The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Welcome to ling-20!

Welcome to the students who are joining our graduate program!!!

Devon Brett Denny I come from Monument Valley, Utah which is a part of the Navajo Nation. I received a B.A. in Linguistics and certification in TESOL at the University of Utah. I like to listen to/play music, cook, and learn about other cultures. I have been working as an ESL teacher in Salt Lake City for three years and have taught in Taiwan for two separate summers. With these experiences, I have an understanding of what language acquisition looks like on the surface and want to shift my focus onto something more personal. With the Navajo language in decline, I want to do my part in language maintenance by discovering effective ways to interpret linguistic description and make available materials more accessible for second language learners. ​

Trevor Driscoll I was born and raised in California and I received my BA and MA in linguistics at California State University, Fresno. I am primarily interested in metrical phonology, American languages, fieldwork, and the phonetics-phonology interface. The majority of my research focuses on foot structure and typology and Siouan and Eskimo-Aleut languages.

Katherine Diane Martin  I was born and raised in Toronto, and then moved to the States to get my BA in linguistics at Yale before moving back to Canada to work towards an MA in linguistics at the University of British Columbia.  At UBC, I started working with speakers of Gitksan, a Tsimshianic language spoken in northern-central BC. I am interested in syntax, semantics, and their interface(s), particularly with regards to information structure and negation. Outside of linguistics, I enjoy reading science fiction, knitting and physically preventing my dog from eating my laptop charger.

Giovanni Roversi I have grown up in a small town in Northern Italy – not the gorgeous area with the mountains: rather, the flat mosquito-filled industry-heavy plain right south of that. As a teenager I decided it got too hot down there, so I moved to a similarly-sized town in Northern Norway – the gorgeous area with the mountains, 250 km/whatever that is in miles north of the Arctic Circle. I finished growing up there, and then I moved to Oslo to get a BA and an MA in linguistics. Altogether I have spent two thirds of my life so far in Italy and one third in Norway, so you can decide yourself where you consider me to be from. When it comes to linguistics I have mostly explored morphosyntax-adjacent issues like affix order, agreement, hierarchy effects, voice, valence and argumenthood. As I thoroughly enjoy working on understudied languages, my main piece of work has been on Äiwoo, an Oceanic language from the Solomon Islands. I have also worked a bit on the native Italian dialect of my home region, Emilian (which I am half a speaker of). My favorite ways of procrastinating and postponing linguistic work include playing the piano, nerding about cooking/eating and the realm of drinks (coffee, tea, and what more there is), and watching some series.

Jad Wehbe I was born and raised in Lebanon. I received my B.A. in Linguistics and Mathematics from Harvard in 2019. Since then, I have been working in the Linguistics department at the University of Maryland as a Baggett fellow. I am generally interested in semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, and language acquisition, but I am also hoping to learn more about the interface between syntax and semantics. In terms of specific topics, I have worked on the interaction between modality, tense and aspect, the acquisition of questions/rising declaratives, and I have recently been looking into how counterfactuals are expressed cross-linguistically. Outside of Linguistics, I really enjoy playing board games and watching movies. I was also involved in a lot of education-related public service work in the Boston area during college, so I am hoping to continue doing that when I am back.