Faculty News

New paper co-authored by Jon Brennan published in the Annual Review of Linguistics

A new paper co-authored by Jonathan Brennan was published in the Annual Review of Linguistics in January 2022. The paper, Neuro-computational models of language processing, reviews the state-of-the-art in how computational models can be used to understand the brain bases of language.
Read more.

Robin Queen appointed Chair of Department of Communication and Media 

Robin Queen will step in as the Chair of the U-M Department of Communication and Media for a two-year term. She is excited about the many opportunities there are to explore mutual interests (scholarly, teaching and outreach) between communication studies and linguistics. Linguistics remains her home department throughout this period.

Natasha Abner presents at Princeton Symposium on Syntactic Theory

Natasha Abner presented "A manual for encoding events” at the Princeton Symposium on Syntactic Theory, held April 1-2. Read the abstract.

Graduate Student News

Workshop: Professions Outside of Academia

A workshop focusing on professions outside of academia was held virtually on Tuesday, April 5. We are very grateful to our three panel participants, Linguistics alumni Emily Sabo, Marcus Berger, and Sagan Blue. Emily Sabo works as a content creator for Mango Languages and as a producer for the docuseries We Are What We Speak. Marcus Berger works for the U.S. Census Bureau, and Sagan Blue works for Amazon. Read their bios. Shown in the Zoom photo are Sagan Blue (top left), Marcus Berger (top right), Emily Sabo (bottom left), and PhD student Danuta Allen who served as moderator for the panel.


The following Linguistics PhD candidates successfully defended their dissertations in March: Joy Peltier, Wil Gonzales, Rawan Bonais, and Yushi Sugimoto. Well done!

Joy Peltier 
Title: “Little Words” in Contact and in Context: Pragmatic Markers in Kwéyòl Donmnik, English, and French. Full abstract. Committee chair: Marlyse Baptista.

Wil Gonzales
Title: “Truly a language of our own” A corpus-based, experimental, and variationist account of Lánnang-uè in Manila. Full abstract. Committee co-chairs: Marlyse Baptista and Sally Thomason.

Rawan Bonais
Title: "The Role of Transfer/Substrate Influence in the Development of Gulf Pidgin Arabic" Full abstract. Committee co-chairs: Marlyse Baptista and Acrisio Pires.

Yushi Sugimoto
Title: "Underspecification and (im)possible derivations: Toward a restrictive theory of grammar" Full abstract. Committee co-chairs: Marlyse Baptista and Acrisio Pires.

Sophie Eakins Receives Rackham Travel Grant

Sophia Eakins received a Rackham Travel Grant to attend the 2022 Graduate Student Conference held at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in March. Her presentation was titled "Switching between or transitioning beyond named languages? Exploring Cabo Verdean bilinguals in Boston."

PhD Student Profile

Jian Zhu

Growing up in Shaoguan—a city of 2.8 million people in south China—Linguistics PhD student Jian Zhu was exposed to multiple languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hakka (a Chinese dialect). “I grew up speaking all of them,” says Jian. Read Jian's profile

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Upcoming Events

Friday, April 15
Phondi Discussion Group
1 pm | Virtual

Prosody Discussion Group
2 pm | Virtual

SynSem Discussion Group
3 pm | Virtual

Graduate Student Colloquium
Wilkinson Daniel Wong Gonzales and Felicia Bisnath
4 pm | Zoom link


Monday, April 18
Spring Linguistics Department Get Together

Thursday, April 21
College-wide meeting-free day

Friday, April 29
Linguistics Class of 2022 Graduation Celebration
12:30 am-2 pm | Michigan Union

Saturday, April 30
U-M Spring Commencement 2022 
Honoring the 2022 graduating class 

Saturday, May 7
U-M 2020 Comeback Commencement 
Welcoming back 2020 graduates for a stadium graduation experience

Alumni News

Tim Chou Promoted

Linguistics alumnus C.-T. Tim Chou (PhD 2013)  has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. Tim Chou also received an award for Recruiting Outstanding Scholars from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. His recent research interests center on Vietnamese syntax and semantics, and concern three major empirical issues: (1) the derivation of the long-distance interpretation of bare reflexives in Vietnamese, (2) the interaction between distributivity and reflexivity in Vietnamese, and (3) the acquisition of null arguments and anaphoric dependency by heritage speakers of Vietnamese. Congratulations, Tim!

Undergraduate News

Undergraduate Aidan Wolford presents thesis work at HSP 2022


Congratulations to undergraduate Linguistics and Cognitive Science major Aidan Wolford, who presented his honors thesis work at the 35th Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing (HSP) on March 24. His presentation about L2 sentence processing of verb biases using the maze task was titled "Syntactic parsing of L2 verb structural continuation bias by Spanish-English bilinguals". The paper was co-authored with his honors thesis advisor, Lecturer Lisa Levinson (director of the WordLab). To read the abstract, visit the conference website.

Deborah Keller-Cohen Award


Gift of Support

Three years ago, the Department established the annual Deborah Keller-Cohen Graduate Student Teaching Award on the occasion of Debby's retirement. In deep appreciation of that honor, Evan and Debby have made a gift to the department to add their support to this important recognition of the excellence that our amazing graduate students bring to the classroom. 

Applications Due April 22

The Graduate Committee will consider new applications from current Linguistics Graduate Students to the Deborah Keller-Cohen Award. Applications are due April 22. One Linguistics graduate student is selected for the award each academic year and receives an award of $500. For more information about the application requirements, contact Marlyse Baptista, Director of Graduate Studies.

PhD Student Profile

Wil Gonzales

Wil Gonzales (PhD 2022) describes himself as a “fourth-generation Chinese Filipino of Lannang heritage,” an ethnic minority in his home country of the Philippines. Growing up, Wil says this distinctive family ethnicity created a rich linguistic backdrop. Read Wil's profile.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As the largest college in the university, LSA celebrates its role in Michigan's deeply rooted commitment to diversity

Ramadan 2022 Campus Information

This Winter Semester, around finals, many Muslims at U-M will abstain from food and drink for 16+ hours a day during the month of Ramadan. Learn how you can support them as an ally and help promote a more inclusive campus community. Visit the Ramadan 2022 website.

Call for Proposals: Anti-racism research grants

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) Anti-Racism
Grants aim to catalyze innovative research and scholarship efforts that will advance knowledge and understanding around complex societal racial inequalities that can inform actions to achieve equity and justice. These faculty grants were developed in partnership with the provost’s anti-racism initiative, and are jointly administered and advanced in partnership with the National Center for Institutional Diversity’s Anti-Racism CollaborativeLearn more and apply by June 1.
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan
611 Tappan Street, 440 Lorch Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
phone: 734.764.0353     email:

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University of Michigan Linguistics · University of Michigan · Department of Linguistics · Ann Arbor, MI 48109 · USA

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