The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Welcome to ling-18!

Welcome to the students who are joining our graduate program!

Agnes Bi

Ruyue Bi, who also goes by Agnes, grew up in a small city along the Yangtze River in Mainland China. I received my B.A. in Linguistics and Math from UC Berkeley. My main areas of interest, in general, are syntax, semantics and their interface. My current research focuses on pronoun ellipsis in Mandarin, which hopefully provides a little insight into the broader, cross-linguistic picture. Outside of linguistics, I enjoy traveling and trying new food.

Enrico Flor

I was born and grew up in a tiny alpine village in northern Italy, but I received all my higher education in Austria (I got my MA in General Linguistics in Vienna). Semantics (with a focus on focus, quantification and plurals) has been my primary interest during my studies and work in Vienna. Coming to MIT, I obviously look forward to widening and deepening my knowledge of the field. Outside of Linguistics, I am interested in philosophy (of language and meta-ethics in particular), history, literature and politics – I never get tired of debating! Listening to and singing old music is my main hobby, but when I can I like to spend time in theater. Good typography and Free Software are things of beauty for me.

Peter Grishin

I was born and grew up in Dallas and got my BA in linguistics at the University of Cambridge. My main interests lie in syntax, especially in cases of unexpected agreement and/or movement (or lack thereof), and I have worked a bit on agreement with argument CPs in Zulu and VP fronting in English. I also like to dabble in phonetics, and am especially interested in the question of “how much” phonetics we should encode in the phonology, as well as interactions between prosody and syntax. Outside of linguistics, I’m an avid violinist, cat lover, board gamer, tabletop RPGer, and YouTube cooking video watcher and aspiring home cook.

Tracy Kelley

Wunee Keesuq! I was born and raised in the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe located in Mashpee, Massachusetts. I’m a very proud mother of one son. I received my BA in English and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, where I was also engaged in student life, youth mentoring, and civil rights advocacy. I am passionate about revitalizing my native language, in which I have been growing with since the language project’s inception in 1993, as an apprentice, instructor, illustrator, and author. Some of my personal interests include gaming with my son, teaching language, cooking, swimming, and listening to NPR—oh and coffee!

Anton Kukhto

I’m a Muscovite; I received a BA and an MA in linguistics at Moscow State University. My main interest lies in phonetics and phonology, particularly lexical stress in Irish, Russian, and beyond. I’ve also done some fieldwork on Mordvin, Mari, and Khanty. Outside of linguistics, I enjoy reading, watching films, going to art galleries, taking pictures, singing, learning to play the harp, drinking tea, skiing, and obviously being a bore. But above all, I want to thank all of you who have been ever so ready to lend me a helping hand over the past year (and before). Even eleventy-one years would be far too short a time to spend among you.

Patrick Niedzielski

I grew up in Massachusetts, and did my undergrad at Cornell University, where I majored in Linguistics and Computer Science. After graduating, I took some time away from academia to work in software development.  My research interests are mainly in historical linguistics and the syntax-morphology interface, especially focusing on analyzing data from ancient, highly-synthetic languages that have not received much treatment within the generative tradition—-my undergrad thesis was on clausal structure and polysynthesis in Sumerian, one such language.  I’ve also done work in computer science at the intersection of systems programming and programming language theory.  Otherwise, I spend too much time listening to comedy podcasts, and not enough time playing jazz harmonica.  I also like good espresso, Jethro Tull, and conlanging.

Roger Paul

Katie Van Luven

I’m from Kingston, Ontario in Canada. I received a B.A. in Linguistics and an M.Cog.Sc., both from Carleton University in Ottawa. I am primarily interested in syntax, semantics and their interfaces. In my master’s thesis I looked at various issues surrounding the focal properties of pseudocleft constructions. I’ve also worked on the argumenthood/event structure of directional PPs, as well as locality and low-level effects in phonetics/phonology. Outside of linguistics, I like reading, hiking, re-watching old X Files episodes and getting tattooed.

Hyun Ji Yoo

I was born in Korea, not far from Seoul, and moved to Los Angeles when I was nine. I never really got out of the city since then, and received my B.A. in Linguistics and Psychology and M.A. in Linguistics at UCLA. I am currently working on finding predictability of medial tones in Seoul Korean Accentual phrases, but also am interested in paradigm effects, loanword phonology, and Harmonic Grammar. In my free time, I like to eat good food, watch Korean TV shows and play board games—all the better with coffee and/or ice cream.