Yale Linguistics welcomes four incoming graduate students

August 25, 2016
Our department is proud to welcome a new cohort of four graduate students this fall. Today, these aspiring linguists are participating in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences matriculation ceremonies, and they will be welcomed in our department at orientation festivities on Tuesday, August 30, before beginning their first day of classes on Wednesday, August 31. As you can see below, this cohort brings a rich array of experiences and research interests that will enhance our community.
 
Sarah Babinski comes to us after graduating in May from Swarthmore College with a BA in linguistics. She is interested in the phonology and morphology of North American languages in general, and Algonquian languages in particular, and in the ways that psycholinguistic questions might be investigated alongside the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages in fieldwork. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the verbal morphology of Innu (Montagnais), an eastern Algonquian language. She has also conducted research on historical Algonquian linguistics and on theoretical approaches to phonologically conditioned suppletive allomorphy. Sarah returns to New Haven after spending the month of July in our department as one of five members of associate professor Claire Bowern​’s grammar boot camp.
 
For the past year, Yiding Hao​ has been working in Verona, Wisconsin, a suburb of Madison, as a software developer at Epic Systems Corporation. He earned his BA in mathematics and linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2015, and in his graduate work he hopes to explore the intersection of these two fields by investigating the mathematical properties of grammar formalisms for syntax and semantics using tools from logic and theoretical computer science.
 
Having just finished his BA in literae humaniores (classics) at Merton College at the University of Oxford, Dan Schwennicke is here on a Henry Fellowship, which allows recent graduates of universities in the British Isles to spend one year doing graduate study at either Yale or Harvard (the fellowship also allows Yale College or Harvard College graduates to do the same at Cambridge or Oxford). Dan intends to use his time in our department to study Ancient Greek literary dialects from the perspective of historical linguistics.
 
Muye (Andy) Zhang is no stranger to our department, having received a BA in linguistics and cognitive science from Yale College in 2015. For several years, he has been a member of the language & brain lab led by associate professor Maria Piñango​ and former associate professor Ashwini Deo (Ohio State), serving as lab manager while an undergraduate and then as intern for the past year. He works primarily on real-time meaning composition in the mind/brain and meaning change from a cognitive perspective.
 
We are pleased to have these new students join our department – please be sure to say hi if you see them!
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