Yale Linguistics welcomes five new graduate students

August 25, 2014

Our department is proud to welcome a new cohort of five graduate students this fall. On Thursday, these aspiring linguists participated in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences matriculation ceremonies, and today they are taking part in our departmental orientation before beginning their first day of classes on Wednesday, August 27. As you can see below, this cohort brings a rich array of experiences and research interests that will enhance our community.

Faruk Akkuʂ comes to us from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, where he completed his BA in translation and interpreting studies in 2012 and his MA in linguistics in 2014. He has conducted research on the phrase structure of Sason Arabic, focusing on functional categories, and he has also worked on Turkish and Zazaki. Faruk aims to study the morphosyntax of Middle Eastern languages and dialects from a comparative perspective, investigating the influence and role of language contact on language variation.

Parker Brody received his BA from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a double major in linguistics and Spanish. He has just finished his MA in Linguistic Theory & Typology, also from the University of Kentucky. His master’s thesis was an analysis of affix ordering in Basque auxiliary verbs within the Paradigm Function Morphology framework.

In 2013, Martin Fuchs earned his BA in linguistics from the University of Buenos Aires. For the last couple of years he has been a research assistant there, working on agrammatic sentence comprehension, particularly the processing of Spanish clitic pronouns in sentences with derived and non-derived word order. Martin hopes to explore semantic sentence and lexical processing in Yale’s Language & Brain Lab.

For the past year, Chris Geissler has been working at the Endangered Language Alliance in New York, documenting Gurung, a Tibeto-Burman language from Nepal, and Mahongwe/Ikota, a Bantu language from Gabon. He earned his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College in 2013 with majors in linguistics and religion. While at Swarthmore, Chris studied abroad in Dharamsala, India, the political and cultural center of the Tibetan Diaspora, and conducted a small dialect survey to investigate the emergence of a new dialect of Tibetan among the exile community. After spending a summer digitizing existing field recordings of Koro, an endangered and almost completely undescribed language of northeast India, Chris completed a preliminary phonetic analysis of Koro for his BA thesis. At Yale, he hopes to further explore his interests in phonetics, phonology, and their interface, and historical linguistics, particularly with regards to Tibeto-Burman languages.

Coming to Yale from Sydney, Australia, Josh Phillips received a Bachelor of International Studies in language studies from the University of New South Wales in 2011. His honours thesis was an attempt to situate Australian Kriol in the creolistics discourse, examining the effects of substrate Australian languages on the language’s development and how its features might bear on notions of a “typological creole.” Josh is interested in documentation efforts for endangered languages, particularly Australian languages, and the social, ethical, and institutional issues involved therein.

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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