Our department was very well represented at the LSA Linguistic Institute that was held at the University of Chicago over the summer 2015. Two of our faculty taught classes at the Institute: Pam Beddor (The dynamics of speech perception) and Andries Coetzee (Speakers and listeners in sound change). This year, the Department was also able to supply Institute tuition fellowships, enabling several of our graduate students to participate, including Batia Snir, Hayley Heaton, Dave Ogden (who also received an LSA Institute Fellowship), Ariana Bancu, Theo Stern, Alan Ke, Ian Calloway, Marjorie Herbert  (who also received an LSA Institute Fellowship) and Dom Bouavichith. The Institute, as always, provided opportunities to take classes from leading researchers in many areas of linguistics, to attend workshops and conferences, to exchange ideas, start new collaborations, and to renew old friendships and make new ones.

We asked some our students who attended to explain what attending the Institute meant to them. Below is a selection of some of the responses that we received:

Marjorie Herbert: “When planning for the Institute, I was thinking about what I would get out of it from a more theoretical perspective. I was very excited about and expecting to learn the most/benefit the most from the sign language structure courses I would take. Although they both were invaluable to me, it was truly the connections with other linguists, including both graduate students and professors, especially those with research interests I would not have realized actually align with mine quite a bit, that I value the most highly.“

Hayley Heaton: “I got to take classes on topics I otherwise wouldn't have had the chance to take. Plus I got to interact with and get advice from scholars I otherwise wouldn't have met.“

Alan Ke: “I enjoyed the time in LSA institute at Chicago. I took classes mainly in the areas of language acquisition and sentence processing, and it's cool to know the cutting-edge studies in these two fields. In addition, I got to know many friends from universities all over the world, who share the same interests in the study of language.”

Ariana Bancu: “As a first time LSA attender I was very impressed with the variety of courses that were offered, the prominent professors that were teaching them, the quality of the instruction, and the diversity of the students. I was able to take courses that fit my interests, such as Language Contact  (Prof. Winford) and  Evolutionary Syntax (Prof. Progovac), and also to explore further courses that are not usually offered our own PhD program, such as Forensic Linguistics (Dr. Chasky) and Language Conflict & Language Rights (Prof. Dubinsky & Prof. Davies).”