Events in 2019

Featured: Kang Xu, 2nd Year MA Candidate in Linguistics

March 18, 2019

xu"My current research focuses on Malagasy topicalized sentences. I do have a strong intuition that in the near future I will start working on documenting sentence structures of indigenous languages. Recently, I somehow become interested in the interface between linguistics and neuroscience. Perhaps I will try this area as well."

Featured: Astrid Winchester-Archer, 2nd Year MA Candidate in Linguistics

March 4, 2019

winchester archerLanguage learning is fascinating, and as a budding linguist, I have come a long way—from being a passionate prescriptivist to becoming pragmatic descriptivist. Indeed, my present outlook echoes Tobago’s motto ‘Pulchrior Evenit’ (She becomes more beautiful), because, for me, the study of language in action is indeed a beautiful experience.

For my research paper, I will be conducting a Sociolinguistics study of ideologies, communicative practices and representation of Tobago English Creole (TobEC) orthography. Specifically, I will investigate whether TobEC—an English-based Creole, which is the first language of many children prior to their entry into elementary school system—will ever transcend its cultural and informal realms and become encoded in a standardised and formal code, or simply become extinct. The latter will be tragic, because (1) I see TobEC as my birthright and my way of navigating the world; and (2) when a language dies, then the culture and way of representing that culture to the world also dies.

My interest in Linguistics include language varieties and ideologies, language power, language and identity and language documentation.

Linguistics Talks @ Western

February 28 (12:30-1:30, UC 2120)

Yves Roberge, University of Toronto
"On Recursive DPs in Child French"

Featured: Douglas Severo, 2nd year MA candidate in Linguistics

February 19, 2019

severo"Language is a powerful means by which people interact. It is through language that we agree/disagree, tell stories and (de)construct our linguistic identities just to mention a few.

My research investigates the identity of native and non-native speakers of English relying on people’s perception and judgment through a sociolinguistic analysis. Although some linguists consider the native speaker as a model for accuracy, some others claim that there is a lack of a solid basis to describe what makes one a native speaker of a language. My study aims to offer a description of the social factors such as ethnicity that people use to define speakers as native/non-native.

My linguistic interests include: Language and Identity, Discourse Analysis, L1/L2 Acquisition, and Language Teaching."

Linguistics Talks @ Western

February 12, 2019 (12:30pm, UC 2115)

Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada, University of Alberta
"Documenting Arutani and Sapé, two isolates of Venezuela (& Brazil)"

Featured: Matt Lund, 2nd year MA candidate in Linguistics

February 5, 2019

lund"In an increasingly digital age, it is not only the words we use to communicate that have changed, but the manner in which we communicate also. My research focuses on a specific kind of internet discourse – the meme. By seeing memes as communicative devices, rather than writing them off as simple attempts at humor, we can see a great deal more depth in online communication than previously thought. By applying familiar tools from sociolinguistics learned both in my undergrad at uOttawa and here at Western’s MA in linguistics program, I hope to bridge our understanding of analog and digital communication."

Linguistics Talks @ Western

February 5, 2019 (12:30 pm, UC 2110)

Carrie Dyck (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
"Cayuga language maintenance at Six Nations"

Featured: Susuana Kwaning, 2nd year MA candidate in Linguistics

January 21, 2019


"I am an extrovert who likes to work at the Linguistics Lab (TALL) because I am surrounded by supportive peers. 'To have another language is to possess a second soul' said Charlemagne. I posit that the study of a second language has become necessary in these times of accelerated globalization; clear communication (oral/written) is key to human interaction. Hence, my research focuses on the use of first language (L1) in the second/foreign language (L2) classroom in Ghana, respectively English and French. The study explores the attitudes and perceptions of both L2 teachers and learners towards this phenomenon. Furthermore, my research aims to examine how these attitudes impact the teaching and learning of French; whether it hinders or supports language development. 'The limits of my language means the limits of my world.' (Ludwig Wittgenstein)"