YEAR IN REVIEW
Looking back at the Department of Linguistics in 2019
2 DEPARTURES and 2 NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
Earlier this year, the Department of Linguistics celebrated the retirement of Judith Levang who served as the graduate secretary for the past three years.
In the summer, the Department also bid farewell to senior lecturer Cliff Burgess who retired after 22 years of service. Burgess was instrumental in coordinating the LING 363 practicums, and acted as the Department's liaison in overseeing courses taught at Fraser International College (FIC). An ardent supporter of student success, Burgess also founded the Linguistics Department Writing Centre (LDWC) and trained a team of tutors to provide one-on-one writing consultations for linguistics students.
The Department also welcomed two new faculty members—lecturer Margaret Grant and limited term lecturer Claudia Wong. Prior to SFU, Grant was a post-doctoral researcher at the Humboldt-Universität in Germany, and Wong was a senior lecturer at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
9 COLLOQUIA LECTURES
Among the nine linguistics colloquia lectures held this year, the Department collaborated with the University of British Columbia (UBC)'s Department of Linguistics to organize the biannual LinguisticsNOW joint colloquia series.
25 GRADUATED FROM THE MA IN THE LINGUISTICS OF A FIRST NATIONS LANGUAGE
The first cohort of the Master of Arts (MA) program in the Linguistics of a First Nations Language graduated this year. In collaboration with the First Nations Languages Program (FNLP), this unique MA program allowed students to focus solely on one Indigenous language. This year's cohort specialized in six different languages—Haida, Halkomelem, Kaska, Secwepemctsin, Tahltan, and Hul'q'umi'num'.
82 LINGUISTICS GRADUATES
This year, we celebrated the success of 79 undergraduate students and three graduate students—Danica Reid (MA), Trevor Block (MA), and Kyeong-min Kim (PhD). Kim was also awarded the Dean's Convocation Medal for his outstanding academic achievements.
#3 MOST READ ARTICLE BY AN SFU AUTHOR - THE CONVERSATION
"The language gives it away: How an algorithm can help us detect fake news"
By post-doctoral fellow Fatemeh Torabi Asr
#7 MOST READ ARTICLE BY AN SFU AUTHOR - THE CONVERSATION
"Canada's ethics watchdog may have misinterpreted a key SNC-Lavalin conversation"
By associate professor D. Mellow and PhD student Dasha Gluhareva
S THE GENDER GAP TRACKER
In collaboration with Informed Opinions, professor Maite Taboada led a team of researchers at the Discourse Processing Lab to develop an online tool to track the ratio of female voices quoted in major Canadian news platforms. The Gender Gap Tracker caught a lot of media attention and generated a public dialogue on gender equality in media representation.
S THE IMMIGREC PROJECT
As one of the project's leading investigators, associate professor Panayiotis Pappas helped launch the Virtual Museum of Greek Immigration to Canada which provides a unique insight into the Greek-Canadian immigrant experience through the use of audio recordings and archival materials.
S AUTOMATED LIP-READING: EXTRACTING SPEECH FROM VIDEO OF A TALKING FACE
Professor Yue Wang was awarded funding in the Next Big Question Fund 2019/2020 competition by SFU's Big Data Initiative for her project which combines machine-learning and linguistics approaches to enhance speech intelligibility.
Awards & Recognition
S PROFESSOR MARIANNE IGNACE
For her work in Indigenous language revitalization and documentation, Ignace received several prestigious awards in recognition of her achievements:
S ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PANAYIOTIS PAPPAS
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) awarded the FASS Cormack Teaching Award to Pappas for their leadership role in improving teaching at SFU and dedication to student learning.
S LECTURER HEATHER BLISS
Bliss was awarded the SSHRC Connection Grant for her project which is aimed at delivering a series of workshops on Blackfoot language documentation to the Siksika community in Alberta. The project is also funded through the University of Calgary, and received a language revitalization grant from the Foundation for Endangered Languages.
S PHD STUDENT NOORTJE DE WEERS
De Weers received a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship for her project on "the effect of speaker ethnicity and accent on speech processing and speaker evaluation".