Three new faculty members starting Fall 2013: Michael Becker, Thomas Graf, and Jiwon Yun

The department is pleased to announce three new additions to the linguistics faculty that will start in the Fall 2013. Get to know them by reading the descriptions below.

  • Michael Becker (MA Linguistics, Tel Aviv Univ.; PhD Linguistics, UMass, 2009)
  • Thomas Graf (MagPhil Linguistics, Univ. of Vienna; PhD Linguistics, UCLA, 2013)
  • Jiwon Yun (BS Computer Science, Seoul Nat’l Univ; PhD Linguistics, Cornell, 2012)

Michael Becker

Michael Becker(MA Linguistics, Tel Aviv Univ.; PhD Linguistics, UMass, 2009)

  • Michael Becker works in computational and experimental phonology, and studies the role that discrete phonological principles play in noisy and gradient phenomena, focusing on morphophonological alternations and their statistical patterning in the lexicon. His published work includes case studies from English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, and Hebrew, as well as work on modeling of child language acquisition. He received his MA from the Tel Aviv University and his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Michael has taught a wide range of courses in phonology, phonetics, and prosody, with a focus on quantitative and computational approaches.

Thomas Graf

Thomas Graf(MagPhil Linguistics, Univ. of Vienna; PhD Linguistics, UCLA, 2013)

  • Thomas Graf's research operates at the intersection of theoretical linguistics and computer science. His main interest is in the structural complexity of syntax and phonology, its implications for processing and acquisition, and how empirical phenomena such as island effects arise from the complexity limits of natural language. In his research Graf has drawn on data from a wide range of languages including English, German,Icelandic, Cairene Arabic and American Sign Language. He received an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Vienna and is going to receive a PhD in Linguistics from UCLA.

Jiwon Yun

Jiwon Yun(BS Computer Science, Seoul Nat’l Univ; PhD Linguistics, Cornell, 2013)

  • Jiwon Yun's research is in the areas of semantics, prosody, computational linguistics, and cognitive science. She has worked on the semantics of conditionals, wh-questions, and indefinites, as well as their interface with prosody. She also has worked on computational modeling of human sentence processing, focusing on the issue of relative clauses. Her research has paid particular attention to the East Asian languages including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. She received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul National University, and (is going to receive) a PhD in linguistics at Cornell University. She is interested in teaching all levels of semantics and computational linguistics.