Friday, August 14, 2009

Celebrating Kanani Penashue's convocation

Memorial's Gazette recently published a bio of Kanani Penashue on the occasion of her receiving her BEd (Native and Northern). Kanani speaks Innu, and has taken Innu linguistics at Memorial. (Her bio is about half-way down the page.)

Grammatical Change in Indo-European Languages

Memorial's historical linguists have published proceedings from the workshop on Indo-European Linguistics at the 18th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (6-11th August 2007) at the University of Qubec a Montreal. This workshop was convened by Dr. Vit Bubenik, Dr. John Hewson and Dr. Sarah Rose (Department of Linguistics, Memorial University of Newfoundland).

The volume titled 'Grammatical Change in Indo-European Languages' is a collection of 17 articles selected from the presentations by scholars working on new directions in Historical Linguistics focusing on questions of grammatical change, and the central issue of grammaticalization in Indo-European languages. Several studies examine examine particular problems in specific languages, but often with implications for the Indo-European phylum as a whole. Given the historical scope of the data (over a period of four millenia) long range grammatical changes such as the development of gender differences, strategies of definiteness, the prepositional phrase, or of the syntax of the verbal diathesis and aspect, are also treated. The shifting relevance of morphology to syntax, and syntax to morphology, a central motif of this research, has provoked lively debate and discussion in the discipline of Historical Linguistics.

The book has been published by John Benjamins (Amsterdam/Philadelphia) in July 2009 in the series Current Issues in Linguistic Theory.

Undergrad course paper makes it into print

Six MUN linguistics students have seen a paper they wrote for an undergraduate class project make it into a refereed scholarly journal. The paper, entitled So very really variable: Social patterning of intensifier use by Newfoundlanders online, looks at how local participants in Facebook and BlueKaffee vary in the use of intensifiers, words that mean very. James Bulgin, Nicole Elford, Lindsay Harding, Bridget Henley, Suzanne Power, and Crystal Walters originally collected and analyzed the data for a collaborative course project in LING 3210, Language Variation and Change. They then polished it and submitted it to Linguistica Atlantica, where it appears in the just-released volume, Number 29.

Gerard Van Herk and Shad Valley

Gerard Van Herk gave a lecture to students enrolled in the Shad Valley programme at MUN in July, about how young Newfoundlanders are adapting regional speech features for identity and gender purposes. Shad Valley is a summer enrichment programme for high school students, with a focus on science and entrepreneurship. The MUN version attracted over 40 gifted students from across Canada. Gerard’s seminar in 2008 was well-received and led to his being asked toaddress the entire group this year.