The computerized "Hala" will be able to translate not just language but nuance when dealing with multicultural visitors.

Researchers at the University of Arizona and Carnegie Mellon University are working to create a robot receptionist. What makes the effort novel is that the "roboceptionist" is bilingual and bicultural – a computer with a face and a natural language interface.

A three-year, $1 million grant from the Qatar National Research Foundation is funding basic advances... Read more

Post date: Fri, 05/11/2010 - 1:00am

Tucson - Researchers at the University of Arizona are pioneering methods to find out how we learn language. They received a grant of nearly $400,000 from the National Science Foundation.

They're conducting studies on babies from 4 to 20 months-old and the findings might change the way we expose kids to new information.

"We're measuring how long he's looking at each of these lights, based upon his head turns," says Sara Knight Manager of the Tweety Language Development Lab.... Read more

Post date: Fri, 15/10/2010 - 1:00am

Neto's Tucson: Heed rocks on North Mountain - they carry messages of beauty

Ernesto Portillo Jr.
Arizona Daily Star
Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010

Along a mile stretch of North Mountain Avenue, poetry is strewn, etched on small boulders, in native Tohono O'odham and immigrant English.
Most of the poems, between East Ft. Lowell and East Roger roads, are odes to our desert, its colors, creatures, smells and vistas.

The poems were written by Ofelia... Read more

Post date: Tue, 05/10/2010 - 12:00am

UA linguist Adam Ussishkin, whose research interests span phonology, psycholinguistics, Semitic languages and grammar, has headed up an effort to update and digitize the Maltese-English dictionary of record.

The standard Maltese-English dictionary, originally drafted by 20th century linguist Joseph Aquilina over nearly 50 years, has served as the language's primary linguistic source for decades.

Subsequently, much of the dictionary – published in volumes leading up to the 1980s... Read more

Post date: Wed, 29/09/2010 - 12:00am

The YWCA established the Women on the Move Awards in 1982 to honor Tucson women for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the community and to the mission of the YWCA to eliminate racism and empower women.

Link to YWCA story

Post date: Thu, 23/09/2010 - 12:00am

Andrew Carnie, a UA linguistics professor, is heading a research project to analyze and document Scottish Gaelic, a language that is slowly being lost because natives more readily are learning and speaking English.

Scottish Gaelic, an endangered language, is predicted to fall out of use within the century as a consequence of native speakers turning to English instead.

And those concerned with preserving and advancing the use of Scottish Gaelic face another dilemma – the lack of... Read more

Post date: Mon, 20/09/2010 - 12:00am

When it comes to understanding language, we often focus only on what we hear. But other signals also come into play with language recognition, such as the shape of the lips, vibration of the vocal folds or movement of the tongue.

Archangeli, whose research focuses largely on the movement of the tongue when we talk, is working to collect data on the role the tongue, lips, vocal folds, nasal airflow and other areas play in language recognition. Her eventual goal is to develop an... Read more

Post date: Mon, 20/09/2010 - 12:00am

Harley's project involves digitizing and remastering audio tapes of interviews with Yaqui elders in the Yaqui language, as well as producing transcriptions and translations of the interviews, which address the elders' experiences as children of warfare with and persecution and deportation by the Mexican government.

Several hours of interviews were conducted and recorded on cassette by Maria Florez Leyva, a native speaker of Arizona Yaqui, between 1969 and 2008. They have been kept in... Read more

Post date: Mon, 20/09/2010 - 12:00am

Heidi Harley, an assistant professor of linguistics, received a $159,992 grant to study, "The Morphosyntax of Verbs in Arizona Yaqui."

Susan Penfield, a lecturer in the English department, received $200,000 for her "Mohave and Chemehuevi Language Documentation Project."

Natasha Warner, also an assistant professor of linguistics, received $168,261 for her project, "Database of Mutsun, an Extinct California American-Indian Language."

Two students in the joint linguistics/... Read more

Post date: Mon, 20/09/2010 - 12:00am

Andrew Carnie, professor in the department of linguistics, is known among colleagues and students for his commitment to graduate education and mentoring. With his open-door policy, his academic and personal interest in his students and his knowledge of his field, he is often sought after by students for advice and guidance and, often, by those who are not his students. Carnie's students say he has an ability to bring humor and lightheartedness into the classroom in even the most challenging... Read more

Post date: Mon, 20/09/2010 - 12:00am