Linguistics Society of America 96th Annual Meeting

Michigan Linguistics was well represented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, held virtually and in person from January 6-9. LSA 2022 featured seventeen organized sessions and a virtual poster session, in addition to annual meetings of the American Dialect Society and the North American Association for the History of the Language Sciences, as well as other special events. Read a summary of departmental participation at LSA 2022.

Faculty News

Deborah Keller-Cohen coauthors paper in Advances in Mental Health

The paper characterizes suicide-related self-disclosure by peer specialists

Deborah Keller-Cohen, Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Women's Studies, coauthored the paper titled “Characterising suicide-related self-disclosure by peer specialists: a qualitative analysis of audio-recorded sessions,” with Casimir Klim, C. Ann Vitous, Eduardo Vega, Jane Forman, Adrienne Lapidos, Kristen M. Abraham, and Paul N. Pfeiffer. The paper was published online in the journal Advances in Mental Health in December 2021. Read the abstract

Professor Robin Queen gave a presentation titled "Words We Use" as part of the ADVANCE Program’s 20th Anniversary on February 16. 
Read the abstract

Marlyse Baptista presents at NWAV 49, Boston University, MIT

Professor and associate chair Marlyse Baptista gave three invited presentations during Fall 2021. She was a plenary speaker for the virtual conference New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV 49) in October 2021. Her presentation was titled “Out of Many Voices, One Language.” In November, Marlyse delivered a colloquium presentation for the Linguistics department at Boston University titled “On the Emergence of Creole Pronominal Systems: Social and Linguistic Factors.” With Abel Djassi Amado of Simmons University, Marlyse gave an invited presentation on “Cabo Verdean Creole in Education” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (watch the video) for professor Michel DeGraff's seminar on Linguistics and Social Justice. Read the abstracts.

Graduate Student News

$12M calligraphy gift transforms UMMA’s Asian art collection

The University of Michigan Museum of Art recently received a gift of Chinese calligraphy from the family of Lo Chia-Lun valued at more than $12 million — the largest gift of art in the university’s history. The collection was donated by the Chia-Lun Lo family, which also funded the namesake Rackham fellowship that was awarded to several of our linguistics PhD students — PhD alumna Dr. Chia-Wen Lo, and PhD candidates Tzu-Yun Tung and Lucy Chiang. Read the full story in the University Record

PhD Student Profile

Joy Peltier

For graduate student Joy Peltier, an interest in language developed  from an early age—particularly while growing up in Georgia, surrounded by a large, extended family. 
“When one of my parents was on the phone, I could always tell if a family member was on the other end of the line,” Joy recalls, “because the melodies of African American English or Kwéyòl Donmnik would float down the hallway.” Read Joy's profile.

PhD Student Profile
Yushi Sugimoto

Graduate student Yushi Sugimoto earned his B.A. degree in English and American Literature from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and his M.A. degree in Linguistics from Sophia University, also in Tokyo. He has been a doctoral student in the U-M Linguistics department since September 2018. Under the direction of advisors Marlyse Baptista and Acrisio Pires, Yushi’s research interests focus on theoretical linguistics, syntax, and generative grammar, the theory of language cognition first developed by Noam Chomsky in the 1950s. Read Yushi's profile.

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Upcoming Events

Friday, Feb. 18
Phondi Discussion Group
1-2 pm | Virtual

Prosody Discussion Group
2:00-2:50 pm | Virtual

SynSem Discussion Group
3:00-4:00 pm | Virtual

Linguistics Colloquium
 Understanding Accented Speech: The Role of Speaker Identity and Listener Experience
Janet G. van Hell, Pennsylvania State University
4:00-5:30 pm | Zoom link


Thursday, Feb. 24
LingAMod Discussion Group
1:00-2:00 pm | Virtual

Psycholinguistics Meeting
4:00-5:00 pm

Friday, Feb. 25
HistLing Discussion Group
Martha Ratliff
2:00-2:50 pm | Virtual

SoConDi Discussion Group
3:00-4:00 pm 

Friday, March 11
Teaching Linguistic Diversity in the Language Classroom
Hosted by ELI and LRC
12-1 pm EST | Virtual
RSVP for attendance

Wednesday, March 16
Giving BlueDay

Friday, March 25
10th Anniversary Marshall M. Weinberg Symposium
9:50 am-4:30 pm | Virtual

Friday, April 1
Linguistics Colloquium
Perceiving Sound Change Reversal: Age-Based Dynamics in Chicago's Northern Cities Vowel Shift
Annette D'Onofrio, Northwestern
4:00-5:30 pm | Zoom link

In Memoriam
Chisato Kitagawa

Chisato Kitagawa (MA 1961, PhD 1972) passed away on January 14, 2022, at a hospital in Seattle. He was 89 years old. 

Chisato was born in Tokyo on July 29, 1932. After graduating from Rikkyo University, he came to the U.S. in 1958 and earned an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Michigan in 1961. He went on to attend the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA, and was ordained in 1964 and served as curate in Grace Church, Amherst, until 1967. He returned to his linguistic studies and completed his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1972.

Chisato embarked on his academic career at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he assisted in establishing programs in Japanese and Asian Studies. He taught at the University of Arizona, 1976-1989, then returned to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He retired in 2002.

Chisato published widely on Japanese linguistics, including on the case marker ‘no’ with Claudia Ross, on zero pronoun, transitivity alternation, and on head-internal relative clauses. His newest work on head-internal relative clauses will appear in Glossa posthumously. He also co-edited a book on auxiliary verbs for learners of Japanese, and with his wife, Mary, co-authored a book on 'seikatsu tsuzurikata,' a grassroots writing education movement in Japan not known outside of the country.

Source:  Also see: Daily Hampshire Gazette obituary for Chisato Kitagawa 

Undergraduate Student Writing

Circumstantial Syntax

By Aditya Vageesh

Have you ever noticed yourself completely change the way you speak just seconds after you exit a room? Have you caught yourself going from speaking one language with friends to a completely different language, or combination of languages, with family without even noticing the change? These common scenarios are examples of codeswitching, a phenomenon that is highly prevalent in today’s society. Read the full essay.

Aditya Vageesh is an LSA senior double majoring in Neuro-science and Cognitive Science.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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

February is Black History Month

Please join the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) throughout the month of February in delving into the theme of Black Joy with a host of events on campus reflecting dynamic, immersive and meaningful programs for all to attend, with a myriad of in-person, hybrid and virtual options.

See all events.

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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