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Linguistics News

Vellore Adithi won first place in the humanities category at the 2013 Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work. Adithi's research (shown on computer screen) looked at Jewish-American citizenship and ethnic expression in 20th century America in the work of comic book artist Will Eisner. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Amazing Adventures in Undergrad Research

May 15, 2013

Vellore Adithi loves comic books. Growing up, the Missouri native remembers travelling to India during the summer to visit her family and voraciously reading Archie, Tin Tin, Asterix and Batman.   Adithi, a USC Dornsife…

An assistant professor of linguistics since Fall 2011, Khalil Iskarous spent a decade as a research scientist at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Conn. A Fulbright scholar, Iskarous was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. While in middle school, he and his family moved to New York. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Khalil Iskarous

May 7, 2013

The strongest muscle in the human body, the tongue is our sole muscle connected only on one end. Like an octopus arm, the tongue contains no skeletal support and uses its many muscle groups to contract, lengthen, bend and…

Saving an Endangered Language

Saving an Endangered Language

August 14, 2012

As the old school bus wound its way through the steep mountain passes, the students gazed out the windows at the lush, tropical topography unfolding before them. At the outskirts of the village, the bus shuddered to a halt at…

The Middle East: Choose Your Lens

The Middle East: Choose Your Lens

April 25, 2012

The Middle East cuts a wide swath: it contains a number of countries, a multitude of languages, cultures and customs, and thousands of years of history. Interests and conflicts resonate on a global scale, such as the…

Photos by Brad Wilson.

Being Human

April 22, 2012

We humans are unique animals. Each of us may define what it means to be human differently. We place value in memory, form cultures, innovate, question the purpose of life, and dream of the future. Since the beginning of our…

USC Dornsife's Jennifer Do stepped out from behind her laboratory workstation and onto a stage to participate in the 2012 Miss Vietnam of Southern California Pageant. The sophomore majoring in biological sciences decided to enter the world of pageantry after researching the Westminster, Calif., Vietnamese community for a linguistics course. Photo by David L. Pham.

From Classroom to Center Stage

February 22, 2012

When USC Dornsife sophomore Jennifer Do gracefully crossed the stage of the Miss Vietnam of Southern California Pageant, her confidence and natural elegance evidenced a well-seasoned contestant. Yet before the Jan. 27…

Linguist Noam Chomsky chats with a student during a recent conference honoring the work of Jean-Roger Vergnaud, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and professor of linguistics in USC Dornsife, who died Jan. 31. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

A Tribute to Words

May 27, 2011

One of the founders of modern linguistics Noam Chomsky recalled in the 1950s when a prominent senior linguist told him flat out that he would no longer conduct analyses but only collect data. The senior linguist told Chomsky…

Linguist Jean-Roger Vergnaud, a pioneer in syntax and phonology, taught in USC College until May 2010. Photo credit Antonio Nava.

In Memoriam: Jean-Roger Vergnaud, 65

February 3, 2011

Jean-Roger Vergnaud, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities, professor of linguistics and a major contributor to generative grammar, has died. He was 65. The USC College professor died at USC University Hospital surrounded…

Bruce Zuckerman, professor of religion and linguistics, with Dead Sea Scrolls fragments at St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, N.J. Photo credit Kenneth Zuckerman.

Let There Be Light

June 24, 2010

We all know what New Jersey is famous for. The birthplace of Ol' Blue Eyes? Where Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? Heaven help us, Jersey Shore? Fuggedaboutit! The Garden State is home to one of the greatest…

Majoring in international relations in USC College, Amy Herrmann and Ken Sofer will travel to the Middle East this summer to learn Arabic after each was awarded a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship. Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

Culturally Speaking

May 25, 2010

Arabic is the fastest-growing foreign language taught in universities and colleges across the country, according to the Modern Language Association. Enrollment in Arabic classes grew 127 percent nationally from 2002 to 2006,…