Linguistics Doctoral Student Receives Research Funding

Amelia Tseng Awarded National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

Amelia Tseng Amelia Tseng, Ph.D Candidate in Linguistics at Georgetown University, has been awarded a two-year grant to support her study of the interrelationship of language, identity, and dialect development among Latinos in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Tseng will conduct her dissertation research, Emergent dialect style: Vowel realization and discursive identity construction in D.C. Latinos, under the direction of Dr. Natalie Schilling (Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics).

The project integrates sociolinguistic variation, sociophonetics and analysis of variants as used in unfolding discourse to investigate the relationship between use of particular dialectal and Spanish-transfer phonetic features and the presentation and construction of identity in interaction. The project is of vital importance in that it (1) enhances our knowledge of how a growing and diverse Latino/a population uses language to shape new identities in the U.S. context, (2) increases our understanding of emergent language varieties as legitimate language systems with important cultural associations rather than ‘imperfect’ learned English, and (3) in the long run helps ameliorate linguistic discrimination against Latinos and other minority groups. By shedding light on dialect development and identity construction in an immigration context, Tseng aims to help demonstrate the linguistic validity and social importance of Latino English, and, by extension, the cultural legitimacy of all groups of people, whether ‘native’ to the U.S., immigrant, majority, or minority.

Further information regarding Amelia and Professor Schilling’s research activities can be found on their respective web pages:

Natalie Schilling:

Amelia Tseng: