The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Welcome to ling-17!

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the students who are joining our graduate program this year!

Daniel Asherov

I’m from the greater Tel Aviv area in Israel. I received my B.A. in Linguistics at Tel Aviv University, where I worked on defaultness in Hebrew morphology,  acquisition of rhotics, and phonology of heritage speakers. In my M.A., also at Tel Aviv University, I primarily worked on the role of prosody in the interpretation of constructions with ‘or’. At present, I am particularly curious about the division of labor between phonetics and phonology, and all aspects of prosodic prominence. In my free time I enjoy language learning, especially through interaction with language exchange partners.

Tanya Bondarenko

I was born and have lived my whole life in Moscow, where I finished Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in linguistics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU). I am interested in various topics of syntax and semantics, for example in how can subjects of embedded clauses of some languages receive accusative case marking, what mechanisms are responsible for clause reduction, or why repetitive adverbs like ‘again’ have different meanings in structures with dative arguments in different languages. I enjoy doing fieldwork a lot – I have participated in MSU’s expeditions into Balkar (Turkic) and Buryat (Mongolian) languages and have done fieldwork on Georgian on my own. When I am not doing linguistics, I enjoy snowboarding, learning to do acrobatics and artistic gymnastics, and watching and discussing films.

Cater Chen

I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I received a B.Sc. in Psychology and an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Toronto. I’ve worked on the morphology and syntax of several nominal constructions (both phrases and compounds) in Mandarin Chinese and English, and I’m generally interested in argument structure, locality (in movement), nominalization, and things about Roots. Outside of Linguistics, I enjoy reading and writing prose and poems, solving math and logic puzzles, and listening to post-rock music. I bike and hike when I’m back home. Sometimes I have ice cream or cake for lunch/dinner.

Sherry Chen

I was born and raised a little town called Longyou, located in southeastern China. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Hong Kong, during which time I studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia. After that I did an MPhil in general linguistics at the University of Oxford, where I was advised by E. Matthew Husband and became fascinated by various topics including tense, event structure, and presupposition. My two years at Oxford has been an magical experience, which ultimately brought me to the decision of pursuing a PhD in linguistics. My main research interests lie in syntax, semantics, and their interface interfaces, involving both theoretical and experimental inquiry. While not working, I spend my time cooking and taking long walks. I think coffee and platypus are the two best things in the world.

Boer Fu

I was born in Fuxin, China. It’s a tiny town right next to Inner Mongolia. But I would consider my hometown to be Shanghai, because I have lived there since I was 4 and I have long lost my velar nasal because of it (only in Mandarin and only after certain vowels). I went to UCLA for my undergrad and did a bit of research on Mongolian vowel harmony. I came to Boston to escape the burning sun of SoCal, and to explore more of phonology. I’m also interested in historical linguistics, especially the question of how sound changes over time. When I’m not doing linguistics, you’ll probably hear me going on and on about Harry Potter and Liverpool FC (it’s a soccer team). I also love politics, maps, cats, and Agatha Christie.

Filipe Kobayashi

I’m from a small town in Brazil called Petrópolis. I received a BA in Portuguese language and literature from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Last year, I moved to Canada to do an MA in Hispanic linguistics at the University of Toronto. I’m interested in semantics, syntax and their interfaces. Currently, I am particularly puzzled by epistemic indefinites and the licensing of polarity items. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV series and trying to play the guitar.

Vincent Rouillard

I grew up in Montreal, where I obtained my B.A. in linguistics from McGill University.  I am most interested in semantics and pragmatics, although I hope to extend my research into syntax. My work so far has focused on so-called presuppositional implicatures, which are inferences generated when speakers utter a sentence for which there are presuppositionally stronger alternatives. Outside of academia, I like to sit at my computer all day.

Dóra Takács

I grew up in a small industrial town in Hungary. I got my B.A. in German studies with a minor in mathematics from the University of Szeged. I have recently finished my M.A. in linguistics at the University of Göttingen. I am interested in semantics and pragmatics in general, and propositional attitude verbs, presuppositions and anaphora in particular. I am excited to continue working on these topics as well as extending my linguistic horizon in the coming years at MIT.

Christopher Yang

I was born and raised in San Jose, California. I attended UCLA and received a BA in linguistics with a specialization in computing. My main interests in linguistics center around phonology, in particular Optimality Theory, opacity, and syllable theory, as well as learning and learnability. I am currently investigating the effects of syllable structure on certain opaque interactions in Korean. Outside of linguistics, I am an avid gamer, lover of superhero films, and enjoy hiking and woodworking.

Stanislao Zompì

I was born and grew up in the South-East of Italy, a few miles away from the awesome Ionian shores of Apulia. I then moved to Tuscany to study, and earned both my BA and my MA from the University of Pisa. During those university years, however, I also managed to travel around a good deal, spending some months as an Erasmus student in Paris and London, then taking part in a couple of EGG schools in Eastern Europe, and finally arranging to write my MA thesis at the University of Geneva. In that thesis, I focused on so-called *ABA patterns in case morphology, and on what they may tell us about the way that cases are assigned. I’m also interested in syntax and morphology more generally, and I hope to get a grasp also of semantics and phonology in the years to come. Outside linguistics, I enjoy good literature (especially short stories), reading and debating about politics, and binge-watching TV series.