monthly roundup

September Monthly Roundup

October 02, 2019

25 years of service

S  This September marks 25 years at SFU for MURRAY MUNRO

Murray joined the SFU Department of Linguistics in 1994 as an assistant professor of ESL/Applied Linguistics. 

S  This September marks 25 years at SFU for MURRAY MUNRO

Murray joined the SFU Department of Linguistics in 1994 as an assistant professor of ESL/Applied Linguistics. 

Since then, Murray has become a fully-tenured professor and is the TESL Director. 

Awards

S  MARIANNE IGNACE was granted the SSHRC Impact - Partnership Award in recognition of her achievements in knowledge mobilization and Indigenous language revitalization. 

She was also award the 2019 FASS Cormack Teaching Award for her extraordinary service and leadership in teaching Indigenous languages in BC. 

> FASS NEWS: WAKING SLEEPING LANGUAGES FOR SILENT SPEAKERS

S  PANAYIOTIS PAPPAS was awarded the 2019 FASS Cormack Teaching Award for his dedication to teaching, his commitment to advancing research of student evaluations of teaching, and exceptional service to the community of teaching. 

Both Panayiotis and Marianne will be honoured at the FASS Autumn Reception and Cormack Teaching Symposium on October 17. 

> FASS NEWS: GOING OUT OF HIS COMFORT ZONE 

S  YUE WANG was awarded funding in the Next Big Question Fund 2019/2020 competition by SFU's Big Data Initiative for her project, "Automated lip-reading: extracting speech from video of a talking face".

This is a multi-disciplinary project which Yue is collaborating with Dr. Ghassan Harmaneh (SFU Computing Science), Dr. Paul Tupper (SFU Mathematics), Dr. Dawn Behne (Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and Dr. Allard Jongman and Joan Sereno (Linguistics, University of Kansas). 

Farewell

S  FATEMEH TORABI ASR recently said goodbye to the Department after completing her postdoctoral fellowship, and has since joined a tech company in Calgary called Symend as a Language Technology and AI Engineer. 

Symend works with telcos and provides them with delinquency treatment services before they pass a customer's file to collection agencies. The goal is to mend the relationship between a company and its customers.

"I'm building a team of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing experts to process communication data. We analyze customer behaviour, demands and problems based on their language (communication data) and work towards automation and enhancement of Symend's services through machine learning techniques."

"I have so many good memories from my time at SFU and would love to visit again if the future makes it possible."

During her two years at SFU, Fatemeh worked extensively with Maite Taboada at the Discourse Processing Lab to develop the Gender Gap Tracker which used computational linguistics techniques to provide an accurate gender breakdown of people who are quoted in news media. 

> stay in touch with fatemeh at: https://ftasr.github.io/

Alumni News

S  SFU Linguistics BA (2002) and MA (2005) alumnus JACK GRIEVE recently made news with his research on the linguistic style of U.S. President Trump's tweets over time, and how it relates to the communicative goals of Trump's political campaign.

Jack is currently a professor at the Department of English and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, England. Together with his colleague and fellow linguist Isobelle Clarke, their research found that Trump's tweets are not as random and erratic as many thought. Instead, they found that the stylistic variation of his tweets changed over time in a systematic way depending on what was happening with his campaign.  

The research paper titled 'Stylistic variation on the Donald Trump Twitter account: A linguistic analysis of tweets posted between 2009 and 2018' was published in the journal PLOS ONE, and it was then quickly picked up by news outlets worldwide. 

> READ Jack grieve's interview on scientific american

Publications & Presentations

S  PRONUNCIATION IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING (PSLLT) CONFERENCE 

The 11th annual PSLLT Conference will be held September 12—14 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

LangDev Lab's Xizi Deng, Cathy Lin and Henny Yeung will be presenting their research on "Associations between L2 Speech and Music Perception in Mandarin Learners of English". Their research found that melody perception significantly contributed to segment perception in Mandarin learners of English while rhythm and lexical stress perception were not correlated. 

Murray Munro and Tracey Derwing will be conducting a pre-conference workshop on "Conducting L2 Pronunciation Research"

S  This August JOHN ALDERETE travelled to Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan to present his work on speech errors.

He gave a keynote talk at the Phonology Forum, the annual meeting of the Phonological Society of Japan. It showcased his joint work with Paul Tupper and Henny Yeung, and SFU Linguistics alumni Queenie Chan and Monica Davies. 

S  Murray Munro, Noortje de Weers, and Sylvia Cho presented at the NEW SOUNDS 2019 CONFERENCE in Tokyo, Japan. The conference is an international symposium that covers topics on the acquisition of second language speech. 

S  LANGUAGE AND BRAIN LAB  recently published several research articles:

Garg, S., Harmaneh, G., Jongman, A., Sereno, J.A., & Wang, Y. (2019). Computer-vision analysis reveals facial movements made during Mandarin tone production align with pitch trajectories. Speech Communication 113, 47-62.

Cooper, A., Wang, Y., & Behne, D.M. (2019). Effects of semantic information and segmental familiarity on learning lexical tone. In A.M. Nyvad, M. Hejná, A. Højen, A.B. Jespersen & M.H.Sørensen (Eds.), A Sound Approach to Language Matters – In Honor of Ocke-Schwen Bohn. Aarhus University Press, Denmark (pp. 211-236).

S  Over the summer, YUE WANG and KEITH LEUNG travelled to Melbourne, Australia to present at the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. They presented their research on "relating acoustic properties of Mandarin tones to perceptual cue weights". 

Yue was also invited to talk at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Applied and Industrial Mathematics (CAIMS 2019) held at Whistler. Her presentation was titled "Quantifying Speech Production and Perception" which covered her research done in collaboration with other researchers both at SFU and worldwide.

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Upcoming Events

S  CONVOCATION - THURS, OCT 10
Come celebrate our Fall 2019 graduates!  The convocation reception will be at Arts Central following the ceremony.  

S  THANKSGIVING - MON, OCT 14
All campuses and offices closed. 

S  FASS AUTUMN RECEPTION & CORMACK TEACHING SYMPOSIUM - THURS, OCT 17
Catch up with colleagues and celebrate our collective accomplishments. Cormack Teaching Award winners will deliver lightning talks on the theme Why Care? Teaching and the Ethic of Care. RSVP by October 10.

S  PUPPY THERAPY - TUES, OCT 29 & WED, OCT 30
Take a break and cuddle with puppies at the Saywell Hall Atrium, 12:00 - 2:00 pm. 

S  KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION WORKSHOP SERIES - OCT 18 - NOV 6
The SFU Library is organizing a series of workshops to help build your research profile and develop your online academic portfolio. Workshops include data visualization, writing for non-academic audiences, and publishing.