Many people misunderstand the field of linguistics, which is the scientific study of language. It includes the study of language structure, the psychology of language and the social underpinnings of language use, among other things.

Yet, when I mention to someone that I'm a linguist, I'm usually asked the same two questions: "How many languages do you speak?" and "So … you want to be an interpreter someday?"

I don’t begrudge these questions. As a field, we clearly... Read more

Post date: Fri, 21/08/2015 - 9:58am

Jae Hyun Sung successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on July 15, 2015. Her dissertation is entitled 'A Cross-linguistic Articulatory Analysis of Palatization in Korean, English, and Scottish Gaelic'. She will begin a visiting position at the University of Alberta this August, where she will teach Introduction to Linguistics and graduate-level Introduction to Phonology. Congratulations, Jae Hyun!


Post date: Thu, 16/07/2015 - 5:01pm

Like many of the faculty, Heidi Harley has been on the move this summer. From June 29 to July 2 she attended the 4th Roots Worshop at NYU ( Her invited talk was called "Suppletion in Hiaki really is suppletion". Starting next week she will be part of the large UA contingent at the Lingstitute at the University of Chicago (, teaching a... Read more

Post date: Wed, 15/07/2015 - 10:16am

Joint PhD Student William Cotter has been in Jordan doing fieldwork. William is carrying out fieldwork in an effort to investigate dialect contact and change between indigenous Jordanians and Palestinian refugees from the Gaza Strip

William has also given several talks this summer. They include:

  • A heavy workload: (Q) as a marker of (supra) local identity in Gaza City, Paper: Forum for Arabic Linguistics , Colchester, United Kingdom, to be held in July 2015 (He was also... Read more
Post date: Wed, 08/07/2015 - 9:41am

PhD Candidate Jae-Hyun Sung is presenting her research at the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) this August, in Glasgow, U.K.

The research is titled "The articulation of mutated consonants: Palatalization in Scottish Gaelic" (co-authored with Diana Archangeli, Sam Johnston, Ian Clayton, and Andrew Carnie). The work was carried out as part of the Deparment of Linguistics Scottish Gaelic project.

Abstract: Scottish Gaelic (henceforth SG) exhibits a rich... Read more

Post date: Wed, 08/07/2015 - 9:33am

PhD Candidate Megan Schildmier Stone presented two talks at the 8th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics in Brussels, Belgium on June 4 and 5, 2015. Her first talk with alumni Jeffrey Punske (PhD 2012) was entitled "Inner aspect and the verbal typology of idioms." Its abstract can be found here. Her second talk was entitled "Syntactic flexibility in verb-... Read more

Post date: Wed, 08/07/2015 - 9:26am

Natasha Warner has been conducting research on use of casual, conversational speech to test listening comprehension in a foreign language, in collaboration with the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and the CITO organization in the Netherlands (equivalent to the Educational Testing Service).

Post date: Wed, 08/07/2015 - 9:21am

Andrew Carnie, Muriel Fisher and their collaborator and former UA Postdoc Ian Clayton (University of Nevada Reno) spent 2 weeks this summer on the Isle of Skye in Scotland doing some initial field work on a new NSF-funded project as part of their long term research into the Grammar of Scottish Gaelic. This new project involves filming native speakers of the language doing and describing traditional parts of the island, such as cutting peat, traditional song and art, agriculture. This project... Read more

Post date: Wed, 08/07/2015 - 9:15am

Statement prepared by Tom Bever, Cecile Mckee and Merrill Garrett (University of Arizona)

The language sciences and the Arizona Linguistics community lost a truly valued
defender and friend on July 1, 2015, with the death of Paul Gipson Chapin from Acute
Myeloid Leukemia, in Tucson Arizona. Paul was born December 27, 1938, in El Paso
Texas, son of John Letcher Chapin and Velma Gipson Chapin. In 1962, he married Susan
Levy... Read more
Post date: Wed, 08/07/2015 - 9:09am

Linguistics Alumna Colleen Fitzgerald (PhD 1997), who is currently a Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics & TESOL at the University of Texas at Arlington, has accepted a new position as Director of the National Science Foundation's Documenting Endangered Languages Program. Colleen will begin her new role in August. More information can be found here. Congratulations, Colleen!

... Read more
Post date: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 3:38pm