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News & Events

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• Current Weekly Colloquium Series schedule can be found on this page.

In celebration of Pitt's Year of Diversity, the linguistics department is jointly hosting the Cultural and Linguistics Diversity Conference: Living and Working Together. It will be held on March 29, 2017 at the University Club. Registration is free and open now.

PhD Student Wins Three Minute Thesis Competition

(February 23, 2017) PhD candidate Noriyasu Harada Li won first place, Humanities Division, in the Three Minute Thesis Competition hosted by the Graduate Students office that took place on February 22, 2017. His presentation was on his dissertation, titled "The Interpretation and Processing of the System of Japanese Reflexives". The 3MT, originally developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, is a competition where contestants condense their research into a three minute, one-slide presentation for a non-specialist audience.

Pitt Linguists at LSA 2017

(January 12, 2017) The Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America took place January 5th-8th in Austin, TX. The conference included presentations by the following Pitt linguists (in alphabetical order by last name). Lauren Collister presented a poster entitled "Tell the Story of Data with Metrics" as part of a symposium and panel discussion on Data Citation and Attribution for Reproducible Research in Linguistics. Jevon Heath presented a poster entitled "How automatic is phonetic convergence? Evidence from working memory". There was a session on case studies based on the archival collections of Professor Emeritus Terrence Kaufman. This session was held as part of the meeting for the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, one of the sister societies that meets jointly with the LSA. Holman Tse's presentation was entitled "Heritage Language Maintenance and Phonological Maintenance in Toronto Cantonese Monophthongs? -- But They Still Have an "Accent"!". This talk was live tweeted by the Ling Space, an educational project with the goal of making linguistics fun and accessible through YouTube videos and blog posts. Check out their tweets. Kirk Hazen (Professor of Linguistics at West Virginia University) also posted a photo of the talk.

New Journal Publication by PhD Student

(January 6, 2017) PhD student Héctor Ramírez-Cruz has published his article '¡No manches, güey! Service encounters in a Hispanic American intercultural setting' in the Journal of Pragmatics. The article is a revised version of his second comprehensive paper, which he carried out under the supervision of Dr. Shelome Gooden and Dr. Scott Kiesling. In this paper, Héctor investigates food service encounters of Hispanic service providers and Anglo-American and Hispanic customers in a taco shop in Pittsburgh, PA. The paper provides empirical evidence for positioning stance-taking as a crucial activity in intercultural communication settings and makes a thoughtful contribution to the investigation of stances from a sociolinguistic perspective. Congratulations to Héctor on his very important achievement of publishing in one of the top journals in our field.

Against Hate Speech

(November 21, 2016) In response to incidents of hate speech reported nationwide following the outcome of the presidential election, Department Chair Shelome Gooden released a memo outlining our department's stance against hate speech and reporting guidelines. Please read it here.

Hispanic Linguists at Conference

(October 11, 2016) Eight current and former members of the Pitt Hispanic Linguistics community presented research at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium at Georgetown University, October 7-9, 2016. Current department members Virginia Terán and Dr. Marta Ortega-Llebaria presented on the intonation of neutral interrogatives in the Spanish of Tucumán, Argentina; and Silvia Pisabarro Sarrió and Dr. Matt Kanwit presented on variable morphosyntactic intensification in the Catalan and Spanish of Tarragona, Spain. Dr. Kanwit also presented on the L2 acquisition of variable intensification by study abroad learners in Spain and Mexico (with collaborators from Indiana University). Recent department graduates Dr. Carrie Bonilla (George Mason University), Dr. Nausica Marcos Miguel (Denison University), Dr. Michael Olsen (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point), and Dr. Paul Toth (Temple University) also presented original research projects.

Pittsburgh-Jamaica Connection

(October 4, 2016) Hector Ramirez-Cruz and Dr. Shelome Gooden presented papers at the 21st Biennial conference of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics in Jamaica August 1-6, 2016 at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Their research highlighted prosodic variation in Jamaican Creole and issues related to Ethnolinguistic vitality in the Creole in San Andrés and Providencia. The Pittsburgh UWI-Mona link has a long history as Professor Emeritus Terrence Kaufmann was an attendee at the very first Creole linguistics meeting in the 1960s and Gooden herself studied at UWIMona. You can see photos of the two presenters here.

Obituary: Dr. Christina Bratt Paulston

(September 26, 2016) The Department of Linguistics is sad to announce that Professor Emeritus Christina Bratt Paulston passed away on September 22, 2016. She will be missed by her colleagues and friends in the Department. Please see this obituary penned by Dr. Alan Juffs, director of ELI. A remembrance and celebration of Professor Paulston’s contributions to the University of Pittsburgh and the field of linguistics will be held at the Heinz Chapel, University of Pittsburgh, on December 13, 2016.

PhD Student Wins Postgraduate Student Paper Award

(September 23, 2016) Héctor Ramírez-Cruz has received the Postgraduate Student Paper Award of the year from the Center on Race and social Problems at the University of Pittsburgh. Héctor has written an outstanding paper entitled "Creole, English, and Spanish: the racialized distribution of the languages in a multilingual community" using preliminary findings from his dissertation research on the Creoles from San Andrés and Providencia, Colombia.

Faculty in Pitt Chronicle

(September 21, 2016) Dr. Abdesalam Soudi penned an article entitled "First Person: What’s in Your Culture Box?" for Pitt Chronicle, which details his effort to raise cultural awareness in his classroom.

Presentation at Pacific SLRF

(September 19, 2016) PhD student Noriyasu Harada Li recently presented at the 2016 Pacific Second Language Research Forum at Chuo University, Tokyo Japan with former graduate student Katherine Martin. Their project, “Orthographic errors in beginning and intermediate learners of L2 Japanese from two L1s,” examines longitudinal and cross-sectional data of orthographic knowledge development among L2 Japanese learners in their first two years of language study.

Course on Codeswitching at 2017 LSA Institute

(September 9, 2016) Dr. Melinda Fricke will teach a course entitled “Psycholinguistic and Corpus Approaches to Codeswitching” at the 2017 Linguistic Society of America Institute. The LSA Institute will take place at the University of Kentucky next summer, and is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduates and graduate students to take courses on topics they otherwise would not be able to. Students interested in attending should check out the Institute web page and contact Dr. Fricke with any questions.

LCTL Students Earn Critical Language Scholarships

(May 26, 2016) Eight University of Pittsburgh students have been awarded 2016 Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State. Pitt’s scholars—composed of three graduate students and five undergraduates—will spend this summer in the countries of Azerbaijan, China, Indonesia, Tajikistan, and Tanzania. Andrew C. Nitz, Steve R. Moon, Roisin O’Dowd and Ashley N. Saxe studied through our LCTL language programs.

Department Hosting the Humanities in Health Conference

(April 20, 2016) On Tuesday, April 7 2016, the linguistics department successfully held the Humanities in Health Conference. The event was part of Pitt's the Year of the Humanities initiative and was co-hosted with Department of Family Medicine and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Services.

Presentation at Spanish Sociolinguistics Conference

(April 19, 2016) Pitt Hispanic Linguistics was represented in April 2016 at the 8th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Matthew Kanwit, Maritza Nemogá, Silvia Pisabarro, and Virginia Terán presented a total of four individual and collaborative morphosyntactic research projects on variable intensification, the use of non-standard verbal forms, variable forms of address, and variation in past-perfective expression.

PhD Student Wins Mellon Fellowship

(April 15, 2016) PhD student Noriyasu Harada Li received the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship for next year. The fellowship will go towards working on his dissertation on the processing of Japanese reflexives by L1 speakers and L2 learners. Congratulations!

Undergrad Wins Research Fellowship

(April 11, 2016) Anish Kumar, a junior Linguistics major, was recently awarded the Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Seminar Research Fellowship by the University Honors College. With the fellowship, Anish has enrolled in Dr. Matt Kanwit's Spring 2016 graduate course in Second Language Acquisition, where he is receiving individualized guidance on an original research project on the selection of the prepositions por and para by second-language learners of Spanish. Congratulations, Anish!

Workshop Presentation

(March 30, 2016) PhD student Holman Tse recently presented at the 3rd Workshop on Innovations in Cantonese Linguistics at the Ohio State University. Slides from his presentations are available at his website. Pictures from the Workshop are also available at the HLVC Project Page.

PhD Student Wins Nationality Room Scholarship

(February 23, 2016) Congratulations to PhD student Matthew Hadodo, who received the Nationality Rooms Scholarship. He will be traveling to Istanbul, Turkey this summer to document the endangered Greek dialect spoken by the ethnic community there, through ethnography and sociolinguistic interviews. The data collected will be used for his comps papers and eventually his dissertation.

PhD Student Wins Japanese Scholarships

(February 15, 2016) PhD student Noriyasu Harada Li received two awards: the Japanese Room Committee Scholarship in Honor of Dr. Asatoshi Maeshiro from the Nationality Rooms, and a Japan Studies Doctoral Research Grant. The awards will be used toward travel to collect data for his dissertation research. His dissertation project focuses on reflexive-antecedent binding in Japanese (zibun, zibun-zisin, and kare-zisin), and comparing data from L1 speakers and L2 learners of Japanese.

Publication in TIPA

(February 10, 2016) An article written by PhD Student Holman Tse has been published in the open access French journal TIPA as part of an issue on contact-induced change."The Role of Shift-Induced Interference in the Development of a Typologically Rare Phonological Contrast in Somali Bantu Kizigua” is an article that originally developed from work based on the Spring 2012 Field Methods (LING 1441/2441) class.

Faculty Advisor Wins Ampco-Pitt Prize

(February 4, 2016) Congratulations to Dr. Claude Mauk, Director of Undergraduate Studies, who won this year's Ampco-Pitt Prize for Excellence in Advising. The prize is an annual honor that recognizes outstanding faculty advising for undergraduate students. Dr. Mauk has been serving as an undergrad advisor in our department for 9 years, during which time his efforts positively impacted many of our majors' lives. His story was featured in the recent issue of the Pitt Chronicle.

ASL Voted Best Course at Pitt

(January 20, 2016) The American Sign Language (ASL) program, part of the Less-Commonly-Taught Languages Center, was voted Best class by the students, faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh in the Pitt News' annual Best Of Readers Poll. You can see the news in this special issue of the Pitt News. Congratulations!