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Research Projects

This page demonstrates the research projects that students and faculty in the Department of Linguistics have conducted. As researchers, we believe in the importance of linguistics research for understanding human experience and we use interdisciplinary frameworks and tools to understand  and support linguistic diversity. To highlight the interdisciplinary nature of linguistics, we begin this digital collection with the digital image of an oil painting, entitled "Connections" , by UIC undergraduate Lydia Limas (BS in Neuroscience) (used with permission).


Lovingly exploring any niche of the natural world leads an open mind to discover where we connect. As a student, I strive for that integrity to have the capacity to connect through a sense of universality.

Lydia Limas  |  UIC undergraduate student in Neuroscience
New books in Dari and Pashto


“Linguistic Identity and Literacy Landscape of a Multilingual Community in Chicago .” 

Researcher: Jill Hallett 

This project focuses on how the literacy landscape reflects the home languages of students and families in one linguistically-diverse community in Chicago. It looks at how linguistic identity is indexed through the community literacy landscape and what language practices are present, privileged, and erased.

Megan Herrera's Project


“TweetTaglish: A Dataset for Investigating Tagalog-English Code-Switching” 

Researchers: Megan Herrera (undergraduate researcher) with co-authors/mentors Ankit Aich and Dr. Natalie Parde  (UIC NLP Lab)

This project builds a Tagalog-English code-switching dataset constructed from social media data, using Twitter as a resource. Read the paper published in the Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2022).


Research poster


“An Investigation of the Vitality and Perception Of the Ga language in the Ghanaian-American Community”

Undergraduate Student Researcher: Eli Nukunya

The Ga language is a Ghanaian language most commonly spoken by the Ga-Adangbe ethnic group in Ghana that has become spoken in the Ghanaian diaspora in recent history. As Ghanaians have created more immigrant communities in the diaspora, it is possible that the Ga language may suffer the same fate of many immigrant languages and lose its influence and importance within the Ghanaian-American community, especially among the younger generation. Through surveys and interviews, this study investigates Ghanaian-Americans’ connection to the Ga language along with how they view the Ga language and its importance in comparison to languages in the diaspora community.

A fishing village in Hainan


“Language, Multimodal Interaction and Transaction: Studies of a Southern Chinese Marketplace.”

Researcher: Xuehua Xiang

This project examines multimodal interaction in the marketplace in a multilingual town at the juncture of urbanization in Southern China.  By analyzing the socializing functions of language in the marketplace outside of and beyond economic dealings, the study additionally documents and depicts the roles of affect and morality in marketplace encounters.

Tools for Linguistic Research Heading link


NLP Tools for Social Sciences (an aggregated resource page curated by Dr. Kristopher Kyle, University of Oregon and Dr. Scoff Crossley, Georgia State University).

Praat – analyzing sounds

Voyant – visualize word patterns in texts

Elan – Annotating audio-video recordings 

NLTK: Natural Language Processing Toolkit  and the free book-length tutorial 

R free software for statistical analysis; commonly used in textual analysis

Otranscribe – web-based manual transcription of speech data with built in automatic looper

Otter.Ai – Machine transcription of audio and video recordings, this is the tool behind Zoom’s automatic caption service

Audacity – free software to edit sound files

Fontssoftware and tools for linguistics

CLOX – an automated transcription tool developed by faculty at the University of Washington Sociolinguistics Laboratory

Online keyboard for IPA symbols 

IPA Chart with Sounds 

Draw syntax trees online 


Studying Diversity of Languages of the World World Atlas of Language Structures Online

Ethnologue  documents world’s diverse languages



TalkBank.  Database of talk in audio and video

Max Planck Institute Resources and Projects