UMass Sesquicentennial

The Department of Linguistics at UMass Amherst

We are internationally recognized as a major center for work in theoretical, experimental and field linguistics. Our top-ranked doctoral program focuses on educating a small number of PhD students as high quality researchers and teachers. The atmosphere here is cooperative and collegial, with faculty and students collaborating on projects in a range of areas including phonology, syntax, semantics, phonetics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, prosody, field linguistics, typology, historical linguistics, and morphology. We are especially known for innovative work at the interfaces between areas.

Featured News

The Linguistics Department Has Moved!

September 26, 2014

Our new address is:

Department of Linguistics

408 Integrative Learning Center

650 North Pleasant Street

Amherst, MA  01003-1100


NSF grant awarded to support research on phonology at UMass

September 21, 2014
The NSF has awarded a grant of $305,613 to support a project entitled “Computing constraint-based derivations: Phonological opacity and hidden structure learning”, starting September 1, 2014, and lasting for 3 years. John McCarthy and Joe Pater will direct the grant, and the other senior personnel will be Robert Staubs (UMass) and Mark Johnson (Macquarie). The grant will support a graduate student RA, and also includes a Research Experience for Undergraduates component that will involve two undergraduates every semester. The project plans include the creation of a publicly accessible database on instances of phonological opacity, development of accounts of opacity in Harmonic Serialism and comparison with other approaches, implementation of computational tools for working with derivational versions of OT and Harmonic Grammar ("OT-Help 3"), and research on the learning of hidden structure in a Maximum Entropy framework, including learning of derivations.

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