Eastern Michigan University
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    • News and Events

      • Alina Korshunova has a summer internship with the Long Now Foundation, working on the Pan Lex project, building "the world’s largest lexical database" at Berkeley, CA, summer 1918.

      • Marley Beaver was awarded an Honors Senior Thesis Research Award for Summer/Fall 2018 for her work on the syntax and semantics of resultatives.

      • Connor De Haan was awarded an Honors Senior Thesis Research Award for Summer/Fall 2018 for his work on the pragmatics of naming strategies in U.S. politics.

      • Prof. Eric Actonis is the 2018 recipient of the Ronald W. Collins, Distinguished Faculty, Teaching I Award. Congratulations, Eric!

      Many thanks to all those who helped in the nomination.

      • Prof. T. Daniel Seely’s paper with S. D. Epstein, M. Obata, “Is Linguistic Variation Entirely Linguistic?” appears in special edition of Linguistic Analysis, ed. By Profs. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini and Simin Karimi. 2018.

      • Congratulations to this year’s Undergraduate Symposium 2018 presenters:

      Marley Beaver, “The Syntax and Semantics of Resultatives”

      Connon de Haan, “Sociopragmatics Strategies in the 2016 Election”

      Mitchell DeVore and Ashlee Simpkins, “Stereotypes and Gendered Adjectives in Nominations for Student Awards”

       Chloe McCrystal & Adrianna Blount, “Affixtacular: An Investigation of the Libfix”

      Gabriella Perry, “I Now Pronounce You Forbidden to Say My Name”

      • EMU Speech-Language Pathology and Linguistics Program co-sponsor a showing and discussion of the film "Talking Black in America.” Feb 2018.

      • Congratulations to this year’s Graduate Research Conference 2018 presenters:

      Daniele Benson, “The Alternative Double Object Construction in British English”

      Rachael Crain, “Gender Expression and the Styling of Queer Women's Speech”

      • Beau Kevin Morgan was awarded The Graduate Student Research Support Fund for his M.A. thesis research on Japanese borrowings and the perception and transfer of duration.

      • Many thanks to Marley Beaver and Connor De Haan for for organizing and leading the EMU Linguistics Study Group through the year, 2018.

      • Daniele Benson, Rachael Crain, Kelsey Deguise, & Alla Shvetsova presented a paper, “Changes in the Northern Cities shifted vowel system: Evidence from Jewish women in Metro Detroit” at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters Conference, March 9, 2018 at Central Michigan University.

      • Daniele Benson, Rachael Crain, Kelsey Deguise, & Alla Shvetsova presented a paper, “Divergence from the Northern Cities shifted vowel system: Evidence from Jewish women in Metro Detroit at the Purdue Linguistics, Literature and Second Language Studies Conference, March 2-4, 2018 at Purdue University.

      • Prof. T. Daniel Seely gave a two-day seminar, “How free is ‘free’ Merge” at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. January, 2018

      • Prof. Eric Acton gave a colloquium lecture, “A socio-pragmatic framework for non-entailed meaning” at Michigan State University. 16 November 2017.

      • Beau-Kevin Morgan, Kelsey Deguise, Eric Acton, Daniele Benson & Alla Shvetsova presented a paper, “Shifts toward the supra-regional in the Northern Cities region: Evidence from Jewish women in Metro Detroit,” at the New Ways of Analyzing Variation annual conference, Nov 2017 at U. of Wisconsin, Madison.

      • Prof. Eric Acton presented a paper, “Pragmatics, the third wave, and the social meaning of definite” at the New Ways of Analyzing Variation annual conference, Nov 2017 at U. of Wisconsin, Madison.

      • Prof. T. Daniel Seely’s paper with S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Merge, Labeling and Their Interactions," appears in L. Bauke, A. Blümel (Eds.) Labels and Roots; Studies in Generative Grammar. De Gruyter Mouton. Fall 2017.

      • Prof. Eric Acton presented a paper, “Semantics, pragmatics, and the social meaning of the English definite article,” Integrating Approaches to Social Meaning – ESSLLI”  2017, Toulouse, 25 July. Presented by the Jewish Studies department, Sarah Bunin Benor will be presenting "Do American Jews Speak a Jewish Language" on April 12, 2016. 

       • Three of our graduate students recently presented work at a national conference,
      The Purdue Languages and Cultures Conference, March 4-6, 2016, Purdue University. Congratulations to:        

      Marcus Nero, “The Syntactic Consequences of  ‘De’-Clauses in Spanish" [A version of this paper also presented at the EMU's Graduate Research Fair.]

      Sean Stalley, “The Nature of Information Structure in the Syntax”
      [A version of Sean's paper was also presented at EMU’s English Graduate Student Association Annual Conference.]

      Deanna Thompson, “The Morpho-Syntax of Aspectual Stay in AAVE”

      • The Linguistics Program is pleased to announce a new course: LING 422 Introduction to Phonetics. The course introduces students to the International Phonetic Alphabet and the anatomical basis for transcribing speech sounds and the basic skill set involved in the acoustic analysis of sounds. Students are trained in the use of hardware and software to record and analyze speech.

      • The Linguistics Program and the Jewish Studies Program host workshop on Sociolinguistic Fieldwork, Oct 20-21, 2015. Participants learn how to and practice eliciting sociolinguistic data in the interview setting, and learn how to transcribe sociolinguistic interviews, using the transcribing software package ELAN. Many thanks to Janneke Van Hofwegen, Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, for leading the workshop.

      • Professor T. Daniel Seely presents at North East Linguistic Society meeting: "Implications of an un(der) recognized form of Merge," NELS 46, Oct 17, 2015 (work with S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara), Concordia University, Montréal, Québec. 

      • Professors Verónica Grondona and Eric Acton, together with Professor Martin Shichtman of the Jewish Studies Program, awarded an EMU Interdisciplinary Research and Creative Activity Award for their project "Jewish Life and Language in Southeast Michigan." The project, set to begin in fall 2015, will document the lives and languages of Jewish people living in Southeast Michigan, and will provide EMU linguistics students with an excellent opportunity to conduct sociolinguistic fieldwork and research.

      • Prof. T. Daniel Seely publishes new book (with S. D. Epstein & Hisa Kitahara) Explorations in Maximizing Syntactic Minimization. (2015).  Routledge Leading Linguists Series. Routledge.

      • Profs Beverley Goodman and Eric Acton awarded EMU's eFellows grant for their proposal "The Switchboard Corpus: Big Data for Classroom Teaching and Student Research."  With the funding provided, the Linguistics  Program has acquired the Linguistic Data Consortium's (LDC) Switchboard Corpus--a massive collection of recorded phone calls across hundreds of speakers—as well as the LDC's CSLU Speaker Recognition TIMIT corpora.  Together these corpora present exciting of opportunities for teaching and research in areas ranging from phonetics to spoken syntax to sociolinguistics.

      • Professor Eric Acton awarded an EMU Provost's New Faculty Award for his project: "Non-membership, Distancing, and the English Definite Article." 

      • Linguistics major and McNair Scholar Dominique Canning presented her paper: "What's the 'A' stand for anyway: The use and development of asexual vocabulary online" at EMU's 2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium!  This presentation is part of her larger research project investigating language and asexuality, which she has presented at both EMU and the University of Maryland. 

      • Congratulations to this year's presenters at EMU's Graduate Research Conference (Nov 14, 2014):
      - Saja Albuarabi, "Raising to Subject in -Standard Arabic and English"
      - Sarah Al Motairi," Examining the Present Progressive in Central Najdi Arabic"
      - Mansour Altamimi, "Arabic Pro-Drop"
      - Lindsay Stefanski, "A Study of Vowels /ɛ/ and /ɪ/ in African American English and Standard American English"
      - Stephanie Walla, "Because, Language Change: A New Form of 'Because'"

      • Congratulations to MA candidate Stefanie Walla  for her presentation "Because, Language Change: a new form of 'because'" at Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association  meeting, Nov 7, 2014.

      • Colloquium: "Revisiting Potawatomi Derivational Morphology" Hunter Lockwood, Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin, Madison Thursday, October 16, 5 p.m., 2014. 308 Pray-Harrold.

Language is one of the most remarkable of all human capacities. As linguists, our goal is to understand and explain language from a scientific perspective—how languages are learned and represented in the mind, how they’re structured, how they vary and change, what they tell us about human nature and culture.

The Linguistics Program at Eastern Michigan has a rich history of pursuing these questions both in and outside the classroom. In addition to providing award-winning teaching and mentoring, our faculty have worked with students on linguistic issues ranging from documenting indigenous languages of South America, to studying the nature of speech perception, to examining socially charged language in the media, to searching for what is at the very core of all languages.

Our award-winning faculty have research specializations in phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, morphology, typology and language universals, psycholinguistics, language acquisition and minority/endangered languages.

External Grant Projects