Winter 2022 Linguistics Newsletter

Virginia Beavert, Tuxámshish, who received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from UW in 2009 (nominated by Linguistics), celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 30, 2021 outside the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI), University of Oregon, Eugene.  Beavert was a UO graduate student 2007-2012, receiving a PhD in Linguistics in 2012.  From 2012-2016, Dr. Beavert was a Research Associate at NILI, and since 2016 she has served as the Sapsikʷ’ałá Distinguished Elder Educator for the UO College of… Read more
As previously reported, in July 2021 we mourned the loss of beloved PhD student and undergraduate advisor, Jiahui Huang. The Jiahui Huang Memorial Fund was established shortly after his passing to support the installation of the Jiahui Huang Memorial Bench outside the entrance of Guggenheim Hall. Fifty-one… Read more
In December 2021 Ben Jones successfully defended and filed his dissertation, The Spatiality of Perceptual Dialectology, supervised by Betsy Evans. Jones’ dissertation focused on language attitudes and ideologies towards English in the state of Maine. Respondents in Jones’ study were asked to use the Folk Linguistic Online Mapping tool developed by Betsy Evans to draw regions of Maine after being given these instructions: “Is it possible… Read more
In December 2021 Ajda Gokçen successfully defended and filed her dissertation, Resourceful at Any Size: A Predictive Methodology Using Linguistic Corpus Metrics for Multi-Source Training in Neural Dependency Parsing, supervised by Gina-Anne Levow. Multilingual modeling comes up in natural language processing at any scale. Corpora for high-resource languages (like English) train high-performing models, and can be combined with other language corpora of all sizes to make better models for low-… Read more
In December 2021 Amandalynne Paullada successfully defended and filed her dissertation, Considerations for the social impact of natural language processing, supervised by Fei Xia. Natural language processing (NLP) technologies have transformed how people access information and communicate with one another. Particularly as these technologies have come to rely on large amounts of personal data and are deployed in a variety of sensitive contexts, it has become critical to take stock of… Read more
On Dec. 1, 2021, at the 181st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Seattle, Richard Wright was named a Fellow, “for contributions to understanding how phonetic variability impacts communication”.  It’s easy to see why Wright received this honor.  At the Seattle ASA, for example, Wright was a co-author on two posters and one presentation, and co-organized a special session.  UW Linguistics was well represented at this ASA: Posters Ted Kye, “Effects of uvular consonants on vowel… Read more
Kaveri Sheth received the Paula Menyuk Award, given to "students who are first authors on top-rated abstracts", for her presentation (with Naja Ferjan Ramírez) on “Paternal and maternal parentese and infant vocabularies: A longitudinal corpus analysis”. Their study investigated maternal and paternal parentese and how it changes over the child's development. They found that both mothers and fathers increase the lexical and syntactic complexity of their parentese in a similar way. Paternal… Read more
Fritz Newmeyer retired from UW Linguistics in 2006, but he hasn’t exactly taken it easy since then. Among other activities, he’s been a Guest Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University, a Professor at Norwegian Graduate Researcher Summer School in Linguistics and Philology, Senja Norway, and a Collaborateur at Institut des Science Cognitives, Lyon, France. A UW Linguistics faculty member from 1969-2006, Newmeyer was active in the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), the national… Read more
2019 PhD Kirby Conrod, now a faculty member at Swarthmore College, received the Arnold Zwicky award from the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) on January 8, 2022 during the LSA's 2022 Annual Meeting in Washington DC. The award recognizes “the contributions of LGBTQ+ scholars in linguistics, and is named for Arnold… Read more