Lingnews September 20

The Diabolical Diacritic Issue

content

Our first newsletter

New students and visitors

Thesis defense

Report from the LSA

Linguistic humor

People go to conferences

The Moon festival

Report from Moncton

Report from Tromso

A celebration

 

 
OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER
This is our first newsletter. We are told that years ago, there used to be newsletter in the department called e (when the ECP was all the rage). We are therefore pleased to resurrect that nice tradition of having a newsletter. However, since the ECP has gone out of favor, we need a new name. The choice is yours. We would like to set up a competition for all students. The best name for the department's newsletter will be picked and the winner will receive a book voucher from Chapters.
 

Submissions should be sent to lingnews@uottawa.ca Deadline for submissions: October 15. As editors we are in charge of gathering the information (maybe even petitioning for submissions!), making the newsletter, adding it to our websites (and maybe Adlinga's, if you guys let us), and then sending an email to everyone with the link. We are aiming for something informal and low-key. We are thinking of producing around 4 per semester, with something that is internal to the department, and having contributions from both students, administrative staff and professors. Enjoy!

Ana & Éric (feedback at the lingnews address).


LINGUISTIC HUMOR : PhD

Physiologically Deficient
Pour him (or her) a Drink
Probably headed for Divorce
Pathetically hopeless Dweeb
Parents have Doubts
Pheromone Deprived

Patiently hoping for a Degree
Piled higher and Deeper
Probably hard to Describe
Patiently headed Downhill
Pulsating heaving Disaster?
Pretty homely Dork
Post hole Digger
Professional hair Dresser
Progressive heart Doctor

(thanks Stephanie) 

 

NEW PEOPLE:WELCOME!

Ali Al-Shahrani (PhD)
Alexandra Hansch (MA)
Yuko Ohashi (Propé)
Pascale April (MA)
Qiang Wang (MA)

Fereshteh Modarresi (PhD)
Adrienne Jones (MA)
Quingha Tang (Propé)
Viktor Kharmalov (MA)
Rémi Samson (MA)

 

Yukiko Yoshizumi (MA)
Lauren Zentz (MA)
Baohong Gao (visitor)
Mohammadreza Pirooz (visitor)

pictures of new students' reception

 
 

PhD THESIS DEFENSE:
Sheila Scott
The second language acquisition of Irish relative clauses: the morphology/syntax interface
Wednesday, September 28
10 a.m., Colonel By Hall room C206

  • Thesis supervisors: Helen Goodluck, Juana Munoz-Liceras
  • External examiners: Nancy Stenson (University of Minnesota)
  • Internal examiners: Marie-Hélène Côté, Eta Schneiderman, Helmut Zobl.
this is what Sapir looked like!
   

The LSA Institute
The LSA Institute took place in Boston this past summer. Some members of our department were there: Angela Chang, Christina Manouilidou, Keren Tonciulescu, and Eric Mathieu. Here is some information about the courses at the Institute (thanks to Angela and Keren), and a report of the Institute experience (thanks Christina):


The courses
(Angela and Keren): The Institute is offering courses in many areas of theoretical, experimental, and historical linguistics, including acquisition, computational linguistics, dialectology, language change, morphology, neurolinguistics, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, semantics, and syntax.


The experience
(Christina): I was at the LSA Summer School for 6 weeks and I enjoyed every single day I spent in Boston. It was a great experience both academically and socially. I knew that a summer school in MIT can be nothing but impressive, but the LSA Summer Institute exceeded my expectations....

Some thoughts (Angela)
When taking classes for credit, it should be taken into account, that sometimes the professors expect one to find relevant data in the course of a weekend, data that otherwise one would be gathered in the course of a term.
I was at the LSA for 6 weeks. The first 3 weeks were exciting but for the second 3 weeks it was hard for me to keep the spirits high and at the same time to go to classes, lectures, workshops and sightseeing. The most memorable things of my stay were to see all the celebrity linguists and to be with linguists from the same field (phoneticians!) Boston is a nice city to visit. It is convenient (with a subway system) and less crowded compared to other big cities in the east coast of the US.

CONFERENCES
Galia and Nikolay will attend the Niagara Linguistics Society conference (The University at Buffalo). Galia will present "Semantics of the interrogative particle 'li' in Bulgarian", and Nikolay will present "The dative alternation and low applicative construcions in Bulgarian". Christina presented "Thematic constraints in
deverbal word formation: evidence from pseudo-words"
at the 7th International Conference on Greek Linguistics (University of York). Congratulations!
   
 

Just gone by: THE MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL (thanks Stephanie)
In Chinese dichotomy, the sun is yang (positive, active or male) and the moon is yin (negative, passive or female). Before switching to the Gregorian calendar officially in 1911, the Chinese had used a lunar calendar since time immemorial; and even today, the Chinese still celebrate their traditionally festivals by the lunar calendar. In each lunar month, the moon will become full in the 15th day. The 15th day of the eighth month, August, is Mid-Autumn Festival. It’s one of the three largest celebrations besides the Lunar New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival.


THE LEGEND OF EATING MOONCAKES
The Chinese custom of eating Moon cakes was first recorded in the reign of the emperor Xi Zong (A.D. 874-889) of the Tang dynasty and became popular in the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). Moon cakes are traditionally made the shape of a full moon, symbolizing union and perfection, are about the size of a doughnut, and are stuffed with a variety of fillings. The crafty Chu Yuan-Chang, the founder of the Ming dynasty, instigated a rebellion against the Mongol rulers by concealing a call to revolt in Moon cakes, leading to the downfall of the Yuan dynasty, as legend goes.
(Source: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ottawa)


   

REPORT FROM MONCTON (merci Carmen)

Cet été, pendant que j'étais en vacances sur la côte est, j'ai assisté à la conférence Methods qui se tenait à Moncton (N.B.) dans la première semaine du mois d'août. Dans le cadre de la rencontre, il y a avait un symposium de deux jours pour les gens qui travaillent sur le français, ce qui m'a permis de rencontrer et de revoir beaucoup de monde.
Au cours des activités qui se tenaient en marge du symposium (sorties et autres soupers), j'ai eu la chance de discuter en particulier avec ceux qui étudient le français acadien. Même si je suis acadienne, je les connaissais très peu et je me suis aussi rendue compte qu'ils étaient plus nombreux que je pensais. Les journées où il n'y avait pas de symposium, je suis allée écouter, entre autres, les présentations des anciens du département comme James Walker, Hélène Blondeau, Sali Tagliamonte, Patricia Balcom et bien sûr Gerard Van Herk qui nous visite cette année. Enfin j'en ai profité pour aller faire un peu de kayak de mer dans la baie de Fundy, bien que cette photo a plutôt été prise dans le golfe Saint-Laurent derrière chez mes parents.

 

   

REPORT FROM TROMSOE (merci Marie-Hélène): La phonologie française dans l’arctique


Tromsø, prononcé [trómsœ], est une petite ville de 60 000 habitants du nord de la Norvège, dans le cercle polaire arctique à 70 degrés de latitude nord. Même latitude que le nord de l’Alaska, pour vous donner une idée. Tromsø détient un grand nombre de records mondiaux : l’université la plus au nord, la brasserie la plus au nord, la cathédrale la plus au nord… Tromsø est aussi devenue, l’espace de trois jours, le centre mondial de la phonologie française. Du 25 au 27 août 2005, une trentaine de phonologues travaillant sur le français se sont retrouvés pour la conférence « Phonological variation : the case of French », organisée par le groupe de recherche Phonologie du français contemporain (PFC), sous la direction de Jacques Durand, Bernard Laks et Chantal Lyche. Ce fut un succès phénoménal, avec un tour du monde à l’interface entre francophonie et théorie linguistique, et en prime des paysages spectaculaires de fjords, de glaciers et de maisons multicolores agrippées aux flancs des montagnes. Tous les grands problèmes de la phonologie française ont été à l’honneur, de la liaison au schwa, des voyelles moyennes au h aspiré, remettant en question le peu qu’on croyait savoir là-dessus. Pour ma part, j’ai déniché une jolie différence dans le comportement du schwa variable en syllabe initiale (comme dans d(e)mande et c(e)rise) entre Montréal et Québec, dans une communication intitulée « Segmental constraints in the stabilization and loss of schwa in Québec French ». N’allez surtout pas croire qu’on a tout dit sur la phonologie du français, ça ne fait que commencer ! Allez donc faire un tour dans le cercle polaire pour en avoir la preuve.


Malheureusement, je n’ai pas de photo pour vous. Mais vous pouvez aller sur le site http://www.destinasjontromso.no/english/index.html pour vous faire une idée. Et pour terminer, la question que tout le monde se pose : comment peut-on passer l’hiver là-bas ? Réponse : il fait beaucoup moins froid à Tromsø qu’à Ottawa (et moins chaud l’été). La température la plus froide jamais enregistrée à Tromsø est de… -18 celsius, une journée normale par ici. Le climat parfait, selon moi ! J’attends donc ma première année sabbatique…

 

 

 


A CELEBRATION

It was Marie-Claude Séguin's birthday last week and a small ad hoc party took place in Ian MacKay's office. A lovely chocolate cake was waiting for Marie-Claude when she came in the room thinking she was in for a tutorial. We celebrated in style. Here are some pictures to prove it. Joyeux Anniversaire!


Lingnews 2005