Other News

Noguchi Defense

Yuya Noguchi successfully defended his doctoral dissertation titled Asymmetries, Covert Wh-Movement, and Nominality in Japanese Wh-Questions on February 5th.

Congratulations, Yuya!

Yuya during the defense:


Dr. Noguchi with his committee after the successful defense:


Dr. Noguchi cutting his well earned cake:


UConn Linguists at the LSA Annual Meeting

The 2024 edition of the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America took place January 4th-7th in New York City. The event also commemorated the centennial of the LSA. UConn linguistics was well represented at the conference with talks by:

  • Shengyun Gu. Interaction between iconicity and weak drop in Shanghai Sign Language
  • Diane Brentari, Kathryn Montemurro, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Ann Senghas, Marie Coppola. The effects of animacy on the creation of verb agreement: Clues from Lengua de Señas Nicaragüense
  • Shengyun Gu, Diane Lillo-Martin, Deborah Chen Pichler (PhD 2001, now at Gallaudet University), Elaine Gale. Early Development in ASL Phonology: A Longitudinal Study of Deaf Children with Hearing Parents

… a poster presentations by:

  • Aida Talić (PhD 2017, now at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). You don’t need a definite article to have a DP: A view from Telugu domain of N and A

… and a talk in the workshop on “Advances in the study of signed language phonological change”:

  • Harry Van der Hulst . Why do sign languages lack allomorphy rules? 

Magdalena Kaufmann | Book chapter on Imperative clauses

Magdalena Kaufmann‘s chapter “Imperative clauses” has been published as part of the book Wh-exclamatives, Imperatives and Wh-questions: Issues on Brazilian Portuguese (De Gruyter Mouton 2024, edited by Simone Guesser, Ani Marchesan and Paulo Medeiros Junior).

Abstract: This chapter introduces imperatives as the class of sentential form types in natural languages that are prototypically associated with the speech act of ordering. I show that imperatives serve for a crosslinguistically stable, but in itself diverse range of speech acts, which makes it challenging to find a common conventional core meaning that would explain the pattern. I discuss specific issues relating to the absence of intuitively accessible truth-values and restrictions on embedding. I then turn to a brief overview of syntactic assumptions about imperatives in general, before considering the status of grammatical categories like subject marking, tense and aspect, and negation in imperative clauses in more detail. Finally, I consider instances of imperative marking as occurring in embedded positions, as well as form types appearing in similar and typically smaller ranges of related functions.


Magdalena Kaufmann | Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Magdalena Kaufmann‘s paper “From Coherence Relations to the Grammar of Pronouns and Tense” has just appeared in Vol. 23, No. 69 of the Croatian Journal of Philosophy.

Abstract: Stojnić (2021) argues that the content of linguistic utterances is determined by the rules of natural language grammar more stringently than what is generally assumed. She proposes specifically that coherence relations are encoded by the linguistic structures and determine what individuals count as most prominent, thereby serving as the referents of free (“demonstrative”) pronouns. In this paper, I take a close look at the empirical evidence from English and Serbian that she offers in support of this position. Considering these data points in connection with additional linguistic data (also from German and Japanese), I argue that there is no compelling evidence for the assumption that coherence relations directly determine the resolution of pronouns. Instead, grammatical restrictions imposed by different types of pronouns and tenses have a larger impact on the meaning conventionally expressed by complex utterances than what is generally assumed in the literature on coherence relations.

Gu Defense

Shengyun Gu successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled Bimanual coordination: The non-dominant hand in Shanghai Sign Language on Friday October 27th.

Congratulations, Shengyun!

Shengyun during the defense:

Dr. Gu with her committee after the successful defense:


Dr. Gu cutting her well earned cake:

Goodwin & Lillo-Martin | Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Ed.

The article “Deaf and Hearing American Sign Language–English Bilinguals: Typical Bilingual Language Development by Corina Goodwin (PhD 2016) and Diane Lillo-Martin has just been published in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enad026). Congratulations!

Abstract: Some studies have concluded that sign language hinders spoken language development for deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children even though sign language exposure could protect DHH children from experiencing language deprivation. Furthermore, this research has rarely considered the bilingualism of children learning a signed and a spoken language. Here we compare spoken English development in 2–6-year-old deaf and hearing American Sign Language–English bilingual children to each other and to monolingual English speakers in a comparison database. Age predicted bilinguals’ language scores on all measures, whereas hearing status was only significant for one measure. Both bilingual groups tended to score below monolinguals. Deaf bilinguals’ scores differed more from monolinguals, potentially because of later age of and less total exposure to English, and/or to hearing through a cochlear implant. Overall, these results are consistent with typical early bilingual language development. Research and practice must treat signing-speaking children as bilinguals and consider the bilingual language development literature.

Qi Wu | New Student

Hello! My name is Wu Qi (u35 tɕʰɪ35, 吴琪). I grew up in Shenzhen, China, a southern coastal city where, since the last few decades, people from over the country have come with them their own dialects and traditions. Meanwhile, some part of me has been shaped by years in the north, as an undergrad studying English literature (Beijing & UK). Dealing with words created by people across different time and space calls up my enthusiasm for languages, and I went on finishing a Master’s degree in linguistics. Currently, as a PhD student, I am primarily interested in Syntax and its interface with Morphology and Pragmatics.

Besides academics, I play badminton, video games, and would like to go for trekking a little. I enjoy cooking and exploring into it, and I wish I could have some time for sketches and scribbles, movies and music. It’s such a pleasure to be able to join the department with all the wonderful people!