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BU Linguistics alumni survey. Thanks so much!


Commencement 2015

Congratulations to our seniors who will be graduating this spring!

The diplomas for Linguistics students will be given out as part of the Romance Studies ceremony. There is information on this page about that: This will take place on Friday, May 15 at 9 AM in the School of Management Auditorium, 595 Commonwealth Avenue. For further information, contact Kathleen McNamara, 617-353-6234 or Danielle Trahon, 617-353-2642.

There is also an all-university ceremony on Sunday.

Charles Bong Chang to join us in September

See Prof. Chang's video introduction! And learn more about him from his profile page.

Courses for Fall 2015

Here is a printable brochure with course listings and descriptions for Fall 2015.

Course schedules and descriptions are also posted on the Web :

Click here to find out your date and time for pre-registration for fall semester: Registration information.

Three new courses for fall

Fall Newsletter - 2014

Check out the latest Linguistics newsletter !

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: 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.

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:

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: 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.:,,

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:
Be sure to list all your majors and minors if you are making any kind of change.

For further information, contact Prof. Neidle.

Honors Program in Linguistics

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: 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 :-)

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:

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,

Prof. Danny Erker studies the Spanish spoken in Boston

He is featured in BU Today:

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 (, just hired as an Assistant Professor at BU in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (, was awarded a prestigious Peter Paul professorship ( 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 :-)

Alumni Notes/News

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 :-)

Commencement 2013

Congratulations to all our 2013 graduates !!!!!

Some pictures from Commencement 2013 are now available:

Recent Events

* 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

Ricardo Otheguy
CUNY Graduate Center, Linguistics / Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literature & Language

  • "On so-called Spanglish"
    Thursday, April 18, 2013, 7:30-9 PM, KCB 101
    Sponsored by the BU Linguistics Association

 Lisa Matthewson
University of British Columbia, Department of Linguistics

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.
Sponsored by the CAS Linguistics Program, with support from the CAS Academic Enhancement Fund. For further information, please contact Prof. Neidle. Click here for a printable version of this announcement.

BULA on the Web

Check out the site for the BU undergraduate Linguistics Association:

BULA also has a Facebook page:

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:

      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.

August 2011

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.

the ASLLRP research team on a field trip (July 2011)

September 2010

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."