Faculty News

Natasha Abner Authors Chapter in New Handbook on Sign Language Research

Assistant Professor Natasha Abner is the author of a chapter in the newly published book
The Routledge Handbook of Theoretical and Experimental Sign Language Research. 

The handbook covers theoretical and experimental approaches to key topics in sign language research and features 29 chapters written by leading and emerging scholars from around
the world.

Professor Abner’s chapter provides theoretical perspectives on determiner phrases. Read more.

Graduate Student News

Aliaksei Akimenka and Yushi Sugimoto to give presentations at WCCFL 39

Aliaksei Akimenka and Yushi Sugimoto will give presentations at the 39th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL), which will be held virtually from April 8–11, 2021 (Pacific Daylight Time UTC-7).

Aliaksei will present ECM constructions as complex predicates: a neo-constructivist approach on Friday, April 9.

Yushi will present When the grammar doesn't mind which Merge it chooses with Andrea Blümel  (U. of Göttingen) and Nobu Goto (Toyo U.) on April 11.

WCCFL 39 is hosted by The University of Arizona's Department of Linguistics and will feature a plenary address by linguist Noam Chomsky on Thursday, April 8. Visit the conference website.


Lucy Chiang Receives Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

Lucy Chiang was awarded a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards granted by the Rackham Graduate School. The fellowship supports outstanding doctoral candidates working on dissertations that are unusually creative, ambitious and impactful. Congratulations, Lucy!

Rachel Weissler Receives Outstanding GSI Award

Rachel Elizabeth Weissler has received a 2021 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award. Bestowed by Rackham Graduate School, this prestigious and competitive award recognizes GSIs who make a sustained and creative contribution to U-M's undergraduate teaching mission. Rachel’s contribution to our undergraduate program, support for students, and commitment to inclusive teaching makes a huge difference to our department, to the university community, and to society. Congratulations, Rachel!

Kelly Wright Inducted into Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

Kelly E. Wright became the first U-M linguist to be inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. The Bouchet Honor Society Induction Celebration was held virtually on March 25. Kelly was one of five people inducted into the Bouchet Honor Society in 2021. Congratulations, Kelly!
Read more.

Cecilia Solís-Barroso Receives FLAS Fellowship

Cecilia Solís-Barroso was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship to focus on the study of Nahuatl and Spanish in the 2021-22 academic year.

Administered by the U-M International Institute, the FLAS Fellowship provides tuition and stipend to students studying designated foreign languages in combination with area studies or international aspects of professional studies. The priority is to encourage the study of less commonly taught modern languages. Congratulations, Cecilia!

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Upcoming Events

Friday, April 9
SoConDi Discussion Group 
Zoom | 3:00-4:00 pm

Graduate Student Colloquium
Yourdanis Sedarous
Jian Zhu

Zoom | 4:00-5:30 pm

Loving our Planet Like We Should Love Each Other
Disability in the time of climate crisis
Zoom | 6:30-8:30 pm

Tuesday, April 13
Dissertation Defense
Chia-Wen Lo
Zoom | 8:30 am


Friday, April 16
Phondi Discussion Group

Zoom | 1:00-2:00 pm

HistLing Discussion Group
Nick Emlen
Zoom | 2:00-2:50 pm

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

Thursday, April 22
Outstanding GSI and Faculty Mentoring Awards 
Virtual | 4:30 p.m. EST
Register here

Friday, April 30
Save the Date!
2021 Linguistics Virtual Graduation
2 pm | Linguistics website

Graduate Student Profile

Chia-Wen Lo

Born in Taiwan, Linguistics PhD candidate Chia-Wen Lo describes her home as “a small island where different languages, including Mandarin, Taiwanese Southern Min, Hakka, and Austronesian languages, intersect.” Discover what sparked Chia-Wen's interest in Linguistics and how her research advances our knowledge of how the brain processes words and sentences. 
Read more

Sweetland Dissertation Writing Groups

New this Spring 2021, the Sweetland Center for Writing will coordinate several remote student-led writing groups for graduate students writing their dissertations. These interdisciplinary writing groups provide structured support in a facilitated peer-based setting to aid dissertators working through long-term projects. Dissertation Writing Groups typically consist of four-five members including a group leader. Participants must be in the writing phase of their dissertations and available to meet virtually at least eight to ten times during the 2021 spring /summer terms to workshop group members’ writing.

All accepted students must participate in a mandatory virtual orientation session on Wed., May 12, 2021.

Applications must be submitted online by Friday, April 23, 2021.  You can access the online application here.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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

Friday, April 9  | 6:30–8:30 pm EDT

Please join us for a student-organized symposium to learn about how climate change impacts people with disabilities, featuring Sarah Young Bear-Brown (Meskwaki Nation), Izzy Laderman (Disability Awareness Around Climate Change), Rafi Darrow (Sins Invalid), and Teddy Dorsette III (Detroit Disability Power). This event is being organized by first-year students in Linguistics 102 Deafness & Disability v. Climate, Contagion, and Capital.

See details: Loving our planet like we should love each other: Disability in the time of climate crisis
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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