Weekly Digest, May 6, 2022

Happy Finals week! We made it! 🥳 This will be our last newsletter of the 2021-2022 academic year. Check out our latest news, including our fresh group of graduate students who are headed to LA. Have a great summer, and see everyone on the flip side! 🐬

If you have summer news to share (cause we know you will!), please submit your news for future issues of SCling Wrap, cause we need your help keeping up with what’s fresh at USC Linguistics.

Fresh faces

Meet the new first year cohort, who will be joining us in the fall! They will be trickling into LA over the summer and are looking for recommendations on everything from housing to the best food spots.

Esra Eldem

Hi! My name is Esra, which is an Arabic loanword in Turkish, meaning ‘the person that guides through the darkness’, and my last name, Eldem, means ‘friendly’. My pronouns are she/her.

I am from Turkey, and I have been living in Southern California since 2017. I recently completed my MA in linguistics (with a specialization in TESOL) at California State University, Long Beach, and before that, I majored in TESOL at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. 

My research interests lie in the interface of syntax, morphology, and semantics, with a primary focus on lexical activation and syntactic processing in L1 and L2- especially in heritage speakers. Outside of research, I like to play with my nephews and to make time for my hobbies, i.e., hiking, sketching, and practicing the violin.

I am thrilled to join the incoming cohort soon and plan to move to LA with my husband(-to-be) around mid-July as we’re getting married soon!

Esra Eldem
Sean Foley

My primary research interests are in experimental phonetics and laboratory phonology. Within these areas, some of my main interests are articulatory phonetics, vocal tract kinematics, vowel systems, tone, and coarticulation. Outside of academia, I am a bit obsessed with food, whether it’s trying new restaurants and foods or learning to cook new dishes (my number one comfort food is Chinese food, especially Sichuanese and Hunanese food). I also love reading, particularly non-fiction books on popular science or food and science-fiction. Not sure when I plan to move to LA yet, but I am very much looking forward to the weather there and food recommendations in the city are most welcome!

Sean Foley
Zhendong Liu

My current research interests/experience include verbal morphosyntax in Swahili, cross-linguistic study of relative clauses as well as clause complementation. I’m also a cellist and a classical chamber music player. I’m looking for people to play a string quartet! I plan to move to LA around August and I appreciate any housing suggestions. 

Zhendong Liu
Pham Le Nhat Linh

Hello, all! My name is Linh. My primary research interest is in psycholinguistics, particularly sentence processing in understudied languages. I love to uncover the mechanism underlying the production and interpretation of dependency formation like reflexives and pronouns. I will be in LA on the 6th of August to start this brand new journey, with the hope to learn from outstanding professors, connect with many new friends, and contribute some fresh perspectives from Vietnam to the cultural diversity of the department. When not learning, I love traveling and discovering new places and cultures around the world; besides, I also spend my free time on voluntary social projects and novels. It would be great if I get some more advice on learning and networking to quickly adapt to the new environment and maximize my capacity while studying here.

Linh Pham

Audrey Li schrifted! ✍️

A Festschrift to honor Audrey Li‘s career of critical achievements in the field of Chinese syntax has just been published by John Benjamins. The ‘schrift is edited by Andrew Simpson.

Jobs in Linguistics panel

2022 Industry Jobs in Linguistics panel, sponsored by USC Linguistics

Here’s a photo from our recent annual Industry Jobs in Linguistics panel, featuring USC Linguistics alumni and panelists Sarah Ouwayda (Google), Betul Erbasi (Amazon), and Yazad Dastur (MediaMonks). Stay tuned to this newsletter to hear about next year’s event. Thanks for the photo, Sandy Disner!

Upcoming Events

Department Events

  • 🎓 Join us for graduation celebrations on Friday, May 13 at 12:30PM in GFS!


The North American Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information (NASSLLI) will be hosted at USC June 18-24, in person and synchronously online. Registration is free but required for USC faculty and students! Make sure to register by May 13, 2022 on the NASSLI page.

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