MSU to host undergraduate linguistics conference
No matter what language students speak, a weekend conference at MSU is aiming to bring them all together.
Bringing the scientific art of language to campus from across the nation, the q Undergraduate Association for Linguistics at Michigan State University, or qUALMS is hosting the Michigan State Undergraduate Linguistics Conference, or MSULC, and the Great Lakes Expo for Experimental and Formal Undergraduate Linguistics, or GLEEFUL this weekend.
Inviting linguistic programs from across the country, qUALMS expects a combination of more than 100 participants at the two conferences, said Chris Heffner, a linguistics and psychology senior and qUALMS president.
“We were hoping to show off, especially to the country, that MSU has a group of really devoted undergraduate linguistics (students) that really like what they are doing,” he said.
The MSULC conference will be held from 2:30-7 p.m. Friday in rooms 207 and 208 of Eustace-Cole Hall. The GLEEFUL conference is held from 9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday in C-202 and C-204 Snyder Hall.
Organizers hope to spread more awareness about MSU’s Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, while opening MSU up to the international community of linguistics research, said David Bogojevich, a linguistics and Spanish junior and member of the conference program committee.
“This is the first time we’ve actually branched out and done a conference geared toward people all over the country,” he said. “We actually took submissions from as far away as Hawaii … we are technically going to have an international conference, which is pretty exciting.”
With more than 30 presentations from more than 10 universities planning to take place during the course of the two conferences, the study of languages and how humans communicate is sure to uncover new research, Bogojevich said.
“There (are) a lot of research implications that go into doing linguistics,” he said. “(Studies on) how children learn language, how language is developed (and) where languages come from (is important).”
The conference will allow linguistics undergraduate students, such as Heffner, who will present his research titled, “Unlikely Allies: Acoustic and Syntactic Cues in Word Segmentation” to showcase their own research during the Friday conference.
“(We’re) studying language in the way that languages are different from one another and also the underlying similarities that are common across the board,” he said. “It’s not what might be considered what’s right or wrong by different people or looking in a dictionary, but actually talking to speakers and figure out how they talk.”