At next week’s meeting, Seara will present her project on the inverse relation between size of inflectional classes and word frequency. Here is the abstract:
In this project, we attempt to quantitatively demonstrate the the inverse relation between size of inflectional classes and word frequency. I will go over the background behind productivity in inflections and word frequency, the stages in quantitatively demonstrating the relationship between word frequency and size of inflectional class. Then finally the next step of the project moving forward.
The meeting will be next Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at room 117.
Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron (PhD ’17) received a 2-year grant from the Fonds de recherche: Société et Culture to pursue a postdoctoral position at Northwestern University. The project is entitled “Penser avant de parler? L’effet de la planification de la production de la parole en temps réel sur les prononciations variables” and will be supervised by Professor Matt Goldrick. Congratulations Oriana!
Next meeting: Monday, 15 October, 3:30-5 PM at UQAM, room DS-3470, Pavillon J.-A.-DeSève, 320 Sainte-Catherine East
Topic: There are no Bracketing Paradoxes, or How to be a Modular Grammarian by (and presented by) Heather Newell.
- On local VP-movement: Pearson, M. (2000). Two types of VO languages. In The Derivation of VO and OV, pp. 327–363. (Sec. 2 in particular)
- On A-type VP-movement: Massam, D. and Smallwood, C. (1997). Essential features of predication in English and Niuean. In Proceedings of NELS 27, pp 263–272.
- On feature-based movement: Chapter 2 of Van Urk, C. (2015). A uniform syntax for phrasal movement: A case study of Dinka Bor. PhD thesis, MIT.
At next week’s meeting, Wilfred will be presenting the following paper: “Learning Semantic Correspondence with Less Supervision” by Liang et al. (2009). Please find the abstract below:
A central problem in grounded language acquisition is learning the correspondences between a rich world state and a stream of text which references that world state. To deal with the high de- gree of ambiguity present in this setting, we present a generative model that simultaneously segments the text into utterances and maps each utterance to a meaning representation grounded in the world state. We show that our model generalizes across three domains of increasing difficulty—Robocup sportscasting, weather forecasts (a new domain), and NFL recaps.
Meeting will be Wednesday Oct 17 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at room 117.
The Semantics Group will exceptionally meet this Friday from 2:30pm until 4:00pm in room 117, in order for a midterm to take place at 4:00pm in the same room. In this week’s meeting, Francesco Gentile will present his ongoing research on modal adjectives and non-local modification. All are welcome to attend!
- “Native and non-native patterns in conflict: Lexicon vs. grammar in loanword adaptation in Brazilian Portuguese” — Natália Brambatti Guzzo
- “Evidence for a pitch accent in Saguenay French” — Jeffrey Lamontagne, Heather Goad and Morgan Sonderegger
- “Evidence of phonemicization: Lax vowels in Canadian French” — Jeffrey Lamontagne
This week, the Syntax Reading Group will be discussing a recent paper in Language by Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine entitled “Extraction and Licensing in Toba Batak”. The paper can be found at this link: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/702689
As usual, we will be meeting Wednesday 1-2pm in Linguistics Room 117. All are welcome!
For this week’s MQLL meeting, James Tanner will present new data of individual speaker variability in the Tokyo Japanese voicing contrast. The meeting will be Wednesday Oct 10 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in room 117.
Jane Stuart-Smith from the University of Glasgow will be giving the first colloquium talk of the semester, titled “Sound perspectives? Speech and speaker dynamics over a century of Scottish English” on Friday, October 12th, at 3:30pm in Education Bldg. rm. 211. All are welcome to attend!
As in many disciplines, in linguistics too, perspective matters. Structured variability in language occurs at all linguistic levels and is governed by a large range of diverse factors. Viewed through a synchronic lens, such variation informs our understanding of linguistic and social-cognitive constraints on language at particular points in time; a diachronic lens expands the focus across time. And, as Weinreich et al (1968) pointed out, structured variability is integral to linguistic description and explanation as a whole, by being at once both the stuff of the present, the reflexes of the past, and the potential for changes in the future. There is a further dimension which is often not explicit, the role of analytical perspective on linguistic phenomena.
This paper considers a particular kind of structured variability, phonetic and phonological variation, within the sociolinguistic context of the recorded history of Glaswegian vernacular across the 20th century. Two aspects of perspective frame my key research questions:
1. What are the ‘things’ which we observe? How do different analytical perspectives on phonetic variation affect how we interpret that variation? Specifically, how do different kinds of observation — within segment/across a phonological contrast/even beyond segments — auditory/acoustic/articulatory phonetic — shape our interpretations?
2. How are these ‘things’ embedded in time and social space? Specifically, how is this variation linked to contextual perspective, shifts in social events and spaces over the history of the city of Glasgow? How do we know whether, or when, these ‘things’ might be sound changes (following Milroy 2003)?
I consider these questions by reviewing a series of studies (including some ongoing and still unpublished) on two segments in Glaswegian English, the first thought to be stable and not undergoing sound change (/s/), the second thought to be changing (postvocalic /r/).
The 49th meeting of the Northeast Linguistics Society (NELS 49) took place 5-7 October at Cornell. The following papers and posters were presented by current McGillians.
Number inflection, Spanish Bare Interrogatives, and Higher-Order Quantification
Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Vincent Rouillard
Feet are parametric – even in languages with stress
Guilherme D. Garcia and Heather Goad
Control-Forming Domains are Not Only Phases: Evidence for Probe Horizons
Jurij Božič (poster)
Domain restriction and noun classifiers in Chuj (Mayan)
Justin Royer (poster)
McGill affiliates of present and past gathered for a photo:
- “Intervention effects in adult L2 processing of relative clauses” – Vera Xia and Lydia White
- “Pronoun interpretation in L2 Italian: prosodic effects revisited” – Heather Goad, Lydia White, Guilherme Garcia, Natalia Guzzi, Sepideh Mortazavinia, Liz Smeets, and Jiajia Su
- “Competence and performance in language acquisition revisited: drawing a fine line” – Keynote talk by Lydia White
The P* Reading Group will be meeting on Tuesday from 11 am until noon in room 002. This week’s meeting will be lead by Heather Goad, who will be giving a practice talk titled “Feet are parametric – even in languages with stress” (talk coathored with Gui Garcia). All are welcome to attend!