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Welcome to the Department of Linguistics

Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations.

― Edward Sapir, Language: an Introduction to the Study of Speech



Mission

The UNM Department of Linguistics is the only degree-granting linguistics program in one of the most multilingual and multicultural states in the U.S. As such, it bears particular responsibilities both to the field of linguistics and to the residents of the region it serves. The department thus has two concerns: (1) teaching and research on language structure and use, and (2) service to society on language-related issues. The department's approach to linguistic theory takes a primarily cognitive-functional perspective that focuses on language structure as interacting with language use. Data-driven and fieldwork methods are emphasized to support usage-based analyses of dynamic language phenomena.  This orientation emphasizes the study of language typology, change, discourse, interaction, variation, interpreting, processing, and acquisition. The department is particularly concerned with the study of regional languages (especially Navajo, varieties of Spanish, and indigenous languages of the Americas) and signed languages (American Sign Language, in particular). This theoretical approach provides the foundation for effectively addressing our commitment to the application of linguistics to social concerns, including minority language maintenance and empowerment of minority communities. Thus, the department not only studies and teaches about the structure and use of language, but also encourages faculty and student involvement as advocates and participants in outreach to the linguistic communities in which we carry out research.

Linguistics Dept

Announcements


  • If you are interested in applying to our PhD program, please read about our Greenberg Fellowship award
  • CLASP V, a multidisciplinary conference, has selected Rebeca Martínez Gómez to give the Student Plenary for her submission entitled, “Linguistic Styles and Visual Information: The Effect of Stereotype Congruence on Social Meanings”, which won the Best Graduate Student Paper in Cognition, Language and Social Practice.  The conference takes place September 15 – 17 in Boulder, Colorado.  Felicitaciones, Rebeca!
  • Professor William Croft has been named a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society.  Fellows are selected on the basis of their professional integrity and for research that has exhibited sustained excellence and has had sustained impact on the Cognitive Science community.  Congratulations Bill!
  • Associate Professor Naomi Shin has just returned from Lyon, France where she gave a presentation about her research on the acquisition of variable morphosyntax at the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language.
  • Associate Professor Barbara Shaffer presented her research on deixis and gesture spaces in signed languages at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference in Tartu, Estonia.
  • Lecturer Christena Griffin was a participant at this year’s American Sign Language Teachers Association annual conference in Salt Lake City.  The theme of the conference was ASL Elevated!
  • Welcome back to Associate Professor Caroline Smith, who presented a talk on “Articulatory correlates of French and English metrical structure: Influences on L1 and L2” at Phonetics & Phonology in Europe in Köln, Germany.
  • Professor Bill Croft presented a talk on Event causation and force dynamics in argument structure constructions at the Linguistic Perspectives on Causation conference held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Congratulations to Rosa Vallejos who has been awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in Linguistics and in Spanish & Portuguese.
  • Associate Professors Naomi Shin and Barbara Shaffer with collaborator Jill Morford were among 10 UNM scientists selected for the 2017 Women in Stem Awards distributed by Advance at UNM, a five-year National Science Foundation-funded project that aims to boost women and minorities in STEM at the University of New Mexico.
  • UNM will confer upon Mrs. Cora McKenna of Nambé Pueblo the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.) for her language revitalization work in collaboration with Professor Melissa Axelrod.  The degree will be conferred at the University Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13 at 9am in WisePies Arena (The Pit), with an additional recognition at the Department of Linguistics Convocation on Saturday, May 13 at 1pm in Keller Hall.
  • Graduate student Andrés Sabogal, who recently returned from completing fieldwork on Wayuunaiki in Columbia, has been selected for the prestigious Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship!
  • Congratulations to Keiko Beers who was awarded a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for her study of language obsolescence and language change in Tohono O’odham.
  • Associate Professors Naomi Shin and Barbara Shaffer were awarded an ADVANCE at UNM Women in STEM Faculty Development Award along with their collaborator, Professor Jill Morford, to investigate minority language development.
  • Congratulations to undergraduate Linguistics Major Shelby Zubia, who was selected for the third cohort of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows. Shelby’s research on language revitalization will be mentored by Lecturer Dawn Nordquist.
  • Linguistics & English Departments jointly host seminar Friday, April 21, 1pm to 4pm in the Waters Room of Zimmerman Library on Jobs Outside the Professoriate as part of a NEH Next Generation grant awarded to UNM to explore Career Diversity for PhDs in the Humanities.
  • Check out this story about Associate Professor Rosa Vallejos who was the Featured Linguist on the Linguist List, the official blog of the Linguistic Society of America!
  • Professor Ana Celia Zentella spoke to standing-room-only crowd of both university and community members on February 17, 2017 as the keynote of Language Diversity Awareness Week.  Our appreciation goes out to the HDLS leadership, students and faculty who contributed to a week of stimulating presentations.
  • Professor Bill Croft awarded a Teaching Allocation Grant by the Center for Teaching Excellence to develop an online tool to teach students how to graphically analyze sentence structure.
  • Welcome back to Professor Barbara Shaffer, returning from a sabbatical which allowed her to make significant progress on a book with co-author Terry Janzen of the University of Manitoba entitled Intersubjectivity in Interpretation: A Cognitive View of Interpreter-Mediated Discourse, forthcoming in the John Benjamins Human Cognitive Processing series.
  • Professor Melissa Axelrod honored with Ken Hale Award at the 2017 meeting of the Linguistic Society of America on January 7, 2017 in Austin, Texas.
  • Professor Emerita Joan Bybee named Collitz professor of the 2017 Linguistic Institute.

Events


 
  • HDLS 12th Biennial Conference: November 12 - 14, 2016
  • Department Events Calendar
  • The Linguistics Department New Student Orientation will be Friday, August 25th, 2017 at 2:00 PM in Humanities Building Room 112 (The Signed Language Interpreting Program area).  A departmental picnic will follow the New Student Orientation at 6:00 PM in Bataan Park on Lomas and Carlisle.

Cora Mckenna Doctor of Letters