentation]

Daiho Kitaoka: A labeling approach to sentence derivation in Ojibwe

Myriam Lapierre, Bernat Bardagil-Mas and Andrés Salanova: The nasal consonants of Panará

Andrés Salanova and Javier Carol: The Guaraní mirative evidential

Kathleen Strader: Agreement in Michif adjectives

Stephen Levey at Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Stephen Levey will be presenting his research on March 29 and 31 at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The title of his talk on March 29th is “The acquisition of variation and change in the English quotative system” at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics. The title of his talk on March 31st is “Watch what you’re saying! Understanding children’s non-standard spoken English” at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Basile Roussel at “Les français d’ici”

Basile Roussel will make a presentation at the Colloque International “Les français d’ici”, to be held at the Université de Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg. The title of his talk is “Deux auxiliares pour le prix d’un: l’alternance entre ‘avoir’ et ‘être’ en français acadien.” Félicitations!

Ottawa Invasion of Stony Brook University

A few members of our department are heading to Stony Brook University to attend LSRL46 (Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages), WARL (Workshop on Arabic and Romance Linguistics) and ASAL 30 (Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics):

Poplack, Shana, Torres Cacoullos, Rena, Berlinck, Rosane de Andrade, Digesto, Salvatore, Dion, Nathalie,Lacasse, Dora & Steuck, Jonathan: “Tracking grammaticalization across Romance: Evidence from the subjunctiv.e” (LSRL)

Roussel, Basile. “Linguistic variation in a minority setting: A variationist study of subjunctive use in Acadian French.” (LSRL)

Poplack, Shana, Sayahi, Lotfi, Mourad, Nahed & Dion, Nathalie. “Adding a little Romance: Lone French nouns in Tunisian Arabic discourse.” (WARL)

(Thanks Nathalie!)

Myriam Lapierre, Bernat Bardagil Mas and Andrés Salanova at Amazonicas VI

Our department will be represented at the sixth meeting of Amazonicas with the following talk:

Lapierre, M., Bardagil Mas, B., Salanova, A. P.: “A Reconstruction of Proto-Northern Jê Phonemics.”

The conference will take place on May 24-28 at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Sociolinguistics Symposium

The 21st Sociolinguistics Symposium will be held on June 15-18 at the University of Murcia. Department members will be making a presentation:

Poplack, Shana,Torres Cacoullos, Rena, Berlinck, Rosane de Andrade, Digesto, Salvatore, Dion, Nathalie, & Steuck, Jonathan “Meaningful variation? A multi-language study of the Romance subjunctive”.

Symposium on American Indian Languages

Brent Bardagil Mas,  Myriam Lapierre, Andrés Salanova and Perankó Panará will make a presentation with title “A digital dictionary of Panará” at the 3rd Symposium on American Indian Languages (SAIL), held at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. Here is the link.

Rivero, Arregui and Slavkov is out!

The proceedings of WCCFL 33 have been published online by Cascadilla Press here. It includes the paper “Grammaticalizing the size of situations: the case of Bulgarian” by María Luisa Rivero, Ana Arregui and Nikolay Slavkov.

Presentations by Brandon Fry

Brandon will be making a series of presentations in the coming months:

(1) Cross-clausal agreement in Algonquian: its wide implications for syntactic theory. Invited speaker at 21st Workshop on Structure and Constituency of the Languages of the Americas (WSCLA 21), 1 April, 2016, UQAM, Montreal, Canada.

(2) Better Late than Neglected? Talk to be given at MOTH syntax workshop, 15-16 April, 2016, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada.

(3) Tout n’est pas relatif: les complétives en ojibwé. Communication par affiche au congrès annuel de l’Association canadienne de linguistique (ACL) 2016, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.


Stacey Grierson: winner of this year’s Edward Sapir Scholarship

A few years ago, Stacey Grierson sold her house and returned to school after a successful stint working with a local elevator company and becoming an essential part of that team. “I realized the only thing holding me back from pursuing my dream of becoming a speech-language pathologist was fear, so I decided to take the plunge and return to school,” said Stacey. She is now in her last semester of her BA in the Psychology-Linguistics joint honours. In doing so, Stacey has maintained a truly extraordinary GPA, excelling in the full range of topics in Linguistics, Psychology, and other degree requirements.

Edward Sapir was a linguist who helped establish the modern discipline of Linguistics. He was a pioneer in the documentation and classification of indigenous languages of the Americas. Sapir worked in Ottawa for the Anthropology Division of the Geological Survey of Canada in the years prior to World War II; he did field work in indigenous languages and advocated for rights of indigenous peoples.

There is an endowed Edward Sapir Scholarship available to a student in their last year of a BA in Linguistics at the University of Ottawa, based on academic prowess and promise. Stacey Grierson is this year’s very deserving winner. Congratulations, Stacey!

Welcome Kevin McMullin!



This semester we welcome Kevin McMullin to our Department. Kevin is an assistant professor in phonology, with interests in theoretical phonology, consonant harmony and dissimilation, formal models of learning and artificial language learning. Here is his contact information at the Department:  https://arts.uottawa.ca/linguistics/people/mcmullin-kevin. Kevin’s PhD dissertation (“Tier-Based Locality and Long-Distance Phonotactics: Learnability and Typology”) addressed questions such as whether the typology of non-adjacent phonotactic patterns reflect properties of human learning mechanisms, whether phonological theories of long-distance interaction are compatible with experimental results and learning algorithms, and the impact of phonological tiers on computational models of long-distance phonotactic learning.

You can find more information about Kevin’s research on his old UBC webpage here: http://linguistics.ubc.ca/persons/kevin-mcmullin/







OCLU+M 2015 (it’s here!)

The 7th Ottawa Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates and Masters Students will take  place this Saturday (December 5)

Where: Hamelin 509 (ex. Arts 509)

When: Saturday December 5

At what time: talks start at 9 (but there will be breakfast at 8.15 in the fourth floor!)

You can find more information about the conference here: https://oclu.wordpress.com (stay tuned for more news)

And you can find the conference schedule here: https://oclu.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/revisedschedule.pdf.  The keynote presentations will be made by Christie Brien and Laura Kastronic.

This is a great opportunity to find out about new research and ideas and get to know many new students. Everybody is welcome!

Contacts: Basile Roussel (basile.roussel-at-uottawa.ca) and Roksolana Marie McVicar (rmcvi013-at-uottawa.ca).

Last colloquium of the semester: Raj Singh

Everyone is welcome to the last colloquium of the semester, which will be given by Raj Singh (http://http-server.carleton.ca/~singhr/)

Time/location: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 2:30pm in Hamelin/Arts 420

A reception will follow in Salon Monet.


Raj Singh (Carleton University)
“Conjunctive scalar implicatures”

It is well-known that disjunctive sentences “A or B” are ambiguous between an inclusive and exclusive disjunction. Recent work has discovered populations in which “A or B” is ambiguous between an inclusive disjunction and a conjunction. These populations include speakers of Warlpiri and American Sign Language (ASL), as well as English, French, and Japanese preschool children. So-called `free-choice’ inferences also show that the ambiguity is available in adult speakers of English as well. In all attested cases of this ambiguity,  the conjunctive reading is overwhelmingly preferred over the disjunctive reading. This is not true with the more familiar inclusive/exclusive ambiguity.

This talk will review some of these findings, some of which come from our lab. We will argue that the conjunctive reading, when it’s available, is the result of a scalar implicature. However, this implicature differs from other implicatures in many ways: not only is the implicature strongly preferred, it is also acquired in the child earlier, it is faster to process, and it is easier to detect in embedded positions. We propose to derive the contrast from consideration of the pragmatics of questions and answers.


Shana Poplack: traveling sociolinguist

Shana has recently given a number of plenary talks. Here are some details:

Normes en conflit: L’école, la communauté et l’idéologie normative. Colloque international VocUM 2. Université de Montréal. November 18.

Confronting theory with fact: Language mixing on the ground. ‘Linguistics Talks at Western’ speaker series/Bilingual Workshop in Theoretical Linguistics (BWTL) 18. University of Western Ontario. November 20.

The sharp divide between single- and multi-word code-mixing: Evidence from the ground. Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM), University of Potsdam (Germany). November 25-27.

The empirical study of spontaneous language mixing. Workshop. Centre for General Linguistics (ZAS). Berlin. November 25-27.

NELS at Concordia

This year NELS took place at Concordia University in October. You can find the conference info here: http://linguistics.concordia.ca/nels46/program/

Eric Mathieu and Gita Zareikar presented the poster Plurality and measure words: classifying versus counting. Many department members travelled to Montreal to participate in the conference. Here is the picture: