Student and Faculty Accomplishments

LLD Linguists Secure NSF Funding To Document A Severely Endangered Language

Half of the world’s languages are on the verge of extinction and linguists are busy trying to document as many such languages as possible. LLD linguists are also doing their part, with the help of a three-yeargrant for $150,000 from the Documenting Endangered Languages Program at the National Science Foundation to document Domaaki, a severely endangered language of Pakistan spoken in the Hunza and Nager valleys of the Karakoram mountain range, which runs along the border of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China. Chris Donlay, a language documentation specialist, will provide intensive training in linguistic fieldwork to graduate students and faculty at the Institute of Languages of Azad Jammu and Kashmir University in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. Newly-trained fieldworkers will interview the few remaining speakers of Domaaki, record their conversations, stories and songs, transcribe and annotate the texts, and build a digital corpus of the language under the supervision of Chris Donlay (Co-PI) and Roula Svorou (PI). The annotated texts will be made available to the Domaaki community as a record of their cultural heritage. The corpus will provide data for linguistic analysis, which will be disseminated via conference presentations and journal articles. It will also be archived at the Kaipuleohone Digital Language Archives at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, in addition to SJSU and AJKU, for use by linguists in general.  

Ms. Kaye Sanders wins the 2017 H&A Outstanding Teaching Award

With an exemplary record of teaching undergraduates for 25 years, Ms. Kaye Sanders wins the 2017 H&A Outstanding Teaching Award for her "commitment to education, linguistics, and our students' academic preparation for many years at SJSU," having been chosen by a committee who "stood in awe at your engagement with your discipline and with our students," in Dean Vollendorf's words. Congratulations to Kaye!


LLD Student Wins Second Place in CSU Research Competition

MA Linguistics student Mary Ryan, with her research on "A Functional Explanation of Word-final [s] Lenition in Spanish: Comparing Corpus Data from Western Andalusian and Castilian" won second place among 12 finalists in the area of Humanities and Letters at the 31st Annual CSU Student Research Competition that took place in California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Opisbo. Congratulations to Mary and her mentor, Prof. Daniel Silverman!



Donlay, Chris. 2018. The role of disambiguation in pragmatic agentivity: Evidence from Khatso. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 40:202-242

Svorou, Soteria. 2018. Constructional pressures on ‘sit’ in Modern Greek. In K. Aaron Smith and Dawn Nordquist (eds.) Functionalist and Usage-based Approaches to the Study of Language. In honor of Joan L. Bybee. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 17-58.

Donlay, Chris. 2017. Family group classifiers in Khatso. Sociohistorical linguistics in Southeast Asia: New horizons for Tibeto-Burman studies in honor of David Bradley, ed. by Jamin Pelkey and Picus Sizhi Ding. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 117-133.

Silverman, Daniel. 2017. A Critical Introduction to Phonology: Functional and Usage-Based Perspectives (2nd Edition). London: Bloomsbury Academic.


Conference Presentations

Vanniarajan, S. 2018. A neuro-cognitive model of interlanguage. Paper presented at the 8th CLS International CLASIC conference organized by the National University of Singapore. National University of Singapore. December 6-8.

Vanniarajan, S. 2018.  Heritage Tamil language maintenance in California Bay area. Paper presented at the 8th CLS International CLASIC conference organized by the National University of Singapore. National University of Singapore. December 6-8.

Vanniarajan, S. 2018. Learning language and unlearning (fossilized) interlanguage in brain research perspective. 53rd International RELC Conference, Singapore. March 12-15.

Donlay, Chris. 2017. Multifunctionality in a tone sandhi pattern in Khatso. Invited talk at the 50th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics. Beijing, China. November 26.

Moore, Kevin. 2017. Primary metaphor, Figure-Ground reversal, and the analogy between Moving Time and Frame-Relative Fictive Motion. Presentation at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference. University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. 14 July 2017.

Donlay, Chris. 2017. Finding the hidden complexity: Lessons from documenting Khatso. Invited talk as the 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation, Honolulu, HI, March 4.



Vanniarajan, S. (2018). Organizer: Workshops (mini-conference) on Enhancing US-Pakistan Mutual Understanding. Serena Hotel, Islamabad. The mini-conference was funded by the Department of State. April 23-25, 2018.

The Islamabad Workshops, a partnership between San José State University and University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. March 27-31. Islamabad, Pakistan. Given by:

Donlay, Chris: Discourse Transcription and Analysis for Fieldwork

Kataoka, Reiko:  Acoustic Analysis of Speech

Khan, Sharmin: Scholarly Discourse and Writing: Concerns, Conventions, and Challenges 

Svorou, Soteria: Lexical Semantics: Lexical relations and verb categorization

VanBik, Ken:  Semantic Change and Grammaticalization and Writing a Reference Grammar: Examples form Hakka Lai experience.

Vanniarajan, Swathi: Academic Writing: Common (avoidable) Errors; Doing Research in Applied Linguistics – SLA Data Analysis; Developing Multiple Choice Tests – Do’s and Don’ts and Item Analysis; and SLA Research - A Historical Perspective.