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Current Postdoctoral and Research Fellows


Nicholas Welch
nicholas.welch AT utoronto.ca
Research fellow, Department of Linguistics and Languages, McMaster University and Department of Linguistics, University of Toronto, 2017
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics (2012-14)
SSHRC Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics (2014-16)
PhD, University of Calgary, 2012

Research focusses on the syntax-semantics interface. Particular interests include copulas, temporal grammar and the fine structure of the clausal periphery, chiefly within the languages of the Dene family (formerly known as Athapaskan), in particular Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì (Dogrib) and Tsúùt'ínà (Sarsi). Language documentation and revitalization are key interests.

Alessandro Jaker
alessandro.jaker AT utoronto.ca
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics
PhD, Stanford University, 2012

Research interests include phonology and descriptive linguistic fieldwork. As a fieldworker, his work includes documentary and descriptive fieldwork on two Dene (Athabaskan) languages spoken in and around Yellowknife, Northwest Territories: Wıı̀lıı̀deh, a dialect of Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀ (Dogrib), and Tetsǫ́t’ıné (Yellowknife), a dialect of Dëne Sųłıné (Chipewyan). He is currently finishing up a verb grammar of Tetsǫ́t’ıné, to be published by the Alaska Native Language Center. As a phonologist, he is guided by two main principles: formal precision and descriptive adequacy—in particular, he works on developing formal tools which are capable of describing and explaining the highly complex morphophophonology of Dene verbs. His work is broadly within the framework of Stratal OT (Kiparsky 2000) but he is also interested in representational theories including metrical phonology, autosegmental phonology, feature geometry, and the contrastive hierarchy.

Former Postdoctoral Fellows


Suyeon Yun
suyeon.yun AT utoronto.ca
Postdoctoral fellow, Centre for French and Linguistics, UTSC (2016-18)
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016

Research interests include understanding how phonetic factors inform phonological universals, and in developing phonological theory to incorporate such factors so that it can explain a wider range of linguistic data. Her dissertation explores the role of auditory factors in consonant cluster perception and vowel epenthesis. She has also worked on compensatory lengthening, morphophonology of the Arabic language, phonology and syntax of right dislocation, etc.

Darcie Blainey
darcie.blainey AT utoronto.ca
SSHRC Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics (2015-16)
PhD, Tulane University, 2013

Explores effects of language contact on North American varieties of French, with a particular interest in sociolinguistics, phonetics and phonology. Postdoctoral research examines schwa use in Louisiana, Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick French.

Bronwyn Bjorkman
bronwyn.bjorkman AT utoronto.ca
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics (2012-15)
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011

Works on issues relating to clause structure and verbal inflection, particularly auxiliary verb constructions. Her postdoctoral research focuses on the use of verbs of motion and position as auxiliaries.

Heather Burnett
heather.susan.burnett AT gmail.com
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics (2015)
PhD, UCLA, 2012

Heather's research centres around the development of new mathematical tools for the analysis of the syntactic and semantic patterns of natural languages and explores the contributions that studies of dialectal, historical and sociolinguistic variation can make to the development of formal linguistic theory.

Keffyalew Gebregziabher
keffy.gebregziabher AT utoronto.ca
SSHRC Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Linguistics (2014-16)
PhD, University of Calgary, 2013

Carries out research pertaining to the grammar of possession, particularly examines how alienable and inalienable possession are portrayed mainly in (Ethio-)Semitic languages. Current postdoctoral projects focus on investigating the relationship between clausal and nominal possession, examining the role of possessive markers, and determining the syntactic structure of possessive constructions primarily in (Ethio-)Semitic languages.

Jessamyn Schertz
jessamyn.schertz AT utoronto.ca
Postdoctoral fellow, Centre for French and Linguistics, UTSC (2014-16)
PhD, University of Arizona, 2014

Investigates the structure and malleability of speech sond categories. She is currently working with Yoonjung Kang on the SSHRC Insight Grant "Bilingualism, perceptual drift, and regularization of loadwords."