Linguistics Department

Milestones in Linguistics

Thu, December 16, 2010
Milestones in Linguistics

The year ends with important milestones: most notably, Robert D. King is retiring from UT’s faculty after 45 years of service, including many years as the founding dean of the College of Liberal Arts and four years as chair of this department. One suspects that Bob may plan a bit of traveling.

Three members of the faculty were promoted: Jason Baldridge to associate professor and both David Beaver and Steve Wechsler to full professor. This was a banner year for the faculty in Linguistics; unless our institutional memories fail us, our department has never had so many promotions amongst the tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Yahui Huang and Elizabeth  Alena Horn defended their doctoral dissertations. This is the milestone for which we all work in the Department of Linguistics. We wish Yahui and Alena the best in all their future endeavors.

Students and faculty presented talks at important conferences, far and wide.  John Beavers spoke at a conference on Verb Meaning, Event Semantics and Argument Structure at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Rajka Smilanic presented her research at the recent meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. At the triennial conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, held this year at Purdue, a large contingent of current faculty and students, including Lynn Hou, Tony Wright, Jilly Kowalsky (Anthropology), Angela Nonaka (Anthropology), David Quinto-Pozos, and Richard Meier presented their research. And a host of former students were in attendance, including Aaron Shield (U. of Chicago), Christian Rathmann (U. of Hamburg), Ginger Pizer (Mississippi State), Kearsy Cormier (University College London), and Claude Mauk (University of Pittsburgh). UT was equally well-represented at the annual conference on New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV), where Jessica White-Sustaita, Kate Shaw, Doug Bigham, and Lars Hinrichs (English) spoke. 

The new year begins with a bang.  The annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America begins on January 6 in Pittsburgh. UT faculty, students, and former students are all over the program. Danny Law (Anthropology), Heidi Johnson (AILLA), Steve Wechsler, David Beaver, Doug Bigham, Pattie Epps, Scott Myers, Eric Campbell, Lynda Boudreault, John Beavers, and Alex Teodorescu will all be presenting.

This last year was a very successful one for the department. Although we will start the new year with some trepidations about the state of the university budget, we look forward to continued planning for our move in January 2013 into the new Liberal Arts building.  Construction begins soon!

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