Welcome to the McGill Linguistic Fieldwork Lab! This semester (Fall 2017), Fieldwork Lab is meeting alternate weeks with the Syntax group, Fridays at 10:00am in Linguistics Department room 117. You can find information about this week’s meeting on McLing, or contact me for details.

Currently there is active research by students and other group members on Bobangi (Bantu), Kabyle (Amazigh), Mi’gmaq (Eastern Algonquian), Chuj (Mayan), Ch’ol (Mayan), Shughni (Pamir), 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
  • Nico Baier – Faculty lecturer; Berber
  • Paulina Elias – BA Student; Chuj
  • Henrison Hsieh – PhD Student; Ergativity Lab, Tagalog
  • Ben Oldham – BA student; Mayan
  • Clint Parker – PhD student; Ergativity Lab; Chuj; Pamir
  • Justin Royer – PhD student; Chuj
  • Karima Ouazar – Kabyle consultant
  • Matthieu Paillé – PhD student; Algonquian
  • Magdalena Torres – Chuj consultant
  |   Connections   |   Former members
  • Carolyn Anderson – Fulbright Fellow 2015; Mi’gmaq Research Partnership
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Martha Schwarz – MA 2017; Nepali, Kabyle
  • Joyce Xiao – BA 2015; Chuj research
  • Tashi Wangyal – Filmmaker; Tibetan speaker




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McGill Symposium on the Role of the University in Supporting Indigenous Languages

symposium participants, day 2 in Kahnawá:ke

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by | May 13, 2018 · 3:07 pm

Fieldwork Lab at SULA 10

Paulina Elias presented her work on Chuj at the 10th meeting of Semantics of Under-reprented Languages of the Americas (SULA 10), which took place last weekend at the University of Toronto. The title of her poster was “Stage-level Positionals and Locatives in Chuj”.

Carol-Rose Little (McGill BA ’12), now a PhD student at Cornell University, was an invited speaker. Her talk was “Possessed Numerals in Ch’ol”.

Carol-Rose and Paulina at SULA

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Royer and Torres in Guatemala

PhD student Justin Royer is in Guatemala with Fieldwork Lab Chuj consultant Magdalena Torres. Here they are, together with Magdalena’s husband Mateo Pablo in Petanak. Mateo Pablo is one of few survivors of the massacre that took place in this community in 1982––one of many massacre against Maya communities by the military during the war. His experiences are the subject of the documentary film Haunted Land, by Montreal-based film-maker Mary Ellen Davis.

Magda, Mateo, and Justin in Petanak

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Chuj group to Mexico City

Jessica Coon, Paulina Elias, and Justin Royer will head to Mexico City to present work on Chuj

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by | April 23, 2018 · 8:42 pm

Fieldwork Lab at WSCLA

Two members of the Fieldwork Lab presented at the 23rd Workshop on Structure and Constituency of Languages of the Americas (WSCLA 23), held last week at the University of Ottawa. Paulina Elias presented “The role of directionals in positional and locative constructions in Chuj”, and Nico Baier presented collaborative work with Zachary O’Hagen (Berkeley), titled “Morphological Reflexes of Subject Extraction in Caquinte”.

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Justin Royer in Stuttgart

PhD student Justin Royer traveled to the University of Stuttgart in Germany where he presented a paper titled “Specificity, (in)definiteness, and noun classifiers in Chuj (Mayan)” at the 40th Annual Conference of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS).

Justin in Stuttgart

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Clint Parker at ConCALL 3

PhD student Clint Parker presented some of his recent research on alignment in Shughni at the third Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics (ConCALL 3) at Indiana University March 2-4.  His talk was titled “Vestigial Ergativity in Shughni: Typology and Analysis”.

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Chuj paper in Journal of Linguistics

A new paper on roots and stem formation in Chuj was just published online in Journal of Linguistics. The pre-published version is online at LingBuzz.

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Current Issues in Comparative Syntax Workshop

Last week I presented a talk on hierarchy effects at the Current Issues in Comparative Syntax workshop at the National University of Singapore! The full program can be found here: https://lingconf.com/compsyn/

Current Issues in Comparative Syntax Workshop

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McGill Symposium on the University’s Role in Supporting Indigenous Languages

I’m happy to announce an upcoming event co-orgnanized this year with a team from OFNIE in Education. Please save the date!

McGill Symposium on the University’s Role in Supporting Indigenous Languages (May 10 – 11, 2018)

In response to Call to Action #34 of the Final Report of McGill’s Task Force on Indigenous Education and Indigenous Studies, onMay 10th and 11th, the Department of Linguistics and the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education are jointly hosting a symposium examining the role of the university in Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization. Organized with the support of the Kanien’keháka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Centre, McGill Faculties of Arts and Education, the McGill Indigenous Studies Program, and McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development, the purpose of this Symposium is to (a) signal McGill’s commitment to Indigenous languages in this province and (b) examine more closely what role the University should play in supporting the health of Indigenous languages, locally and regionally. The Symposium will involve both closed-door and public sessions with the goals of establishing a broad consultative body on this question and developing a concrete plan of action for McGill to pursue. Special invitees include Indigenous language teachers, scholars, and university program directors from across Canada:

  • Mary Bear (Cree School Board)
  • Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins (University of Victoria)
  • Ryan DeCaire (Onkwawén:na Kentyohkwa, University of Toronto)
  • Gabrielle Doreen (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, McGill University)
  • Ellen Gabriel (Kanehsatà:ke Education Center)
  • Megan Lukaniec (Huron-Wendat Nation, UC Santa Barbara)
  • Brian Maracle (Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa)
  • Akwiratékha’ Martin (Kahnawà:ke Education Center)
  • Onowa McIvor (nehiyaw Nation, University of Victoria)
  • Mary Ann Metallic (Listuguj Education Directorate)
  • Rita Novalinga (Kativik Ilisarniliriniq)
  • Keren Rice (University of Toronto)
  • Kahtehrón:ni Stacey (Kahnawà:ke Education Center, McGill University)
  • Mark Turin (University of British Columbia)

All those interested in learning more about this topic and advancing McGill’s response to this issue are asked to save the following date, May 10th from 1:30pm to 5:00pm in the Jack Cram Auditorium (EDUC-129), for a Public Forum. The schedule of activities include an opening Keynote from Kanien’kehá:ka Language teacher and McGill PhD Student Kahtehró:nni Iris Stacey, three panel presentations from our invited experts, and public discussion.

Those interested in attending are asked to please register here: https://goo.gl/forms/djIv5RBV9bsr481E3

Please follow the facebook event page here for ongoing updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1886367051693868/

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