Friday, June 26, 2009

MUSL labbies and associates do CVC

This past weekend, presentations by MUSL personnel and associates were well-received at Change and Variation in Canada III. Samantha Parris presented on slit-t and slit-d in Cape Breton ("The reanalysis of a traditional feature in industrial Cape Breton"), Matt Hunt Gardner and Gerard Van Herk looked at intensifiers in online forums about different nations' Idol and Next Top Model programs ("That's so Pinoy! Intensifiers, gender and online Philippine fan forums" and "Idol worshippers and Model citizens: Nationality, choice, and language change" respectively), and Becky Childs discussed a pilot study on Canadian Raising in Petty Harbour ("Diphthongs, speaker orientation, and Newfoundland English: Indicators and explanations for linguistic variation"). More information on these talks can be found on the MUSL website (

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Announcement: a course on Cayuga, an Iroquoian language, offered in F09

In Fall 09, I am offering a a course on Cayuga, an Iroquoian language. The course is LING 4050/6050 “Linguistic Structure of a Northern American Aboriginal Language — Cayuga”. It will be held in SN3036, during slot 18 (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-11:45).

The prerequisites for the course are “Linguistics 1103/2103 and 1104/2104, or the permission of the instructor and the Head of the Department.” I am interested in accepting students from other departments who do not meet the prerequisites, as long as they are deeply motivated and have some background in morphological analysis (identifying prefixes and suffixes).

While the course focusses on the structure of Cayuga, I think it would also be of interest to students in Ethnomusicology, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, or Aboriginal Studies. Students from other departments could, for example, do research on Iroquoian language terms relevant to their discipline. We will be reading original versions of the Thanksgiving Address (an oratory associated with the Longhouse religion), a short story, some conversations, and excerpts from Anne-Marie Shimony’s classic work “Conservatism among the Iroquois at the Six Nations Reserve.”

Please circulate this announcement to students who might be interested in the course, and encourage them to contact me about it. I can be reached at 737-8170 or through e-mail

Monday, June 8, 2009

Linguistics graduates, May 2009

Congratulations to Meghan Hollett (BA, Linguistics and Russian Majors) and Erin Swain (MA Linguistics), who convocated in May, 2009!

"The Linguists"

The film 'The Linguists' is available in streaming video for free at

Dr. Bubenik's keynote address

Dr. Vit Bubenik was invited to give a keynote address at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Department of Linguistics, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (Greece) on May 2, 2009. His paper was titled ‘Hellenistic Greek in Contact with Latin and Semitic Languages’.