Yale Linguistics welcomes four new graduate students
August 22, 2013
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 with a breakfast on Monday, August 26 (check your email for details!), before beginning their first day of classes on Wednesday, August 28. As you can see below, this cohort brings a rich array of experiences and research interests that will enhance our community.
Rikker Dockum received his BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College in 2007 and is returning to the US after several years in Bangkok, Thailand. There, through the Southeast Asian Linguistics Archive, SEALang Library, SEALang Lab, and other projects, he worked extensively with digitization and aggregation of linguistic materials, especially lexical field data across Greater Southeast Asia. His research so far has focused on epigraphic Thai, especially 13th-15th century inscriptions, as well as with Mon and Khmer epigraphy. He is very interested in the history of language contact throughout Southeast Asia, and at Yale he hopes to work on classification and reconstruction issues within the Kra-Dai family.
For the past two years, Luke Lindemann has been working in his hometown of Austin, TX, as a research assistant for the Texas German Dialect Project in UT’s Germanic Studies department. He has helped with the project’s newsletter and fundraising in addition to facilitating and conducting dialect interviews. Luke earned his undergraduate degree from Pomona College in 2009 with a major in linguistics & cognitive science and minors in physics and anthropology, after which he spent a year and a half in Kathmandu, Nepal, on a Fulbright fellowship, teaching English and volunteering at a mother tongue advocacy nonprofit. He is interested in using the resources and contacts he’s created in Texas and Nepal for fieldwork while in grad school at Yale.
Patrick Patterson comes to us after graduating in May from the University of Kansas with a BA in linguistics. He has also studied in Germany at the University of Bonn as well as in Guatemala with Wuqu’ Kawoq, an NGO concerned with indigenous health and the revitalization of Mayan languages. These languages, and Mesoamerican languages more generally, are what Patrick intends to study at Yale, both in terms of their morphosyntax, where he has investigated the expression of negation, imperatives, and conditionality through sentential particles in Kaqchikel (Maya), and their phonology, especially how generalized alignment may be used to account for reduplication in positional roots. His interests also include historical syntactic change and the reconstruction of historical syntax in Germanic languages, especially Gothic.
Having just finished his BA in linguistics at University of Cambridge, Matt Tyler is a Paul Mellon Fellow, one of two members of Clare College’s Class of 2013 who will spend two to three years doing graduate study at Yale (the fellowship also allows two Yale College graduates to do the same at Clare). He hopes to use his time here to lay the foundations for a PhD in an aspect of syntax or syntactic typology.
We are pleased to have these new students join our department – please be sure to say hi if you see them!