April 4, 2019 at 2:40 pm

Alumni News | Linguistics Alumni Meet Up with Former Professor in New York

Alumni Alharbi, Andrews, Raines and Alharbi meet up with professor Lee to present at LSA, shown here sitting at a restaurant booth.

Alumni Alharbi, Andrews, Raines and Alharbi meet up with professor Lee to present at LSA.

Alumni Peter Andrews ’18B.A., Torri Raines 18M.A., and Talal Alharbi ’18M.A., and Khalid Alharbi ’18M.A. met up with former Visiting Professor Dr. Sinae Lee at the 93rd annual meeting of the Linguistics Society of America in New York, Jan. 3-6, 2019.

“LSA was a blast,” Andrews said. “It was great to see everyone from the department in New York.”

Andrews and Lee were at the conference to present a poster of the research they had collaborated on during their time at Ohio University. The title of their research is Gender differentiation of ruralness in southeastern Ohio: GOOSE fronting and pre-nasal DRESS raising. The study examines the speech among native southeastern Ohioans, particularly focusing on their production of GOOSE and DRESS. The study is based on 26 sociolinguistic interviews with local European American (14 males and 12 females), age ranges from 18 to 77, consisting of seven speakers categorized as “farming-involved” and the rest as “non-farming-involved.” Results indicate that speakers in southeastern Ohio generally seem to move away from features that are often associated with Appalachian English in apparent time—that is, the assumption that we acquire most features of our language during childhood and these features remain relatively unchanged through an individual’s lifetime—and this trend is more pronounced among women and among the non-farming group.

The poster presentation represented some of the first results from the Southeast Ohio Language Project, or SOLP.  The SOLP corpus came into existence through Lee’s guidance in training Ohio University Linguistics faculty and students in sociolinguistic methods, and it makes an important contribution to a more clear dialectological understanding of the Midland region. For more information about SOLP please contact Dr. Michelle O’Malley in Linguistics

Andrews is currently doing an M.A. in Linguistics at North Carolina State University. The program is specifically focused on Sociolinguistics. Andrews’ main research interest is in discursive identity in contact situations, and the applications of social network analysis to this field.  In May, Andrews will be presenting a paper on “Comfortably white or uncomfortably Black: The racialization of Black students in undergraduate classrooms” at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics in Boca Raton, FL.

Lee is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Texas A&M University. Her current research aims to shed further light on the ongoing discussion of creaky voice, otherwise known as “vocal fry” in America, and also of the acquisition of sociolinguistic variables among non-native speakers of English. By examining the speech of nonnative speakers whose first languages (L1s) are Arabic and Chinese, her research investigates how and to what degree non-native English speakers in America use creaky voice, and the contributing factors in varying degrees of creak among them.

Talal Alharbi is a Ph.D. student in the Linguistics Program at Georgetown University. Talal said that “though the first semester was challenging and long, it was indeed a very successful one. I received very positive feedback on the assignments as well as the final papers for the three classes I took.” Talal was especially looking forward to the spring semester research tutorial. “I am hoping to produce something publishable.” The topic of his research deals with a change in the use patterns and meanings of a Saudi Arabic address term.

Raines is currently enrolled in the Grace Hopper program of the Fullstack Academy of Code in New York City. It’s a 17-week immersive coding “boot camp” that teaches full-stack web development in Javascript. The program’s admissions process is highly competitive–the admission rate is in the single digits. Raines is in the final phase of the program, and she is doing self-guided project work, which mostly entails building websites from front to back. After she  finishes the program at Grace Hopper, Raines plans to leverage the program’s career services resources to land a job in machine learning and/or artificial intelligence so that she can combine her knowledge of linguistics and coding skill into applications like conversational chatbots. And further into the future, Raines anticipates re-entering the world of academia for a Ph.D. in computational linguistics. But right now she has that sole project to finish. “But in a few days,” Torri announced, “I hope to have a surprise ready for the linguistics community.”

Khalid Alharbi is now into his second semester in the Ph.D. program in Linguistics at the University of Utah. “The first semester was overwhelming,” Khalid said, “but I enjoyed it.” He wrote papers mostly dealing with phonological and syntactic phenomena in Saudi varieties of Arabic. In this semester, he is studying propositional logic and predicate logic in his Semantics course. Additionally, Khalid is currently working on lexical diversity research with Dr. Scott Jarvis, former OHIO Linguistics Professor and now Chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Utah. “I’m grateful for the fact that I’ve been exposed to new theories in a variety of subfields in my classes this yearLinguistics alumni success stories. And what about yours? Please send us your news and a photo to Dr. Lara Wallace, Outreach Chair at

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