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Linguistics News

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,…

USC College alumnus Paul Frommer created a language for the film <em>Avatar</em>. Photo by Max S. Gerber

The Science of Language (Na'vi, That Is)

April 26, 2010

"Stars are fascinating," Paul Frommer enthused. "I recall many a New York night when as a child I stood out in a vacant lot bundled up against the cold, holding a star map and a flashlight covered in red cellophane [red light…

<em>Avatar</em> director James Cameron on the set of the film. Photo credit Mark Fellman, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

A World All Their Own

December 23, 2009

Filmmakers are storytellers, but they are also architects and anthropologists. They must create whole worlds in which their stories can unfold. And the worlds they create must be coherent and believable, be they a…

Building Bridges Between Linguistics and Neuroscience

Building Bridges Between Linguistics and Neuroscience

October 1, 2008

Roumyana Pancheva is a scholar looking to expand her arsenal of research techniques.The linguist has dedicated her career in large part to the study of syntax and semantics — the ways we combine words to form meaningful…