Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No. 1

September 11, 2003



Syntax in the springtime

Mark Hale and Charles Reiss were organizers of the North American Syntax Conference, held over three days in May. It was the fourth international conference on theoretical linguistics hosted by Concordia’s small but thriving program in four years. Essentially, syntax refers to the way words are strung together to make phrases and sentences.

Professor Reiss reported, "The conference papers treated empirical and theoretical issues in syntactic theory, including the interfaces with semantics and morphology, drawing on data from a typologically diverse range of languages, including Hungarian, English, Czech, Arabic, Tagalog and aboriginal languages of North America and Australia.

"Once again, conference participants were impressed by the involvement of our undergraduate students, who served as session chairs and helped in all aspects of planning and organization, including a guided walk up Mount Royal."

Hale and Reiss are already planning their next event for next spring: the third meeting of the North American Phonology Conference, which they founded in 2000. Reiss said this has become the most important regular phonology conference in the world and has enjoyed strong support from the Concordia administration.

Japanese business studies

The John Molson School of Business hosted the Association of Japanese Business Studies Conference from June 5 to 9. The conference was organized by Jean McGuire (Management) and Sandra Dow (visiting professor, Finance).

The opening reception was sponsored by the endowed chairs of the JMSB. Tetsuo Shioguchi, the consul-general of Japan to Montreal, was the keynote speaker. Mr. Shioguchi was host to conference participants, sponsors, and Rector and Mrs. Lowy at a closing luncheon at his official residence.

Succession issues

On Aug. 21, Bakr Ibrahim, Director of the Centre for Small Business and Entrepreneurial Studies in the John Molson School of Business, was the host of a forum called The Succession Question in Family Business. Speakers included Joseph Astrachan, editor of Family Business Review, and Jess Chua, a leader in succession planning. Aviation management education

From July 20 to 22, the John Molson School of Business played host for the second time in three years to the Aviation Management Education and Research Conference, which brought together academics and industry specialists from around the world to discuss issues in aviation management and research.

All sectors of the aviation industry were represented, including air navigation services, security, corporate fleet management and aviation law.

Presentations and panel discussions included such topics as airline competition, mergers and alliances, air travel safety, accelerated commercialization of air navigation services, as well as issues in airline marketing and aviation management pedagogy.

"Most of the problems facing the aviation industry today can be traced back to management practices," said Triant Flouris, director of the International AMBA program and conference organizer. "If the industry is to survive and thrive, it has to change the way it conducts business."

Passion for engineering

Engineering: A Profession, a Passion is the title of a bilingual conference to be held at Concordia from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 under the auspices of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.

The conference will include workshops on the fundamental values of the profession, including responsibility, ethics, social engagement and competence. From Oct. 7 to 9 there will be a talk by a NASA engineer.