The Five-minute Linguist is a new plenary event that will debut at the Linguistic Society of America’s (LSA) annual meeting in January 2017. The University of Texas at Austin is both the sponsor of the Five-minute Linguist and the host of this year’s annual meeting.

According to the LSA, “The Five-Minute Linguist is a high-profile contest during which selected speakers will be judged on their ability to present their research in a brief but informative way.  These five-minute presentations should be lively and engaging, delivered without notes on a stage without a podium, with audiovisual effects of the speaker’s choosing. The talks should be directed to a nonspecialist audience, may come from any subfield of the science, and must display qualities that will attract interdisciplinary interest. One of the LSA's goals is to help improve the visibility of linguistic research.”

Of the 84 entrants, only eight were selected as finalists, including U-M Linguist Carmel O’Shannessy. Carmel’s abstract is entitled, “What do children do in contact induced language change?” The full list of finalists can be found below.

  • Carina Bauman (New York University): Back GOAT in Asian American English
  • Rachel Steindel Burdin (University of New Hampshire): This you call a rise fall?
  • Rabia Ergin (Tufts University): Emergence of verb classes in a young village sign language
  • Jeff Good (University at Buffalo): Local dynamics to high level Patterns in Bantu   
  • Heidi Harley (University of Arizona): Node sprouting and root suppletion in Korean
  • Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University): Southern vowels and shifting Appalachian identities
  • Carmel O'Shannessy (University of Michigan): What do children do in contact induced language change?
  • Gregory Scontras (Stanford University): Subjectivity predicts adjective ordering preferences