Linguistics Welcomes Dr. Caitlin Smith
Caitlin Smith joins the Department of Linguistics
We are pleased to welcome Caitlin Smith, who is joining the Department of Linguistics as a Teaching Assistant Professor. She earned her Ph.D from the University of Southern California, and is joining us after recent appointments at Johns Hopkins University and the University of California Davis. At UNC, she will also serve as the Faculty Director of Triple-I Data Literacy in the Office of Undergraduate Education.
As a phonologist, Dr. Smith’s research centers on the framework of gestural phonology, in which the basic representational units are articulatory gestures. Her work addresses how longstanding theoretical puzzles in several domains, including vowel harmony and phonological exceptionality, can be reanalyzed using gestural representations. Her research has expanded upon the core concepts of the framework by proposing novel gestural parameters, developing formal grammars that operate over gestural relations, and creating machine learning models to evaluate the learnability of gestural representations and constraint-based grammars.