BU Linguistics alumni survey. Thanks so much!
The pre-registration period is upon us!
To find out when your pre-registration time is, see:
For those who are studying abroad, you can discuss your plans with your advisor via email and your advisor can then provide your advising code.
Unless you are NOT in Boston, however, you should MEET with your advisor, in person, to discuss your plans; and your major advisor will provide your registration code at the conclusion of that advising meeting.
Please be sure to contact your advisor ASAP. You should not leave this for the last minute. THANKS.
There is lots of information about requirements and courses available from this website (here is the schedule of Linguistics courses for Spring 15); and there is a course description booklet that you can pick up in the entryway to 621 Commonwealth Ave. Here is a page with some flyers for spring courses:
The Linguistics faculty teaching spring courses are also very happy to tell you more about their courses; feel free to stop by during their office hours if you have questions.
Presentation by Prof. Kie Zuraw (UCLA)
In English "pieces of tomatoes and of carrots" and "pieces of tomatoes and carrots" are both possible, and are roughly synonymous. French shows similar variation for its preposition "de" (roughly 'of'): "morceaux de tomates et de carottes" or "morceaux de tomates et carottes", though French is much less likely to omit the second "de".
This talk uses a large written corpus of French to test whether phonological factors influence the omissibility of the second "de". These factors include the lengths of the words involved, what sound the second word begins with, and whether the words following "de" begin with vowels or consonants ("de" has an allomorph "d'" that is used before vowel-initial words).
These phonological factors do show an influence on rates of omitting the second "de", which means that either the phonological content of words is accessed before final syntactic decisions are made, or that deleting the second "de" is a phonological operation. We'll consider some consequences of each of these approaches.
This project also has a methodological goal: it uses some new and fairly user-friendly software tools that allow the whole process from downloading corpus files to producing final plots and statistics to be automated through a single computer script. This makes it easier to correct errors when they're caught and to manage a project, but maybe more important, it makes it possible for other researchers to pick apart the analysis, test for errors, and try their own variations on the analysis.
Sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies/Linguistics Program, the James Geddes, Jr., Lecture Series, and the BU undergraduate Linguistics Association (BULA).
This is also a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/367780246718018/.
New series! BULA is sponsoring... Linguistics Faculty Spotlight presentations
The BU undergraduate Linguistics Association presents a new lecture series:
|Prof. Neil Myler:
"Going the pub and being the library:
|Prof. Byron Ahn:
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 7-8:30 pm
in KCB 106
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 7-8:30 pm
in KCB 101
See the BULA Events page: http://bula.bu.edu/events/ for further details.
The Linguistics of English
A new set of courses on the linguistics of English: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/LX-of-English.pdf.
Meet Byron Ahn
We are thrilled that Byron Ahn will be teaching with us for
the coming academic year. In several short videos, he introduces himself
and the courses he will be teaching:
In the fall, he offers CAS LX 522 A1 Syntax 1 and CAS LX 523 A1 Syntax 2; and in the spring, a course on "Melodies of English (and some other languages)." Descriptions and further details about what he will do in these courses are available from: http://ling.bu.edu/people/ahn. Don't miss this opportunity :-)
Welcome to Neil Myler
We are also delighted that Neil Myler joins the Linguistics faculty in the fall of 2014 as our new morphologist!
CLICK HERE to see him, in a brief video, introduce himself to BU students and describe the courses he will be offering.
But wait! There's more!
Dr. Charles Bond Chang will also be joining our faculty!
Dr. Charles Bond Chang will be joining us as an Assistant Professor of Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory.
His arrival will be slightly delayed, however, as he will spend
academic year 2014-15 at SOAS. We'll look forward to
welcoming him in July 2015.
Congratulations to our 2014 Graduates !!
Pictured above are our Linguistics award winners: Jordan Caroompas, Ethan Rimdzius, William Wallis, Alex Williams, and Aubrey Wissmann.
Click to see more pictures from Commencement 2014.
Also see our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BULinguistics.
More honors for Linguistics students...
Congratulations to Alex Williams, a graduating senior with a double major in Linguistics and German Language and Literature, who has been awarded the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Turkey! With this scholarship, Alex will be serving both as a university-level English language teaching assistant and as a cultural ambassador, striving to further understanding between Turks and Americans. He is planning on teaching his students about the English language and American culture with help from American theater and drama literature.
Congratulations also to William Wallis, graduating senior in Linguistics (also with a major in Comparative Literature and minors in French, Chinese, and Ancient Greek), who was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa in December of 2013.
Chad Kringen has just received a Karbank Fellowship through the Philosophy Department, to support his research this summer for his honors thesis in Linguistics & Philosophy. Congratulations, Chad!
Congratulations to Alison Parker (and her father) on the Humanities Center award she received on May 11.
Some pictures from our spring Open House
Video records of recent Linguistics presentations
Have you missed one of our recent invited lectures? Members of the BU community can watch the video and follow along with the slides :-) Prof. Sasha Nikolaev's presentation on "The Story of Writing" from November 20, 2013 is the latest addition: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/lectures.html. You can also see some pictures from the event.
Joint Majors in Linguistics & French/Italian/Japanese/Spanish
New !! Brochures for the joint majors in French/Italian/Japanese/Spanish & Linguistics. You can print them out yourself (2-sided, flip short side) or stop by to pick one up from the entryway to 621 Commonwealth Ave.: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/joint/FrenLx.pdf, http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/joint/ItalLx.pdf, http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/joint/SpanLx.pdf
In addition to our joint major in Linguistics & Philosophy (Hegis code: 1514), we are now pleased to be able to offer joint majors that combine the study of linguistics with that of language, literature, and culture. Here's some informationabout these majors (and the corresponding honors programs):
French & Linguistics (Hegis code: 1147)
Italian & Linguistics (Hegis code: 1148)
Japanese & Linguistics (Hegis code: 1149)
Spanish & Linguistics (Hegis code: 1150)
There is also the Linguistics major itself, of course (Hegis code 1505).
You can now change your major or minor declarations online: http://www.bu.edu/casadvising/major-minor-declaration-form/.
Be sure to list all your majors and minors if you are making any kind of change.
For further information, contact Prof. Neidle.
Linguistics majors who qualify are invited to apply for admission into the new Honors program. There are also honors programs available for the various Linguistics joint majors (described here). Those of you who are not yet juniors might consider applying in the future.
The Linguistics Honors program requires 14 courses (rather than 12, as for the standard major), to include 3 at an advanced level; these must be completed with a GPA of at least 3.7. Students who complete the program successfully will graduate "with Honors in Linguistics."
Honors program application forms: Linguistics, Linguistics & Philosophy, French & Linguistics, Italian & Linguistics, Japanese & Linguistics, Spanish & Linguistics. [Applications for admission as of Spring 2015 will be accepted from 12/1/2014 to 1/20/2015 for students who will be graduating between May 2016 and January 2017 (inclusive).]
A variety of co-curricular activities will be organized for program participants. Complete details are available from this page: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/honors/honors-for-ling.html. Students who may be interested in this program are also strongly encouraged to discuss this with their faculty advisor and/or Prof. Neidle.
Recently introduced Spanish linguistics courses and how they count toward degree requirements?
There has been some confusion. Find the answers here :-)
About the new courses: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/spanishlingcourses.pdf
More information about how they count: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/spanling.html
Danny Erker on NPR
Prof. Danny Erker talks about Spanish in Boston on NPR. You can listen to the story from the "lagniappe" section at the bottom of this page: http://wgbhnews.org/post/new-year-new-mayor-new-boston-under-radar-previews-2014.
And here is the NPR piece featuring Prof. Erker that we had announced earlier, which you can also listen to online: Spanish Dialects Merging in Boston, http://wgbhnews.org/post/spanish-dialects-merging-boston.
Prof. Danny Erker studies the Spanish spoken in Boston
He is featured in BU Today: http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/a-language-evolves/
|Danny Erker, in East Boston’s Maverick Square, has been visiting the city’s neighborhoods to recruit subjects for his linguistics research. Photo by Cydney Scott, BU Today.|
Requirements for the Linguistics Major - modified as of September 2011
The current requirements for the linguistics major apply to students who declared their major no earlier than Fall of 2011. Students who declared their major prior to September of 2011 will be expected to fulfill the requirements in effect at that time, although they may elect to fulfill the newer requirements instead by so notifying the CAS Records Office (and their advisor). Please address any questions about this to your advisor.
Welcome, and congratulations to Tyler Perrachione
Linguist and neuroscientist Tyler Perrachione, most recently a postdoc at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/tkp/www/), just hired as an Assistant Professor at BU in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (http://www.bu.edu/sargent/profile/tyler-k-perrachione-ph-d/), was awarded a prestigious Peter Paul professorship (http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/three-faculty-awarded-peter-paul-professorships/). We are delighted to have him at BU and extend our congratulations!
(Photo from BU Today, by C. Suzuki)
Welcome to Sasha Nikolaev !
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Alexander Nikolaev will joins us as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies starting September 2013.
Sasha Nikolaev is both a classicist and a linguist, and he is most interested in where language and literature meet. As a historian of literature, he works on archaic Greek poetry (Homer, Hesiod, Sappho, etc.). As a linguist, he is primarily interested in Greek historical linguistics and etymology, but he has also done work on the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European and on the history of other Indo-European languages and language families, including Hittite, Sanskrit, Old Persian and Avestan, Old Irish, Tocharian and Balto-Slavic. We hope and expect that he will be teaching courses of interest to students of linguistics, and we will keep you informed :-)
See our Alumni Notes page. Please let us know what you're up to. Send your news and photos. We'd love to hear from you :-)
Congratulations to all our 2013 graduates !!!!!
Some pictures from Commencement 2013 are now available: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/pictures/c13/grads_2013.html
* NEW *
For members of the BU community who missed either of these presentations -- or who would like to see them again: You can watch the videos. The slides are also available for viewing, so you can follow along. Click here for access
- "On so-called Spanglish"
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 7:30-9 PM, KCB 101
Sponsored by the BU Linguistics Association
"Cross-linguistic semantics: Methods and results".
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 5:30-7 PM, KCB room 106.
Sponsored by the James Geddes, Jr. Lecture Series
Here are some pictures from the event.
Presentation by Mara Breen
Some pictures have been posted from Mara Breen's presentation on "Implicit prosody in reading: Listening to the little voice in our heads."
Abstract: For over one hundred years, researchers have wondered about the nature of the inner voice during silent reading. One of the main questions that has concerned researchers is whether the inner voice serves a purpose
during reading. That is, is the producing, or hearing, of words and phrases during reading simply epiphenomenal—a by-product of the fact that language has been spoken far longer than it has been written, or does it enhance the reader’s processing and understanding of the written word? In the current talk, I will present eye-tracking and event-related potential experiments designed to empirically explore the nature of this inner voice, commonly called implicit prosody. I will argue that implicit prosody plays a functional role during reading, in that it can direct the reader’s syntactic interpretation of sentences.
BULA on the Web
Check out the site for the BU undergraduate Linguistics Association: http://bula.bu.edu.
BULA also has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boston-University-Linguistics-Association/142505152475244.
Events are open to the BU community, and if you'd like to help in planning future events, new BULA members are always welcome :-)
CAS Linguistics Facebook Page
Have a look: https://www.facebook.com/BULinguistics.
- Become a fan!
We welcome your suggestions about what else you would like to see there... Thanks!
Follow BU Linguistics on Twitter
Recent grants from the National Science Foundation
Update: August 2014
We congratulate Prof. Danny Erker, who has just been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a large-scale, urban sociolinguistics research project in Boston. His project, "A Corpus-Based Sociolinguistic Study of Spanish in the Metro-Boston Area," will investigate a number of sociolinguistic topics, including urban bilingualism, the persistence or erosion of dialect differences in situations of contact, the intergenerational maintenance of Spanish, the potential influence of English on the grammatical structure of Spanish and vice versa, and the timescale of language change.
Professor Carol Neidle received new funding from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled "Generating Accurate, Understandable Sign Language Animations Based on Analysis of Human Signing," a collaboration with researchers Matt Huenerfauth at CUNY and Dimitris Metaxas at Rutgers University.
Professor Neidle is also continuing her NSF-funded collaboration with Prof. Dimitris Metaxas of Rutgers University: "Linguistically Based ASL Sign Recognition as a Structured Multivariate Learning Problem."
The National Science Foundation has also recently provided support for "Development of Publicly Available, Easily Searchable, Linguistically Analyzed, Video Corpora for Sign Language and Gesture Research," a collaboration involving Profs. Neidle and Sclaroff at BU, Metaxas at Rutgers University, Bahan and Vogler at Gallaudet University, and Athitsos at the University of Texas in Arlington.
Professor Jonathan Barnes is involved in collaborative research with Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (MIT) and Nanette Veilleux (Simmons). They just received funding from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled "Collaborative research: Integrating shape, scaling, and alignment in a global approach to F0 events in intonation systems." The research team had previously received NSF funding for study of "Global Measures of Tonal Alignment in a Level-based Theory of Intonational Phonology" and "Prosodic Categories of American English in Form and Function."
Here's what you can find here:
- Teaching Fellows
- Research Personnel
- Honors Programs
- Possible Combinations
- CAS Requirements