Sophia Eakins

Meet Sophia Eakins, a graduate student in linguistics originally from Wheaton, a suburb of Chicago, IL. Before embarking on her B.A. at Wellesley College, Sophia took a gap year, working in Chicago for a semester, followed by backpacking in Southeast Asia. This period of exploration solidified her passion for learning languages and experiencing diverse cultures. In 2019, she graduated from Wellesley with a dual degree in Linguistics and French.

Sophia's interest in linguistics was ignited on the first day of undergraduate orientation, sparked by Professor Angela Carpenter's description of her linguistics capstone course on invented languages. This fascination led Sophia to enroll in Arabic, French, and linguistics courses, including a course with Professor Michel DeGraff at MIT. Inspired by a course on "Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities," Sophia set her sights on Creolistics and Language Contact, finding mentors in Professors DeGraff and Carpenter.

Her journey brought her to the University of Michigan (U-M), drawn by the expertise of her advisor, Professor Marlyse Baptista, a renowned Creolist. A campus visit further captivated her with the scholarly environment and supportive community among graduate students and faculty. Sophia also collaborates with Professor Andries Coetzee, whose guidance has been invaluable to her graduate career.

Broadly interested in language contact, Sophia focuses on Creole studies through a phonetic and variationist lens. Her current research delves into the linguistic practices of the Cabo Verdean Creole-speaking community in the New England diaspora, exploring how diasporic communities adapt linguistically in new spaces.
Sophia's professional milestones include completing her Qualifying Research Project (QRP) titled “On the interactional dynamics and codeswitching practices of Kriolu-English bilinguals'' and receiving the "General Institute Fellowship'' to attend the 2023 LSA Summer institute. Sophia has some upcoming publications with members of the Cognition, Convergence and Language Emergence (CCLE) Research Group, including a book chapter on revitalizing attitudes towards Creole languages. 

Outside of her linguistic pursuits, Sophia finds joy in activities such as running, trivia, long walks, and quality time with friends and family. The approaching spring holds promise for Sophia as she prepares for a half marathon in May, an endeavor she is embarking on alongside her brother. Additionally, she looks forward to conducting fieldwork in Boston, focusing on the language practices of Cabo Verdeans in the New England diaspora. Her future holds exciting possibilities as she continues to contribute to the field of Creolistics and language contact.