Linguistics News and
Colorado Linguistics offering 2013 summer courses
The CU Linguistics department will offer an array of undergraduate courses in summer 2013, including Maymester courses. LING 3220, Native American Languages, will be offered during Summer Session A. This course is not generally offered during the academic year. The Department will also offer LING 3800, Special Topics in Linguistics: Applied English Language Training Techniques, during Maymester, through Continuing Education. Majors and minors may take this course for upper-division credit. It will be taught by Dieter Bauman, an instructor at the International English Center. It will include a practicum component. The 3800 course is intended for anyone thinking about teaching English abroad or to local second-language learners, and it is open to all students on campus. In addition, the Department will offer Language and US Society: LING 1000 (Summer Session B), Introduction to Linguistics: LING 2000 (Maymester), and Language and Gender: LING 2400 (Maymester).
CU Linguistics professor Kira Hall named 2013 Outstanding Teacher for Teaching with Technology
Dr. Kira Hall of the CU departments of Linguistics and Anthropology has been been named by ASSETT as an Outstanding Teacher for Technology in Teaching. ASSETT asked students across the CU College of Arts and Science to nominate an instructor who uses technology in outstanding ways to support student learning. The classes Language in U.S. Society and Service Learning Practicum: Adult Literacy were cited in the award. The ASSETT committee particularly noted effective use of Powerpoint, video-capture assignments and video presentations by Dr. Hall (see linked article). ASSETT (Arts and Sciences Support of Education through Technology) is a program whose mission is to support the use of technology in advancing the teaching and learning mission of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
CU Linguistics ranked by NRC in top 15 of US linguistics programs
In its 2010 survey of American doctoral programs, the National Research Council has placed the Department of Linguistics at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the top quarter of American linguistics programs. Based on an overall measure of excellence that combines factors like publication rates, faculty honors and PhD graduation rates, CU Linguistics was ranked thirteenth out of 52 linguistics programs in the country. CU Linguistics is one of only 2 units in the CU Social Sciences division to rank in the top 20 in their respective disciplines. The NRC operates under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. The NRC study of doctoral programs at more than 200 US universities is considered the gold standard of rating systems by the academic community: it offers a much more detailed and comprehensive assessment of PhD programs than do popular ranking systems.
Colorado Linguistics to participate in Western Regional Graduate Program
The Colorado Linguistics graduate program has recently been selected for inclusion in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). Through WRGP, graduate students who are residents of 15 participating states may enroll in select programs at public institutions like Colorado Linguistics on an in-state resident tuition basis. The following states currently participate in the WRGP: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. If you are currently a non-resident of Colorado, believe you are eligible and would like to apply for the WRGP benefit, contact Sally Ingraham, Tuition Classification Officer, at email@example.com or (303) 492-0907.
CU Doctoral student Nicholas Williams wins Fulbright Award
Colorado Linguistics PhD student Nicholas Williams was awarded a 2011-2012 Fulbright research grant to conduct 10 months of dissertation fieldwork in eastern Indonesia, on the island of Alor. Williams documented Kula, an endangered Papuan language. Kula is one of about 20 Papuan languages spoken on Alor and the neighboring islands of Pantar and Timor. Spoken some 1,000 miles from mainland Papua, these languages comprise the proposed Timor-Alor-Pantar language family, claimed to be a branch of Trans New-Guinea. Outside of basic grammatical descriptions and dictionaries, little previous work has targeted these languages. Nick Williams aims to provide both a good basic description and a culturally informed record of the Kula language by focusing on language use in everyday interaction. The goals of the project include developing a corpus of annotated video documents, a grammatical description and lexicon based on these documents, and a deeper look at particular topics related to Kula language use in interaction (including deixis and turn taking).
Kira Hall wins 2010 Provost Faculty Achievement Award
Linguistics Associate Professor Kira Hall was selected by a campus committee of faculty colleagues to receive a Provost Faculty Achievement Award. Her nomination originated in the Linguistics department and was forwarded to the campus committee by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In selecting Prof. Hall for this award, the faculty committee noted that she had completed a body of important work on the subject of language and identity. The award letter states, "Working with your collaborator, Professor Mary Bucholtz of the University of California, Santa Barbara, you have charted a course for sociocultural linguistics and helped us understand how identity arises within linguistic interactions". Dr. Hall received the award from Interim Provost Russell L. Moore at the Fall Convocation event on October 15, 2010.
Martha Palmer wins 2010 Boulder Faculty Assembly Research Award
Martha Palmer, CU Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science, has won a 2010 Boulder Faculty Assembly award for excellence in research. The award recognizes Professor Palmers stature as one of the foremost computational linguists in the world, and a preeminent figure in the field of computational semantics. Dr. Palmers research concerns the representation, acquisition, and use of semantic information in computer systems that process language, with a particular focus on the role of verb semantics in such systems. Dr. Palmer has been actively involved in research in natural language processing and knowledge representation for over 20 years, beginning with her pioneering doctoral work at the University of Edinburgh on the use of lexical conceptual structures for driving the semantic interpretation process. This work provided the basis for the highly successful text-processing system, Pundit, built at Unisys during the 1980s and funded by the government agency DARPA. This system combined semantic and pragmatic processing in innovative ways that enabled sophisticated reference resolution and temporal analysis, and led to insights into the use of computational semantics that have continued to inform her research at the University of Colorado. Since her arrival at CU, Dr. Palmers research has been funded by a wide array of grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and industry sources. She currently has five grants in force, totaling approximately $2 million. The Boulder Faculty Assembly represents the faculty on the Boulder Campus. It presents up to four faculty awards annually in each of three areas teaching, research and service.
Lise Menn publishes new psycholinguistics textbook
Lise Menn, Professor Emerita of Linguistics, has published a new textbook, Psycholinguistics: Introduction and Applications, available from Plural Publishing. The book provides an introduction to current thinking on how our brains process language in speaking, understanding and reading. It is a completely integrated, self-contained account of psycholinguistics and its clinical and pedagogical applications, set in a unifying framework of the constant interplay of bottom-up and top-down processing across all language uses and modalities. The book also includes a multimedia CD with audio files illustrating phenomena like categorical perception and the phoneme restoration effect, an x-ray video of normal speech, audio files of dialect variation, audio samples of several kinds of disordered language, and a video interview with aphasic speaker Shirley Kleinman.
Andrew Cowell publishes first grammar of the Arapaho language
CU Linguistics Professor of French and Linguistics, Andrew J. Cowell, along with native Arapaho speaker Alonzo Moss, Sr., has published the first grammar of the Arapaho language, with University Press of Colorado. Arapaho is an Algonquian language, related to Cheyenne, Cree, Ojibwe, Massachusett and several other languages, but it has evolved in highly unusual directions since splitting off from the larger Algonquian group, both in its sound system and grammatical structure. The grammar provides documentation of these changes, which raise important general questions for the evolution of languages. The grammar complements an earlier collection of Arapaho texts published by Cowell.
CU Linguists win National Science foundation grant for new-generation Hindi/Urdu lexicon
CU Linguistics professors Martha Palmer and Bhuvana Narasimhan have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant, Collaborative Research: A Multi-Representational and Multi-Layered Treebank for Hindi/Urdu, to develop linguistic annotation for these two closely related languages of India/Pakistan. The project is a collaborative effort involving researchers at the India Institute of Technology in Hyderabad, India, the Universities of Washington and Massachusetts and Columbia University. It will produce a database of close to a million words of Hindi and Urdu annotated with syntactic structure (both dependency structure and phrase structure) and semantic-role labels (PropBank). The researchers will also create a process for automatically converting between the different representations. The first project meeting was held in January 2009 in Hyderabad, India. Such efforts have led to significant advances in the efficacy of natural-language processing by providing training data for supervised machine-learning algorithms.