Faculty News

Professor Jeffrey Heath Receives Four-Year NSF Grant 

Congratulations to Professor Jeffrey Heath, who recently received a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation for his work on language documentation. Professor Heath will do fieldwork on the Bozo languages of Mali, a branch of the large Mande family. Heath has been doing fieldwork on languages of interior West Africa since 1990, most recently on Tiefo (Burkina Faso) and Pere (Côte d'Ivoire). The project will start in October 2020. Read more.

Photo: Kargue Village

Student Perspectives

We invite you to read the final essay in a selection of essays written by students in Ling 315, Introduction to Syntax, taught by Assistant Professor Natasha Abner. The essays are intended for a general audience and cover a range of topics.

“I Will Drink Until Next Morning”

Understanding Bong Joon Ho’s Speech and Interlanguage Competence

By Joseph Sim

Winning Best Director at the 2020 Oscars, Bong Joon Ho had a somewhat brow-raising conclusion to his acceptance speech: “Thank you, I will drink until next morning.” Bong’s Korean film, Parasite, was the first foreign-language film ever to win Best Picture. Bong, who is himself Korean, presented his speech mostly in his native language. The conclusion was one of few sentences spoken in English and it almost immediately went viral. Read more

Joseph Sim is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Communication and Media.


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Upcoming Events

Friday, May 1
Linguistics Graduation Celebration (virtual) 

Saturday, May 2
U-M Spring Celebration 2020 (virtual)
Honoring the Class of 2020

Monday, May 4
Faculty Retreat (remote meeting)

Details forthcoming.

Tuesday, May 5
Classes begin (Spring-Summer 2020)

Save the Date: August 2020
Organized Session for Societas Linguistica Europeae (online)
“New perspectives on word order flexibility”
Details to come.

Celebrating the Linguistics Class of 2020!

While social distancing may prevent students and faculty from gathering in person, the Linguistics Department is excited to celebrate the graduating class of 2020--virtually! Tune in on Friday, May 1, when a special Linguistics graduation 2020 video and web page go live on the department website.

Among the highlights, the virtual celebration includes remarks from:

Robin Queen, Department Chair

Ezra Keshet, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Kara Genther, Linguistics Student

Matt Eby, Linguistics Student

Read more.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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

[Remote] Ramadan 2020

The International Institute's Islamophobia Working Group and the Muslim Students' Association have transformed our planned in-person Ramadan iftars into completely remote events and resources! The website contains information, activities, and programming, including “Zoom Into Ramadan” gatherings every Monday and Thursday from 7-7:30pm during the month of Ramadan (approximately April 23 to May 23, 2020). As with our in-person iftars, the programming is open to all, both Muslims and non-Muslims.  

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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