Welcome to the new linguistics cohort!

We are so very happy to introduce the new cohort of Linguistics graduate students at USC: Welcome, class of 2021!

Miran Oh 

Hi, I’m Miran Oh, and I’m from South Korea. I’ve done my undergrad in English Language and Literature and MA in Linguistics both at Ewha Womans University. Last year, I was at Stony Brook University as a PhD student in Linguistics. I then came here, starting fresh in the west coast!
I started out having interest in Syntax, and my current interest revolves around Phonetics/Phonology. I’m also interested in computational modeling of sound patterns although I’ve just started exploring this area. My previous research were on how prosody changes with respect to interlocutors of different power relations, how onset affects syllable’s pitch and duration, etc.
Other than above, I love all kinds of active things! I was once a member of the cheerleading group, a drummer in a school band, and an actress in a musical club. I also enjoy sports, love movies, and can’t live without delicious food.
I’m so excited to spend several years with you guys! Nice to meet you all 🙂


Sarah Hye-yeon Lee

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, and my Korean name is Hye-yeon [hɛjʌn]. (Some people have asked me whether I have a preference on what to be called, but I don’t have much of a preference.)

I’ve moved back and forth between the United States and Korea as a kid, but I grew up mostly in Korea. I graduated from Seoul National University with a B.A. in English Language & Literature and Linguistics, and an M.A. in English linguistics. My main interests are syntax and its interface with semantics. I am also interested in the experimental side of these things, which I hope to start exploring here at USC. During my master’s, I have worked on Korean resultatives and English appositives and afterthoughts. I’m very excited to be starting a new journey at USC, and wish to broaden my interests and take my work to new directions while I’m here.

Besides linguistics, I get really excited about movies (good ones), traveling, and talking about them! Nowadays I’m trying to get myself excited about cooking as well.

Nice to meet you guys!


Merouane Benhassine

Hello ! 

My name is Merouane (pronounced : marwan). I was born and grew up in Algiers, Algeria. I completed there a BA in mathematics and later moved to Paris, France, where after some time meandering between Maths and Linguistics, I completed an MA in Linguistics. My interests include, but are not limited to, Morphology and Phonology, their interaction and how they interface with Syntax, Architecture of Language, Speech production and Articulatory phonology. I’m also hoping to learn more about Semantics here at USC, and in seeing how that interfaces with Syntax too. I enjoy cooking and trying out new food, trekking, classical music, playing piano and video games and (my favourite activity) sipping tea while doing nothing.


Madhumanti Datta

Hi!! I’m Madhumanti (with a voiced aspirated dental plosive at the beginning of the second syllable). I am from India, and my native language is Bangla, the Indo-European language mainly spoken in the state of West Bengal in India, and across Bangladesh . I have completed my bachelors in Linguistics from University of Calcutta, and my masters and M.Phil. from University of Delhi in India. My major research interest has been syntax, but at USC I also look forward to working in some of the other areas of my interest, psycholinguistics and language acquisition. I have written my M.Phil. dissertation on the subjunctive mood in Bangla, mainly looking at the the issues of tense, finiteness and the complementiser and tense level interactions in the Bangla subjunctive, thereby also trying to locate the subjunctive within the finite-non-finite paradigm in Bangla .

Apart from Linguistics, what consumes a lot of my time and attention is music. I don’t usually like calling it an interest, it is more like a part of my regular existence. This, I guess, is also an additional reason for me to be happy to be in LA!

Apart from this I love reading, writing, watching movies, travelling, hiking, cycling, cooking, and yes, I love eating!!!

I’m really excited about joining USC, eagerly look forward to my life in the department, and also in LA in general.


Yoona Yee

Hi all! I’m Yoona Yee from South Korea. I earned my BA and MA in linguistics at Seoul National University in Korea and now, I’m so excited to be joining at USC! J I am currently interested mainly on phonology and phonetics, and their interfaces with morphology. To be specific, my MA thesis was on typological asymmetries observed in consonant harmony. Also, I’m very much interested in other areas of linguistics as well.

Outside academia, there are many many things that I love. I like listening to music, watching movies, enjoying sports such as swimming and skiing and others, taking a walk, taking trips, cooking (I started cooking 2 years ago and since then I have tried various Korean recipes. Now it’s time for western food, a new area to me, about which I’m very excited!), camping (as my family love sto go camping to the sea and mountains, I have been enjoying camping since I was 100 days old. Lol. If I ever have a chance, I want to try going camping in the US, although I’m not sure at the moment if I could have an opportunity.), and finally, I also love idling away in my room.

I feel lucky to be here at the linguistics department at USC, and I’m also happy to be in LA. I’m looking forward to everything that I will experience here!


Daniel Plesniak

Hi, my name is Daniel Plesniak. I was born in Lafayette Indiana, but have lived for most of my life in the Washington D.C. area. I just graduated with a degree in linguistics from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. In terms of linguistics, I’m especially interested in Syntax and Semantics and their interface, but really anything about language seems neat to me. My undergraduate thesis is about nominal structure in Mandarin Chinese, a topic I hope to pursue further. Outside of linguistics, I enjoy nature, history, poetry, and generally being a nerd. But in a good way (I hope?). I did co-found, lead, and live at a place/organization called Nerd House for the past three years, take from that what you will. I’m really happy to be starting at USC, and look forward to working with and getting to know other people in the department!

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