Catherine Léger

Catherine Léger
Position
Associate Professor, Graduate Adviser
French
Credentials

PhD (UQAM)

Contact
Office: Clearihue C250

Catherine Léger holds a B.A. in French Studies from the Université de Moncton (New Brunswick), and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Université du Québec à Montréal. After her doctoral studies which dealt with various theoretical aspects of clausal complementation (subordination), she conducted postdoctoral research at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on how children interpret and acquire different types of complements. She taught at The University of Texas at Austin before coming to the University of Victoria in 2010.

Research

Catherine Léger’s research focuses mainly in two areas: the relationships between syntax and semantic and different aspects of Acadian French. She has worked on the syntax and the semantics of clausal complementation in French, that is, complements that contain at least a verb (Je pense que Marie est arrivée; Je suis contente que Marie arrive; Je suis prête à partir), including the syntactic structure of the distinct types of complements, the proper analysis of infinitival complements which typically have peculiar properties, obviation (the impossibility of coreference between the subject of the main clause and the subject of the embedded clause), the indicative/subjunctive contrast (the mood opposition), presupposed complements (complements that denote events that are considered to have occurred or are occurring), complementizers (subordinate conjunctions) and other elements introducing complements (que, à, and de), and complements of aspectual verbs (commencer, continuer, finir, etc.).

She also studies French varieties in North America, in particular her native dialect, that is, Chiac, a long-stigmatized variety of Acadian French spoken in southeastern New Brunswick that emerged from intense contact with English. She has investigated the adverb back in this dialect, which was borrowed from English, but afterwards took a life of its own, and is now examining some lexical items that have been ignored in the literature, which serve as discursive markers (voir, tu, etc.).

Specializations

  • French syntax and semantics
  • French complementation, properties of complements, and conjunctions/prepositions
  • French varieties in North America
  • Contact linguistics

Find out more about Catherine Léger's research in her expertise profile and faces of UVic Research Video.

Expertise profile: http://www.uvic.ca/research/learnabout/home/researchers/experts/details.php?go=1&id=1104

Faces of UVic Research Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhR2SQEBHLo

Selected publications

Articles/chapters

Cesser, un verbe aspectuel à propriétés uniques/Cesser, an aspectual verb with unique properties”, Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique, special issue Signs, their combination, and the fundamental properties of language/Les signes, leur combinaison et les propriétés fondamentales du langage. Eds. Catherine Léger, Anne-Marie Parisot & Reine Pinsonneault, French and English versions submitted, 25 pages.
 

“L’utilisation discursive de voir en français acadien : de la perception à l’évidence” (coll. Les Voies du français), Sainte-Foy: Presses de l’Université Laval, accepted, 33 pages.

“Avant-propos” (with Matthieu LeBlanc, Laurence Arrighi & Isabelle Violette). In Usages, discours et idéologies linguistiques dans la francophonie canadienne :
perspectives sociolinguistiques. Eds. Catherine Léger, Matthieu LeBlanc, Laurence Arrighi & Isabelle Violette. Revue de l’Université de Moncton, vol. 44, no. 2, 2013, 1–5.
        http://www.erudit.org/revue/rum/2013/v44/n2/index.html

 “The selection and distribution of à and de with commencer ‘begin, start’ in French” (with Cinzia Russi). In Syntax in Cognitive Grammar. Eds. Bogusla Bierwiaczonek, Bozena Cetnarowska & Anna Turula, Czestochowa (Poland): Wyzsza Szkola Lingwistyczna, 2011, 209–226.

“Sentential complementation of adjectives in French”. In Adjectives. Formal Analyses in Syntax and Semantics. Eds. Patricia Cabredo-Hofherr & Ora Matushansky, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2010, 265–306.

“The acquisition of two types of factive complements”. In Language Acquisition and Development: Proceedings of GALA 2007. Eds. Anna Gavarró & M. João Freitas, Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, 337–346.

Edited volumes

Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique, special issue Signs, their combination, and the fundamental properties of language/Les signes, leur combinaison et les propriétés fondamentales du langage. Eds. Catherine Léger, Anne-Marie Parisot & Reine Pinsonneault, accepted.

Usages, discours et idéologies linguistiques dans la francophonie canadienne: perspectives sociolinguistiques. Eds. Catherine Léger, Matthieu LeBlanc, Laurence Arrighi & Isabelle Violette; revision and copy-editing: Catherine Léger & Matthieu LeBlanc, Revue de l’Université de Moncton, vol. 44, no. 2, 2013 (printed version and digital version).
        http://www.erudit.org/revue/rum/2013/v44/n2/index.html

Online presentations

Cesser, un verbe aspectuel à propriétés uniques”. Les signes, leur combinaison et les propriétés fondamentales du langage, Université du Québec à Montréal (presentation on November 14th, 2014). Online conference presentation with slides, speaker, and interpretation in langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).
https://paloma.sav.uqam.ca/p9dt663k7fe/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal    

Les signes, leur combinaison et les propriétés fondamentales du langage, Université du Québec à Montréal (presentations on November 14th, 2014). Co-organizers: Catherine Léger, Anne-Marie Parisot & Reine Pinsonneault. Online conference presentations with slides, speaker, and interpretation in langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).
            http://web.lsq.uqam.ca/conference/index.html

Community outreach activities

October 2015: “Lancement de la revue de l’UdeM”, radio interview, radio show: Format libre (Michel Doucet, Radio-Canada, Acadie)
http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/format_libre/2015-2016/chronique.asp?idChronique=385713

March 2015: “Le français acadien : variété en situation de contact minoritaire”, radio interview, radio show: Boulevard du Pacifique (Marie Villeneuve, Radio-Canada, Colombie-Britannique–Yukon)
http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/Phare_ouest/2014-2015/archives.asp?date=2015/03/17&indTime=3029&idmedia=7259432

February 2013: Radio interview, radio show: À la bonne heure (Fadia Saad, CILS FM 107.9, local radio station)

February 2013: “Le chiac, du français à part entière?”, radio interview, radio show: Boulevard du Pacifique (Marie Villeneuve, Radio-Canada, Colombie-Britannique–Yukon)
  http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/boulevard_du_pacifique/2012-2013/chronique.asp?idChronique=273794

Courses taught (in the last 5 years)

  • FRAN 160 (Words in Context)
  • FRAN 180 (Intensive French III)
  • FRAN 200 (Introduction to French Linguistics)
  • FRAN 385 (French Syntax and Semantics)    
  • FRAN 405 (Varieties of French)
  • FRAN 502 (Studies in Applied Linguistics: French in Contact)