January 26, 2017

Phil Howson in Journal of the International Phonetic Association

Congratulations to Phil Howson (Ph.D.) for his new paper on Upper Sorbian in the Journal of the International Phonetic Association! Link, abstract:

Sorbian is a West Slavic language spoken in eastern Germany, in Saxony and Brandenburg near the borders of Poland and the Czech Republic, and is recognized as an endangered language by UNESCO (Moseley 2012). It is commonly referred to as Sorbian in English, but has historically been referred to as both Wendish and Lusatian. The Sorbian speech area used to expand from its northernmost point approximately 50 km south-east of Berlin to its southernmost point approximately 8 km from the borders of the Czech Republic (Stone 1993). This area is also referred to as Lusatia (Figure 1). However, the Sorbian-speaking area continues to shrink every year and is currently much smaller than Stone (1993) describes. Upper Sorbian is currently only used in daily communication in and immediately around Budyšin (personal communication, Lechosław Jocz).

January 25, 2017

Welcome to our new visiting scholar Laura Rupp (from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Our department welcomes Laura Rupp, who will be with us as a visiting scholar and working with Sali Tagliamonte. She's coming to us from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She has a page on her university's site here.


Laura Rupp is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She did her Ph.D. thesis on grammatical theory at the University of Essex (UK) and soon developed an interest in grammatical properties of English varieties. Her current research is on grammatical constraints on variation. One the hand, she explores how insights from grammatical theory may help advance our understanding of grammatical conditioning of variation. On the other hand, she explores the window that grammatical properties of English varieties offer on the nature of grammatical rules. In the past few years, she has developed fruitful collaboration with researchers in the field of Language Variation and Change. This collaboration had led to a joint paper with Sali Tagliamonte on the historical development and current function of so-called complex demonstratives (e.g. this here park) in York English that will be published in English Language and Linguistics in 2017. During my visit to UoT from Jan 21-March 3, we will conduct further research and write a paper on two other vernacular demonstratives in York English: the zero article (e.g. Ø park) and the reduced demonstrative (e.g. t’ park). In other joint research with David Britain (University of Bern, Switzerland), she has been inquiring into the nature of the ‘Northern Subject Rule’ in varieties of English and the implications for linguistic theorizing on subject-verb agreement. According to the Northern Subject Rule, morphology on the verb is regulated by subject type (NP versus pronoun; e.g. The children gets away with it vs They get_ away with it), rather than the person/number properties of the subject.

January 23, 2017

Ryan DeCaire on Kanien’kéha (Mohawk)

UofT Arts & Science News has a feature on Ryan DeCaire, assistant professor in the Centre for Indigenous Studies and Department of Linguistics, on Kanien’kéha (Mohawk), including the benefits of learning and teaching it. Check it out here.

January 19, 2017

Michael Iannozzi on CTV on Canadian English

Michael Iannozzi (BA 2014), who is now a graduate student at Western (but is still involved with the Canadian Language Museum), was recently on CTV News to talk about Canadian English (the Canadian Shift, etc.). Check it out here; it's 6 minutes long.

January 14, 2017

LSA et al. 2017

The Linguistic Society of America recently held their 91st annual meeting in Austin, Texas between January 5th and 8th (2017), alongside the smaller sister societies: the American Dialect Society, American Name Society, North American Association for the History of the Language Sciences, Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas.

See the schedule here. Pictures below (courtesy of Keren Rice, Sali Tagliamonte, and Diane Massam)! Presentations, etc. from U of T:

Sali Tagliamonte (faculty) was inducted as one of the 2017 LSA Fellows.

Keren Rice (faculty) was a speaker for the panel "One Hundred Years of IJAL: Balancing Tradition and Innovation in a Changing Field", sponsored by the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA).

Marisa Brook (Ph.D. 2016, now at Michigan State University), Bridget Jankowski (Ph.D. 2013), Alexah Konnelly (Ph.D.), Sali Tagliamonte (faculty): Post-adolescent change in the individual: early adulthood against the backdrop of the community

Keren Rice (faculty): Data collections: What is the intellectual value?

Michelle Yuan (MA 2013, now at MIT): On apparent ergative agreement in Inuktitut

Sali Tagliamonte (faculty), Emily Blamire (Ph.D.): Using Internet language to decipher the actuation of linguistic change

Alexandra Motut (Ph.D.): Non-obligatory control is (at least partly) structural

Michela Ippolito (faculty), Angelika Kiss (Ph.D.), Tomohiro Yokoyama (Ph.D.): The semantics of object marking in Kinyarwanda

Cedric Ludlow (undergraduate), Lisa Walkey (undergraduate), Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty): “Just down the drag there”: direction-giving in English dialects

Bridget Jankowski (Ph.D. 2013), Sali A. Tagliamonte (faculty): Supper, dinner or tea?: sociolinguistic variation in the meals of the day

Holman Tse (University of Pittsburgh, former visiting student at UofT): Heritage language maintenance and phonological maintenance in Toronto Cantonese monophthongs: but they still have an accent!

Diane Massam (faculty): Instrumental double object constructions

Derek Denis (Ph.D. 2015, now at the University of Victoria): I couldn’t take the TTC but mans made it over anyway: pronominal ‘mans’ in Toronto English

Michael Barrie (Ph.D. 2006, now at Sogang University): All in Cayuga

Bridget Jankowski and Derek Denis.

Derek Denis giving his talk.

Emily Blamire presenting her poster to a group of onlookers.

Sali Tagliamonte, the new LSA Fellow!

Alexah Konnelly, Marisa Brook, and Bridget Jankowski (Ph.D. 2013).
Diane Massam and Michael Barrie.
Texas State Capitol.

Exploring Austin.

Exploring Austin.

January 13, 2017

Workshop on Slovenian Phonology



Workshop on Slovenian Phonology

Monday, January 16, 2017 at O.I.S.E. (252 Bloor St W), Room OI 11200.

The Workshop will feature talks by undergraduate students from the University of Toronto as well as researchers from Slovenia. The workshop is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Science Germany/Europe fund.

Please, register at https://goo.gl/AqX3w7 before Sunday, January 15, noon.

The program is attached: Workshop program






January 11, 2017

A visit from Santa for Eastern Orthodox Christmas

Santa visited the department for Eastern Orthodox Christmas on January 7th!


January 10, 2017

LVC Holiday Party 2016

LVC celebrated the end of a productive semester and wishes everyone a wonderful holiday (and now a Happy New Year).

Melanie (visiting PhD student), Jack (emeritus prof) and Darcie (post-doc) enjoy the chocolate fondue course.
Aaron (asst. prof), Lex and Emily (PhD students) contemplate the cheese fondue course.