Illinois Language and Linguistics Society


Plenary Speakers


Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm

Rochester Institute of Technology

Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm is an Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she also serves among the extended faculty of the PhD Program in Computing and Information Sciences. Her research focuses on linguistic and language-inclusive sensing with text, speech, and multimodal data for broad impact domains. She is PI and program coordinator of an NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site in Computational Sensing. Dr. Alm completed her graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a doctoral degree in Linguistics in 2008. She is a founding director of the Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing lab group at Rochester Institute of Technology, and she is an active member of the scholarly community in this interdisciplinary field.


Mary Beckman

The Ohio State University

Mary Beckman Mary Beckman is a Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Ohio State University. Her research addresses a broad range of topics in phonetics and phonology, ranging from formally explicit models of the ways in which tone and other features articulate with prosodic organization above the syllable to cross-language differences in the spectral properties of sibilant fricatives that might be related to language-specific phonotactic probabilities. Her early research focused on the development of the Tones and Boundary Indexes (ToBI) system of intonation transcription, and more recently, her work has focused on phonological disorders and child language acquisition. Dr Beckman received her PhD from Cornell University in 1984 and was a postdoctoral member of the technical staff in "Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence Research" at AT&T Bell Laboratories before joining the faculty at the Ohio State University in 1985. She was one of the organizers of the first Laboratory Phonology conference and served as a series editor for the Cambridge University Press Papers in Laboratory Phonology.


Kiel Christianson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kiel Christianson Kiel Christianson received a PhD in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from Michigan State University in 2002. He is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology with joint appointments in Psychology, Linguistics, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. His fields of research center on psycholinguistics and reading, including syntactic parsing, visual word recognition, language production, shallow (or "good enough") processing in language comprehension, bilingual language processing, second language acquisition, and the integration of linguistic and non-linguistic information. While his research is heavily influenced and informed by linguistic theory, his goal is to make deeper, broader connections between linguistics and various sub-fields of cognitive psychology. His Educational Psychology Psycholinguistics Lab in the Beckman Institute is currently conducting experiments in sentence comprehension and production, syntactic reanalysis of garden-path sentences, and visual word recognition in Korean.


Hans Henrich Hock

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hans Henrich Hock Hans Henrich Hock is a Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Sanskrit, the Classics, Germanic Languages and Literature, and the Campus Honors Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include general historical and comparative linguistics (all areas); comparative and diachronic syntax of Indo-European languages (especially Sanskrit/Indo-Aryan, Germanic, Latin); Sanskrit linguistics (synchronic and diachronic, syntax, phonology, language contact, sociolinguistics, Vedic, modern spoken Sanskrit); convergence phenomena; clitics, prosody, and the phonology/syntax interface; “identity” movements in modern South Asia; and linguistic, textual, and archeological evidence. He has served as editor for many journals, such as The World of Linguistics, and is a prolific writer; notable works include Principles of Historical Linguistics (1986, 2: 1991), Language History, Language Change, and Language Relationship: An Introduction to historical and comparative linguistics (1996, 2: 2009, co-authored with Dr Brian D. Joseph), and An early Upanisadic reader, with notes, glossary, and an appendix of related Vedic texts (2007). Dr Hock received his PhD in linguistics from Yale University in 1971.


Salikoko S. Mufwene

University of Chicago

Salikoko Mufwene Salikoko S. Mufwene is the Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Linguistics, where he also serves as Professor on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology and on the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science. His current research focuses on the study of language evolution and the phylogenetic emergence of language as affected by factors such as colonization and globalization, and on the vitality of language, including language birth and language death. He has worked extensively on the development and morphosyntactic characteristics of creole languages (especially Gullah and Jamaican Creole), African American Vernacular English, and Bantu languages (especially Kikongo-Kituba, Lingala, and Kiyansi). Dr Mufwene is the founding editor of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact, an interdisciplinary book series covering diverse perspectives on languages in contact, pidgins, creoles, language evolution, language change, and bilingualism. He received his PhD in linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1979.