Meghan Clayards and Michael Wagner welcomed Gustav Edward Clayards Wagner this summer, born June 8th. The rest of the posts here will not be this cute.


Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Bernhard Schwarz were both invited to present at “Two Days At Least“, an international workshop on scalar inferences held in a castle near Baarn, The Netherlands, September 9–12.

Charles Boberg‘s work on regional differences in Canadian English was featured in Metro News Canada earlier this summer. The piece includes an interactive database where people can query different variables in different regions and download a table of data. This new article builds on an earlier story Metro did on his work, which McLing reported on back in June.

In July, Charles also gave an invited plenary talk to the 18th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, in Leuven, Belgium, entitled “Flanders Fields and the Consolidation of Canadian English.”  Apart from reviewing the history of English in Canada, the talk presented an acoustic phonetic analysis of archival data from interviews with Canadian First World War veterans, looking at what their speech can tell us about the pronunciation of Canadian English in the late 19th century.

Brendan Gillon  just returned from 5 days in Heidelberg, where he gave a paper at an international conference on Buddhist thought in India, China and Tibet. The paper discusses some of the textual problems of the Fāng Biàn Xīn Lùn (方便心論), the earliest text on Buddhist logic extant in Chinese, which Brendan has translated it into English in collaboration with Prof. Shoryu Katsura (to appear next year).  He has taken advantage of this work to study aspects of the syntax and semantics of Buddhist Hybrid Chinese from this period.

Brendan also completed papers for the proceedings of two workshops he participated in last year: (1) ‘Constituency and cotextual dependence in classical Sanskrit’, given at the `Seminar on Sanskrit syntax and discourse structures‘ workshop held in June 2013 at the Université de Paris Diderot. The paper sets out the facts pertaining to ellipsis, broadly construed, for classical Sanskrit. (2) `Reasoning and its relationship to logic and language in classical India’, given at the `Logic and culture: theories of logic in Buddhist, Muslim and Aristotelian scholastics’ workshop held at the Lumbini International Research Institute (Lumbini, Nepal) in November 2013. The paper contains a syntax and semantics for the counting numerals of Classical Sanskrit, and considers the relationship between natural language expressions and their notational counterparts.

Jessica Coon spent a month this summer enrolled in intensive French, trying to prepare for (her daughter’s entry to) kindergarten. She also traveled to Listuguj for the Mi’gmaq Summer Language Workshop, organized by members of of the Mi’gmaq Research Partnership. From there, she flew south to Chiapas, where she continued research on Chol, which included a prosody study she is working on with new Postdoc Lauren Clemens.

Jessica’s paper on syntactic ergativity (with Omer Preminger and Pedro Mateo Pedro) was accepted for publication in Linguistic Variation (link) and her paper on little-agreement will appear in the Proceedings of CLS 50 (PDF).

Junko Shimoyama presented a joint poster with Alex Drummond, Bernhard Schwarz and Michael Wagner titled ‘Dislocation and clausal ellipsis: preliminary findings and a puzzle’ at Formal Approaches to Japanese Linguistics (FAJL) in Tokyo in June; she also gave an invited talk on the same topic at Okayama University in July, as well as an invited outreach lecture titled ‘Describing the rules underlying our unconscious knowledge of language’ to graduate students in mechanical engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology.

Morgan Sonderegger presented at The 3rd Biennial Workshop on Sound Change in Berkeley, and at LabPhon 14 in Tokyo. He was awarded a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, which was put to good use repainting and refurnishing the Montreal Language Modeling Lab, and beginning to populate it with computers and corpora.  Lab members Thea Knowles, Liam Bassford, Hannah Cohen, Maggie Labelle, and Misha Schwartz worked on lab projects and learned new programming skills.  He was also awarded grants by SSHRC (Insight Development) and FRQSC (Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs).

Morgan released AutoVOT (with Joseph Keshet and Thea Knowles (BA 2012)), a software package for automatic measurement of voice onset time, and his paper (with Matt Carlson and Max Bane) on phonological networks appeared in Journal of Memory and Language.