Disclaimer / Avis de non-responsabilité

Archive for the ‘People’ Category

NWAV report

This year’s NWAV took place at Toronto in October. You can find information about the conference here: http://linguistics.utoronto.ca/nwav44/

Shana Poplack delivered a plenary: Pursuing symmetry by eradicating variability. (abstract here) Other Department members also made presentations:

Laura Kastronic:

When variables intersect: The interplay of the expression of the subjunctive mood and necessity in two varieties of French.

Shana Poplack, Rena Torres Cacoullos, Rosane de Andrade Berlinck, Salvatore Digesto, Nathalie Dion, Dora LaCasse and Johnathan Steuck:

Using variability to measure grammaticalization: A pan-Romance study of the subjunctive

Here is a picture from the conference:


An update on recent Sociolinguistics talks at our Department:

Invited Speakers Colloquium Series: November 11 2015

Professor Rena Torres Cacoullos, The Pennsylvania State University
Code-switching: convergence no, priming yes

Sociolinguistics Research Group

The latest meeting of the Sociolinguistics Research Group meeting (held November 16) featured a presentation by Dr. Chloé Diskin (University College Dublin) titled “Discourse-pragmatic variation and language ideologies among native and non-native speakers of English in Dublin, Ireland”

Welcome Dennis Ott!


Dennis Ott has joined our department this semester as Assistant Professor in Syntax. You will find Denni’s webpage here:


Dennis has a paper  ”Right Dislocation as Deletion”, co-authored with Mark de Vries, which has just come out in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11049-015-9307-7). He has co-edited a volume celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chomsky’s Aspects which was published by MITWPL (http://mitwpl.mit.edu/catalog/mwpl77/) and is available online (http://filcat.uab.cat/clt/publicacions/Aspects-50-years-later/).  And Linguist List has published a recent book review  (http://linguistlist.org/pubs/reviews/get-review.cfm?SubID=36050897).


The Hiatus editors asked Gita Zareikar to meet with Dennis and find out a little more about  his interests. Here is what she has to tell us (thanks Gita!):

Dennis Ott is our new syntactician in the department. He did his BA in Philosophy at the University of Cologne in Germany. While doing Philosophy, he had the chance to take some Linguistic courses and became familiar with the general idea of Linguistics and Biology. Following his interest he attended LSA Summer School in 2005 and met Cedric Boeckx who encouraged him to apply for a graduate school in States. He Started Linguistics at Harvard University in 2006  and graduated in 2011. Soon after, he started his first job as a Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Groningen in Netherlands for two years and moved to Berlin for a second Post-doctoral position in 2013. During this time he spent a session at MIT as a visiting scholar.

Dennis is interested in clause level movement and the interaction of ellipses and movement in the clausal domain. He is offering a topic course in Winter 2016 on relative clauses.

Besides Linguistics Dennis is passionate about photography and finding time, he enjoys photo shooting.

NWAV coming up!

New Ways of Analysing Variation 44 is coming up, starting October 22. You will find the conference website here:


Shana Poplack will be giving an invited talk with title “Pursuing symmetry by eradicating variability”. You can find the abstract here: http://linguistics.utoronto.ca/nwav44/invited.html

In addition, Laura Kastronic will present “When’variables’intersect:’The’interplay’ of’the’expression’of’the’subjunctive’ mood’and’necessity’in’two’varieties’of’ French”; Shana Poplack, Rena Torres Cacoullos,Rosane De Andrade Berlinck, Salvatore Digesto, Nathalie Dion, Dora Lacasse & Jonathan Steuck will present “Using variability to measure grammaticalizatio: A pan-Romance study of the subjunctive”

Presentations and News

It has been a busy time for students and profs in the Department. Here are some of the presentations that have taken place (more or less) recently that we have not mentioned elsewhere in this issue (alphabetical order, first name!). Send us your news if we have missed you!

Abdulrahman Alamri & Tania Zamuner [Poster]

Phonological, Semantic, and Root Activation in Spoken Word Recognition in Arabic” , CLA 2015.

Andrew McKishnie and Paul Melchin [Presentation]

“Case-stacking in Russian and the Genitive of Negation”, Northwest Linguistics Conference, Victoria, BC, April 26

Andrew McKishnie and Paul Melchin [Presentation]

“Russian numerals and agreement mismatches”, 48th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Leiden University (Netherlands), 2-5 September 2015.

Basile Roussel [Presentation

"Le français acadien, une variété conservatrice? L’exemple de l’usage du subjonctif dans le Nord-Est du Nouveau Brunswick", CLA 2015.

Brandon Fry [Presentation]

“On phi-Agree and Total Transfer”. Dog Days of Syntax workshop, August 12, 2015, University of Toronto.

Daiho Kitaoka [Presentation]

“An applicative approach to major object constructions in Korean”, International Circle of Korean Linguists (ICKL) at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. July 24-26.

Daiho Kitaoka  & Sara Mackenzie [Presentation]

Evidence for the mora: Analysis of a Japanese reversing game“, CLA 2015.

Elena Valenzuela, Kristina Borg, Rachel Klassen, & Tania Zamuner [Poster]

Code-switched relative clause constructions and bilingual sentence processing: An eye-tracking study“, CLA 2015.

Éric Mathieu & Gita Zareikar [Presentation]

Bottles of milk and cups of sugar: A cross-linguistic perspective on measure constructions“, CLA 2015

Éric Mathieu & Gita Zareikar [Poster]

Plurality and measure words: classifying versus counting“, NELS 2015, Concordia.

Félix Desmeules-Trudel [Poster]

Propriétés aérodynamiques et comparaison des voyelles nasales et potentiellement nasalisées en français québécois“, CLA 2015

Kyumin Kim and Paul Melchin [Presentation]

Pluralizer as a nP modifier: Evidence from Korean -tul” [CLA 2015]

Kyumin Kim and Paul Melchin [Presentation]

“Two types of plurals in Korean: modifying (-tul) and grammatical (CL) plural”, International Circle of Korean Linguists (ICKL) at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. July 24-26.

Laura Kastronic [Presentation]

A comparative variationist analysis of subjunctive use in Hexagonal French and Quebec French“, CLA 2015.

María Luisa Rivero, Ana Arregui & Nikolay Slavkov [Presentation]

Grammaticalizing ‘big’ situations in Bulgarian“, CLA 2015.
Marc Brunelle [Poster]

A corpus-based study of prominence and stress in Vietnamese“, CLA 2015.

Michèle Burkholder [Presentation]

Les faux-amis: Investigating lexico-semantic ambiguity across two languages“, CLA 2015.

Nova Starr [Poster]

Voice and general number in Tagalog“, CLA 2015

Paul Melchin [Presentation]

Diagnosing pronominal category in Japanese and Mandarin” [CLA 2015]

Saleh AlQahtani & Laura Sabourin [Poster]

Syntactic processing of subjects in different word orders in Arabic: Do Arabic heritage speakers differ from native speakers when processing SVO/VSO order?“, CLA 2015

Santa Vīnerte & Laura Sabourin [Poster]

Bilingualism and Cognitive Control: The ANT in a Canadian Context.”  CLA 2015

Shana Poplack, Rosane de Andrade Berlinck, Salvatore Digesto & Nathalie Dion [Presentation]

A pan-Romance perspective on subjunctive variability“, CLA 2015.

Shana Poplack, Lotfi Sayahi, Nahed Mourad & Nathalie Dion [Presentation]

Mixing typologically different languages: The behaviour of French nouns in Tunisian Arabic“, CLA 2015.

Vesela Simeonova & Gita Zareikar [Presentation]

“The syntax of evidential in Azeri, Bulgarian and Persian” MOTH March 2015

Vesela Simeonova [Presentation]

“On the relation between miratives and evidentials”, TOM 8, Carelton, 2015.

Vesela Simeonova &  Gita Zareikar [Presentation]

The syntax of evidentials in Azeri, Bulgarian and Persian “, CLA 2015.

Vesela Simeonova [Presentation]

Evidentials with attitude!“, CLA 2015

Vesela Simeonova [Presentation]

“On the relation between miratives, exclamatives, and evidential”, Slavic Linguistic Society 2015, Heidelberg University.

Vesela Simeonova [Invited Presentation]

“On tense, aspect, and mood interaction in Bulgarian and Slavic”, Workshop at the Slavic Linguistic Society 2015, Heidelberg University.

Brandon Fry wins best student paper award at CLA

Brandon Fry won the award for best student paper at this year’s CLA meeting. The paper’s title was “The derivation of theme-signs in Algonquin Ojibwe: A multiple agree approach“. This is what the committee had to say:

“Fry’s talk addressed the derivational nature of theme-signs in Algonquin Ojibwe, proposing that their form is a morpho-phonological reflex of Multiple Agree of a higher functional head with both the subject and the object. The judges were impressed by the clarity of the presentation of this rather complex topic, by its accessibility for the non-Algonquian specialist, and by Fry’s command of the technical literature referenced in his proposal. In addition, the judges appreciated how Fry engaged the audience and handled the questions that his talk inspired.”

You can find the paper here: http://cla-acl.ca/wp-content/uploads/Fry.pdf. Congratulations Brandon!

France Martineau nommée professeur éminente


En mai dernier, France Martineau s’est vue attribuer l’un des trois titres de Professeur éminent émis par l’Université d’Ottawa aux professeurs dont la renommée dans leur domaine d’expertise n’est plus à faire.

(lien http://www.uottawa.ca/gazette/fr/nouvelles/luniversite-presente-ses-professeurs-eminents-2014-2015),

France Martineau à Caen, à Paris et à Saint-Boniface

France Martineau a participé à la conférence annuelle de l’Association for French Language Studies (AFLS) à Caen en Normandie, du 17 au 19 juin 2015.  Elle y a présenté deux communications, dont une intitulée “Une langue au statut fragile: normes et usages du français québécois sous le Régime anglais”, avec Wym Remisen (Université de Sherbrooke) et l’autre intitulée “Variation et variétés: le Corpus FRAN et la variable de conséquence” en collaboration avec Marie-Claude Séguin (laboratoire des Polyphonies du français, Université d’Ottawa).

Elle a organisé, en collaboration avec Françoise Gadet (Université Ouest Nanterre La Défense), la journée d’étude “Mobilité, migrations et réseaux” qui a eu lieu à Paris, le 16 juin 2015.

Finalement, elle a été conférencière invitée à Saint-Boniface à la fin août au colloque “Dans leurs propres mots: la mobilité dans les écrits personnels et les sources orales, XVI-XXe siècles ”.

Corpus FRAN et Corpus LFFA

N’hésitez pas à vous inscrire au Corpus FRAN (http://www.continent.uottawa.ca) et au Corpus LFFA (http://www.polyphonies.uottawa.ca), premiers corpus panfrancophones sur le français en Amérique du nord.


Department Visitors this Fall

The Sociolinguistics Laboratory will be hosting two visiting scholars this Fall

Dr. Rena Torres Cacoullos, Professor, The Pennsylvania State University and Co-Editor of Language Variation and Change.



Dr. Chloe Diskin, Postdoctoral researcher, UCDublin.


Marisa Rivero will be hosting Dr. Iliana Krapova, who will be visiting the Department from October 16 to October 30. She  is an Associate Professor in the Slavic Division of the Department of Linguistic Studies at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, Italy. She specializes in Slavic syntax and the languages of the Balkans, with emphasis on Bulgarian. Her research interests include  the  structure of clauses,  clitic doubling,   relative clauses, multiple fronting in wh-questions, the structure of  noun phrases, numerals, and genitives.

For more information on Iliana’s interests and publications you may visit her Website at http://www.unive.it/data/persone/5592788/pubb_anno

Computer safety: a note from Maurice Belanger

Maurice Belanger, our technical officer, sends us the following note concerning computer safety:

The advent of new versions of popular operating systems requires that end users remain vigilant in keeping themselves, their systems and their applications safe from hackers. Regardless of platform, users are continuously confronted with “clean your PC’, ‘safeguard your applications’. In general, these types of in your face suggestions are bogus and are run by scam artists. Don’t fall in the(ir) trap of downloading an optimizer/cleaner, providing access to your system or worse giving them personal and/or credit card information.These apps can be much more than a nuisance but generally they try to take over your browser home page and search, embedding OS-level code that can be a challenge to remove.

In order to remove such bothersome applications, try using the following safe tools;

Mac OS  X;

Malwarebytes; http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/52105/malwarebytes-anti-malware

AVG Anti-virus; http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/50756/avg-antivirus

AppDelete; http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23149/appdelete

Windows OS;

Malwarebytes; https://www.malwarebytes.org

AVG Anti-virus; http://free.avg.com/ca-en/homepage

CCleaner; https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download


L’avènement de nouvelles versions de systèmes d’exploitation populaires exige que les utilisateurs restent vigilants en eux-mêmes, leurs systèmes et leurs applications en gardant l’abri des applications pirates. Indépendamment de la plate-forme, les utilisateurs sont confrontés à “nettoyer votre PC», «protéger vos applications». En général, ces types de suggestions sont fausses et sont dirigées par des escrocs. Ne tombez pas dans le piège de télécharger un optimiseur/nettoyeur, offrant un accès à votre système ou pire leur donnant accès aux applications et à vos informations personnelles et/ou carte de crédit. C’est parfois plus qu’une nuisance mais généralement elles essayent de prendre le contrôle de la page principale de votre navigateur et de recherche, et intègrent du code au niveau du système d’exploitation qui peut être un défi pour retirer.

Afin d’éliminer ces applications, essayez d’utiliser les outils de sécurité suivantes;

Mac OS X;

Malwarebytes; http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/52105/malwarebytes-anti-malware

AVG Anti-virus; http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/50756/avg-antivirus

AppDelete; http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23149/appdelete

OS de Windows;

Malwarebytes; https://www.malwarebytes.org

AVG Anti-virus; http://free.avg.com/ca-en/homepage

CCleaner; https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download

Shana Poplack receives Order of Canada

Shana Poplack has received the Order of Canada medal from the Governor General in a ceremony that took place on February 13 at Rideau Hall. Congratulations!

Eric Mathieu at Leipzig

Eric Mathieu presented a talk at the DFGS workshop “What drives syntactic computation?: Alternatives to formal features”. You can find information about the workshop here:


Eric’s talk was titled: “The wh parameter and radical externalization.” Here is the full program: http://amor.cms.hu-berlin.de/~ottdenni/alternatives/program.html

Recent talks by Shana Poplack

Shana was invited to give a talk to NSERC and SSHRC employees on January 23rd as part of their Lunch-and-learn sessions series.  The results that grammarians don’t agree on what is “correct” and that there is such a large disconnect between prescribed usage and everyday speech (and especially that the former is far more regular than the latter) surprised many of those in attendance, and the question period extended well beyond the scheduled time.  The take-home messages were so well received that we’ve since learned that some departments now allow employees to strand their prepositions in their written French communications “because Shana said it was OK”.

Shana presented a talk entitled “Mythes et science: the ideology of “Standard” French” at the Annual general meeting of the Royal Society of Canada. This “Big Thinking Lecture” was held in a ballroom of the Château Frontenac in Quebec City.  See great photos (and the amazing venue) here:



Laura Sabourin at McMaster


Laura Sabourin has given TWO invited lectures at the Cognitive Science of Language Lecture Series at the University of McMaster on March 4th. You will find information about the talks here:


The abstracts of Laura’s talks are below:

Language Processing in Bilinguals: Evidence from Lexical Organization and Cognitive Control

Laura Sabourin, University of Ottawa

Much of the current research in my lab is aimed at determining the effects of age of immersion (AoI), manner of acquisition (MoA), and proficiency on how bilinguals (and language learners) process language. Initial research data at the lexical level shows that, for native speakers of English with L2 French, an early AoI is required for lexicons to become integrated (Sabourin et al., 2014a). However, in a preliminary follow-up study looking at native French speakers with L2 English, it appears that even a late age of L2 immersion can result in integrated lexicons if the MoA is more naturalistic (Sabourin et al., 2014b). Previous research on cognitive control in bilinguals has not always shown a bilingual advantage (Costa et al., 2009), and its existence has been debated (Paap & Greenberg, 2013). In our investigations aimed at accounting for the conflicting results found in the literature (Sabourin & Vinerte, 2014), we investigated participant grouping and task difficulty effects on the Stroop task (which measures cognitive control). While we find no differences between simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals, age groups traditionally both classified as “early” bilinguals, when the task uses only one language, we find a significant difference between the two groups when the task mixes both languages. Based on the data collected to date in our lab (including studies at other levels of linguistic processing), I hypothesize that while for many bilingual and language learning groups AoI is often the most important factor in determining how languages are processed, there is an important role for factors such as MoA and the context of bilingualism.


Determining Different Types of Bilingualism

Laura Sabourin
with Myriam Lapierre, Michele Burkholder, Jean-Christophe Leclerc & Christie Brien

Conflicting evidence seems to be the norm when it comes to research findings on bilingual language processing. It is likely that the inconsistent findings are due to the nature of different types of bilingualism. We need to know the language background of participants who are tested in bilingual studies and while there are currently many language background questionnaires (e.g., the LEAP-Q, Marian et al., 2007), we have found that none of the existing questionnaires is adequate for eliciting information about aspects of bilingualism that are specific to participants tested in a Canadian context. I will present my lab’s attempt at creating an adequate language background questionnaire for our participants. I will focus on some of the issues we have come across and some of our preliminary solutions. Discussion and comments are greatly welcome!



Juana Liceras: Professor of the Year, Faculty of Arts

Félicitations à Juana Liceras qui a récemment été nommée la professeure de l’année de la faculté des arts. Voici une photo de sa conférence ci-dessous, intitulée: Le genre grammatical dans le lexique mental de l’individu bilingue : La house, el house ou the casa? (en anglais)

Congratulations to Juana Liceras who has been named Professor of the Year.
Below is a picture of Juana’s talk entitled: Grammatical gender in the mind of the bilingual: La house, el house or the casa?

Welcome to Kyumin Kim, Visiting Assistant Professor

We asked Kyumin to say a few words for Hiatus.


I completed my SSHRC Post-doc at the University of Calgary. I have working on Blackfoot since I started my post-doc. It has been truly amazing and enjoyable times, being able to work with Blackfoot speakers, and being their friends, not just a fieldworker. I completed my Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Toronto (2011), and I am glad to come back to the east!! I have completed my MA (2006) and BA (2004) in Linguistics at the University of Calgary. At that time, I didn’t know any Blackfoot, and had never imagined that I would work on Blackfoot :)

I am so glad that I can be here in this department and Ottawa!

I am enjoying almost everything that both can offer: very nice and good people in the department, reading groups, teaching, supervising and interacting with students, less severe and more predictable weather than Calgary so far, and even a French course! I am looking forward the days to come!