Linguistics at USC

The USC Department of Linguistics enjoys a national and international reputation for excellence in the scientific study of language. For over thirty years, its faculty has regularly made fundamental contributions to the advancement of theoretical linguistics, with research primarily carried out in five major subfields of formal linguistics: phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, semantics, and syntax. The department has 20 core faculty, 35-40 graduate students, and around 70 undergraduates engaged in a range of linguistics majors, including computational linguistics, linguistics and cognitive science, and linguistics and philosophy.

See below for weekly, upcoming events and lab meetings.

Departmental Blog

Please visit SCling Wrap, our weekly department news digest, for the latest!

Contact & Visit

Chair: Andrew Simpson

USC Department of Linguistics
3601 Watt Way, Grace Ford Salvatori Hall 301
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1693

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Phone: (213) 740-2986

Department Achievements

Congratulations to Audrey Li, who has been appointed as a new Academician by Academia Sinica, Taiwan. This is the highest academic honor in Taiwan, and Audrey Li is the first female linguist to be recognized as a member of the academy.

Congratulations to Gabriel Griswold, who has been awarded the Order of Troy, one of USC’s highest honors for undergraduates.  The Order of Troy recognizes students who “have distinguished themselves beyond their peers in at least one facet of university life and have made notable contributions to the university community as active leaders or critical contributors in service to their peers, the university community or the world at large.”  Gabriel was also selected as a winner of the Global Scholar Prize, with a $10,000 award for graduate school, and received a USC Global Scholar Distinction, Renaissance Scholar Distinction, and Discovery Scholar Distinction.

Congratulations to Mary Byram Washburn, who has been selected for the General Education Teaching Award for her contributions to the GE program in 2022-2023.

Congratulations to Katie Kennedy, who has been selected for a General Education Graduate Assistant Award for her contributions to the GE program in 2022-2023.

Congratulations to Jina Song (PhD 2023), who will be starting a new position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at Hongik University in Seoul.

Congratulations to Jun Lyu (PhD 2023), who has taken up a tenure-track assistant professor position in Linguistics in Beijing University.

Congratulations to Audrey Li on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Linguistic Society of Taiwan, 2023.

Congratulations to Jesse Storbeck (PhD 2022), who has accepted a position as a post-doctoral researcher in the Language Learning Lab at Boston College, starting January 2023.

Congratulations to Yifan Yang (PhD 2022) who has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at the School of Foreign Languages at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Congratulations to Sarah Hye-yeon Lee (PhD 2022, now a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania), who has been awarded the Gibson-Fedorenko Young Scholar Prize for her presentation at the 2022 Conference on Human Language Processing.  Sarah’s presentation, entitled “Where do you think the ball is?: Using webcam-based eye-tracking to investigate mental representations of object locations in transfer-of-possession events,” is based on research funded by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.

A Festschrift has just been published by John Benjamins, to honor Audrey Li‘s career of critical achievements in the field of Chinese syntax.

Many congratulations to  Mythili Menon (PhD 2016), now Assistant Professor of English and Linguistics and Director of the Linguistics Program at Wichita State University, who has just been awarded an NSF grant (PI) with computer scientist Murtuza Jadliwala (co-PI) to study linguistic models of social engineering attacks on refugee populations.

Many congratulations to Elsi Kaiser, who has been selected as a recipient of the General Education Teaching Award.

Congratulations to Luismi Toquero Perez, who has been selected for a General Education Graduate Assistant Award for his excellent teaching in the GE Program.

Congratulations to Betul Erbasi, who has accepted a full-time position with Amazon as a Knowledge Engineer.

Many congratulations to Stephanie Shih, who has received a Raubenheimer Award, one of USC Dornsife’s highest faculty honors recognising excellence in research and teaching.

Many congratulations to Guillermo Ruiz, the Linguistics Office Manager, who was selected by Dean Amber Miller for an Outstanding Dornsife Staff Achievement Award.

Congratulations to Sarah Hye-yeon Lee who defended her dissertation in December 2021 and is starting an NSF post-doctoral research position at the University of Pennsylvania, working on event structure in language and cognition.

Congratulations to Miran Oh, who has accepted and begun a position as a Voice Building Engineer, for Siri Text-to-Speech, Apple Inc.  Miran also received the 2021-2022 Stetson Award from the Acoustical Society of America.

Congratulations to Sarah Harper who has taken up a postdoctoral scholar position in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

The USC Phonetics Laboratory was well-represented at the recent Acoustical Society of America Meeting with presentations from Dani ByrdLouis GoldsteinSarah HarperHaley HsuCynthia Lee (alum), Yijing LuMiran Oh, and Shri Narayanan.

Congratulations to Hayeun Jang (Ph.D. USC 2020) on her appointment as an Assistant Professor at Busan University of Foreign Studies.

Congratulations to Saurov Syed (Ph.D. USC 2017) who recently received tenure at the University of Auckland Department of Linguistics.