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  • Chase W. Raymond has joined the departments of Linguistics and Spanish and Portuguese as an Assistant Professor, where he is also a core faculty member in the Program in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP). Dr. Raymond earned doctorates in both Hispanic Linguistics (2014) and Sociology (2016) from UCLA. His research centers on the use of language in everyday life, primarily targeting issues of identity. He focuses on Spanish speakers in the US, and the ways in which "the micro-interactional practices of/with this heterogeneous group actively contribute to larger (more ‘macro’) themes, such as questions of race/ethnicity, individual/group identity and culture, relations with social institutions, and so on".

  • Nano Nano game
    Teaching Language through Gesture

    CU Linguistics PhD students Steve Duman and Kevin Gould, co-founders of Inherent Games, LLC, won a $150,000 Small Business and Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation to develop language-learning games. Leveraging the ability of current handheld devices to detect motion through built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers, Gould and Duman invented Nano Nano, a language game that teaches Spanish with gesture. Nano Nano is now available in the App Store. 

  • Nyangi
    Describing Languages in Remote Regions

    With National Science Foundation funding, CU Linguistics PhD student Sam Beer is preparing a grammar of Nyang'i, a nearly extinct member of the Kuliak language family, used by only 1-2 elderly inhabitants of a remote valley in the Nyangea Mountains of northeastern Uganda. This project will produce a database of transcribed, glossed and translated texts with aligned audio and video. The database will form the basis of the first grammatical description and lexicon of Nyang’i—a resource not only for linguists but also for the Nyang’i community. 

  • Opening a gourd
    Documenting Languages of Central Africa

    Researchers in the Colorado Linguistics department document the emergence of grammatical structures in understudied, and frequently endangered, languages of Chad and Cameroon. The image depicts a speaker of Hdi, a language spoken in Tourou (Turu), a far north province of Cameroon, as she opens a gourd. Much larger gourds, painted in red and richly decorated, serve as women's head ornaments.

  • Child in lab
    Investigating how Children Learn Language

    Research in the the Department's interdisciplinary Language, Cognition and Development Lab investigates how language relates to cognition and how children learn languages. The lab's research is based on longitudinal and cross-sectional corpora of spontaneous and elicited production in different languages, as well as data obtained in experimental settings. 

     
     
     
  • Arapaho elicitation
    Saving a Part of Colorado's Native Heritage

    CU Linguistics Professor Andy Cowell is helping to revive the Arapaho language through research and documentation, also offering support to Arapaho people learning the language. With Alonso Moss, Sr., Cowell has authored a definitive reference grammar of Arapaho, The Arapaho Language, and, with funding from the National Science Foundation, he and his research team have created the Arapaho language learning site

  • Nasal transducer
    Analyzing Speech Production and Perception

    The Colorado Linguistics department features a state of the art phonetics lab, which offers a variety of hardware and software for analyzing and synthesizing speech, running experiments and testing models of speech perception. Here lab researcher Dr. Will Styler demonstrates the nasal transducer, a device used to study the aerodynamics of speech production. 

  • Hellems
    Where we Live

    The Linguistics department is located in the historic Hellems building, in the southeast corner of the second floor. This image features the east side of the building, looking west toward the Flatirons in early morning. 

  • teacher training
    Training Teachers in Mexico

    Dr. Maria Thomas-Ruzic, TESOL MA director, teaches the course Critical Perspectives on Language, Literacy and Culture at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), in Puebla, Mexico, where she is research associate and visiting professor in the Faculty of Languages. CU MA TESOL students conduct frequent exchanges with BUAP students, enhancing educators' awareness of North-South dynamics and their effect on the economic and educational lives of children, youth and families.

  • Doris and David
    Capturing Wichita

    CU Linguistics Professor David Rood elicits data from Doris McLemore, the last true speaker of Wichita, a Caddoan language spoken by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, indigenous to Oklahoma. Several hundred people spoke Wichita four decades ago, when Professor Rood began studying it.
    Today, only two or three know many of the words, and only McLemore is fluent. “The only person she is speaking Wichita with is me,” says Rood, who has been working with tribal members to document this disappearing language since 1964. 

The faculty of language is unique to humans and the study of language is the study of our shared human heritage. Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, its structure and its diversity, how children learn it and how adults produce and understand it, how social practices shape and are shaped by it.

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Colorado Boulder is a major center of interdisciplinary research in cognitive-functional linguistics. It offers a range of research programs targeting properties of spoken language. The Department's orientation is empirical: its approach to the structure and use of language confronts theory with first-hand observations. Analysis of video and audio data (typically conversational data), acoustic measurements of speech, computational modeling and statistical analysis, psycholinguistic experimentation and fieldwork in local communities and abroad all contribute to this enterprise.