Congratulations to second-year PhD student Mathieu Paillé, who was recently awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for his doctoral studies. He was featured, together with other fellowship recipients, in last week’s McGill Reporter. The full list of McGill Vanier scholars is here. Congrats Mathieu!
The Parameters Workshop in Honour of Lisa Travis took place Friday and Saturday last week at Thomson House, and included a number of current and former McGill affiliates, especially students, colleagues, and collaborators of Lisa Travis.
The workshop included two full days of talks and posters on the topic of parameters. Special thanks to grad student organizers Masashi Harada, Henrison Hsieh, Mathieu Paillé, and Justin Royer.
McGill linguists traveled to California last week for the 29th meeting of SALT (Semantics and Linguistic Theory), held May 17th–19th at UCLA. Talks and posters by McGill affiliates included:
- Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Esmail Moghiseh – Neutralizing Free Choice Items via Domain Restriction: Farsi -i Indefinites
- Aron Hirsch and Bernhard Schwarz – Singular “which”, mention-some, and variable scope uniqueness
- Bernhard Schwarz, Alexandra Simonenko (PhD ’14), and David Oshima – Factive islands from necessary blocking
The full program can be found here. Some current and former McGill linguists gathered for a photo:
James Tanner has received a FRQNT Internship Award and will spend the Fall 2019 semester at the University of Glasgow. Under the supervision of Jane Stuart-Smith, James will continue his investigation into phonetic variability across English dialects. Congrats James!
Vanna Willerton received a Graduate Mobility Award which she will use to make a short visit in August to the University of Edinburgh to complete a computational morphology research project in collaboration with Professor Kenny Smith and the Centre for Language Evolution. Vanna also recently learned that she received CGSM graduate funding. Congratulations Vanna!
Justin Royer is currently doing fieldwork in Yuxquen, a Chuj community located in Guatemala. While in Guatemala, Justin will be working on several projects, including a new project on the interface between syntax and prosody in Chuj, the focus of his second Eval paper. For this research trip, Justin is funded by a McGill Graduate Mobility Award.
The 2019 Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Hamilton (MOTH) Syntax Workshop took place this past weekend at Carleton University in Ottawa. Lisa Travis gave an invited talk, and Mathieu Paillé presented a talk title “Unergatives in Malay inside-verbals.”
Luis Alonso-Ovalle gave a colloquium talk at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Maryland on Friday April 26. He presented joint work with Aron Hirsch. The title of their talk was “Keep ‘only’ strong!”
With the advent of the copy theory of movement (Chomsky 1995), reconstruction effects have typically been analyzed in terms of interpreting the lower copy of a movement chain (e.g. Fox 1999). In this talk, we present evidence from Hindi-Urdu that indicates that interpretation of a lower copy cannot be the only route to reconstruction effects. Our argument is based on the observation that some but not all reconstruction effects induce Condition C connectivity. We argue that Hindi-Urdu requires the hybrid approach to reconstruction developed on independent grounds by Lechner (1998, 2013, to appear), where both copy neglection (a syntactic mechanism) and higher-type traces (a semantic mechanism) are available as independent interpretation mechanisms.
This week, Bernhard Schwarz will present his joint work with Alexandra Simonenko and David Oshima.Title: Factive islands from necessary blocking Abstract: Szabolcsi and Zwarts (1993) discovered a type of factive island effect where question-forming wh-movement from the complement of a factive predicate can be rendered unacceptable by the complement’s content. On Oshima’s (2007) account, fleshed out in Schwarz and Simonenko (2018), factive islands are due to the necessary conflict between two felicity conditions. We present new data from multiple questions to argue that this account undergenerates factive islands, and we propose an account in terms of necessary blocking that applies correctly to both classic instances of the effect (Szabolcsi and Zwarts 1993) and factive islands with multiple questions. This finding informs the general discussion of the meaning-based unacceptability of semantically interpretable sentences (e.g., Abrusan 2014; Chierchia 2013; Del Pinal 2017; Gajewski 2002;Mayr 2017; Oshima 2007; Schwarz and Simonenko 2018), where factive islands have been considered as an important test bench (Abrusan 2014; Del Pinal 2017; Oshima 2007; Schwarz and Simonenko 2018). As usual, we will meet on Friday in Room 117 at 3pm. All are welcome to attend!
P* Reading Group (Wednesday, 1:30 pm)Heather will lead a discussion of Inkelas (2019) “Modeling Scalar Vowel Strength in Q Theory” on Wednesday (Apr. 17th) 1:30-2:30pm. All are welcome to attend!
Clint Parker is at the University of Arizona this week for two conferences. This past weekend he presented a poster at the Symposium on American Indian Languages. His poster, based on work from his second Eval paper, was titled “On the roles and responsibilities of universities in Indigenous Language Revitalization: A Canadian Perspective”. Next weekend he will give a talk titled “Agreement, clitic doubling, and vestigial ergativity in Shughni” at the Second North American Conference on Iranian Linguistics.