Autumn 2022 Linguistics Newsletter

The 2021-2022 academic year saw a return to in-person classes and an increase in the social life of the Linguistics Department and the UW campus. At the end of the year, we were very happy to host an in-person departmental graduation ceremony and celebration, with alumnus Brent Woo (see below) as our commencement speaker—the first in-person graduation since the spring of 2019. In the 2022 graduating class, 68 linguistics undergraduates received their BA degrees, 6 with departmental honors, 9… Read more
Acting Assistant Professor Andrew Hedding joins the faculty this year with a 2022 PhD from University of California Santa Cruz. Hedding is a syntactician and fieldworker with additional interests in the way(s) that syntax interfaces with phonology. To date, his work has focused on a specific variety of Mixtec, a family of indigenous languages spoken in Mexico and by immigrant communities along the West Coast of the United States. In his dissertation, How to move a focus: The syntax of… Read more
  Alicia Beckford Wassink is the University of Washington’s 2022 Byron W. and Alice L. Lockwood Professor of the Humanities.  2022 is the first year that this three-year award has been given to a faculty member in Linguistics.  The selection committee included Dean of Humanities Brian Reed, who stated in his nomination letter: Professor Wassink is an internationally recognized scholar who has made contributions in three key areas, namely, sociolinguistics, phonetics, and creole studies. Not… Read more
Bender was a guest on the podcast "Factually! with Adam Conover "  June 21, 2022, where she talked with comedian Adam Conover about “The Real Problem with Artificial Intelligence”, and “why we should resist the urge to be impressed when it comes to big tech’s A.I. promises, and how our belief in the fantasy of A.I. could be worse than the reality.” Bender’s short answer to why we should resist is… Read more
In June 2022 Nathan Loggins received his PhD in Linguistics, filing his dissertation entitled Ethnic History and Language Typology in Western China: The Cases of Xining, Daohua and Bai. The goal of Nathan’s dissertation was to trace language development along the lines of social history in three multilingual regions across China’s historical frontier with Tibet:  Amdo on the modern Qinghai-Gansu border, the Kham region of western Sichuan, and Dali in Yunnan.  Focusing on local Sinitic… Read more
In June 2022 Robert Squizzero received his PhD in Linguistics, filing his dissertation Sociolinguistic and Phonetic Perception of Second Language Mandarin Chinese. In his dissertation, Squizzero performed a series of experiments investigating social and phonetic factors affecting the perception of L2 Mandarin Chinese.  His dissertation is a unique contribution to the literature on second language perception, as most research on this topic has involved Indo-European languages, which, as… Read more
Congratulations to PhD candidate Naomi Tachikawa Shapiro, who was recently awarded the Graduate School Presidential Dissertation Fellowship in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Professions. The award will provide support as she works towards… Read more
2021 PhD Amandalynne Paullada was interviewed on 7-27-22 by Kirsten Martin of Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center concerning her article "Machine Translation Shifts Power", which was published in 2021 in The Gradient while she was still a PhD student. In the article and the interview, Paullada gives examples of how grave misunderstandings can result from the crudeness of machine translation crudeness or… Read more
The department was delighted to welcome 2019 PhD Brent Woo back to UW as this year’s (June 2022) commencement speaker. The introduction by Woo’s advisor, Barbara Citko, detailed his many accomplishments at UW.  For those of us who remember Woo as a great citizen of the department, it’s no surprise that he has been an active participant in the Linguistic Society of America, featured on the 2018 LSA… Read more