Undergraduate research opportunities

Lab meetings

Computational phonology grant group

Gaja Jarosz and Joe Pater lead meetings on computational phonology, in conjunction with an NSF grant “Computing constraint-based derivations“. We are actively seeking undergraduate participants who have taken Ling 402 and have some background in computational linguistics. Please contact Joe Pater (pater@umass.edu).

Experimental phonology grant group

Joe Pater and Lisa Sanders (Psychological and Brain Sciences) are the local leaders of a research group on experimental phonology that is funded by an NSF grant “Inside Phonological Learning“. Because this group involves a collaboration with researchers at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, meetings are held by videoconference. We welcome new participants in our group, and generally expect them to have taken, or be taking, Ling 402 or Ling 414. If you are interested, please contact Joe Pater (pater@umass.edu).

Language acquisition research center

LARC meetings are held every Thursday in N451 from 1:20 – 2:20, and are led by Magda Oiry and Tom Roeper, along with faculty from other departments. Everyone is welcome! To find out more about LARC, please visit http://blogs.umass.edu/larc/.

Research assistantships

Undergraduate RA Position:

This position is for an undergraduate to assist with phonetic and morphological annotation of language data from field research on a Native American language called Creek. The position involves 1) digitizing fieldnotes, 2) entering language data into FLEx software, 3) creating individual audio files from larger recordings, and 4) adding phonetic transcription to language data. You will be trained in the traditional Creek orthography and in using FLEx and Audacity language documentation software. Additionally, you will learn about the phonology and morphology of Creek and have the opportunity to pursue a research project using the language data.


+ Excellent IPA transcription skills

+ Must have taken LING 201 and one upper level Linguistics course (preferably LING 402 or LING 414)

+ Some experience using Praat is preferable

This assistantship will take roughly 3 hours a week and counts as a 1 credit independent study course. If interested please contact Kimberly Johnson (kcjohnson@linguist.umass.edu) by September 23, 2019. Please include a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your experience and skills, as well as a current transcript. You are also required to provide a letter of recommendation: for this please ask a linguistics professor or TA to send a short email assessing your performance in their class to Kimberly Johnson at the email above. Applicants will hear back by September 27, 2019 at the latest and start as soon as possible after that date.

Acquisition Project

Our project on the acquisition of recursion in possessives, relative clauses, adjectives, and compounds and their connection to the Successor Principle in mathematics is a good place to gain research experience. I am looking for an RA who will help run the experiments, which will happen in schools and online, and there will be an opportunity to participate in designing and evaluating those experiments. The RA will get independent study credit for their participation. Applicants who have had, or are taking, Linguistics 411, are strongly preferred. To apply, please email Tom Roeper (roeper@linguist.umass) by December 10th.

Cognitive Science of Language/Phonetics Labs

If you are interesting in working as a research assistant in the Cognitive Science of Language Laboratory of the Phonetics Laboratory in Spring 2019, contact Brian Dillon (brian@linguist.umass.edu) or John Kingston (jkingston@linguist.umass.edu) to arrange a meeting to discuss the prospects before the end of Fall 2018.