Linguistics Research at UMass Amherst
The Linguistics Department at UMass is a center for research in the core areas of theoretical linguistics—semantics, phonology and syntax—as well as in areas tightly linked to that core—psycholinguistics, phonetics, acquisition, prosody and morphology. Research at the interfaces of these areas i.e. syntax-semantics, phonology-syntax, or phonology-morphology, is also a hallmark of the UMass research profile.
Grant Funded Research
The UMass Linguistics Department has had a particularly strong record in externally funded research, both in theoretical and experimental areas. In most years between two and five graduate students work as research assistants to the faculty on externally funded grants, instead of as teaching assistants. See a list of current grants.
Centers and Institutes
Language Acquisition Research and Resource Center, directed by Tom Roeper
Linguistics Laboratories and Experimental Research
From the outset, the UMass department has had an important experimental component. Language acquisition and adult language processing were early specializations of the department, followed by phonetics and prosody. Experimental investigations which actively probe questions of high theoretical interest are also a hallmark of UMass Linguistics. Graduate students collaborate on experiments with faculty and perform their own for various courses or their own research projects. Undergraduate students are tapped as participants and in higher level courses, learn to design their own experiments as well.
In the close-knit spirit of our department, graduate students and faculty meet regularly in groups to discuss ongoing research in specific areas. These casual meetings sometimes take place in student or faculty homes, and can lead to discussions that last late into the evening.
Departmental Support for Student Research
Graduate students are encouraged to embark early on their own research projects, are given considerable mentorial support, and are encouraged to deliver papers or posters at conferences, with financial support for at least one conference trip a year per student.