January 2020 Monthly Roundup
Writing Centre Updates
S The LINGUISTICS DEPARTMENT WRITING CENTRE (LDWC) officially launched its new website complete with additional writing resources for students. Starting this semester, the LDWC also implemented a sign-up system in addition to its drop-in hours. Students can now sign up for a 30 minute time slot using the sign-up sheet at the writing centre.
> LINGUISTICS DEPARTMENT WRITING CENTRE
Graduate Students News
S MA student SANDER NEDERVEEN returned from the University of Toronto (UoT) after spending the fall semester working with former assistant professor Keir Moulton. Nederveen helped his supervisor to set up the Experimental Syntax and Semantics Lab (XSynYYZ), and also made a lot of progress on his thesis.
"It was great to experience how vibrant the linguistics community at UoT is," says Nederveen. "It is a big department with research groups every Friday, where graduate students, faculty, or scholars from away come and present their research. Furthermore, it was great to work closely with a supervisor, after having met over Skype for over a year."
S PhD candidate NOORTJE DE WEERS will be defending her thesis "A critical (re-)assessment of the effect of speaker ethnicity on speech processing and evaluation" on February 7 at 2:15 pm at the Thesis Defence Room 2020 in the WAC Bennett Library.
> PHD THESIS DEFENCE: NOORTJE DE WEERS
Publications and Presentations
S Lecturer HEATHER BLISS' paper, "Mutation in Spatial Deixis (Dx): "PPs" in Blackfoot and Plains Cree", which was written in collaboration with Kanagawa University professor Hirose Tomio and University of British Columbia associate professor Rose-Marie Déchaine was published in Variation in P. The paper examines the syntax of prepositional phrases in Blackfoot and Plains Cree, two Algonquian languages of Western Canada.
Hirose, Tomio, Rose-Marie Déchaine, and Heather Bliss. 2020. Mutation in Spatial Deixis (Dx): "PPs" in Blackfoot and Plains Cree. In Silvia Rossi and Jacopo Garzonio (eds). Variation in P: Comparative Approaches to Adpositional Phrases. Oxford University Press.
S Associate professor SUZANNE K. HILGENDORF saw two of her research items published this past month in the Handbook of World Englishes and the Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics respectively.
Hilgendorf, Suzanne K. 2020. "Euro-Englishes". The Handbook of World Englishes. 2nd ed. Edited by Cecil L. Nelson, Zoya, G. Proshina, and Daniel Davis. Np: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 215-231. Invited. Refereed.
Hilgendorf, Suzanne K. 2020. "History of Language-Teaching Methods". The Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Edited by Carol Chapelle. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Also [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Updated and revised version. Invited and peer-reviewed.
S MA student SANDER NEDERVEEN's paper was published online as part of the proceedings of the 35th annual NorthWest Linguistics Conference.
Uniformity Constraints in German Reportive Contexts
In this paper, I analyze variation in interpretations and surface forms of German embedded clauses under reportive verbs. Variation exists in the position and modality of the finite verb. In order to account for this variation, I argue for a pronominal theory of tense and world variables, following Partee (1989), Kratzer (1998; 2005) and Percus (2000). In addition, I propose a hypothesis of uniformity, which requires that one head can only host either a binder or a variable, but not both simultaneously. A pronominal approach to tense, combined with the uniformity constraint correctly predicts and explains different interpretations of clausal complements of reportive verbs in German.
Nederveen, Sander. 2020. Uniformity Constraints in German Reportive Contexts. Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle of the University of Victoria, 30(1), 11-20.
S Professor NANCY HEDBERG and professor DONNA GERDTS presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA ) in New Orleans, Louisiana.
While she was in New Orleans, Hedberg also attended the annual meeting of the Linguistics Society of America (LSA) as it usually takes place concurrently with SSILA's annual meeting.
Demonstratives in Hul'q'umi'num' Discourse
Our documentation on Hul’q’umi’num’, the Island dialect of Halkomelem Salish (ISO code: hur), shows that the language has sixty determiners, encoding a rich set of semantic concepts, including gender, number, and deixis. Determiners can be divided into two types—articles, which must be followed by a noun, and demonstratives, which appear with or without an N. For this study, we used a corpus of Hul’q’umi’num’ stories, consisting of 1,200 pages (18,000 lines) to examine the role that demonstratives play in establishing and tracking reference.
Hul’q’umi’num’ is unusual in having so many demonstratives (in addition to deictic and non-deictic articles). However, data from our corpus shows that each type of demonstrative has a dedicated use. So Hul’q’umi’num’ is relatively straightforward, once the discourse function of each type of demonstrative is uncovered.
Gerdts, Donna and Nancy Hedberg. 2020. Demonstratives in Hul'q'umi'num' Discourse. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA 2020). New Orleans, Louisiana. January 2-5, 2020.
S After serving for nine years as the Chair's secretary, SILVANA DI TOSTO is embarking on an exciting new chapter in her life. The Department of Linguistics celebrated her retirement at Cristos Greek Taverna on January 8 which was her last day of work. We will miss you, Silvana!