Congratulations to Linguistics majors Kate Fraser (CAS ’22), Leela Munsiff (CAS ’23), and James Roberts (CAS ’22) on receiving Boston University UROP awards for research in Summer 2021!

Funded by a Humanities Scholars Award, Kate will be working with Prof. Charles Chang on a project entitled “Listener perception and identification of Asian American speech”. In this project, she will conduct a perception study to examine how consistently listeners can identify Asian Americans on the basis of their English speech, how detailed such perceptual judgments are, and how listeners’ own race/ethnicity and exposure to Asian Americans in their community influence their judgments.

Funded by a Student Research Award, Leela will be working with Prof. Kate Lindsey. She will investigate the language practices and attitudes of Limol, a small, isolated village of southern Papua New Guinea; lead the translation into English of 73 recorded interviews of Limol residents; and then analyze the translations for patterns in language use, cultural shifts, and social relationships. The team plans to publish their findings in an article later this year.

James will be working with Prof. Elizabeth Coppock on the project “Developing an annotated corpus of referring expressions for objects in complex scenes”. He will be joining an interdisciplinary project between Linguistics and Computer Science in the Linguistic Semantics Lab (LiSLab), developing an annotated corpus of referring expressions. The aim is ultimately to improve automatic generation of referring expressions for objects in complex scenes.


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