Welcome to the McGill Linguistic Fieldwork Lab! Currently there is active research by students and other group members on Chichewa (Bantu), Kabyle (Amazigh), Chuj (Mayan), Ch’ol (Mayan), Malay (Austronesian), Shughni (Pamir), Georgian (Kartvelian), and Tagalog (Austronesian). Scroll down for current news and events and contact me if you’d like to get involved.

Many of these projects have grown out of Field Methods classes taught at McGill:


Who's involved
  • Georges Awaad – BA student; Chuj
  • Kanontienentha Brass – BA student; Kanien’kéha
  • Tallis Clark – BA student; Malagasy
  • Henrison Hsieh – PhD Student; Tagalog
  • Carol-Rose Little – Postdoctoral researcher; Ch’ol, Mayan
  • Clint Parker – PhD student; Pamir languages
  • Justin Royer – PhD student; Chuj
  • Tarynne Pachano – MA Indigenous Language Revitalization; Cree
  • Matthieu Paillé – PhD student; Malay, Ojibwe
  • Vanessa Racine – BA student; Ojibwe
  • Vololona Rasolofoson  – Malagasy language consultant
  • Michaela Socolof – PhD student; Georgian
  • Connie Ting  – PhD student; Malagasy
  • Magdalena Torres – Chuj language consultant
  |   Connections
  |   Former members
  • Carolyn Anderson – Fulbright Fellow 2015; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Nico Baier – Postdoc; Amazigh languages
  • Louisa Bielig – BA 2015; Chuj morphosyntax, Ergativity Lab
  • Colin Brown – MA 2016; Gitskan
  • Lizzie Carolan – BA 2014; Chuj Lab Manager; Chuj, tense and aspect
  • Lauren Clemens – Postdoctoral Fellow 2014–2015; Chol prosody
  • Richard Compton – Postdoctoral Fellow 2013–2014; Inuktitut & Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Paulina Elias – BA Student; Chuj
  • Michael Erlewine – Postdoctoral Fellow 2014–2015; Ergativity Lab, Chuj, Tibetan
  • Nadia Famularo – BA 2015; Tibetan
  • Lydia Felice  – BA Honours 2017; Student; Kabyle
  • Douglas Gordon – BA 2016; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Michael Hamilton – PhD 2015; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Robert Henderson – Postdoctoral Fellow 2012–2013; Mayan
  • Liwen Hou – BA Honours 2013; Chuj syntax
  • Hadas Kotek – Postdoctoral Research fellow; Chuj, Tibetan
  • Cora LeSure – BA Honours 2015; Ch’ol prosody, Chuj
  • Carol Little – BA Honours 2012; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Yuliya Manyakina – MA 2015; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Madeleine Mees – BA 2015; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership, Tibetan
  • Janine Metallic – PhD Education; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership, Mi’gmaq language consultant
  • Sarah Mihuc – BA Honours 2017; Kabyle, Chuj
  • Dejan Milacic – MA student 2017; Kabyle
  • Elise McClay – BA Honours 2012; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Gretchen McCulloch – MA 2013; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • Ben Oldham – BA Honours 2019; Bantu languages
  • Karima Ouazar – Kabyle language consultant
  • Martha Schwarz – MA 2017; Nepali, Kabyle
  • Joyce Xiao – BA 2015; Chuj research
  • Tashi Wangyal – Filmmaker; Tibetan language consultant




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Malagasy Summer Reading Group

After a successful Winter 2020 Linguistic Field Methods class on Malagasy with language consultant Vololona Razafimbelo, a subset of the class convened a Malagasy Summer Reading Group. The virtual format allowed us to include Malagasy aficionados from near and far, pictured in the final meeting below.

Malagasy reading group: Tallis Clark, Jessica Coon, Ileana Paul (Western Ontario), Jacob Dussere, Connie Ting, Jake Aziz (UCLA), Will Johnston, Vololona Razafimbelow, and Henrison Hsieh

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Welcome new postdoc Carol-Rose Little!

Carol-Rose Little is joining the McGill Department of Linguistics as a postdoctoral researcher, supervised by Jessica Coon and Lisa Travis. She recently graduated from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in linguistics and two minors in American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Cognitive Science.

Carol-Rose’s research program brings together syntax, semantics and morphology, rooted in a strong commitment to fieldwork and language documentation. She investigates possible structural variations crosslinguistically and how these structures interface with semantic computation. Her theoretical analyses draw on data collected from fieldwork with understudied languages, namely Ch’ol (Mayan: Chiapas, Mexico) and Mi’gmaq (Algonquian: Quebec, Canada). Topics she has recently worked on include subextraction, (in)definiteness, verb-initial word order, and the inclusive/exclusive distinction. When she is not working, she enjoys running and dancing.

Welcome aboard Carol-Rose!

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Fieldwork Lab at LSA 2020

Current and past members of the Fieldwork Lab spent this past weekend in New Orleans for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America. Presentations by current McGill affiliates included:

  • Carol-Rose Little (Cornell University), Mary Moroney (Cornell University), Justin Royer (McGill University) – Classifying classifiers: Two kinds of numeral classifiers across languages
  • Michaela Socolof – Cyclic Spell-out and impoverishment in Georgian

Morelia Vázquez (Ch’ol consultant/RA); Jessica Coon; Carol-Rose Little (BA ’12); Nico Baier (course lecturer/post-doc ’17–’19); Colin Brown (MA ’16), Jeffrey LaMontagne; Justin Royer; Lydia Felice (BA ’17); Michaela Socolof

Jessica Coon received the LSA’s 2020 Linguistics, Language, and the Public award.

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Morelia Vázquez Martínez and Carol-Rose Little at SSILA 2020

Morelia presented their joint work––”Dimensions of definiteness in Ch’ol: A dialectal comparison––in entirely in Ch’ol (with English on the slides)

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by | January 8, 2020 · 9:58 pm

2019 SSILA Archiving Award

The 2019 Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of Latin America Archiving Award was presented to Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez and Jessica Coon for their Chol language archive at the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America. They received the award in New Orleans at the SSILA meeting, which meets concurrently with the LSA. The archive was created through a project supported by a National Geographic Explorers Grant, and involved training of Ch’ol-speaking undergraduate students to record and transcribe narratives in their home communities.

Susan Gehr presents Jessica and Juan with the award

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Invited speaker Ryan DeCaire, 12/2

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Invited speaker James Crippen, 11/26

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Invited Speaker Kari Chew, 11/19

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Fieldwork Lab at CILLA IX

McGill linguists of past and present gathered at UT Austin last week for the 9th Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA IX). Presentations by current affiliations included:

  • Scott Anderbois (Brown), Miguel Oscar Chan Dzul (U Oriente), Jessica Coon (McGill), Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez (CIMSUR-UNAM): Las construcciones relativas “superlibres” en lenguas mayas [“Super-free” relative constructions in Mayan languages]
  • Justin Royer (McGill): La distribución de los sufijos de categoría en chuj y la interfaz entre sintaxis y prosodia [The distribution of status suffixes in Chuj and the syntax–prosody interface]

The full program is available here.

Cora Lesure (BA ’16), Lauren Clemens (Post-Doc ’14–’15), Jessica Coon, Justin Royer, Robert Henderson (Post-Doc ’13–’14)

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Indigenous languages in McGill news

A recent McGill news article spotlighted Indigenous languages and the need for universities to act as allies to ongoing efforts in communities. The article features discussion with Janine MetallicKahtehrón:ni Stacey, and Jessica Coon, and is available here: https://giving.mcgill.ca/all-stories/bringing-indigenous-languages-back-life

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