The UO Linguistics Department faculty research addresses three broad themes: linguistic diversity & society; language learning & technology; language processing & human health. Our vision is to embrace individual and community language behavior and change as objects of linguistic study, with attention to how this study can benefit society.

Approximately three-quarters of faculty research is sponsored, including by the following federal entities: NSF, NIH, NEH, DOE.
Nearly half the faculty have been recognized by the UO with Faculty Excellence Awards, Teaching Excellence Awards, and Innovation Awards.
Roughly a third of the faculty have been recognized with major awards from the Linguistics Society of America

Our Research Labs

Our faculty includes fieldworkers, psycholinguists, and corpus linguists. Faculty research ranges from documenting understudied languages in far-flung reaches of the world to working with typically developing, English-speaking children who live right here in Eugene. Students who are interested in getting involved in research are encouraged to talk with faculty members who inspire them.

The Department of Linguistics is also affiliated with two major research centers.

Melissa Baese-Berk

“The Speech Perception and Production Lab asks how people perceive and produce speech, with an emphasis on communication across diverse language backgrounds. Our work bridges a variety of disciplines including linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and communication disorders and sciences. We collaborate with individuals across the university and around the world from a number of disciplines including biology, human physiology, economics, and data science.”

-Melissa Baese-Berk, Professor of Linguistics

Don Daniels

“My research focuses on endangered languages in Papua New Guinea, where I’ve been conducting fieldwork since 2006. I’m interested in language change, both from a theoretical perspective and from a methodological one. I work primarily with languages of the Madang branch of Trans New Guinea, and I’m currently involved in a long-term documentation project of the Sgi Bara (or Jilim) language.”

-Don Daniels, Associate Professor of Linguistics

Kris Kyle

“The Linguistics department is an excellent place to learn how to apply data science techniques to theories of language use, variation, and development. In my lab, we use cutting-edge NLP techniques to investigate how language use varies across language use domains (e.g., genres) and how the words and phrases individuals use affect our perceptions of language proficiency. My students have gotten jobs both in industry (e.g., Amazon) and academia."

-Kris Kyle, Associate Professor of Linguistics


Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Research Across Disciplines

Linguistics faculty members work on languages from virtually all over the world. We have a wide variety of interests:

  • Descriptive/typological work on lesser-known languages and language revitalization
  • Historical work in syntax, semantics, and phonology
  • Work on the intersection of language, society, and culture
Interdisciplinary Opportunities
Sabrina Piccolo

Linguistics Prepared Me for the Next Steps in My Career

“Even though I am not working directly in linguistics at the moment, the UO Department of Linguistics could not have prepared me better for working in a research environment. The Speech Perception and Production Lab provided me with an avenue and the resources to develop my honors thesis; it was also one of my main places for academic (and emotional) support when I was an undergraduate student. Working at this lab showed me what it looks like to do good science and encouraged me to not be intimidated by tackling concepts or skills that I had little experience with. Now, as a research assistant at the Saxe Lab (a social cognitive neuroscience lab at MIT) in a field that is fairly new to me, I am not too intimidated by taking on new challenges – rather, I'm excited about learning new things!”

–Sabrina Piccolo, BA in Linguistics, ‘21


August 11, 2023
The UO’s Environment Initiative has awarded seed funding to five new teaching projects to support faculty members who have proposed innovative courses and dynamic classroom experiences. The funding supports both research and curricular projects and focuses the intellectual energy and work of faculty, students and community partners on a just and livable future through transdisciplinary research, teaching and experiential learning.
July 10, 2023
ENGLISH, LINGUISTICS - The College of Arts and Sciences is adding six Latinx studies tenure-track faculty members in several departments as part of the college’s commitment to becoming a premier institution for Latinx studies while meeting student demand for culturally relevant classes.
April 3, 2023
LINGUISTICS, ROMANCE LANGUAGES - UO senior Azusena Rosales Suares always did well in math. Her secret: find the patterns. Plus, from an early age math offered an escape into a world with its own universal language.