Qi Cheng awarded NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

Graduate student Qi Cheng, a Ph.D candidate in our department and a member of Rachel Mayberry Lab for Multimodal Language Development, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Linguistics Program – Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (#1917922) for her dissertation work. Her research examines the biological foundations of human language with a focus on early language experience, linking observations from language learning, processing, and the brain network. Supported by the grant, she is currently conducting two psycholinguistic experiments to explore sentence processing strategies used by deaf late signers who suffered from early language deprivation. She presented the preliminary findings at CUNY Conference on Sentence Processing and Theoretical Issues in Signed Language Research (TISLR). She recently published a paper on the neural language pathways of deaf signers with and without early language on Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Cheng, Q., & Mayberry, R. ‘Word order or world knowledge? Effects of early language deprivation on simple sentence comprehension.’ Oral presentation at the 13th conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, Hamburg, Germany, September 2019.

Cheng, Q., Roth, A., Halgren, E., & Mayberry, R. I. ‘Effects of early language deprivation on brain connectivity: Language pathways in deaf native and late first-language learners of American Sign Language.’ Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13, 320. 2019

Nina Semushina awarded NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

Graduate student Nina Semushina, a PhD candidate in our department and a member of Rachel Mayberry Lab for Multimodal Language Development, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (Ling-DDRI) for the project “The development of numerical cognition and linguistic number use: Insights from sign languages”. The goal of the project is to study the effects of language deprivation on the acquisition of numeracy and linguistic number use in American sign language, taking into account some modality-specific properties of numeral systems and plural morphology in sign languages.

Tory Sampson is awarded best student presentation at TISLR13

Our third year graduate student Tory Sampson was awarded the best student stage presentation at the 13th triennial Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR). Her presentation focused on the copular cycle in American Sign Language (ASL) with the sign, labeled as ‘SELF’. In this presentation, Tory presented three stages in the evolution of SELF – as a demonstrative pronoun in 1850’s French Sign Language (LSF – a predecessor of ASL), as a personal pronoun in 1910’s ASL, and finally as a copula in modern ASL. She also presented the ambiguous syntactic contexts that provided for the reinterpretation and subsequent grammaticalization of SELF. A video of her presentation can be found here.

Graduate student Ray Incamu Huaute is awarded a fellowship and an award

Our 2nd year graduate student Ray Incamu Huaute has been awarded an Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) fellowship (2019-2010) and an Endangered Language Fund/IPA Language Legacies Award (2019-2021) for his project Expanding the Documentation and Description of Cahuilla. As part of his ELDP award, Ray has just completed a language documentation training session at SOAS University of London [group photo]. Congratulations, Ray!

Graduate student Nina Feygl Semushina is awarded Annette Merle-Smith Fellowship

Graduate student Nina Feygl Semushina was awarded a 2019-2020 Annette Merle-Smith Fellowship. Established in 2015, this award is given to students who have performed at the highest level in the Graduate Specialization in Anthropogeny, a three-year program offered by the CARTA Faculty of Anthropogeny to UC San Diego graduate students from a variety of participating UC San Diego PhD programs. Students enrolled in the program are required to complete the curriculum of elective courses on anthropogeny (explaining the origin of our species), participate in CARTA’s scientific symposia and ensuing discussions, network with researchers from around the world, and cross-train with peers from a variety of disciplines.

Graduate student Tory Sampson is presenting at TISLR13

Tory Sampson, a 3rd year graduate student, is giving a presentation at TISLR13 (Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research) at the University of Hamburg in Germany about grammaticalization in American Sign Language (ASL). She’ll discuss the copular cycle in ASL in terms of the functionality of a certain sign, SELF, and the changing syntactic contexts in which SELF appears by supplying evidence from historical and modern corpora.

Yuan Chai is awarded the Friends of the International Center Fellowship

Our graduate student Yuan Chai has been awarded the Friends of the $2,000 International Center Fellowship at UC San Diego to conduct summer fieldwork in Southeast Region of China. Yuan will describe and document Xiapu Min, an understudied Min language spoken in eastern Fujian province, China. The specific research goal is to analyze the tone sandhi system of the language. Congratulations, Yuan!

Tory Sampson is awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Our graduate student Tory Sampson has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for 2019-2022 to pursue her project on “Pronominal Acquisition of ASL in Deaf Children”. This project will explore pronoun acquisition in signing deaf children and analyze how they distinguish between deictic and pronominal pointing in ASL. The acquisition of pointing and pronouns in deaf children will be compared to that of hearing children using spoken language. Congratulations, Tory!