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Discussion Groups

Informal discussion groups meet on Fridays during the fall and winter semesters to discuss ongoing research projects or other current research issues in the disciplines. These discussion groups are open to anyone who is interested, and they attract faculty and students from Linguistics and other departments at UM and nearby universities.

See the links below for Discussion Groups event details and contact information.

Language Matters Initiative

Language Matters is an interdisciplinary initiative at U-M that hosts events throughout the semester to increase recognition of the role of language diversity in creating inclusive classrooms and an inclusive campus climate more generally. Topics include social justice, inclusivity, and equality; language discrimination; how different dialects and languages are treated on campus and in the classroom; and the ways in which intentional language can be used for positive social impact. The group welcomes students and faculty from all disciplines who are interested in language and dialect on campus. See FAQs and contact information.

DocDi Discussion Group

The DocDi Group is a collaborative forum, open to both students and faculty, who share an interest in the areas of Field Linguistics, Fieldwork Methods, Language Documentation, and Language Description. Serving as an invaluable platform for friendly intellectual exchange, DocDi promotes an interactive environment where members have the opportunity to present their respective research, share their experiences, and discuss innovative ideas and tools aimed at augmenting the effectiveness of fieldwork and documentary/descriptive projects.

For more information about DocDi, or to be included on the mailing list, send email to

HistLing Discussion Group

HistLing is devoted to discussions of language change. Group members include interested faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates from a wide variety of U-M departments -- Linguistics, Anthropology, Asian Languages and Cultures, Classics, Germanic Languages, Near Eastern Studies, Romance Languages, Slavic Languages - and from two nearby universities, Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti) and Wayne State (Detroit).  

Some meetings feature faculty or student presentations; other meetings have an announced topic for discussion and a volunteer moderator, but no formal presentation. 

Contact Sarah Thomason for more information about the HistLing group.

LingAMod Discussion Group

The language across modalities discussion group provides a space for students, faculty, and community members to discuss research that spans the modes of human communication -- speech, sign, gesture, and more. Our group meets to discuss research articles and to informally present ongoing research. All meetings have captioning or ASL-English interpreting.

Contact Natasha Abner for more LingAMod information.

PhonDi Discussion Group

Phondi is a discussion and research group for students and faculty at U-M and nearby universities who have interests in phonetics and phonology. We meet roughly biweekly during the academic year to present our research, discuss "hot" topics in the field, and practice upcoming conference or other presentations. We welcome anyone with interests in phonetics and phonology to join us.

For more information about Phondi, email


Prosody Discussion Group

The Prosody Group consists of researchers interested in any aspect of prosody. We meet biweekly throughout the year to present our work in progress, read papers, and practice for upcoming presentations. Please join us if this sounds interesting to you! 

For more information about the Prosody group, email


Psycholinguistics Discussion Group

The psycholinguistics discussion group is a meeting of several lab groups from Linguistics, Psychology, and other departments that all share common interests in language processing, including comprehension, production, and acquisition. The discussion group is an informal venue for presenting research findings, for developing new ideas, and for connecting with the many language scientists across the University who are interested in the psychology and neuroscience of human language.

For more information about Psycholinguistics, email


SoConDi Discussion Group

The SoConDi group is both a discussion platform and a study group for students and faculty members who are interested in sociolinguistics, language contact, discourse analysis and related disciplines including linguistic anthropology. Members of the SoConDi group present their work in progress from time to time, and discuss current issues in the disciplines, or study selected readings together.

For more information, please email


SynSem Discussion Group

The syntax-semantics group provides a forum within which Linguistics students and faculty at UM, and from neighboring universities (thus far including EMU, MSU, Oakland University, Wayne State and UM-Flint) can informally present or just discuss and share their ongoing research in these domains. The group is frequently used by students to practice conference presentations and receive constructive feedback from familiar faces.

For more information, email