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Welcome new graduate students!

We are pleased to announce the following graduate students will be joining the department in the 2021-22 academic year. Please join us in welcoming them!

  • Wenjun Ma

    Wenjun Ma

    University of Washington

    My interests are at the intersection of neuroscience, linguistics, and psychology. More specifically, my research interests include the neurobiology of language and cognition, psycholinguistics, neuroplasticity mechanisms of behavior, cognitive and systems neuroscience, and clinical neuroscience. In the past, I have worked on topics including second language acquisition and language processing in children and adults, using behavioral and neuroimaging methods (EEG). Recently, I am working with a group of researchers and doctors in the neurology department at a hospital in China on issues related to language and cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

  • Semra Özdemir

    Semra Özdemir

    Boğaziçi University 

    My research interests center around the effects of delayed linguistic input on morphosyntactic phenomena, such as person and number agreement. I am particularly interested in sign languages, and, more specifically, Turkish Sign Language (TİD). I aspire to explore the “resilient” properties of language, i.e. components of language that remain intact regardless of the timing of exposure. Ultimately, I aim to contribute not only to the general theoretical discussion on the critical period, but also produce findings that can potentially inform educational practices oriented towards deaf children who do not receive language input from birth.

  • Mark Simmons

    Mark Simmons

    University of Texas at Austin

    My primary interests are in language documentation, phonetics/phonology and historical linguistics. I have worked with the Naduhup languages of northwest Brazil. I'm particularly interested in the interaction of laryngeal features of consonants with contrastive phonation or F0 on vowels, and in historical explanations for synchronic phonetic complexity. I'm passionate about how documentation of understudied minority languages can inform our understanding of human language as a whole, and in how empirical typological models can account for the diversity found across languages.

  • Xingyuan Zhao

    Xingyuan Zhao

    Carnegie Mellon University

    I am broadly interested in language processing in humans and machines. I am captivated by understanding how human language works using computational modeling and cognitive science methods. I want to apply computational approaches to study language generalization, language acquisition, language evolution, and speech perception and believe it is crucial to understanding human cognition. I am also interested in phonetics, fieldwork, and low-resource languages.