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), Nepali (Indo-Aryan), Chuj (Mayan), Ch’ol (Mayan), 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
  • Dejan Milacic – MA student; Kabyle
  • 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
  • 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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Sarah Mihuc in Yale News

Recent graduate Sarah Mihuc spent part of her summer at the Yale Grammar Bootcamp led by Claire Bowern, and recently made an appearance in Yale News

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Congratulations Janine Metallic

Congratulations to Janine Metallic, who successfully defended her dissertation in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education yesterday. The title of her dissertation is: Nta’tugwaqannminen (our stories): Language stories and experiences of young adult Mi’gmaq.

Janine’s defense

Janine worked as the Mi’gmaq language consultant for the 2011 Field Methods class, and played an integral role in Mi’gmaq language research and documentation at McGill and beyond. Congratulations Janine!

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Fieldwork Lab in Guatemala

Current and past McGill students are spending most of June in Patzún, Guatemala in connection with the University of Maryland’s Guatemala Field Station. For the first two weeks they took Kaqchikel immersion classes, and and spent the second two weeks conducting research on Mayan languages.

Justin Royer, Jessica Coon, Michaela Socolof, Sarah Mihuc, and Anouk Dieuleveut in Antigua

Incoming PhD student Justin Royer, and recent BA graduate Sarah Mihuc, worked together with Juana Gómez on a Chuj documentation project led by Jessica and Pedro Mateo Pedro.

Jessica, Juana, Justin, and Sarah taking a break from Chuj work

The group also presented work at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Altiplano:


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Filed under Fieldwork, Presentations, Travel

Jessica at GMIS 2017 in Beijing

Presenting about linguistics language diversity at GMIS 2017 in Beijing, China

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by | June 8, 2017 · 8:50 pm

Bantu Workshop – May 3rd in Education 216

Please join us for an afternoon Bantu Workshop, to celebrate the end of this semester’s Bobangi Field Methods class. There will be presentations by undergraduate and graduate students, our Bobangi consultant Mpoke Mimpongo (UQAM), and invited speaker Jenneke van der Wal (Harvard). All talks will take place in McGill Education Building, room 216. The schedule is below–all are welcome!

12:30–12:45 – Jiaer Tao, A Study on object asymmetry in Bobangi

12:45–1:00 – Benjamine Oldham, Object marking in Bobangi: A pronominal incorporation analysis

1:00–1:15 – Renata Masucci, Tone in Bobangi

1:15–1:30 – Paulina Elias, Object asymmetry in Bobangi

1:30–1:45 – BREAK

1:45–2:00 – Sara Carrier-Bordeleau, Verbal reduplication in Bobangi

2:00–2:15 – Jasmine Zhang, Vowel sandhi in Bobangi

2:15–2:30 – Emily Kellison-Linn, Intonation of polar questions and declarative statements in Bobangi

2:30–2:45 – Yeong Park, High boundary tone in Bobangi

2:45–3:00 – Rosie Barnes, Agent nominalizations in Bobangi

3:00–3:15 – BREAK

3:15–3:45 – Mpoke Mimpongo (UQAM), TBA

3:45–4:45 – Invited Speaker – Jenneke van der Wal (Harvard University)

Title: Investigating focus marking in Luganda and Lingala

Abstract: While it is admittedly difficult to investigate information structure in an unfamiliar language, in this talk I hope to show that there are some manageable diagnostics for focus that can be applied in elicitation. Based on data from Luganda and Lingala I show why the discoveries about focus marking in Bantu languages are crucial for understanding both the synchronic analysis and the diachronic development of focus. (full abstract)



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Bobangi Field Methods end-of-class photo

Bobangi Field Methods class photo

Bobangi Field Methods class photo

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by | April 12, 2017 · 12:59 pm

Lydia Felice at ACAL

BA Honours student Lydia Felice presented a poster on Kabyle at the 48th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 48), which took place March 31-April 2 at Indiana University Bloomington. Her poster, based on her Honours thesis work, was titled “On the State Distinction and Case in Kabyle Berber”.

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Filed under Presentations, Student news

Ergativity/Fieldwork Lab Meeting, 4/7

The Ergativity/Fieldwork Lab will be meeting on Friday, 4/7, from 1-2pm in room 117.

Jessica will be presenting Baier (2017) “Antilocality and Antiagreement”, which can be found here. All are welcome!

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Filed under Events, Fieldwork

Coon and Carolan Chuj article in Glossa

This issue of the journal Glossa includes an article on Chuj by Jessica Coon and Lizzie Carolan (BA ’14 and former Chuj Lab manager): ‘Nominalization and the structure of the progressives in Chuj Mayan’. The full article is available on the Glossa page.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 2.24.25 PM

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Filed under Publications, Student news

Ergativity/Fieldwork Lab Meeting – 3/31

The Ergativity/Fieldwork Lab will be meeting on Friday, 3/31, from 1-2pm in room 117.

Clint is giving a talk titled “Two possibilities for Bobangi agreement and their implications”.

Abstract: Clint is planning to present on nominal concord and subject-verb agreement in Bobangi, which is the Bantu language the Field Methods class is currently studying. There is some ambiguity in whether or not certain types of agreement are grammatical, and he will be presenting about the analyses of each possibility (i.e. what happens if they are grammatical, what happens if they aren’t).
Recommended readings are the following:
1. When agreement is for number and gender but not person (Baker 2011) – sections 1 and 2
2. A theory of nominal concord (Norris 2014 – PhD dissertation) – Introduction (and subsections 3.4-3.5 for anyone who is feeling ambitious)

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