Recent News

On May 4-5, the department hosted the 40th Northwest Linguistics Conference (NWLC). This is an annual graduate student-run conference in linguistics centered on themes of language in the Northwestern region of North America. This conference is hosted in alternating years by Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and the University of Washington. Our graduate students put a lot of work into organizing the event, and it was a big success! We had… Read more
We have a lot of good news to celebrate this quarter, and many people to congratulate! Professors Shane Steinert-Threlkeld and Naja Ferjan Ramírez have both been promoted to Associate Professors with tenure. Joyce Parvi was nominated for the Distinguished Staff Award, UW's highest staff honor. Graduate Students Emily Ahn and Kaveri Sheth both successfully completed their General Exams, and are officially PhD… Read more
The Department of Linguistics regretfully announces that Virginia Beavert, native speaker of Sahaptin (Ichishkíin, the traditional language of the Yakama Nation) and long time collaborator of faculty member Sharon Hargus, died on February 8, 2024, at the age of 102. Sharon writes: I first met Virginia in 1987. She had come to the department looking for a linguist to work with. That in itself is extraordinary, and probably due to her observation of her stepfather Alex Saluskin… Read more
The Spring 2024 Language Bias Workshop will take place on May 15, 2024 from 3:00pm-4pm in Denny Hall 159. This workshop will explore how to recognize and mitigate language bias on campus, whether in the classroom or in other contexts. It will address questions like "What is language bias?" and how does language bias affect our goal of creating a more welcoming, equitable and enriching environment for all individuals on campus? This workshop is hosted by the UW Working Group on Linguistic Bias… Read more
The Linguistics Department will be offering two courses this summer - LING 200, Introduction to Linguistics, and LING 234, Language and Diversity. Each course will be taught by Lorna Rozelle, and there are no pre-requisites. Introduction to Linguistics (LING 200) This course studies one of the most fundamental characteristics of humans, language. We will analyze language at all levels of linguistic structure, from phonetics to semantics, as well as look at topics in language acquisition,… Read more
Linguistics Professor Betsy Evans is a guest on the February 2024 episode of ‘In a Manner of Speaking’. Professor Evans and Paul Meier discuss the history and mission of the American Dialect Society and explore the latest trends in accents, dialects, and vocabulary of the Unites States. Professor Evans is a co-founder of the Linguistics Bias Working group at the University of Washington and the executive director of the American Dialect Society. Listen to the full episode… Read more
In an article about women and BIPOC academic entrepreneurs, Linguistics Professor Alicia Wassink shares her experiences, both personal and professional, and their influence on her work. Professor Wassink received a CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund award for her project on mitigating racial bias in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) by leveraging sociolinguistic knowledge and tools to identify blind spots and pain points that… Read more
As part of the UW College of Arts and Sciences' Second Annual "Big Read",  join Linguistics Professor Dr. Emily M. Bender for a conversation with Dr. Joy Buolamwini, author of Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What is Human in a World of Machines (Penguin Random House, 2023) and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League. The event will take place on Tuesday, February 20th 2024, at 1:00pm, in the Husky Union Building (HUB) South Ballroom. Registration is required to… Read more
Dr. Kirby Conrod started their linguistics journey via a double major in Linguistics and Literature for their BA at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where they discovered a deep love of syntax. After spending time teaching English in Taiwan, they then moved to Seattle, Washington to pursue their PhD in Linguistics at the University of Washington, where they specialized in syntax and sociolinguistics, advised by Professors Citko and Wassink. Their 2019 dissertation, Pronouns Raising and… Read more
A number of department members (both graduate students and faculty) attended and the 2024 LSA conference in New York! Everyone had a great time presenting their research, meeting linguists, and learning about research from other institutions, as well as doing some exploring in NYC! Here are some talks and sessions from the conference which involved department members: LSA Organized Session. "The historical role of professional organizations in the emergence of the scientific community of… Read more