Faculty

The Georgetown Linguistics Faculty, Fall 2021

Hina Ashraf

Associate Research Professor

Interests: Language policy, multilingualism in South Asia, language and social capital, language education

Dr. Ashraf’s website

Alison Biggs

Assistant Teaching Professor

Interests: Syntax, syntax-semantics interface, morphology, comparative syntax, syntactic variation and change, dialect syntax, Mandarin and varieties of Chinese, understudied languages

Dr. Biggs’ website

Lara Bryfonski

Assistant Professor

Interests: Second language acquisition, task-based language teaching, interaction and corrective feedback, language learning in study abroad, teacher training

Dr. Bryfonski’s website

Marissa Fond

Assistant Teaching Professor

Interests: Discourse analysis; management of knowledge, beliefs, and emotions in language and interaction; metaphor and frame analysis; research interviewing and other qualitative research methods.

Cynthia Gordon

Associate Professor

Vice Chair

Interests: Discourse analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, theories of framing and intertextuality, linguistic construction of relationships and identities, digital/online discourse

Heidi E. Hamilton

Professor Emerita

Interests: Discourse analysis, intertextuality, institutional discourse, health discourse, language and Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Hamilton’s website

Alexandra Johnston

Assistant Teaching Professor

Director, M.A. in Language and Communication

Associate Director, AELRC


Interests: Discourse analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, intercultural (mis)communication, gender and workplace discourse, institutional gatekeeping encounters, using applied sociolinguistics in career paths in business, government, non-profit and tech organizations

Dr. Johnston’s website

Ruth T. Kramer

Associate Professor

Co-Head, Theoretical Linguistics Concentration

Interests: Syntax, morphology, Amharic, Ancient Egyptian, gender, number, agreement, clitics, Distributed Morphology, minimalism

Dr. Kramer’s website

David Lightfoot

Professor

Interests: Syntactic variation, diachronic change, childhood acquisition, role of linguistics in the brain and cognitive sciences

Dr. Lightfoot’s website

Sue Lorenson

Adjunct Lecturer

Senior Associate Dean, Georgetown College

Interests: Phonology, language processing, linguistics and reading, language and the brain

Alison Mackey

Professor

Department Chair

Interests: Second Language Acquisition: input, interaction, corrective feedback and individual differences in L2 learning, research methodology, quantitative and qualitative approaches, second dialect acquisition and linguistic identity construction

Dr. Mackey’s website

Meg Montee

Associate Research Professor

Director, Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC)

Interests: Language testing and assessment, evaluation, research methodology, teacher education, and language assessment literacy

Jennifer Nycz

Associate Professor

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Interests: Phonological variation, sociolinguistics, (socio)phonetics, phonological theory, dialect contact, change over the lifespan, vowel systems, accommodation & style-shifting, individual differences in language variation, research methods in phonetics

Dr. Nycz’s website

Michael Obiri-Yeboah

Assistant Teaching Professor

Interests: Phonology, phonetics and their interface, syntax-phonology interface, morphophonology, language documentation, ATR vowel harmony, tone and nasality. Language research focus on Gua, Akan and other Kwa languages.

Dr. Obiri-Yeboah’s website

Lourdes Ortega

Professor

Director, Applied Linguistics Concentration
Convener, Initiative for Multilingual Studies

Interests: Second language acquisition, usage-based linguistics, bi/multilingualism, interfaces between L2 writing and L2 development, systematic research synthesis, epistemology and ethics in applied linguistics.

Dr. Ortega’s website

Paul Portner

Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Co-Head, Theoretical Linguistics Concentration

Interests: Semantics, pragmatics, logic, philosophy of language, modality, mood, imperatives, corpus linguistics

Dr. Portner’s website

Natalie Schilling

Professor

Head, Sociolinguistics Concentration

Interests: Language variation and change, stylistic variation, sociolinguistic field methods, forensic linguistics

Nathan Schneider

Assistant Professor

Interests: computational linguistics/natural language processing; lexical semantics; form-meaning interface; adpositions and case; cognitive linguistics; corpus annotation; machine learning; English, Hebrew, Arabic

Dr. Schneider’s website

Nadja Tadic

Assistant Teaching Professor

Interests: Discourse analysis, critically motivated conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis, classroom interaction, second language instruction, construction of diversity and (in)equity in ordinary and institutional interaction

Deborah Tannen

University Professor

Interests: Discourse analysis; analyzing everyday conversation, including conversations over social media; family interaction; cross-cultural communication; language and gender

Dr. Tannen’s website

Amir Zeldes

Associate Professor

Director, Computational Linguistics Concentration

Interests: corpus linguistics, syntax-semantics interface, usage-based grammar, discourse relations, multifactorial methods, natural language processing, digital humanities

Dr. Zeldes’ website

Elizabeth Zsiga

Professor

Interests: Phonology, phonetics, and their interface, especially Articulatory Phonology, L2 phonology, Laboratory Phonology, and tone. Languages researched include Setswana, Serbian, Korean, Thai, Russian, Igbo, English

Dr. Zsiga’s website

An Explanation of Academic Titles in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown:

The rank of University Professor is bestowed by the President in recognition of extraordinary achievement by faculty members holding the rank of professor with tenure whose scholarly accomplishments have earned them substantial recognition from their academic peers. There are currently six who hold this rank in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Tenure Line Faculty are all full-time appointments: Assistant Professor (without tenure, most junior), and the two permanent appointments: Associate Professor (tenured) and (Full) Professor (tenured, most senior level)*

Non-Tenure Line Faculty are all fixed term appointments, meaning without tenure, and may be part time or full time. Listed in order of increasing seniority, non-tenure-line faculty may be appointed as Assistant, Associate or (Full) Research Professor, or as Assistant, Associate or (Full) Teaching Professor.

Adjunct Lecturer: Appointed to teach one or more courses, semester-by-semester.

*Students are encouraged to take advantage of the expertise of all our faculty, but Ph.D. students should be aware that only tenure line faculty are eligible to direct dissertations.

Affiliated Faculty

Emeritus Faculty