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We study how languages work and seek to find the logic behind language. We offer B.A.s and M.A.s in Linguistics, with emphasis on phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, and historical linguistics.
Dr. Smith was invited to teach a week-long intensive phonology course at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, during summer 2015. The course, “Fundamental concepts and current challenges in constraint-based phonology,” gave undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience with phonological analysis in the Optimality Theory framework. Students learned to reconsider the foundational questions of phonology from a constraint-based perspective.
Dr. Frey (UNC American Studies) and Dr. Becker received a grant from the Endangered Language Fund for a project on Cherokee language revitalization. The project involves a 3-day workshop for teachers from the New Kituwah Academy, one of only two Cherokee language immersion schools in the country, and the only one in North Carolina. Dr. Becker and Dr. Frey will also travel to the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, to work with teachers, parents, and community elders, to help promote Cherokee language use.
Caleb Hicks successfully defended his dissertation “Condition bias in split-alignment systems: A typological study of North American languages” on Tuesday, May 26th. (Dr. David Mora-Marin, faculty advisor)
PhD student Emily Moeng received a dissertation improvement grant from NSF to complete her project entitled “The Acquisition of Phoneme Categories” (Dr. Elliott Moreton, faculty advisor).
Dr. J. Michael Terry, in collaboration with Dr. Randy Hendrick, Dr. Richard Smith (UNC Department of Statistics Operations and Research) and Dr. Evangelos Evangelou (University of Bath, Department of Mathematical Sciences), has published a chapter entitled “Dialect Switching and Mathematical Reasoning Tests: Implications for Early Educational Achievement” in the Oxford Handbook of African American Language.
In April 2014, Professor Misha Becker published a new research monograph, The Acquisition of Syntactic Structure: Animacy and Thematic Alignment (Cambridge University Press).
The department manager for Linguistics, Ms. Samelia McIver, has won a Star Heels Award for the academic year 2014-15. Congratulations, Samelia!
The Linguistics Outreach Group (LOG), a group of graduate students, ungraduates and faculty in linguistics, participated in UNC’s annual Science Expo. Visitors to our booth experienced palatography, learned to write their names in Mayan hieroglyphs, and learned about regional accents. For more information about the group’s activities please see the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LOGatUNC?fref=ts