Spotlight: Visiting Scholars
The linguistics department welcomes four visiting scholars this year: Liya Xue, Dr. Iskra Iskrova, Dr. Robert Lawson, and Dr. Baoguo Zhou (from left to right).
Spotlight: Henderson Award
TESOL Certificate program students Jaimie Minnicks (Department of Instruction and Learning) and Hillary Schepps (Department of Linguistics) received the 2013 Robert T. Henderson Endowment Fund Award.
Spotlight: Undergrad Internships
Linguistics undergraduate students, faculty and sponsors (M*Modal, Semantic Compaction Systems, LTI, and ELI) gathered to celebrate the successful completion of the first linguistics internship course.
Spotlight: NWAV 42
The linguistics department welcomed socio-linguists from all over the world, who were in Pittsburgh to participate in NWAV 42. The department co-hosted the conference with the Carnegie Mellon University.
Our undergraduate students are known for their active participation in campus life and linguistics-related events. In this photo, Yinzling, the undergrad linguistics club at Pitt, is holding a bake sale.
Spotlight: SLRF 2013
Jessica Packer (LING major), Dawn E. McCormick (Lecturer/ELI Associate Director), and Mary Lou Vercellotti (PhD graduate/ Assistant Prof. at Ball State University) at the 2013 Second Language Research Forum in Provo, Utah.
News & Events
Celebrating International Education Week
(November 19, 2013)
The English Language Institute (ELI) and the Less-Commonly-Taught Languages Center (LCTL) in the Department of Linguistics teamed up with Pitt's Global Ties in the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development to present the Cultural Carnival and World Dance Showcase on Tuesday, November 12. The activity was a featured event for International Education Week designed to expand the awareness of and interest in global learning opportunities by celebrating the intercultural diversity on campus. This annual event also promotes collaboration of various divisions and departments as well as student groups on campus and strengthens the University of Pittsburgh as a center for international education.
Latest figures in the Pitt Factbook 2013 show that there are 2629 international students from more than 100 different countries at Pitt's main campus. That doesn’t even include the 175 international students from 23 different countries who are studying English as a second language in the ELI! Add to that the almost 30 different languages that are currently being taught at Pitt and you truly have a celebration of language, culture and diversity on our campus. (video of Cultural Carnival on Pitt News web site, video of Cultural Carnival on YouTube, link to photo album on Flickr)
Faculty Appears on The Dude Show
(November 6, 2013) Dr Scott Kiesling made a guest appearance on a radio show entitled The Dude Show, discussing the etymology of the word 'dude'. Check out the segment here.
Pride and Prejudice Read-a-thon
(November 5, 2013) ELI Director Alan Juffs, Associate Director Dorolyn Smith, and Linguistics Department Administrator Allison Thompson participated in the English Department's "Pride and Prejudice" read-a-thon this past weekend to honor the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's literary classic. Learn more about the read-a-thon in the "Pittsburgh Post Gazette's" article or check out some pics here.
ELI Hosts Three Rivers TESOL Conference
(October 30, 2013) On Saturday, October 26, the English Language Institute, University of Pittsburgh, hosted the Three Rivers TESOL Conference 2013! More than 100 English as a second language educators from 10 different institutions around the region were welcomed for this one-day professional development opportunity. The theme of the conference was "Facilitating Language Learning Through Teacher Creativity" and included a plenary session titled "The Art of Teaching Language: Facilitating the Complex Processes of Putting Our Worlds into Words" presented by Dr. Susan Strauss from Penn State University. (Photo 1, photo 2, photo 3)
Job Announcement: Assistant Professors
(October 7, 2013) Our department is hiring. We are seeking applicants for two assistant professor positions, to start in September 2014. Please see this document for details.
Changes to Minor Requirements
(August 30, 2013) The requirements for a minor in linguistcs have been changed. The new requirements include 15 credits consisting of LING 1000 and any four 1000-level linguistics elective courses. Notably, linguistics minor students are no longer required to take LING 1578 Phonetics or LING 1777 Syntax. Please see the linguistics minor page for details.
Pitt Receives Dr. Al Rabiah, ELI Alumnus
(June 27, 2013) His Excellency Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, current Minister of Commerce and Industry for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a former student in the English Language Institute (ELI) in the Department of Linguistics and alumni of the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his PhD in Computer Science. On June 27, officials at the University of Pittsburgh – including University Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, ELI Director Dr. Alan Juffs, ELI Associate Directors Dawn McCormick and Dorolyn Smith, ELI Student Advisor Stacy Ranson, and professors from the Arabic program in the Department of Linguistics – were present at a reception to welcome His Excellency and to recognize his accomplishments. We’re all very proud of him! Photos from the event can be found on the ELI Facebook page.
Upcoming Symposium Presentation
(July 2, 2013) Daniel Hatfield and Dr. Alan Juffs will present a paper entitled "Refugee Policy and Language Learning in Pittsburgh, PA" at LESLLA 2013 Symposium, to be held on August 7-9 2013 at City College of San Francisco – Mission Campus, San Francisco, California, USA.
Ling-Anthro Undergrad Wins 2013 Brackenridge Research Fellowship
(June 24, 2013) Congratulations to Ranem Atia, a linguistics and anthropology double major, who has been awarded a Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship (2013) by the University Honors College to work on a Sociolinguistics project: Conversational Closings in Spoken Arabic (Faculty Sponsor: Abdesalam Soudi). Wish her much success and satisfaction in carrying out her project.
PhD Student Wins Best Paper Presentation Award
(June 12, 2013) Congratulations to PhD student Holman Tse for receiving the best paper presentation award at JéTou 2013, which took place the University of Toulouse, France. JéTou is an international conference designed for young researchers from across the language sciences. The theme of this year's conference was Variation and Variability.
Brief Report in TESOL Quarterly
(May 20, 2013) Dr. Mary Lou Vercellotti (2012 PhD graduate and incoming Ball State University faculty member) and Dr. Dawn E. McCormick (lecturer in the department and a member of the ELI administrative faculty) published a brief report in the June 2013 edition of TESOL Quarterly entitled "Examining the Impact of Self-Correction Notes on Grammatical Accuracy in Speaking". It can be accessed by members on the publisher's website or by the Pitt community through pittcat.
Undergrad Wins Pickering Fellowship
(May 8, 2013) Congratulations to LaVonda Baldwin, a linguistics minor and ASL certificate student, on her winning Pickering Fellowship. The nationally competitive Pickering Fellowship awards 20 rising college seniors undergraduate and graduate school funding, mentorship, and internship experiences as they prepare academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service.
ELI Faculty Elected for TESOL Offices
(April 23, 2013) Heather McNaught, a member of the ELI administrative faculty, is now president of Three Rivers TESOL, the local TESOL International Association affiliate. Dr. Dawn E. McCormick, a lecturer in the department and a member of the ELI administrative faculty, is now chair of the Professional Development Committee, a standing committee of TESOL International Association.
Robert T. Henderson Endowment Fund Award
(April 22, 2013) Congratulations to TESOL Certificate program students Jaimie Minnicks (Department of Instruction and Learning) and Hillary Schepps (Department of Linguistics), recipients of the 2013 Robert T. Henderson Endowment Fund Award. Each student will receive $2500 to help with expenditures related to their degrees, certificate program, and/or their TESOL career plans.
PhD Student Awarded FLAS Fellowship
(April 3, 2013) Congratulations to PhD student Holman Tse, who has been awarded a 2013-2014 FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowship through the Global Studies Center. He will be using the award to continue his study of Swahili. Hongera, Holman!
Faculty Receives a Mentoring Award
(March 25, 2013) Congratulations to Dr. Alan Juffs for being selected as one of four faculty members across the University to be awarded the Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring. The award recognizes Pitt faculty members who demonstrate outstanding mentoring of graduate students seeking a research doctorate degree.
A Presentation at AAAL
(March 25, 2013) Dr. Alan Juffs gave a presentation at the 2013 annual meeting of AAAL (American Association for Applied Linguistics), entitled "Tracking the development of lexical diversity in intensive English program students in the US". The research was done in collaboration with Joseph Petrich, a linguistics undergrad, and Dr. Na-Rae Han.
Five PhD Students Presenting at Grad Expo
(March 21, 2013) Five of our PhD students presented papers at this year's Grad Expo, sponsored by the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. They are as follows:
- Jody Garcia: Rabaul Creole German: A Mixed Language Approach
- Nausica Marcos Miguel: Productive and Receptive Morphological Awareness: How Related are these Two Constructs to Vocabulary Size in Adult Learners?
- Holman Tse: A Socio-historical Account of Language Contact and Maintenance in Somali Bantu Kizigua
- Adrienne Washington: “They don’t say ‘my nigga’ like the people in my community”: Language and the Politics of Race, Place and Space
- Zhaohong Wu: Task and SOA in Cross-language Priming in Chinese ESL learners
The full program is available at http://www.pitt.edu/~gradexpo/
A Presentation at GURT
(Mar 13, 2013) PhD student Holman Tse presented a paper on March 10 at the annual Georgetown University Roundtable on Languages and Linguistics (GURT). This year's conference was held jointly with the 44th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL). His talk was entitled "The Diachronic Emergence of Retroflexion in Pre-nasalized Stops in Somali Bantu Kizigua: : Internal Motivation or Contact-induced Change?".
Irish Gaelic in the News
(Mar 8, 2013) Pittsburgh Tribune Review published an article on Irish Gaelic, taught by Marie Young and offered by LCTL. It's entitled "Traditional language of Ireland experiences revival".
Upcoming Yinzling Events
(Feb 27, 2013) Yinzling, the undergrad club for the linguistics department, is hosting the following upcoming events. Everyone interested in linguistics is welcome!
- Fri, March 1 - 4th Annual Language Fair at WPU Assembly Room (2:30 - 5pm)
- Tue, March 5 - Mini Lecture by Rob Lawson at G17 Cathedral (8:30pm -)
- Thu, March 28 - Movie Night (Title and location TBD) (8:30pm -)
- Fri, April 12 to Sat, April 13 - Relay for Life (6pm - 8pm)
Presentations by a Ph.D Student
(Feb 26, 2013) Ph.D student Jody Garcia is giving a conference presentation at Oklahoma State on Mar 2 called, "Indexing Identity and Negotiating Face in New Media". She is also giving an invited talk at the Asia Over Lunch Conference Series. The talk will take place Mar 27 and is called, "Reassessing Language Contact in the South Pacific: Taking a Second Look at the Linguistic Outcomes of Imperialism in Austronesia".
Undergrad Wins Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)
(Feb 26, 2013) Congratulations to Steve Sloto, Linguistics junior, for being selected for the Turkish Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. The CLS Program is part of a larger U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.
PhD Candidate Featured in Teaching Times
(Feb 8, 2013) Lauren Collister, PhD candidate in the Linguistics Department, is featured in this month’s issue of Pitt’s “Teaching Times” for her use of Prezi (an online presentation tool). Congratulations, Lauren! You can read the entire article here.
UG Major Recognized for Outstanding Community Engagement
(Feb 4, 2013) Congratulations to Tara Nair, an undergraduate linguistics major, who was profiled on the Honors College's webpage. She was one of the students who were recognized by Pitt's Honors College for having engaged their learning in the community and using their educations to effect positive social change.
Upcoming Yinzling Events
(Jan 29, 2013) Yinzling, the undergrad club for the linguistics department, is hosting the following upcoming events. Everyone interested in linguistics is welcome!
- Movie Night - Jan. 31 at 8:30 PM - Cathedral, Room 324 - We will be screening "After Life," a Japanese movie. Snacks and drinks provided.
- Mini-lecture by Holman Tse - Feb. 7 at 8:30 PM - Cathedral, Room G-17 (PC Lab) - Holman is a grad student in the linguistics department at Pitt. He will talk about his research with Kizigua.
- Annual Language Fair - March 1 from 2:30 to 5:00 PM - William Pitt Union Assembly Room - Come learn about the language and culture programs offered here at Pitt and try out our scavenger hunt for the chance to compete to win an iPod Shuffle and gift card.
A Presentation at LSA
(January 22, 2013) On January 4th, Dr. Helen Stickney gave a talk entitled, "L1 acquisition and AAC use: What is known and what questions arise?" at the Linguistic Society of America's Annual Meeting. The symposium in which Dr. Stickney presented was entitled, "Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): What can AAC speakers teach us about human language and the intersection between grammar and modality?" It was the first ever symposium about AAC at the LSA.
Upcoming Yinzling Events
- Tues., Nov. 13 - Linguistics Writing Workshop with Jodi Garcia @ 8PM, Location TBA
- Wed., Nov. 14 - Yinzling Coffee Hour @ 1-3 PM, at Panera Bread VIP Room - COFFEE ON THE LING DEPT!
- Thurs., Nov. 15 - The History of "Yinz" with guest speaker Barbara Johnstone @ 7:30 PM, Language Media Center(Cathedral of Learning G-17 - PC Lab)
- Thurs., Nov. 29 - Movie Night "Love is Not Blind" (Chinese film) @ 8:30 PM, Location TBA, Snacks provided
Article Published in Morphology
(November 6, 2012) Recent Ph.D. Mary Lou Vercellotti and Dr. David Mortensen published an article in Morphology entitled "A classification of compounds in American Sign Language: an evaluation of the Bisetto and Scalise framework". It can be accessed on the publisher's site.
Presentation at Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
(October 25, 2012) Ph.D. Candidate Mike Olsen will present his paper entitled "The Influence of English Phonetics and Phonology on L2 Spanish Rhotics" on Saturday, October 27 at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium in Gainesville, FL.