To further research collaboration, we will be hosting a series of Noon Talks (12:00 pm-13:30pm – Glendon campus – day and location to be chosen on a rotation basis). 

Those who would like to present a paper (published or drafts) should circulate them  1 week before their presentation. Please send these to Since the aim is to get to know each others’ work, we encourage every effort to participate in as many of these research meetings as you can.


Mercredi 27 Avril 2022

 12h00 – 1h30

Le français québécois dans l’espace public du réseau Facebook (Fiona Patterson, doctorante, Programme de doctorat en Études francophones, Université York)

Wednesday April 20, 2022

 12.00 – 1.30 p.m.

Marie-Christine Pioffet, Professor, Department of French Studies, Glendon College

“Pourquoi rééditer l’histoire du Canada de Gabriel Sagard?”

Friday March 11, 2022

12.00 – 1.30 p.m.

“Postmemory, Affect, and Multilingual Identity in Language Teaching: A Duoethnography “

Anwar Ahmed, Assistant Professor, DLLL, York University

Brian Morgan, Senior Scholar, Department of English, Glendon College


Attention to emotions and an ‘affective turn’ has become an area of growing research interest in language teaching.  A key component of this affective turn is a recognition that emotions are socially constructed, semiotically mobilized, and deeply embedded in power relations (Anwaruddin 2016; Benesch 2012). In this presentation, we wish to extend this perspective by exploring the social and affective influences of postmemory on multilingual identity negotiation in schools and public spaces. Postmemory, the narrativized intergenerational transfer of often traumatic experiences, can be a complicating factor in students’ language learning motivation and their responses to innovative curricula utilizing heritage languages or translingual pedagogies. The presenters will also discuss how they came to understand their topic by way of duoethnography (Norris & Sawyer, 2012) a dialogic research methodology increasingly utilized in language teaching and language teacher education.


Wednesday February 16, 2022

 12.00 – 1.30 p.m.

“Algonquian place names in Canada: a gateway to understanding relationships to the territory, its use and stewardship before and after the arrival of Europeans.”

Danielle E. Cyr, Senior Researcher, York University, CLRC

Canadian place names (toponyms) are based primarily on three types of sources:

1 – Aboriginal sources, primarily from the Algonquian family of languages.

2 – European sources from the colonial period.

3 – Euro-Canadian sources from 1867 on.

This conference will focus on Aboriginal sources of Algonquian origin, analyzed during a research project spanning almost twenty years. After having exposed the main problems related to such research as well as the methodology developed to understand them, we will show the extent and the historical depth of this toponymy on the Canadian territory. We will conclude by briefly discussing the importance of this study in the field of land claims and financial compensation related to the usurpation of Aboriginal territories by governments and the raw materials industry.

mercredi 1 DECEMBRE 2021

Déjeuner-causerie  12 h 00 – 13 H 30

Lien Zoom:

« Enjeux en santé cognitive et en démence pour les communautés francophones en milieu minoritaire: initiatives du Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) – volet Glendon »

Geneviève Quintin, Directrice adjointe du Centre de santé cognitive de Glendon/Co-coordonnatrice, CNFS

Le CNFS-volet Glendon a été mis sur pied dans le but d’améliorer l’accès à des ressources éducatives en français dans le domaine de la santé cognitive et du vieillissement pour les francophones en situation minoritaire. Cette présentation discutera des initiatives du CNFS-Glendon concernant la formation continue des professionnels de la santé francophones déjà établis, la concentration en neuropsychologie cognitive pour les futurs professionnels et d’autres initiatives pour faciliter la dissémination des connaissances sur la prévention et la gestion de la démence. Nous adresserons aussi les défis particuliers, tant du point de vue de la recherche que du traitement clinique, que pose le travail dans le domaine de la santé cognitive des francophones en situation minoritaire.

Lien Zoom:

Previous Talks

Novembre 3 2021

12:00 pm –  1:00 pm

Variation in Heritage Learners’ Written Spanish: Subject Personal Pronouns and Discourse Connectedness

Robert Bayley and Cory L. Holland

University of California, Davis


Spanish pronominal subjects may be realized overtly or as null, e.g. yo/Ø. hablo ‘I speak.’ Variation in Spanish subject personal pronouns (SPPs) has been studied for many years and the factors that condition such variation are well known. Among the most widely examined influences is co-reference, i.e., whether the subject is co-referential with the subject of the preceding tensed verb. Studies have found that subjects that are co-referential with the preceding subject are more likely to be null than when there is continuity of reference (e.g. Bayley, Greer & Holland 2017; de Prada Pérez 2020; Flores-Ferrán 2007). However, other studies suggest that a binary distinction between co- and switch reference fails to capture the full complexity of this constraint (e.g. Bayley & Pease-Alvarez 1997; Geeslin and Gudmestad 2011; Otheguy, Zentella 2012). Those studies found that SPP variation was conditioned by a multi-stage variable of discourse connectedness. This study extends that work to essays elicited from Spanish heritage speakers. Multivariate analysis shows that a multi-factor variable of discourse connectedness provides a more fine-grained account than a binary model of switch reference. Results also indicate that heritage writers’ choices between null and overt SPPs are conditioned by a complex array of other constraints. Finally, results suggest that SPP variation in the writing of heritage language speakers is relatively unaffected by contact with English.


Cory Holland has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of California, Davis.  She is a research associate at UC Davis and a freelance data scientist working on AI language projects.  Her areas of interest include sociolinguistic variation, dialects of the western US, and teaching English to both humans and computers.

Robert Bayley is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Davis. He is a sociolinguist who has conducted research on variation in English, Spanish, ASL, Chinese, and Italian Sign Language as well as ethnographic research in Latinx communities in California and Texas. He was President of the American Dialect Society (ADS) and is a fellow of the Linguistic Society of America and the ADS.

October 7 2021 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Language Ecology, Contact, and Shift at Baawating: Indigenous Peoples and Language during Early Canadian Settler State Formation

Sean Meades

Résumé: Research focused on the macro-trends in Canadian language policy (LP) has largely focused on two broad trajectories: (a) the processes of accommodation of Anglophone and Francophone communities (including the limitations of Canada’s policy of bilingualism for French-speaking or official-language minority communities) (Martel & Pâquet, 2010; Morris, 2010; Cardinal, 2015); and (b) the ongoing exclusion of The Other (i.e. “immigrant” and Indigenous communities) within Canada’s existing LP framework (Haque, 2012; Haque & Patrick, 2015; Patrick, 2018). This research turns its focus to the place of language in the state formation processes of Canada that preceded its “Bilingualism within a multicultural framework,” and its place in settler/Indigenous relations and processes of colonization. Building on the paradigm of the Anishinaabe Seven Fires prophecies and a framework that emphasizes the interplay of language practices, beliefs and management in a social ecology, this work offers a case study of the specific experiences of Indigenous peoples in the communities surrounding Baawating (at the junction of Lake Superior and Lake Huron) to exemplify: (a) how Indigenous individuals adjusted their language choices in response to institutional language policy? (b) How Canadian Indian Policy more generally affected those language choices? (c) How these choices impacted relations between Indigenous and settler peoples? And (d) how local language practice, belief, and management processes have been impacted by the surrounding socio-economic, physical, political, and cultural environments? The study uses a mixed-methods approach that combines content analysis of language policy documents, historical records, demographic data and interviews of local Indigenous residents on their experiences of language choice and use to triangulate the interplay between macro-level LP, ideologies of language, and language shift. The research demonstrates the interconnection of LP with social, economic, political and technological domains and their corresponding influence on the linguistic choices available to Indigenous peoples, which precipitated large-scale language shift. Furthermore, it illuminates how language has ‘stood-in’ for race in the construction of idealized national subjects within a liberal order since at least the early twentieth century in Canada. 

14 AVRIL 2021

Déjeuner-causerie  12 h 00 – 13 H 30

Philippe Bourdin (et dORIN URITESCU), avec la participation de Martin Maiden (Université d’Oxford)

Philippe Bourdin nous parlera du dernier article rédigé avec notre regretté collègue Dorin Uritescu (décédé il y a exactement un an) :

« Sur le comportement insolite d’une flexion roumaine »


Comme celui des autres langues romanes, le système verbal du roumain entendu au sens large distingue entre deux types d’éléments chargés, entre autres, de coder la personne et le nombre : les flexions suffixales et les pronoms clitiques. Les flexions sont inséparables de leur support verbal : pensons par exemple au suffixe -èrent de chantèrent en français. Quant aux clitiques, ils manifestent par rapport à leur hôte verbal une autonomie un peu plus grande, quoique limitée : pensons à je et à la dans Je la vois. On parle de « cliticisation » pour désigner le processus qui a transformé des pronoms anciennement autonomes, notamment en français, en clitiques. Il s’agit au fond d’un processus d’assujettissement qui, selon de nombreux linguistes, relèverait d’un phénomène bien plus général, appelée « grammaticalisation » : les éléments qui appartiennent à la grammaire d’une langue avaient, à un stade antérieur de son histoire, un statut lexical. Or, il se pourrait que dans de nombreuses variétés populaires du roumain il faille parler non pas d’assujettissement, mais au contraire d’émancipation.

Le phénomène se manifeste essentiellement à la 2ème personnel du pluriel de l’impératif, par exemple dans les deux traductions de l’impératif Plaignez-vous ! du français. La forme courante en roumain standard est plângeți-vă : -ți est le suffixe flexionnel qui code la 2ème personne du pluriel,  est le pronom clitique de la 2ème personne du pluriel, qui est donc ici réfléchi. La structure de plângeți-vă  est parallèle à celle de plaignez-vous en français, avec le suffixe flexionnel -ez et le clitique réfléchi vous. Fait insolite, on entend, dans de nombreuses régions de la Roumanie, non pas plângeți-vă, mais plânge-vă-ți. Ce qui est insolite, c’est que le -ți se soit libéré de la tutelle étroite que devrait « normalement » exercer sur lui son support verbal. Là est l’émancipation. Mais alors, si assujettissement veut dire grammaticalisation, ne faut-il pas considérer qu’émancipation veut dire dégrammaticalisation ?

La question concerne au premier chef le roumain. Cependant, la soulever et en discuter, c’est apporter une contribution, modeste, aux débats, très animés depuis une vingtaine d’années, que suscite l’idée même que la dégrammaticalisation soit un processus concevable en linguistique historique.

« Sur le comportement insolite d’une flexion roumaine » (Ph. Bourdin et D. Uritescu), article à paraître dans les Actes du 29ème Congrès International de Langue et Philologie Romanes (Copenhague, 1er-6 juillet, 2019)


Sankoff, Gillian. 2019. Language change across the lifespan: three trajectory types, Language, (95), 2, 197-229.

Linguistic change across the lifespan: juste and so in Welland spoken French

Raymond Mougeon and Françoise Mougeon, Glendon College,York University

Katherine Rehner, University of Toronto Mississauga

A common assumption is that grammatical or phonological change is driven by children and that speakers’ grammar or phonology remains stable after late adolescence (Sankoff, 2019). Consequently, it has also been assumed that adults are unlikely to participate in ongoing cases of phonological or grammatical change. While these assumptions have, until recently, remained largely unverified, a new research strand has begun to scrutinize this topic by focusing on cases of ongoing grammatical or phonological change by examining speech data from different points in adult speakers’ lives to verify if they are participating in the change. With respect to French, G. Sankoff and her associates have carried out this kind of research based on corpora collected in Montreal that include both panel speakers (individuals recorded twice, in 1971 and in 1984, or three times, in 1971, 1984 and 1995) who provide data on change across the lifespan and trend speakers (socially stratified speaker samples recorded once in 1971 or 1984) who are used to establish community-level patterns of variation and change. Such patterns constitue a useful backdrop in the analysis of the linguistic behavior of the panel speakers. These Montreal studies examined three cases of morphosyntactic change and one case of phonological change and found that the panel speakers participated in the case of ongoing phonological change and in one of the three cases of morphosyntactic change.

As part of a project investigating change in Montreal and in Welland spoken French from the 1970s to 2010s, the present study, focusing on Welland French, is akin to those of G. Sankoff. It examines change across the lifespan using a combination of panel and trend speakers, and it examines two cases of morphosyntactic change (the rise of restrictive adverb juste ‘only’ and of conjunction so ‘therefore’). However, it also has several distinctive features. First, since it examines change over a forty-year period (1975 to 2012-15), several of the panel speakers had retired one or two decades prior to the second recording, allowing us to capture patterns of change observable later in the speakers’ lives—an issue not documented in previous research. Second, while Montreal and Welland French are genetically-related varieties, French in Welland is a minority language experiencing much more intense contact with English, thus allowing us to consider the relative importance of these languages in the panel speakers’ educational and occupational histories and identity, as explanatory factors for interindividual similarities or differences in their (non-)participation in change. Third, while the cases of change examined in Montreal are driven by higher SES speakers, in Wellland, the rise of juste and of so are driven by lower SES speakers. Our study adduces evidence of individual participation in BOTH cases of change, though it shows a much higher proportion of panel speakers participating in the rise of juste than of so. In our discussion of factors accounting for these findings, we point out that while both juste and so have been favored by lower SES speakers, so, as a borrowing from English, has met with much stiffer resistance among higher SES speakers than juste, and hence so is a more stigmatized vernacular variant.


Sankoff, Gillian. 2019. Language change across the lifespan: three trajectory types, Language, (95), 2, 197-229.

February 24th, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Carolyn McCaskill and Ceil Lucas, Gallaudet University

Robert Bayley, University of California, Davis  

Joseph Hill, National Technical Institute for the Deaf/

Rochester Institute of Technology

Our guests will first present the Black ASL project and the documentary Signing Black ; a Q & A period will then follow the showing of the documentary.

Signing Black in America is the first documentary about Black ASL: the unique dialect of American Sign Language (ASL) that developed within historically segregated African American Deaf communities. Black ASL today conveys an identity and sense of belonging that mirrors spoken language varieties of the African American hearing community.  Different uses of space, hand use, directional movement, and facial expression are ways that Black ASL distinguishes itself as a vibrant dialect of American Sign Language. The African American Deaf community is now embracing their unique variety as a symbol of solidarity and a vital part of their identity.

Sign language interpreters will be present during this event

September 24, 2020 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
On line (zoom)

Two months before his death in January 2016, David Bowie had the pleasure of attending the New York première of his first musical, Lazarus, which followed the fate of Thomas Newton, the character he had played in his first film, The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976, dir. Nicholas Roeg). The misadventures of an alien who found himself in a hostile environment and ended up an incarcerated alcoholic had resonated with Bowie when he made the film, as it came at the end of his drug-addled America period, after which he had fled for the healing anonymity and productivity of Berlin. After his death, to the surprise of many, Bowie’s musical quickly found its way onto German-language stages. Of the over a dozen productions that have since taken place, only the first two in New York and London, where Michael C. Hall played Newton, were entirely in English, until the show premiered in Melbourne in May 2019.

In this paper Susan Ingram examines the appeal of Lazarus for German-speaking audiences by analyzing four of the musical’s 17 songs: “‘Heroes,’” “Where Are We Now?,” “This Is Not America,” and “Valentine’s Day.” She argues that because Bowie already laid the groundwork for such work by returning to the first album in his Berlin triptych in his penultimate album The Next Day, this translation work has been able to follow suit and has encouraged each production to be performed in such a way as to maximize affective intensity for local audiences.

Ian Martin – Limits to Linguistic Decolonization in Canada : the Case of Bill C-91 

September 16th, 2020

September 16, 2020 @ 12:00 am – 1:00 am
Click here to view the recording of the presentation and the Power point slides: