December 25, 2015

Sali A. Tagliamonte on Planet ArtSci

Faculty member Sali A. Tagliamonte was recently interviewed for Planet ArtSci, the official podcast of the U of T's Faculty of Arts and Science. The interview touches on Sali's Ontario Dialects Project, Canadian English and French, and sociolinguistics and descriptivism more generally. The podcast can be heard here; there is also a transcript available.

December 21, 2015

Alana Johns in Arts & Science News and the Bulletin

Faculty member Alana Johns has been interviewed for the news page of the U of T Faculty of Arts & Science about the Dictionary of Utkuhiksalingmiut Inuktitut Postbase Suffixes.

Note that the Dictionary itself, completed this past summer, can be purchased via

Update: The article has also appeared in U of T News more generally. Thanks to Jack Chambers for noticing this!

December 17, 2015

Congratulations, Chris!

Christopher Spahr successfully defended his thesis, "Contrastive representations in non-segmental phonology", on Thursday, December 17, 2015. On the committee were Elan Dresher (supervisor), Keren Rice, Peter Jurgec, Yoonjung Kang, Daniel Currie Hall, and external examiner Draga Zec (Cornell University). Congratulations, Dr. Spahr!

December 7, 2015

Research Groups: Friday, December 11

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Phonetics/Phonology Group
Paper discussion led by Radu Craioveanu (Ph.D.): Morley, Rebecca (2015). Deletion or epenthesis? On the falsifiability of linguistic universals. Lingua, 154, 1-26.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Language Variation and Change Group
Derek Denis (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Victoria) presenting a workshop on plotting in R using the ggplot package.

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Semantics Group
Tomohiro Yokoyama (Ph.D.): "Evidence as the presupposition of wh-exclamatives in English."

This paper makes a novel proposal regarding wh-exclamatives in English. In the literature, the main contention is whether exclamatives presuppose their propositional content. This paper argues that what is actually presupposed by wh-exclamatives is not their propositional content but rather that the speaker has first-hand evidence for the proposition. For example, the presupposed content of "What a good book John wrote!" is not that John wrote a very good book but that the speaker has read John's book. This analysis explains different behaviors of wh-exclamatives including their inability to be embedded under certain phrases such as "I don't know".

December 6, 2015

Joint talk: Guillaume Thomas and Kang Lee

Semanticist Guillaume Thomas is one of two U of T faculty members invited to a conversational joint talk, "True Lies", being hosted by the Cognitive Science program and University College. The topic is truth and lying; the other faculty member invited is Kang Lee of OISE, whose research focuses on how children learn about lying, learn to lie themselves, and learn to spot lying in others. The discussion will take place at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, December 8, in UC140.

December 5, 2015

Congratulations, Safi!

At an evening ceremony at our Mississauga campus yesterday evening, Ph.D. student Safieh Moghaddam was presented with two awards for teaching at UTM:

Course Instructor Award – Linguistics (academic year 2013-14)
Course Instructor Award – Linguistics (academic year 2014-15)

The awards committee recognised Safi "for extraordinary and outstanding performance as a course instructor".

Congratulations, Safi! Well-deserved.