Over the past four weeks, I've studied linguistics of all kinds at the University of Michigan for the Linguistic Society of America's Summer Institute. I think perhaps most people would be bored by my discoveries, but they amount to an exciting conclusion. In graduate school, I want to pursue one of two paths in linguistics:
The first is ASL sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics studies how variation in lexicon, pronunciation, and other linguistic features helps create and constantly renegotiate our personas in different social situations. For example, think of the words you use and how you speak in public at a presentation or with your romantic partner. Why do these different social situations present such different manners of speaking? What are we trying to communicate about ourselves? So I want to do the same thing many linguists do with English or other languages, and apply that to ASL. For example, how do Deaf speakers identify themselves as "Deaf from New York" or "Deaf and gay" in their speech?
|Believe it or not, this is Michigan. Not England.|
In any case, the point is that I had a wonderful time at the Institute. I met some wonderful, intelligent, quirky people who never once asked me how many languages I speak as a linguist. They taught me new ASL signs, gave me insights to the Russian queer community, and taught me about speaker identification in calls of distress. They all deserve to become prominent in their fields.
|What talk of Michigan is complete without some graffiti?|
Or so I thought.
They eventually let me into the country, though. That's gotta count for something.
|The lovely King's College facade, forever one of my favorite landmarks to photograph in Cambridge.|
|My lovely room! It's large, just like last year :)|
|A picture of The Anchor bar on the Cam, taken from La Granta bar. You can't see the mosquitoes, but they were all over.|