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Linguistics Program

The linguistics program in Boise State’s English department hosted a joint session of two conferences, the Western Conference on Linguistics (WECOL) and the Friends of Uto-Aztecan Conference (FUAC) in October.

The conferences drew nearly 100 linguists from throughout the United States, Mexico, the Basque Country, Japan and Germany. A special session on language and displacement highlighted linguistics work that Boise State faculty and students collaborate on with area tribes, as well as with those resettled in Boise as refugees. Two plenary speakers spoke to this timely topic; Christine Sims from the University of New Mexico and Linguistics Institute for Native Americans spoke about cultural literacy in oral-based traditions in indigenous communities and the connection of language and place and Martha Bigelow from the University of Minnesota provided insights on language learning among adolescent refugees with limited formal education.

Additionally, undergraduate students were invited to present at WECOL and participate in a professional development workshop prior to the start of the conferences.

Several presenters were from Boise State University:

  • Kelly Arispe, assistant professor, world languages: “Bleaching Notions of Advancedness for Foreign Language Learners”
  • Christopher Dale, undergraduate student: “It’s More Complicated Than That”: Women’s Construction of Non-Normative Sexual Identity”
  • Autumn Ellis and Michael Wallingford, undergraduate students: “How the Globalization of English Changes National Identities”
  • Anna Holdiman, undergraduate student and April Masarik, assistant professor, psychological science: “Refugee Parenting and Language: A Literature Review Analysis using the Family Stress Model”
  • Matthew Kelley, alumnus, currently at the University of Alberta and Benjamin Tucker: “Recognition of Spoken Pseudowords”
  • Hannah Masson and Christina Trouten, undergraduate students: “The Grammar of Space in Northern Paiute Narrative Domains”
  • Desirée Midby-Touati, undergraduate student: “Identity and Investment in Language Learning Among Adult Refugees with Interrupted Schooling”
  • Nicholas Sulier, undergraduate student: “Omaha Article System and Evidentiality”
  • Ashley Tomlinson, undergraduate student: “Obviation in Karuk”

Papers from the presentations will be published in a proceedings volume in 2018.

The conferences were co-sponsored by The Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of World Languages, Department of Computer Science, Department of Anthropology, Arts and Humanities Institute and the Division of Research and Economic Development.