December 8, 2008

Call for Papers - McCCLU 2009

Call for Papers

The Society of Linguistics Undergraduates of McGill (SLUM) at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is hosting its third annual McGill’s Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates (McCCLU) the weekend of March 6th, 2009. The aims of the conference are to promote undergraduate research and to foster the growth of the undergraduate linguistics community.

Undergraduate students interested in participating are encouraged to submit an abstract for a 20-minute talk with a 10-minute question period on any topic pertaining to linguistics. Students may also submit an abstract for a poster on any topic relevant to linguistics at our poster session to be held during the conference. Abstracts should be a maximum of one-page in length and should be submitted online to by Monday February 9th, 2009. Please indicate whether you would like to be considered for a 20-minute talk or for the poster session or both.

Please direct any further questions to

For more information, check out

November 17, 2008

Department seminar room

Until further notice, undergraduate students are requested not to use the Linguistics department seminar room. While it is a wonderful place to study and talk to other students and faculty, there have been some complaints, which I'm working to resolve. We will hopefully be allowed back shortly. Thank you for your cooperation.

Edit: Undergraduates are once again welcome to use the seminar room. Specific guidelines are posted in the room as well as online (

Meeting Minutes (Nov 7)

The minutes are now available here.

November 4, 2008

Meeting This Friday

Our monthly meeting is this Friday!

November 7th, 3:30pm
Clearihue A304

See you there.

November 1, 2008

Graduate school information session

Last year Dr Su Urbanczyk put on an information session called "Things to consider when applying for graduate school" and is kindly offering it again this year. She realizes that some of you may already be making your applications and apololgizes that this comes so late in the semester, but the only date that worked is Friday November 28, 3:30-5:00pm (location TBA). Anyone is welcome to attend, but third and fourth year students might find it particularly useful. I hope you can make it.

Edit: The workshop will be held in Clearihue A304.

October 20, 2008

Linguistics Colloquium and Lansdowne Lecture

UVic Linguistics Circle Colloquium Series
Friday, October 24th, 3:30-5:00pm, Clearihue A303
Brian Gick (UBC): "An eco-friendly perspective on audio-tactile and visuo-tactile speech perception"
Abstract: I will present some recent multimodal perception results from our lab in which a variety of tactile stimuli are coupled with audio and visual speech information. These results suggest that: 1) naïve perceivers make substantial use of naturalistic tactile speech information, 2) they do this irrespective of previous specific experience, 3) different individuals make use of different kids of information in multimodal perception, 4) perceivers are aware of complex physical relations between media, and 5) perceivers undergo perception as a whole-body experience. These findings will be discussed in the context of a broader ecological model of human language.

Lansdowne Lecture Series

Wednesday, October 29th, 7:00pm, DSB C118
Dr. Grit Liebscher (U. of Waterloo): "Who Are We and Who Am I? Identity Construction through Language"
While identity, in particular ethnic identity, is sometimes seen as an essential category, one can also take the perspective that it is constructed, among other means, through language. Taking this perspective, an analysis of conversations reveals which role language plays in this process. Dr. Liebscher will discuss ways through which inclusion and exclusion is achieved, individuals are positioned, and language is bound up with history. These aspects are illustrated by examples from her research projects involving Canadian German-speaking immigrants and their descendants, western Germans in eastern Germany, and Germans during unification.

Career and Grad School Planning

For those of you nearing graduation, there are two talks this week which may be of interest to you:

Where to From Here: Your Career After UVic
Wednesday, October 22nd, 4:45-5:45pm, DSBC108
This interactive one-hour session will explore the challenges and opportunities that are part of the transition from school to the next stage of your career. Find out about the services and programs available at UVic Career Services to help you make a smooth transition.

Considering Grad School? Preparation and Planning
Thursday, October 23rd, 4:45-6:15pm, CleaC112
In the presentation Dr. MacKenzie will discuss how third- and fourth-year undergraduate students can best prepare themselves to get into the graduate school of their choice; resources to help with graduate school selection; timelines for application; the elements of a strong application; working with faculty advisors; finding funding; and the nature of the graduate school experience. There will be a question-and-answer session after the presentation. Dr. Patricia MacKenzie is Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at UVic and has been a graduate advisor for Social Work and for the Masters in Dispute Resolution program.

October 14, 2008

Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme

Every year, the Japanese government invites Canadian university graduates to participate in a minimum one-year, cultural exchange program. Participants work as either Assistant English Teachers (ALT) in the Japanese educational system or serve as Coordinators of International Relations (CIR) in local Japanese government offices, beginning August 1, 2009 (for participants departing from Vancouver).

To be eligible, applicants must be a Canadian citizen under 40 years of age and hold a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree by the end of July 2009. Students currently in the final year of their degree are eligible to apply.

Application forms are now available for download at the Consulate General of Japan's website: To be considered, applications must be sent directly to the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa, and must be postmarked by Friday, November 28, 2008.

An information session will be held at the University of Victoria on Thursday, October 23 - 1:30-3:00 PM in Room A240 of the Human & Social Development Building.

October 9, 2008

Linguistics Colloquia in Vancouver - Oct. 16 & 17

If you will be in Vancouver next week, both SFU and UBC are holding linguistics colloquia that you may be interested in:

SFU - Thursday Oct. 16
Suzanne Higendorf of Simon Fraser University will be presenting a talk entitled "Globalization and the Market: The Spread of English in Germany". The talk will be held at 11:30am in Halpern Centre 114 at SFU's Burnaby Campus.

UBC - Friday Oct. 17
Our own UVic professor Ken Hiraiwa will be presenting "Multiple Spell-Out and PF: A Case of the Double-o Constraint" at the UBC Linguistics colloquium series. The talk begins at 3:30pm in room 103 of the new Linguistics building (Totem Field Studios) at 2613 West Mall.

Federal Government Co-op and Career Opportunities Conference

I'm passing along some information about a conference that some of you may be interested in:

The University of Victoria and the Federal Government have partnered in an agreement to deliver an on-campus career and learning event that will give students an insight into the diversity of opportunities in the Federal public service. “Canada’s Future Through You” – a Federal Government Co-op and Career Opportunities Conference and Expo will take place on October 21, 2008.

This event is an opportunity for students to explore how their degree connects to public sector initiatives and research.

Put Your Talent to Work: Canada’s Future Through You

Want to discuss your views on public policy with senior decision makers? Interested in a challenging career that fits with your education? Inspired to be part of Canada’s next generation of leaders?

When: Tuesday, October 21st, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Where: Conference and Information Sessions – Medical Sciences Building
Expo – University Centre / Senate Chambers
Cost: Free

There will be over 25 federal department exhibitors, discussion panels featuring senior government officials and UVic faculty, information sessions and possible job interviews.

For more information, or to register, visit

October 5, 2008

T-Shirt Designs & Underlings Logo

We are now requesting submissions for new t-shirt designs! Send along any ideas you have: phrases, drawings, bad puns... whatever you'd like to wear across your chest in a sign of solidarity with your fellow linguists. We would like to have a vote at the end of this month to determine which design will be printed, so please email us at as soon as possible! The creator of the winning submission will get his or her t-shirt for free.

We also need a new Underlings logo/mascot. The idea at the meeting was Captain Underling and his sidekick Murgetroid -- if you have a hidden artistic talent that can bring the Captain to life, please send us an illustration. Any other ideas are welcome as well.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Meeting Minutes

I think we can safely say that our meeting/meet-and-greet/movie was a success! Thank you all for coming out. A pdf of the minutes from the meeting can be read here.

The bake sale is set for Wednesday Oct.29th. If you are able to bring some baking or other goodies they would be much appreciated. If you're able to sit at the table in the Clearihue lobby for an hour or two, please sign-up at

October 1, 2008

Oct. 3 Meeting (Update)

This Friday's meeting/meet-and-greet/movie will be held in Clearihue A304. Meeting begins at 3:30pm -- there will be pizza.

Proposed meeting agenda:
  1. Budget / UVSS update
  2. Bake sale Oct. 29 - table schedule, banners/signs
  3. T-shirt contest - determine dates and details
  4. Possible collaborative events - Grad students, French club?
  5. Department news - Colloquiums Oct. 10 and 24
  6. Next meeting - Oct. 17 or 31
  7. Any other business
Email if you'd like anything added.

September 29, 2008

UBC Linguistics Colloquium

If you will be in Vancouver this Friday (although I hope you'll be here at our meeting/meet-and-greet/movie night), the UBC colloquium series will be hosting Amanda Miller (UBC Linguistics), who will be presenting "Phonetic and Phonological Evidence for Posterior Place Contrasts in Click Consonants". The colloquium takes place at 3:30pm in Room 103 of the new Linguistics building (Totem Field Studios) at 2613 West Mall, at the southwest corner of the UBC campus.

September 23, 2008

Pizza Meeting & Movie - Friday Oct. 3

What: Pizza Meeting & Movie
When: Friday Oct.3 @ 3:30pm
Where: Clearihue (room TBA)

Next Friday, Oct. 3, we will be having our second Underlings meeting of the semester. There will be pizza! After the meeting we're going to watch Ball of Fire, one of the few films to feature a linguist as the main character ( It should be lots of fun. I hope to see you all there.

September 22, 2008

Linguistics Department Research Forum

This Thursday, September 25th, the UVic Linguistics Department is holding a research forum at 11:30am in Clearihue A127. Graduate students, sessional lecturers, and professors will be making short presentations about their current research projects. The topics are:
  1. Carolyn Pytlyk: "Are Verbs Tough to Classify?"
  2. Tom Hukari: "Hul'q'umi'num' Language Revitalization Videos from the CURA Project"
  3. Scott Moisik: "An Interactive 3D Model of the Larynx and Laryngeal Constrictor Mechanism"
  4. Pauliina Saarinen: "Finnish in Post-Utopian Sointula: Effects of Frequency on Consonant Gradation"
  5. Sonya Bird: "The New and Improved Speech Research Lab Space"
Everyone is welcome to attend. Hope to see you there!

Meeting Minutes

A pdf of the minutes from last Friday's meeting can be read here.

I hope you can all make it to the next meeting, which is scheduled for Oct. 3.

September 19, 2008

Underlings 2008-2009

Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting today. It looks like we're going to have a great year. I will be posting meeting minutes soon, but this semester you can look forward to bi-monthly meetings and socials, movie night, and new t-shirts. We will hopefully have more events to announce as well, so please do check this site for updates. There is a calendar at the bottom of the page, and you can send an email to uvicunderlings at gmail dot com and we will add you to the mailing list.

I am also pleased to announce this year's executive:
Vanessa McCumber, chair
Chad Laidlaw, vice-chair
Lauren Macdonald, secretary
Sam Bellion, treasurer
Nathan Hoffart, social coordinator

If you have questions or items to suggest for the next meeting, please email them or reply in the comments thread.

I look forward to seeing you all soon.