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Graduate Students

Alex Austin-Trongo
B.A., Spanish, Minor in French, University of North Carolina at Asheville, 2017

Alex is a second year M.A. student whose interests are mainly in historical and sociolinguistics, including language evolution, language interaction, and issues relating to LGBTQIA+ identity.

Tristan Bavol
B.A. Linguistics, UNC Chapel Hill (2018)

Tristan is a second year M.A. Student, whose interests include Linguistic Fieldwork and Descriptive Documentation of At-Risk Languages, with his primary research being done on P’urépecha. His other linguistic interests primarily lie within Phonetics , Syntax, and Metaphor, and outside the field in phenomenology, understanding subjective experience, and within religious studies, interpretations of the divine and mysticism.

Jen Boehm, formerly Griffin
B.A. Linguistics and Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009
M.A. Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011

Jen is a Ph.D. student who is mainly interested in language documentation, dialect variation, and phonological models of variation. Her current research involves documenting the phonetic and phonological differences between the various dialects of Sgaw Karen that are spoken by the Karen community in Chapel Hill.

Yu Cai
B.A. in Linguistics and TESOL Certificate, York University, 2019

While at York University, Yu worked as a research assistant on the prosody and intonation of Kwak’wala. Her current research interests focus on the phonological analysis of a tonal language, Nanchang Chinese, with an emphasis on the tone sandhi patterns and their analysis in Optimality Theory.

Erin Chesson
B.A. Global Development Studies, University of Virginia, 2014

Erin is a second-year M.A. student interested in language documentation and revitalization.

Josh Fennell

Meg Fletcher
B.A. Linguistics & Hispanic Linguistics, Minor in Russian language and literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2018

Meg is an MA student whose research interests include sociolinguistics and historical linguistics. Her current research is on the lexicosemantic stability in Proto-Mayan languages.

Victoria Johnston
B.A. Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017

Victoria is a second year M.A. student. Her research involves numeral systems in P’urhepecha and the description of Xianju Wu Chinese.

Brian Ladd
B.A. Arab Cultures with a concentration in Arabic Language, Minor in Linguistics, University of North Carolina, 2013

Brian’s areas of interest and study involve work at the Semantics-Pragmatics interface, and the socio-cultural aspects of language in use. His work focuses on the use of Arabic in the construction and expression of group identities in the Middle East and the Arab diaspora. He has a broader interest in the Semitic language family such as Hebrew, Amharic, and Tigrinya.

Jiefang Li
B.A. in English Language Teaching from Each China Normal University(ECNU), 2019

Jiefang is a first-year M.A. student who is interested in L2 acquisition with a special focus on metalinguistic awareness and reading comprehension. She hopes to apply tools of computational linguistics to conduct corpus studies about language acquisition.

Yiwen Peng
B.A. Linguistics, Minor in TESOL, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2019

Yiwen is a first-year M.A. student whose interests include morphology, syntax, bilingualism, and language acquisition.

Amy Reynolds
B.A. Linguistics, Interdisciplinary, Minor in German, Hendrix College, 2009
M.A. Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011

Amy’s main interests include phonology, semantics, and the history of English. Her M.A. thesis was on acquisition models of English consonant clusters and she is now studying consonant-cluster reduction in a local refugee community.

Becca Winters
B.A. Criminal Justice Studies (cum laude), Minor in Psychology and concentration in Russian Studies, University of Dayton, 2014.

Becca’s main interests are historical linguistics, writing systems, phonetics and phonology, and modern electronic communication.

Minlu Zhang

Yang Zheng