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Welcome to another exciting year in the Language Research Centre! 

After a very productive 2013-2014 year of conversation, collaboration, and language teaching and research, the LRC is looking forward to another great year for 2014-2015. We thank all of those who have contributed to the LRC this past year, through participating in the Speaker Series as a guest lecturer or active audience member, contributing to our visioning session, attending events and workshops and supporting the LRC through giving of your time, enthusiasm, creativity and encouragement! Specifically, the LRC acknowledges with gratitude the significant contributions of two pillars in the LRC. Nicholas Žekulin, the first director of the LRC, retired from the University of Calgary after 43 years of service on July 1, 2014. Nick was instrumental in establishing the LRC as an inclusive hub for research on language. He served as a mentor to many of us and as a stalwart supporter of languages. Pierre-Yves Mocquais, who served as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and was a key player in securing the funds to establish the LRC, began his new role as Dean of the Campus Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta on July 1, 2014. In his service as associate director of the LRC for the past two years, Pierre-Yves worked to engage a broad range of individuals. His leadership on the Task Force on the Status of Languages in the Faculty of Arts was fundamental to the successful completion of the resulting report.  The LRC wishes both Nick and Pierre-Yves much success as they begin the next chapters of their lives!

It is with great pleasure that the LRC introduces our new associate director, Ozouf S. Amedegnato, Associate Professor of French in the Department of French, Italian and Spanish. Since his arrival at the University of Calgary in 2005, Ozouf has been a mainstay in the LRC. He has taught LANG courses, offered workshops, and led research groups. As a sociolinguist with a deep interest in second language teaching and a semiotician of literature, he brings a fascinating depth and breadth of research interests and expertise to the Centre. 

There are many exciting events already planned, such as the speaker series (more information below), and upcoming workshops, so mark your calendars! We will also be hosting three regular research groups. These include the Cercle Benveniste, an informal discussion group on language that takes place in French; the Working Group in Translation and Translation Studies, which focuses on theoretical and practical issues in translation; and the Pyscholinguistics Lab Group, designed to mobilize knowledge on experimental language research. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact the LRC with any questions, concerns or ideas for future events.

We look forward to seeing you! 


Upcoming Events

Speaker Series

The LRC will offer two speaker series again this year. “Language of Literature” will focus on the ties between language and literature, and “Language Acquisition and Learning” will focus on methodological issues in language acquisition research. Most lectures will be held on Fridays from 3:00 until 4:00 p.m. in the Language Research Centre (CHD420). Please note any exceptional dates on the schedule. 

Language Acquisition and Learning

Language of Literature

October 17: Suzanne Curtin (Department of Psychology and Linguistics, Languages and Cultures) & Susanne Carroll (Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures):

“What we learn about language acquisition from the way people acquire sound systems vs. grammar”

September 26: Jean-Jacques Poucel (Department of French, Italian and Spanish):

“Horizons of the Real: Littéralité, Elegy and Propositoinal Poetics”

November 14: Robert Bayley (University of California Davis):


“Frequency effects and Morphosyntatic  variation: Evidence from US and peninsular Spanish”

October 31: Dr. Christian Chikuma-Reyns (University of Alberta):

“Playing with the m/paternity rights in two crossover pieces of literature: And Tango Makes Three and its translation/adaptation Tango a deux papas et pourquoi pas?”


December 5: Yvan Rose (Memorial University):

“Phonetic Effects on the Development of Phonological Categories: A Case Study”

Monday, November 17 : Dr. Lucas Klein (University of Hong Kong):

Title TBA


“I’d like to know more about…” workshop

Please plan to join us on Monday, November 10 (Reading Day) between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for our fourth annual “I’d like to know more about …” workshop. The goal of the workshop is to provide students, established researchers, and members of the LRC community with an introduction to new areas and practical tools for enabling research. The researchers and topics include:

9:00-10:30am - Johannes Knaus (Open Sesame, an open-source application for designing psycholinguistic studies. Please download                                         Opensesame onto your device and bring it to the workshop - see link for details)

10:45am-12:15pm - Joel Dunham (LingSync, a suite of open-source web-based tools for collaborative linguistic fieldwork and                                                                 documentation)

1:00-2:30pm - Dennis Storoshenko (LaTeX, a free typesetting system with customized modules for formatting linguistic data and diagrams)

Lunch will also be served.

If you’d like to attend any of the workshops, please respond to Please let us know by November 1 which of the workshops you’d like to attend and whether or not you’d like to join us for lunch.

Mark the date!

The LRC will host a workshop for language teachers on Saturday, March 14, 2015. More details to follow. 


Extending the reach of the Counselling Service for Parents of Bilingual Children

In 2011, Jürgen Meisel (LRC Distinguished Fellow), supported by Rahat Naqvi (Werklund School of Education), established the LRC’s Counselling Service for Parents of Bilingual Children. The goal of the online service is to provide advice to parents who are making choices regarding the languages to which they will expose their children. Because the target audience of the service includes newcomers to Calgary who may not speak English, the LRC determined that it should work to have the site translated into Calgary’s most widely spoken immigrant languages. Thanks to money received from the Office of the Provost in 2013, we were able to have the site translated into the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • Mandarin
  • Punjabi
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese

Please visit the site ( and encourage others to share it with parents who are making decisions about the languages to which they will expose their children.

Research Groups

Cercle Benveniste

Le Cercle Benveniste est un club informel de linguistique. Il se veut un forum de discussion où toute personne s’intéressant à la linguistique peut venir échanger et débattre, informellement et en français, des questions relatives aux sciences du langage. Il s’agit, en quelque sorte, d’une école péripatéticienne où les participants vont – justement et à l’instar d’Émile Benveniste – se promener dans les différents recoins de la discipline et en interroger les zones d’ombre, les aprioris, les impasses ; bref, explorer différents aspects du langage, à la recherche de Problèmes de linguistique générale.

Les participants au Cercle sont donc invités à y apporter des questions, des lectures de livres, d’articles ou de journaux d’actualité et autres sujets à palabrer dans une ambiance décontractée.

Le Cercle se réunira deux fois par mois (voir calendrier ci-après).

Lieu: LRC CHD 412

LRC Working Group in Translation and Translation Studies

Referring to translation, Eugene Nida wrote that “successful translating involves one of the most complex intellectual challenges known to mankind.”  Modern translation studies encompasses numerous fields, including linguistics, comparative literature, literary studies, cultural studies, and creative writing. It is also a critical aspect of knowledge and knowledge transfer in most fields taught at the university. Open to faculty, graduate students, staff, and active translators, the working group proposes to meet several times each semester in the Language Research Centre to discuss readings, translation projects, and the place of translation in other research. The next two meetings will be October 22 and November 19 at 3pm in CHD 412. If you are interested in participating, please email Dr. Jean-Jacques Poucel ( 

Psycholinguistics Lab Group

The goal of our Pyscholinguistics Lab Group is to explore cutting edge laboratory-based research exploring how human beings process language. The group is open to anyone who is interested in experimental, lab-based research on language. This semester the group will meet from 11:00 until 12:00 in the Laboratory for Interactive Psycholinguistics (CHD 506). See the calendar here

For more information, please contact Johannes Knaus ( 

LRC Visioning Session 

Establishing a Vision for the Future of the LRC

The 2013-2014 academic year saw a great deal of introspective work on the role of Language and languages at the University of Calgary and beyond. The Task Force on the Status of Languages in the Faculty of Arts completed its report, which highlights the work of students, classroom practitioners and researchers who are doing innovative and often highly collaborative research in and on languages at the University of Calgary. Based on a series of surveys and comparative data, the report makes sixteen high-level recommendations regarding the role of languages in the realization of a number of the University’s goals. These include a focus on research, academic excellence, internationalization, and connection with the community. Richard Sigurdson, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, will officially respond to these recommendations in the coming months.

Establishing a concrete vision for the LRC involves the participation of its members. On April 15, 2014, Sarah Eaton, LRC Research Associate and an expert in strategic visioning, led highly
engaged LRC stakeholders through the process of establishing realizable goals for the Centre. Among internal stakeholders were representatives from the Departments of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures; French, Italian and Spanish; Psychology; and English, as well as from the Faculty of Education.  Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, sessional instructors and adjunct professors as well as professors and researchers from across the ranks took part in the exercise. Among the external stakeholders, representatives from the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Separate School Board, Alberta Health Services, the Calgary Public Library, the University of Lethbridge, and Mount Royal University joined in the discussion. Based on the strategic visioning exercise, the LRC Steering Committee created a new three-year plan for the LRC, which can be found here . We look forward to your comments.

CEFR Examinations

German CEFR examinations are offered by the LRC in the Winter term. Registration forms will be available at the links provided here and payment is due one week before the exam. Please contact if you have any questions, and watch this section for more information to come.

French CEFR (DELF / DALF) examinations are offered by the French Centre. They will be offered in June 2014: A2 June 5, B2 June 4 and C2 June 2. For more information see:

Chinese HSK examinations are offered by the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures. For dates and other information, please visit:

Spanish CEFR (DELE) exams are offered by the Aula Cervantes. You can find more information here: