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

Yuanchen “Blaine” Bao
B.S. Journalism, Northern Arizona University, 2018
M.A. TESOL, Pepperdine University, 2020

Blaine is a first-year M.A. Linguistics student at UNC-Chapel Hill. His interests include second language acquisition, TESOL and phonology.

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.

Benjamin Coleman

Leah Dudley

Dylan Elliott
B.A. English: Professional Writing & Spanish, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2018

Dylan Elliott is a first year MA Student whose linguistic interests include Computational Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, and Language Revitalization. In the past he has researched Hispanic Language Maintenance in Rural and Urban Settings in North Carolina.

Josh Fennell
B.S. Computer Science, Minor in Mathematics, NC State University

Josh is a third-year M.A. student and participant in the Computational Linguistics certificate program. His interests include computational linguistics and phonology.

Sean Foley
B.A. German, B.A. International Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015

Sean is a first year MA students who is very interested in language documentation, particularly of endangered Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in Southwestern China. Earlier this year, he did some brief fieldwork in China’s Yunnan province on a few endangered Ngwi languages, which were previously undocumented. In addition, he is interested in the phonetics/phonology of Sinitic varieties and Tibeto-Burman languages, experimental phonetics, historical linguistics, language evolution, and computational linguistics.

Samantha Golden
B.A. Hispanic Linguistics, B.S. Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2018

Samantha is a first year MA student. Her linguistics interests are focused on Hispanic Linguistics, specifically L2 acquisition for native English speakers, the intersection between cognitive science and linguistics, and pragmatics.

Jolie Hiers
B.A. Spanish, B.S. Foreign Language Education, College of Charleston, 2018

Jolie is a first year MA student. Her linguistics interests include sociolinguistics, pragmatics, contact linguistics, language change, and cross-cultural communication. She has done research on the sociolinguistic topic of forms of personal address in Costa Rica.

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

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

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

Jiefang is a second-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.

Mónica Lopez-Vazquez

With a Medical degree and a specialty in Audiology and Phoniatrics, a Masters in Creative Writing, Mónica decided to start a new related academic path in the Linguistics and Romance Languages MA/PhD. Her research interests are in the acquisition of a second language: from brain processing to phonetic production and the implementation of testing tools to assess second language proficiency.

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

Yiwen is a second-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.

Martha “Emily” Thomas

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

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

Minlu Zhang

Yang Zheng