14 September 2014

Welcome to our new students!

It is with great pleasure that we introduce the new cohort of Linguistics graduate students, so that you can all get to know them a bit better. Welcome, class of 2019!



Ana Elisa Besserman 



Hi! My name is Ana Besserman, I'm from Brazil and I'm terribly excited to be joining the USC Linguistics department! While living in Rio de Janeiro, I graduated with a BA in Journalism and another in Portuguese & English (running from one University to the other while doing that turned out to be quite a lot of fun). In 2011, I moved to San Diego to pursue a Linguistics MA at SDSU and ended up having an amazing time yet again. For my thesis, I designed and ran a study on discourse-based predictive processes during language comprehension - which brings me to my linguistics interests: sentence processing, experimental pragmatics, discourse, information status and word order (but truly everything else language-wise fascinates me almost just as much). 
What else? I'm a big fan of "that's what she said" jokes (thanks, Michael Scott). Owls are my favorite creatures, but I'd probably be a beaver if I had to be a non-human animal. I had an awful ketchup addiction when I was 7 years old. If Netflix was a place, it would probably be my favorite one. I particularly enjoy watching anything with vampires, Woody Allen and revenge stories, so basically I'm waiting for the day the three will be combined in one glorious, epic movie. I love food (eating, not cooking), sports (watching, not playing) and games (wining, not losing). 


Bhamati Dash


Hye. I am Bhamati Dash. Since many have asked me this after I came here, it starts with an aspirated bilabial voiced plosive and ends with a dental voiceless one. I am from India. My first language is Hindi, the language predominantly spoken in Northern India. I am from the state of Orissa in India( a state in Eastern India) but never having lived there I am not very good at speaking Odia. I plan to improve on it here! Not because there are so many who speak that language here because there aren't but because my research is in Odia and I cannot stay away from it any longer.
I did my graduation and post graduation from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. ( same place as Mythili and Saurav).
Currently my interest is tipped towards syntax. I plan to work on Plural Expressions in Classifier languages. But I am hoping to find something new here which will catch my attention so that I could diversify my area of interest.

Really excited to be here.


Hayeun Jang


I’m Hayeun Jang from South Korea. My lovely cats’ names are Luffy and Hancock (I took their names from the Japanese manga ‘Onepiece’). Yes. I’m a cat lover, but unfortunately my husband is allergic to cat’s fur.. T^T So they are living with my parents now.

Nowadays I’m fascinated by articulation and perception of nasals, and I’m interested in the phenomenon named ‘spontaneous nasalization’. So I will focus on P-side linguistics, but I love other subfields of linguistics.

Nice to meet you all, and be friends :)


Maury Lander-Portnoy



My name is Maury and I'm from Baltimore, Maryland.  I went to undergrad at Haverford College in the suburbs of Philadelphia where I graduated with a degree in Linguistics and Languages, which was a linguistics degree with an additional curriculum of 2 foreign languages, which for me were Mandarin and Arabic (My apologies for being a linguist who asking "oh, how many languages do you know?" is a good question: these two joined Hebrew, Spanish, and Latin).  Linguistically, I'm interested in Phonetics, Phonology, Psycholinguistics, and Endangered Language Documentation, with my thesis being a Phonetic sketch of an Endangered language from northeast India called Bugun.

Extralinguistically, last year I took a gap year to first work at the summer camp I attended as a child, then I went to Ireland and Spain to travel and WWOOF (volunteer on small organic farms).  Then I had to come back and help my grandparents move into a retirement community up in Massachusetts (for those of you who didn't travel to the east coast last year, it was absolutely freezing, which is part of the reason why I am so excited about LA's weather!).  After that, I traveled to visit family and stayed for a bit with my parents, who now live in Dallas, TX, before coming here to work for the summer.

For fun, I LOVE cooking (and eating too!), and growing my own produce, although I'm unsure whether I'll get much opportunity to do that in the city (I'll try herbs on my balcony).  I love music, singing (solo or a cappella), and playing the guitar although music is less of a hobby and more of a perpetual state of being, manifested in constant singing and listening to music.  To stay active, I enjoy swimming (another reason I'm excited about LA-year round outdoor swimming), hiking, and occasionally running.  And to stay inactive, I like playing video games and watching movies.

12 September 2014

Congratulations to the Spring Bake-off Winners

A very-belated congratulations goes out to the winners of the Bake-Off held at the end of last semester! We had many entrants who provided delicious treats for this special tea time event.

The dessert spread
Xiaxun won first place for her lemon bars:

Xiaxun, First place winner
Jessica won second place for her lemon cookies:
Jessica, Second place winner
Cynthia won third place for her Chocolate rum cake:
Cynthia, Third place winner
Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all the participants!

19 June 2014

Congratulations to Our New BAs and PhDs!

June can mean only one thing -- graduation season! The USC Department of Linguistics graduated 13 undergraduates and 6 graduate students this year. In addition, many grad students defended dissertations in the last few weeks. We proudly congratulate all of the following students on their recent graduation and successful defenses, not to mention their many years of hard work at USC. Congratulations, all, and good luck in your future endeavors!

Undergraduate Students

Evangeline Alva
Won Jeong Cho
Xiaxun Ding
Nelly Escobar
Patience Fetzer
Aaron Fleiss
Megan Harmon
Tyler Isaman
Jessica Lee
Josephine Lim
Annika Linde
Helen Park
Hui Ying

Graduate Students

Xiao He
What 'You' and 'I' Can Say About Ziji: Reference Resolution and Non-structural Constraints
Xiao has accepted a lectureship in Linguistics and Quantitative Methods at the University of Manchester.

David Li
Investigating the Production and Perception of Reduced Speech: A Cross-linguistic Look at Articulatory Coproduction and Compensation for Coarticulation

Ben Parrell
Dynamics of consonant reduction
Ben won a post-doctoral fellowship funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Research Service Award, which he will use to pursue postdoctoral research and additional training at the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley. Ben has also accepted an Assistant Professorship at the University of Delaware's Linguistics Department beginning in Fall 2015.

Sergio Robles-Puente
Prosody in Contact: Spanish in Los Angeles
Sergio has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Spanish Linguistics at the University of West Virginia.

Barbara Tomaszeswicz
Focus Association in Superlative Expressions
Barbara was also recently awarded a very competitive NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her research.

Hector Velasquez
A Reduplicative Analysis of Sentence Modal Adverbs in Spanish
Hector has accepted a teaching position at his alma mater, Universidad Católica de Lima, Perú.

22 April 2014

More Congratulations!

There is even more good news to report from students in the USC Linguistics Department!

Congratulations to Ben Parrell on winning a very competitive post-doctoral fellowship funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Research Service Award. Ben will be pursuing his research and additional training at the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley. Ben was *also* offered an Assistant Professorship at the University of Delaware's Linguistics Department. He will start at the University of Delaware in fall 2015. Congratulations, Ben!!!

Congratulations to undergraduate student Mary Basily, who has been working with the SPAN research group under the mentorship of graduate student Christina Hagedorn. Her poster, "Characterizing Vowel Production in Post-glossectomy Speech using Realtime MRI", won first place at the USC Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Social Sciences category. Congratulations to Mary and Christina and the rest of the SPAN group.

Mary with her poster


Keep the great news coming, everyone!

07 April 2014

Congratulations are in order!

The USC Linguistics department is enjoying a swath of good news in the past couple of weeks:

  • Congratulations to our undergraduate Evangeline Alva, who has been selected out of more than 100 applicants to participate in Stanford University´s first CSLI Summer Internship Program. Keep up the good work Evangeline!
  • Congratulations to our graduate student Xiao He: he has just been offered a Lectureship in Linguistics and Quantitative Methods at the University of Manchester. Amazing news Xiao, great job!
  • Congratulations to our graduate student Huilin Fang, who has just received the Tsai Family Award. This award will fund her work on the Austronesian endangered language Saisiyat this summer.
Thanks for all your hard work everyone. You are an inspiration to us all!