Linguistics Notes

The department newsletter of the Department of Linguistics at UCLA

Volume 6 (2005-6, prepared July 2006)

Contents of this issue:


Fowler museum and Royce Hall, UCLA.
Photograph by Willemijn Vermaat

Jobs for our (current and former) graduate students

Jason Kandybowicz has accepted a position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Swarthmore College.   Rebecca Scarborough has accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Colorado; she'll start 2007 after finishing her current postdoc at Stanford.  Our Ph.D. Matt Pearson has been hired into a tenure track position at Reed College.  Our Ph.D. Ivano Caponigro has just accepted a tenure track appointment at UC San Diego.  This fall, Brook Lillehaugen will be taking up a new position at the Center for Indigenous Languages (Seminario de Lenguas Indígenas) at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City.  Abigail Kaun (Ph.D. 1995) has been promoted to Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at USC.  Christina Esposito has accepted a one-year position at Macalester College, replacing Sarah Dart (UCLA Ph.D. 1991), who has just retired.

Congratulations to all!


New Faculty

In a busy and important recruiting season, the Department acquired two new faculty.

Megha Sundara (Ph.D. McGill 2005) has been hired as an Assistant Professor.  Megha is a specialist in speech perception and infant language learning.  She will arrive in Spring 2007, after finishing her postdoctoral work at the University of Washington.  We are looking forward to Megha's joining the faculty!

Katrina Daly Thompson (Ph.D. UW-Madison, 2004), who joined the department as a visiting lecturer in Fall 2005, has been hired as Professor in Residence, beginning in Fall 2006. Katrina will continue to teach all levels of Swahili language and also serve as African Languages Coordinator. Katrina is a specialist in African languages and verbal arts, language pedagogy and instructional technology.


Stowell dean, Mahajan chair

UCLA has selected our own department chair, Tim Stowell, as the new Dean of Humanities. We look forward to friendly decanal relations, encouraging Tim to go ahead and be really biased ...  

Moving into Tim's old position as chair will be Prof. Anoop Mahajan.

We wish both of them our best as they shoulder their new responsibilities.

Tim Stowell at the annual Linguistics 5K Run/Walk/Party, June 2006


Peter Ladefoged (1925-2006)

The Department mourned the loss of our dear colleague Peter Ladefoged (1925-2006), who died suddenly in January, ending a long and very distinguished career.  For remembrances of  Peter from many who knew him, visit the web page Remembering Peter Ladefoged.


Sun-Ah Jun honored by her alma mater

Prof. Sun-Ah Jun was chosen as a Distinguished Alumna by her undergraduate institution, Chonnam National University. She visited Chonnam on June 21, 2006 to receive the award, deliver an address, and give press interviews.  If you know Korean you can read the interview by following this link (archive of the Chonnam National University News).


Conference:  "The Hungarian Language:  Past and Present"

In collaboration with Slavic Languages, our department held a conference on May 5-6 entitled "The Hungarian Language:  Past and Present."  The invited speakers were Marcel den Dikken, Donka Farkas and Laszlo Hunyadi.  For a record of the conference, visit its web site at


Another NSF grant for Russ Schuh

Prof. Russ Schuh received a three-year $125,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue work begun with two previous NSF grants, starting in 1999. His first field trip back to Nigeria will be in summer 2007. Russ will be working with UCLA alumnus Alhaji Maina Gimba, Chair of the English Department at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria and the In-Country Director of the project.

Prof. Schuh playing the bagpipes in the UCLA Balkan Band.  He plays with Prof. Tim Rice, Chair of Ethnomusicology


Dept. of Education Grant for Tom Hinnebusch
Tom Hinnebusch retired last year from active teaching in our department, but has remained very busy on campus. During AY 2005/06 he continued as Associate Director of the James S. Coleman African Studies Center at UCLA.  He is currently Director of the Language Materials Project, an online annotated database of pedagogical materials and authentic materials for the learning and teaching of 140 less commonly taught languages. The Language Materials Project is housed within UCLA's Center for World Languages and has been funded with grants from the US Department of Education.

Recently the project was awarded a new three-year grant from the US Dept. of Education for the amount of $527,000 to run through 2009.

Tom also continues to work on his dictionary and textbase of Swahili poetry and online teaching materials for Akan-Twi. 

Tom Hinnebusch


Campbell Hall remodel

Our building, Campbell Hall, has been quite noisy with remodeling.  We look forward to completion, at which time our department home will be improved with seismic safety upgrades, sprinklers for fire safety, and air conditioning.


Friends of Linguistics meeting

In January, our support organization the Friends of Linguistics, heard a stunning presentation by Prof. Susan Curtiss of her work with Genie, the subject of her famous book Genie: Psycholinguistic Study of a Modern-day "Wild Child" (1977; Academic Press).  The presentation included many images and video clips, and celebrates the beginning of work on a scholarly archive about Genie.