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Linguistics Program


The faculty and students in the Linguistics Program are involved in a variety of research projects.  These projects range across the discipline and appear in a variety of publications.

Language Conflict Project

The Language Conflict Project (LCP) is an interdisciplinary collaborative across Political Science, Linguistics, and Digital Humanities studying the relationship between language and social conflict. The Project’s goal is to advance our understanding of ways in which language differences and policies correlate with the onset, escalation, persistence, and de-escalation of intrastate conflict. In the pursuit of this goal, we seek to implement a workable typology, to reveal useful generalizations to clarify the role that privileged/non-privileged language dichotomy plays in triggering and perpetuating such conflicts. Our typology includes these categories: (i) indigenous language conflict, (ii) geopolitical event-generated language conflict, (iii) migration generated language conflict, (iv) intra-language (dialect) conflict, (v) privileged vs. underprivileged language competition, (vi) global (colonial) vs. local language conflict. Our research questions include the following: Do language differences play a role in political and social conflict? Do different types of linguistic differences (phonological, lexical, syntactic, orthographic) correlate with different degrees of social and political conflict? What language rights and accommodations in law and policy (in education, commerce, media, health care, and religion) ameliorate or exacerbate conflict? How do parties to different types of language conflicts express these through social media? Our analysis of multiple conflicts and our aggregation of these will lead to the implementation of a Linguistic Freedom Index, designed to provide an objective measure of linguistic rights with respect to (i) language-related educational policy, (ii) language laws and ordinances, (iii) linguistic media freedom, and (iv) language-related effects on economic freedom and wealth disparity.


The MultiMo website is devoted to the documentation and study of Multiple Modals (MMs) and features resources and opportunities for our understanding of them.

The Wordification Project

The Wordification™ Project is developing a web-based game system aimed at providing a language-based (as opposed to memory based) tool for English spelling instruction, and one that does not rely on teacher training. The application will be engineered so as to provide individuated instruction that can accommodate a full spectrum of learners. It will also offer dialectally enhanced instruction for speakers of non-mainstream English dialects and careful-casual pronunciation contrasts for non-native English speakers. As a resource that can deliver as much or as little spelling instruction as any given student may need, it will provide students who have decoding deficits (e.g., dyslexia) a path to enhanced literacy that would otherwise be missing from their education. The goal of this project is to provide a universally accessible, low-cost intervention nation-wide, and thereby to have a substantial positive impact on literacy (and hence national economic welfare) in every educational jurisdiction in which it is utilized.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.