Research

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.


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Approximately three-quarters of faculty research is sponsored, including by the following federal entities: NSF, NIH, NEH, DOE.
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Nearly half the faculty have been recognized by the UO with Faculty Excellence Awards, Teaching Excellence Awards, and Innovation Awards.
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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.


Rachel Weissler, Assistant Professor of Linguistics

I am a sociolinguist and African American English scholar. I have done extensive research with experimental methods looking at how different intersecting identities, communities, and environments influence people’s linguistic perceptions of one another. I've published in journals such as the Annual Review of Linguistics, Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, and the Dædalus Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. I am also a Black Studies affiliate faculty member, a faculty director of the Umoja Black Scholars Program, and a director of the Black Strategies Group for faculty and staff.”

-Rachel Weissler, Assistant 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


News

May 7, 2024
LINGUISTICS - A historian and a linguist have received National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) awards, a prestigious honor that goes to only 16% of applicants in a given year. The grants were awarded to Gabriela Pérez Báez, associate professor of linguistics and director of the Language Revitalization Lab, and Arafaat Valiani, an associate professor in the Department of History and affiliated faculty in the Global Health program.
May 1, 2024
LINGUISTICS - Language awakening is part of an ongoing effort to help Indigenous communities revitalize their languages and cultures after long periods of forced dormancy and even when no one is alive who speaks the language. While Indigenous tribes have been doing this work for decades, a growing movement within the field of linguistics aims to assist with these efforts. Read more in the May-June issue of CAS Connection.
February 12, 2024
JAPANESE, LATINX STUDIES, LINGUISTICS, SPANISH - The Latinx Studies Experiential Learning Program offers funding for a limited number of undergraduates to conduct research or pursue creative projects under the supervision of a faculty member. At a Feb. 13 forum, four undergrads showcased their research, which includes language revitalization, preservation and environmental justice radio reporting.