Research

The UO Linguistics Department faculty research addresses three broad themes: linguistic diversity & society; language learning & technology; language processing & human health. Our vision is to embrace individual and community language behavior and change as objects of linguistic study, with attention to how this study can benefit society.


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Approximately three-quarters of faculty research is sponsored, including by the following federal entities: NSF, NIH, NEH, DOE.
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Nearly half the faculty have been recognized by the UO with Faculty Excellence Awards, Teaching Excellence Awards, and Innovation Awards.
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Roughly a third of the faculty have been recognized with major awards from the Linguistics Society of America
 

Our Research Labs

Our faculty includes fieldworkers, psycholinguists, and corpus linguists. Faculty research ranges from documenting understudied languages in far-flung reaches of the world to working with typically developing, English-speaking children who live right here in Eugene. Students who are interested in getting involved in research are encouraged to talk with faculty members who inspire them.


The Department of Linguistics is also affiliated with two major research centers.


Melissa Baese-Berk

“The Speech Perception and Production Lab asks how people perceive and produce speech, with an emphasis on communication across diverse language backgrounds. Our work bridges a variety of disciplines including linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and communication disorders and sciences. We collaborate with individuals across the university and around the world from a number of disciplines including biology, human physiology, economics, and data science.”

-Melissa Baese-Berk, Professor of Linguistics


Don Daniels

“My research focuses on endangered languages in Papua New Guinea, where I’ve been conducting fieldwork since 2006. I’m interested in language change, both from a theoretical perspective and from a methodological one. I work primarily with languages of the Madang branch of Trans New Guinea, and I’m currently involved in a long-term documentation project of the Sgi Bara (or Jilim) language.”

-Don Daniels, Associate Professor of Linguistics


Kris Kyle

“The Linguistics department is an excellent place to learn how to apply data science techniques to theories of language use, variation, and development. In my lab, we use cutting-edge NLP techniques to investigate how language use varies across language use domains (e.g., genres) and how the words and phrases individuals use affect our perceptions of language proficiency. My students have gotten jobs both in industry (e.g., Amazon) and academia."

-Kris Kyle, Associate Professor of Linguistics

 


Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Research Across Disciplines

Linguistics faculty members work on languages from virtually all over the world. We have a wide variety of interests:

  • Descriptive/typological work on lesser-known languages and language revitalization
  • Historical work in syntax, semantics, and phonology
  • Work on the intersection of language, society, and culture
Interdisciplinary Opportunities
Sabrina Piccolo

Linguistics Prepared Me for the Next Steps in My Career

“Even though I am not working directly in linguistics at the moment, the UO Department of Linguistics could not have prepared me better for working in a research environment. The Speech Perception and Production Lab provided me with an avenue and the resources to develop my honors thesis; it was also one of my main places for academic (and emotional) support when I was an undergraduate student. Working at this lab showed me what it looks like to do good science and encouraged me to not be intimidated by tackling concepts or skills that I had little experience with. Now, as a research assistant at the Saxe Lab (a social cognitive neuroscience lab at MIT) in a field that is fairly new to me, I am not too intimidated by taking on new challenges – rather, I'm excited about learning new things!”

–Sabrina Piccolo, BA in Linguistics, ‘21


News

September 15, 2022
Two University of Oregon linguistics professors have received funding from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative seminar, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, to be conducted over three summers.
September 15, 2022
Seven faculty members have been recognized for their exceptional teaching with the 2022 Distinguished Teaching Awards. Recipients of the University of Oregon annual awards are tia north, Katie Lynch, Keli Yerian, Michael Aronson, Lara Bovilsky, David Steinberg and Tina Starr.
August 23, 2022
Founded in 1997, the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) at the University of Oregon recently celebrated its 25th anniversary this past June. Now, thanks to a recent grant from The Roundhouse Foundation, NILI will be launching an initiative to analyze and re-envision needs for growing and expanding in the years ahead.