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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

FAQs about Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Students' Research Projects Heading link

Researcher Title Public Dissemination and Funding Source Faculty Mentor Date
Ingrid Pureco Serial founder effects and phonemic decline: A state of the science UIC In-Between Conference; UIC Undergraduate Research Forum Carrie Pichan Spring 2022
Danielle Cartagenes Meet Neti: Designing a game prototype for teaching phonetics UIC In-Between Conference; Recipient of Best Student Poster Award Natalie Parde (Computer Science) and Jill Hallett (Linguistics) Spring 2022
Brittani Howard Revitalization through Self-Documentation, a Community-Centered Language-Learning App UIC In-Between Conference; MidWest Association for Language Learning Technology Conference; UIC Undergraduate Research Forum Jill Hallett Spring2022
Grace Pnacek What is Lost in Translation: An Analysis of Google Translate and Poetry UIC In-Between Conference Xuehua Xiang Spring 2022
Iris Jia A Summer of Change: A Bilingual Infographic Project on Chicago’s Wild Mile UIC In-Between Conference Xuehua Xiang Spring 2022
Eli Nukunya An Investigation into the Vitality of the Ga language UIC Undergraduate Research Forum; LASURI Award Xuehua Xiang Spring 2022
Megan Herrera TweetTaglish: A Dataset for Investigating Tagalog-English Code-Switching The 13th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2022) Ankit Aich and Dr. Natalie Parde (UIC NLP Lab) Spring 2022
Devika Tiwari An Exploration of Linguistically-Driven and Transfer Learning Methods for Euphemism Detection To be presented at the 2022 Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) Natalie Parde (Computer Science) Winter 2022
Christine Forde Gude (Working title) "Simps" and "Pick-me's:" How AAVE Slang Encapsulates the Dating Culture and Beliefs of Young People in Online Communities UIC LASURI Award Xuehua Xiang Work-in-progress; target date of completion: March 2023
Michelle Chen How Different Generations Understand Classic Chinese Myths UIC LASURI Award Xuehua Xiang Work-in-progress; target date of completion: March 2023
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).


DevikaTiwari's Project


“An Exploration of Linguistically-Driven and Transfer Learning Methods for Euphemism Detection” 

Researchers: Devika Tiwari (undergraduate researcher) with co-author/mentor Dr. Natalie Parde  (UIC NLP Lab)

Euphemisms are often used to drive rhetoric, but their automated recognition and interpretation are under-explored. This project investigate four methods for detecting euphemisms in sentences containing potentially euphemistic terms. It is presented at the Third Workshop on Figurative Language(FigLang 2022), as part of EMNLP 2022, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 8, 2022.

Iris Jia Project

“变化之夏-A Summer of Change”

Using her research experience in Biology and her language skills in Chinese, student researcher Iris Jia (Major in Biological Science and Minor in Chinese) created Chinese-English bilingual infographic to introduce the ecological preservation efforts of Urban Rivers’ Wild Mile. The project shows the importance of multilingual communication to the general public about environmental preservation efforts.


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.

Journal Cover


Transfer and Crosslinguistic Influence at the L3 initial stages.

Researchers: Jennifer Cabrelli (Hispanic and Italian Studies) and Carrie Pichan 

While the question of which variables determine the source of transfer at the very initial stages of third language (L3) acquisition has driven the growth of the field, few studies have captured these early developmental processes in L3 acquisition. These studies observe English/Spanish bilinguals acquiring an L3 Romance language (Brazilian Portuguese or Italian) after 12-15 hours of classroom L3 exposure. We examine several phenomena that differ between the L3 and Spanish but pattern similarly between the L3 and English within the grammar modules of morphosyntax (e.g., pronominal subjects) and phonology (e.g., intervocalic underlying stops). The crosslinguistic (dis)similarity of the selected phenomena, together with the comparison of data from bilingual groups who differ in age of acquisition and dominance, allow for the evaluation of critical variables in transfer source selection such as global similarity, language status, facilitation, and dominance.

Book cover


“Oh, what’s wrong with your Korean?”: Korean American adult heritage learner’s oral translanguaging practice and their counter-experience

Researcher: Hanae Kim, Ph.D Visiting Lecturer and Korean Language Program Coordinator

In H. Cho & K. Song (Eds.), Korean as a Heritage Language from Transnationalism and Translanguaging Perspectives. Routledge

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.

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.

Data and 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


Corpora and Datasets 

TalkBank.  Database of talk in audio and video

Max Planck Institute Resources and Projects  

Google Research Datasets (for NLP projects)