Congratulations to CU Linguistics Graduates!

A total of 57 students graduated with degrees from the CU Department of Linguistics this May, including 26 undergraduate majors, 6 combined BA/MA students, 18 MA students, 4 MS CLASIC students, and 3 PhD students. The Commencement Ceremony also celebrated recipients of Linguistics Undergraduate Research Awards (LURAs), the David Rood Scholarship, and the Jacob Van Ek Scholars Award, in addition to students receiving Departmental (Latin) Honors, TESOL BA certificates, and CLASP certificates

Congratulations, CU linguists!  

CRIL editorial board
Colorado Research in Linguistics (CRIL) relaunches on CU Scholar

After a hiatus of more than 6 years, Colorado Research in Linguistics (CRIL) has been relaunched as a peer-reviewed electronic journal hosted by CU Scholar, a service of University Libraries. A student-run working papers periodical, CRIL has been published at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1971. Pictured are the new members of the editorial board at the Department's October relaunch party, from left to right: Jonnia Torres, Olivia Hirschey, Jared Desjardins, and Kayla Kohake. 

The CU Department of Linguistics is pleased to announce the launch of the Undergraduate Certificate Program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Visit the program site and contact tesol@colorado.edu with any questions.






clasic martha
Training the Next Generation of Computational Linguists

The Department of Linguistics now offers a Master’s Degree program in Computational Linguistics, Analytics, Search and Informatics (CLASIC). This interdisciplinary MS degree provides a solid foundation in both computer science and linguistics, as well as incorporating several courses focused on data-driven linguistics, computational linguistics and information processing. Applications are due December 1 (international applicants) and January 10 (domestic applicants). The program contact is director Professor Martha Palmer

Studying Language in Social Life

Researchers in the sociocultural linguistics program at CU Boulder analyze the ways that language contributes to organizations of social life in diverse contexts, whether local, regional, national, or global. Prof. Kira Hall is director of the interdisciplinary CLASP program on Culture, Language, and Social Practice, which sponsors innovative research initiatives, visiting scholars, and an internationally recognized biannual conference.

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. 

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.

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. 

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

martha dist prof
Dr. Martha Palmer named Professor of Distinction

Dr. Martha Palmer, Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science and Faculty Fellow in the Institute of Cognitive Science, has been named a Professor of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences. The honorific title 'College Professor of Distinction' is reserved for scholars and artists of national and international distinction who are also recognized by their College peers as teachers and colleagues of exceptional talent. Dr. Palmer gave a talk about her research -- past, present, and future -- at a special reception earlier this Fall. 

Pamela Wright
Linguistics graduate student Pamela Wright works with deaf refugees

Like spoken languages, sign languages differ greatly across the globe. Nonetheless, many deaf refugees are evaluated and declared to have no language ability and/or severe mental deficiencies simply because they cannot communicate in American Sign Language (ASL). Linguistics graduate student Pamela Wright is working to help these individuals communicate in the U.S. context. To read more about this important work, check out the article in "CU Boulder Today" here.

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. 

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. 

Construction Grammar
Construction Grammar

How might universal but often arbitrary patterns arises across the languages of the world? Proponents of Construction Grammar reject the prevailing view that they are products of a genetically specified 'Universal Grammar', instead viewing such patterns as products of cultural transmission, adapted to our communicative needs and routines. CU Linguistics Professor Laura Michaelis, shown at the Tenth International Conference on Construction Grammar, is a leading proponent of Construction Grammar.

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, computational linguistics, language documentation, psycholinguistics and experimental linguistics, and sociocultural 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. 

The Department of Linguistics Strategic Plan provides more detailed information about who we are, what we do, and our vision for the future.