Recent News

Olga Zamaraeva successfully defended her dissertation, "A dissertation on constituent questions in the Grammar Matrix, an HPSG-based grammar engineering framework," Winter Quarter 2021. However, that was not all she did! She developed the materials and syllabus for two classes which she is teaching Spring Quarter 2021 for the Linguistics department. The first, for graduate students, is LING 580 Goals and Methods of Computational Linguistics. The other, LING 471 ... Read more
The Department of Linguistics highlights Leanne Rolston, PhD. The pandemic and shift to remote teaching and research were no match for Leanne Rolston! She successfully finished and defended her dissertation, “Dialogical Signals of Stance Taking in Spontaneous Conversation”, December 2020 while working from home with her two children in remote school.  Congrats, Leanne! (She’s also MASTERING the 2nd and 5th grade curricula! They're no match for her 31 years of schooling!) 
Laura McGarrity with TA annotation practice
The following is based on an interview with TA Coordinator and Associate Teaching Professor Laura McGarrity. How can we make online classes more interactive? A simple strategy is to occasionally stop screen sharing your slides so everyone in the class can see each other. It’s easy to maintain an “instructional presence” with your students, whether online or in person, but it’s much harder to cultivate a “social presence” online. It’s important to consider both.  ... Read more
Finger Spelling
On top of their duties teaching American Sign Language, the preferred language of Deaf people in the United States and Canada, the ASL faculty also draw attention to Deaf people and their languages in other countries. On December 10, 2020, the ASL program and Asian Languages and Literatures co-hosted a colloquium by Dr. Chang Hwang (formerly of Central Washington University) on ‘History and Development of Korean Sign Language (KSL) in South Korea’, signed in ASL.  Associate Teaching Professor... Read more
Seium Habties
Tigrinya native speaker Seium Habties once again guided UW linguists in Winter 2020 Field Methods in an exploration of the structure of his language.  Prof. Sharon Hargus designed assignments for students Ella DeatonRob Squizzero, and Tsudoi Wada on the sound system, nouns and verbs, and other areas of Tigrinya grammar, as well as explorations of the Tigrinya lexicon and texts. Habties had a connection to UW... Read more
Steve Moran
It started with a two-month stint at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig before finishing graduate school.  At the MPI Moran made contacts with linguists who used quantitative methods to explore large scale language comparison and remote linguistic relationships.  After filing his 2012 dissertation, Phonetics Information Base and Lexicon, a study of properties of the sound systems of 1089 distinct spoken languages, Moran’s phylogenetic skills were... Read more
Automatic Speech Recognition Alicia Beckford Wassink’s PNW English study has since 2009 amassed a parallel corpus containing more than 5GB of spoken data from a multi-ethnic speaker sample including Washingtonians of Yakama, African American, European American, Japanese American and Chicanx background. The corpus is suitable for assessing ASR system... Read more
Leanne Rolston defended her dissertation on ‘Dialogical Signals of Stance Taking in Spontaneous Conversation’ (Gina Levow, chair of supervisory committee). Ajda Gokcen passed General Exam (Gina Levow, chair of supervisory committee). Rob Squizzero passed General Exam (Alicia Beckford Wassink, chair of supervisory committee). Squizzero was also awarded a National Science Foundation grant for... Read more
Because of the pandemic, the Computational Linguistics Master of Science [CLMS] program could not host its normal 2-day in-person orientation in September 2020. However, the orientation was successfully moved to a virtual format, with a mix of live sessions and pre-recorded talks, as well as social interactions via breakout rooms and an online town. While this experience could not fully replicate the usual picnic... Read more
Alicia Wassink, Harriet Joyce Craven, Ethel Craven-Sweet, Jana Jefferson at Black Pioneer Family Annual Picnic
Since PNWE’s beginnings in 2007, the general approach has been to include folks in families that have had a longstanding presence in the Northwest. A central goal of the current phase of Alicia Beckford Wassink's research on Pacific Northwest English is to investigate the sociolinguistic implications of the long history of  interethnic contact and geographic migration that have shaped Washington state. In August 2019, the Pacific Northwest English study team was invited to a... Read more