Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News & Announcements

Amy Reyes awarded 3 year NSF graduate research fellowship.

Published: Fri, 17 Mar 2017

Congratulations to Amalia (Amy) Reyes has been awarded the prestigious 3-yr NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Congratulations to Amy and to her advisor, Darren.

FLAS fellowship recipient for Summer 17 and/or AY17-18.

Published: Thu, 16 Mar 2017

Congratulations to the Linguistics department students who have received FLAS fellowships:


Angelica Wozniak (AY17-18 FLAS for Arabic) - undergrad student, double major in LING and SPHS

Madeline Kopija (CGS AY17-18 FLAS for Korean) – Undergrad student

Pamela Kline (CLACS Summer 17 FLAS for Quechua) – MATESL student

Zainab Hermes (CGS AY17-18 FLAS for Turkish) – LING PhD student

NSF summer research assistantship for Sarah Johnson

Published: Thu, 16 Mar 2017

We are appy to share with you the good news that Sarah Johnson has been offered a summer research internship (through the NSF Graduate Research Internship Program) to conduct phonetics/phonology research on indigenous languages of the Americas at the Smithsonian.

Congratulations to Sarah and to her advisor, Ryan.

Girju and students receive best paper runner up award at the 2017 IEEE ICSC

Published: Mon, 06 Mar 2017

 The paper "Identifying Medications that Patients Stopped Taking in Online Health Forums" written by Roxana Girju and her students, Tony Gao (undergraduate, Linguistics) and Jason Cho (graduate, Computer Science) was awarded the best paper runner up at the 11th IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing (IEEE ICSC), San Diego, CA. 2017.
Recent Publications:
J. Cho, T. Gao, R. Girju, "Identifying Medications that Patients Stopped Taking in Online Health Forums", the 11th IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing (IEEE ICSC) (, Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, San Diego, CA. 2017.
Patients may stop taking medications after a certain point for various reasons, such as severe side effects, prohibitive costs, or ineffective treatments. Being able to analyze the reason patients stop taking medications is very important to medical practitioners, for example, who can come up with new treatment plans, prescribe different medication if there are side effects. In this paper, we focus on online health forums and define the problem as a binary classification task (i.e., if a patient has stopped taking a medication or not). We chose to focus on health forums here since these are the platforms usually patients go to ask for support online. We propose linguistics features of various complexity and present an in-depth analysis of the results which give us new insights into the task at hand.

New Arabic courses featured in Daily Illini

Published: Fri, 17 Feb 2017

The Feb. 13 edition of the Daily Illini included a feature story on the growth of the Arabic Studies program on campus, including the recent addition of five new courses, involving Arabic, history and comparative & world literature.  Dr. Eman Saadah, director and coordinator of Arabic, was interviewed for the story:

Nyssa Bulkes accepts postdoctoral position at University of Arizona

Published: Wed, 01 Feb 2017

Congratulations to grad student Nyssa Bulkes, who has just officially accepted a job offer to start as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona in the lab of Vicky Lai (, where she will be working on projects related to the neurocognition of meaning in figurative language.

Silvina Montrul appointed as a Center for Advanced Study Associate

Published: Mon, 30 Jan 2017

Congratulations to  Silvina Montrul on her recent appointment as a Center for Advanced Study Associate for one semester during academic year 2017-2018.  Professor Montrul will be working on her research project entitled Native Speakers, Interrupted: Agents of Change in Heritage Languages. 

Lydia Catedral wins 2017 AAAL Graduate Student Award

Published: Fri, 20 Jan 2017

Lydia has been selected as a Graduate Student Award recipient at the 2017 AAAL meeting. The award (also won in the past by Kate Lyons) recognizes the best proposals submitted by graduate students. Congratulations to Lydia and her advisor, Rakesh.

Marissa Barlaz and Eunhee Kim receive an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

Published: Fri, 20 Jan 2017

Congratulations to Marissa Barlaz and Eunhee Kim (Linguistics) for receiving an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant! According to the National Science Foundation, "these awards provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university. Additionally, these grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus that would not otherwise be possible. Proposals are judged on the basis of their scientific merit, including the theoretical importance of the research question and the appropriateness of the proposed data and methodology to be used in addressing the question." These awards reflect greatly on the students and their faculty advisors.

Farewell/retirement reception for Marina Terkourafi and Jennifer Cole

Published: Thu, 08 Dec 2016

LING/SLATE Job Search Workshop

Published: Tue, 15 Nov 2016

Click here to view the slides from the SLATE/LING Job Search Workshop that took place on November 14th.

Darren Tanner selected as LEAP scholar for AY16-18

Published: Sat, 05 Nov 2016

Congratulations to Darren Tanner for his selection as the LEAP (Lincoln Excellence Assistant Professors) Scholar for AY16-18, a new program in LAS designed to recognize excellence among assistant professors.

Schedule for Symposium in honor of Braj B. Kachru (Taking place Nov. 18th, 2016)

Published: Mon, 31 Oct 2016

The symposium will be taking place Friday, November 18, 2016
Room 314A, Illini Union, 8:30am - 5:30pm

Please click here to view the event schedule.

Nyssa Bulkes receives award for best student poster at this year’s Mental Lexicon Conference!

Published: Sat, 22 Oct 2016

Congratulations to grad student Nyssa Bulkes, who just received the award for best student poster at this year’s Mental Lexicon Conference! She was presenting her eye tracking work on anticipation, word recognition, and idiom comprehension in L1 and L2 speakers.

Announcement – Memorial Service for Professor Braj Kachru

Published: Thu, 20 Oct 2016

Announcement –  Memorial  Service for Professor Braj Kachru


Professor Braj Kachru passed away on July 29, 2016 at the age of 84. People from around the world have paid tributes to his prodigious accomplishments and contributions to the department, university, the field of linguistics, English, and India studies, as well as his qualities as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and builder of institutions.

The Department of Linguistics, in cooperation with the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is organizing a memorial service – a celebration of his life -- and symposium in honor of Prof. Kachru at Urbana on Thursday and Friday, November 17-18, 2016.

The memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 17 in Room 210, Illini Union and will include tributes from administrators, colleagues, friends and family, and it will be followed by a reception. A one-day academic symposium focused on the contributions and impact of Prof. Kachru will be held on Friday, November 18. Details of this event will be announced shortly.


Contacts: James Yoon (, Rakesh Bhatt(,Rajeshwari Pandharipande ( Department of Linguistics: 271-333-3563