historicallinguist

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Everything posted by historicallinguist

  1. Hi. I went to the same institution, and was in the pretty similar situation as yours. Here is my 0.02$. Unfortunately, many tutors in Oxford care more about their faces than the welfare of their former students. So, what is happening is that, after they wrote your letters for the first time, and you did not do well when their colleague serves as your tutor (for no fault on your part, as I know some of the Oxford courses really suck, especially some the 12 months or 9 months master courses), they feel that they lose faces in front of their colleagues, and there is 0 chance to get letters from these people, even if you have legitimate reasons for dropping out or for not doing well. One way you can get out of the dilemma is to apply to some place where references are not needed and try to get good references from this place and and then transfer to a better place that requires 3 references. One place that does not need reference is Australia universities, among which Monash University is notable. Hope this helps.
  2. How do you know if you're proposal is too ambitious for a Ph.D.?

    lacking of some specialized jargons in a specialized subfield as the target of research is a bad sign for a proposal to have the right scope within the prescribed timeframe.
  3. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    me too.
  4. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    What language are you applying?
  5. Any recommendations for summer institutes in linguistics in North America

    Thanks for the informations. Wow. I just looked into the past NASSLLI. The cost is incredibly low, and I reckon that it might even be possible to ask my home department to pay for it! For the things outside of North America you mentioned, I honestly do not think I could use federal student aid to go to any of them. The federal aid only work for participating in a summer school hosted by a university participating in U.S. federal student aid programs, and these schools are usually schools in North America, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, for some unknown reasons.
  6. Hi. Everyone. Do you guys know any summer institutes in North America that I could attend in Summer 2018? I know that LSA has a summer institute, but it is a bi-annual one and it is not available until summer 2019. I am trying to attend North America summer institutes because I am interested in using federal student aid to pay for the cost of attendance, and I assume that most likely only summer programs offered by Canadian or American schools are eligible to receive federal aid. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  7. Applying for Fall 2018!

    Then, they must have changed the requirement in the past 1 or 2 years. Anyways, thanks because it is good to know the updated information.
  8. Applying for Fall 2018!

    But I think UMASS amherst requires GRE, if I remember it correctly. @spreadglottis
  9. Check UCSD for cognitive linguistics. Also, I do not think too many schools offer cognitive linguistics as a field of specialization. For L1 acquisition, many schools have this specialization. In fact, you should also check the psychology departments, and schools of education of the school you want to apply, and should not limit your options to only linguistics departments in the schools you are interested in, when you are trying to find a place to do L1 acquisition research. For ASL, the first school that comes to mind is Gallaudet University. You should check its website for further details. Finally, I feel the three things you mentioned are very different stuffs, and should not be packed into a single personal statement. Be a bit more specific in a single subfield you mentioned when you are writing your personal statement. For example, if you are doing L1 acquisition, tell the reader more specifically the L1 acquisition of what (e.g. syntax?phonology?) you are interested in, what experimental approaches you are interested in using and why, what theoretical frameworks you would like to work within and why, etc, etc. Hope this helps!
  10. Decided but not funded

    Not sure whether the OP is admitted to the Mst or Mphil. One of my friends is admitted to the Mst in linguistics at Oxford for fall 2017, and she does not get any funding either. Past Mst or Mphil students I know are all funded by resources external to the faculty. You may have applied to Ertegun but not get awarded for Ertegun (which is a scholarship scheme external to the faculty of general ling). This is not your fault at all. Even though not said explicitly on the website of Ertegun, Ertegun has some preferences for philosophy and classics courses, which are in the two strong faculties of Oxford (i.e. faculty of philosophy, and faculty of classics). Indeed, funding allocated to the faculty from the central university to support master students in the faculty of ling at Oxford is rather limited, and students typically are either self-funded or funded by external funding scheme, whether such schemes are from their respective colleges, their respective governments, or other funding agencies. So, I would say that you are not alone, and many of the admitted students or current students are on the same boat with you. If I were you, I would certainly go to the funded program elsewhere. After all, getting into a funded program will not only benefit you financially, but also make your CV look good.
  11. Is a thesis necessary for PhD admissions ?

    Like what Fuzzy had already said, a thesis isn't necessary. Generally speaking, a seminar paper, as long as it is a research paper, will suffice. Notice that different schools may have different specific requirements about what kind of papers they want you to submit as a writing sample. For example, if I recall it right, UCLA specifically said on their website that they don't want literature review type of paper, and they want a RESEARCH PAPER. Other schools may be less stringent about the content/type of your paper. I think it will be wise to look into the website of the department you are applying to and know exactly what the department is looking for for writing sample, before you choose and upload you writing sample to the online application portal.
  12. Advice? Writing sample from unusual academic background

    Possibly UC davis, UCSB, and UCSD are places that can support your interests. So, if possible, do take a look at their programs.
  13. Fall 2017 thread

    What are you planning to do after getting the PHD/Ed.D? Based on what I know about the educational linguistics program at upenn, it looks like this is particularly good for those who want to do research on/have a career in education. That is, this program is probably more about education than about linguistics. Georgetown's linguistics program is a research program, so I think it would be better for you if all LORs submitted are written by your professors. In addition, based on your post, I also feel that you are more interested in applied sociolinguistics as relevant to L2 acquisition. Probably, some linguistics departments with strong emphases on linguistic theories cannot best serve your research interests in this regard. University of Southern California has some sociolinguistic people doing research on identity issues (focus on Asian languages though). You can take a look at their website, and see whether their research foci fit with yours. Can you ask your professors to read your SOPs and provide comments on your SOPs? Your profs writing LORs for you can write you better focused LORs if they read your SOPs before they write them, in addition the benefit that you can know whether you are on the right track of writing a good SOP. Finally, given that your current undergrad school is a top 3, would you consider continue to do a grad degree in your current institution ?
  14. How to respond to an email calling me out?

    First thing first, I was saying some humanities (e.g. philosophy) are useful, but some (e.g. comparative literature) are not. The prescriptive grammar I studied in comp 101 from what Steven Pinker called "language mavens" only turned out to be the target of criticism in my linguistics class. The problem here is that people in humanities (again, with the exception of philosophy) won't even entertain the possibility that the subject they study may not worth studying after all. I know it may be disturbing, or possibly making you feel sad to reason and then realize that XXX subject is not worth studying after all. But the mere fact that you want some subject to be useful does not mean it is actually useful. If some subjects (e.g. say, Tibetan studies) were so useful, why are so many people in administrative posts (for example, the dean of my college who is working on downsizing some of the programs by not refilling the tenured posts after the incumbent are retired) reluctant to allocate funding to support these subjects and their programs? The deans are not freshmen who just got into college. They know what they are doing. If it were only the students who choose not to major in and therefore support humanities subjects, then maybe it is because of ignorance. But when both the administrators (i.e. dean, provost, etc) and the students frown upon the value of certain fields of studies, I guess it is the problem of the field and people working in the field should reflect on the problems of the field and try to find solutions to solve the problems, not blaming those outside the field who point out the problems.
  15. A GRE question - worth retaking to bring up quant score?

    Good enough for your to get a sky interview from uhawii manoa which is a department has strength in language documentation and historical linguistics for austronesian languages. Unless you are applying for an MA that does not require interview, this score is good enough, as GRE is probably not that a big deal for linguistics Ph.D. admission.(In fact, some top programs do not require GRE at all). The deal lies in SOP, LORs, and writing sample. Probably SOP is the most important among the three. You just cannot get into a program with a crappy SOP, even if you got a perfect GRE score. I do not know about Berkeley. But just a side note, Berkeley has a good number of people working in language documentation.
  16. How to respond to an email calling me out?

    This is a good point. The student obviously was sending unsolicited suggestion/criticism to the OP. In higher education settings, unsolicited criticisms are generally not welcomed by the department, and in some cases may result in adverse consequences against those who dare to raise those issues and ask for improvement. The student may send the email under his/her .edu email account, but, in order to do so, he/she must use some sort of academese/legalese (i.e. formal polite language in a style that could best be described as probably "Oxbridge" style of communication) to express the intended suggestion, so as to overcome the first common fire-back called "rudeness". Such language use, unless the student has been communicated with such language for years, will be hard for an undergraduate to employ. Potential retaliations commonly seen include lowering attendance grade, lowering grades for open-ended questions for which the TA has quite a lot of a discretion, etc. The student, who may have already sensed potential retaliations, when trying to send out a quick message without having the trouble of framing the message in academese/legalese, sends the message anonymously, and I think the anonymity is quite justifiable, given the culture that many departments and TAs do not appreciate "unsolicited noises" at all. In fact, one of the more senior TA sent out a guide to all TAs (including me) in my department, and asked us to forward that guide to all of our students so as to make sure that they write emails in an appropriate style. I knew he sent out the guide in good faith. But the style of writing really obscures the real issues raised in the email. I feel that the criticism over method of delivery or style of writing or the tone sounds more like an excuse to ignore the issues (probably legitimate, depending on the regulations of the university) raised in the email. I beg to differ on this point. If part of the duties of TAs and professors are not customer service, what exactly is the relationship between TA and professors, and students. More importantly, it sounds ridiculous to ask students to pay for their tuitions and fees, and, when they have complaints, they are told that you paid but sorry you are not customers. I went to a private school for my undergrad, and I was not graded/taught by even one TA throughout my undergrad career. In fact, mistreatment by TAs against undergraduate students is more common and widespread than you are willing to admit. First thing first, many TAs,especially in non-top tier state universities, are underpaid. So, generally, it is hard to expect the underpaid TAs to devote much of their time and attentions to their students, because they work for what they are paid for. Second, you need to understand how ridiculous class size could be in some undergraduate schools. Some, especially state/public universities, have lower division classes as large as 500 students in a single lecture. I just cannot see how the tuition they pay worth merely 1/500 attention from the Prof and TAs. Schools are oversizing a single lecture into a huge lecture hall to maximize revenue of tuition from a large pool of students. Look, essentially, the poor relationships with undergraduates derive from the mismatch between the financial input by these undergraduate and what they can get out from a huge lecture hall. Isn't this a problem? Well, as a TA, it is not a problem for me, but, as a student, and as a person, it is definitely a problem, even if this is a problem that we may not be willing to recognize at all, not to say solve it. As for your comments for students aren't majoring in humanities, I have some other thoughts. First, humanities, with the exception of philosophy, rarely reflect on whether the discipline is worth studying or not. I was a humanities major when I was an undergraduate. I witnessed too many professors teaching non-philosophy humanities cannot give coherent thoughts. Simply put, many humanities disciplines cannot be subject themselves to the scrutiny of rationality. Find a work of literary criticism, and I can guarantee you that you will find tautology in this book. Not sure why authors did this kind of thing, but they did it anyways. You asserted the great value of humanities major (some, such as philosophy, do have great values.), but how are you going to explain the fact that so many past graduates in subjects such as comparative literature, English, history, etc, can not get a job, after paying so much tuitions (probably by taking tons of loans) and spending so much time working through 4 years in the subject? They just cannot stay hungry with no food whatsoever, and continue enjoy the works of Dickens throughout the week. STEMs and business schools deserve more support, because they generate better results for the students at least in terms of their career. In fact, humanities subjects such as history are like a blackhole that sucks funding into the discipline, and barely, if ever, produces some tangible improvements of the material lives of those who work in the discipline and those who provided funding to support the discipline. STEMs are much better at making their case to their sponsors to persuade sponsors' to support them.(bottom line, STEMs proposals seem to have better agenda as to what to do, why do what is planned to do, etc). After all, you cannot just ask support and then tell those who support you that they should not expect something (probably more than what you get from them in terms of value) back from you. This is also true for student tuition. You cannot ask students to pay their tuitions and fees, and then tell them that they are not customers. If you are working in a non-profit organization that is not a university , you are not going to treat those who sponsor your organization (i.e. the patrons) in the way TAs treat students, aren't you? Then, why do you assert that students are not customers? Can a university continue to run, professors and TAs continue to get paid, if all students in a university refuse to pay their tuitions?
  17. How to respond to an email calling me out?

    Honestly, as a TA, I agree with you that the email sounds rude, but, as a student, I do not think it is problematic with regard to the content. I remember that many years ago when I was an undergraduate I wrote some similar stuff to one of my profs, and obviously this prof was upset by the uncourteous style of my email. He then taught me to write in the appropriate form (with salutation, closing, better tone, etc). Well, obviously I got better respondences from profs since then, because the style is more courteous and formal. But now I am in graduate school, and I actually witness some profs do not follow these conventionality of email courtesy. They write something like "hi.XXXXX" or simply "XXXXXX PERIOD" with no salutation, closing, etc. While I feel profs writing stuffs like these are rude, it is hard for me to justify to say the content they say via such a format is problematic.(Of course, I do have bad perception over profs writing stuffs in such a way, and feel like to steering clear of in the future when possible ). So, maybe the OP could respond, by simply citing that XXX behavior is not prohibited by the regulations of xxx university.
  18. 2016 Graduate Applicatons

    Not every program. But given that you are planning to pay out of packet, here is the deal. Most Australian universities will very likely to be within your reach as long as your past GPA is above 2.7.. U Arizona, Carnegie mellon, u washington seattle, maybe. UIUC, maybe more difficult. McGill, very difficult, good luck with this one. Why don't you go to the Cambridge textbook in linguistics series, and find one book in the series that interests you? Read the book you pick, and do some of the exercises in the book. And submit the solutions of some of the exercises you do in the book as writing sample. In this way, you at least are dealing with the right problems, regardless of how well your solutions are. If you formulate some problems on your own, chances are either you may formulate some problems you cannot solve or you may formulate some problems that are not well formulated. Disclaimer first: I could be wrong. I think you should not spend too much time detailing your background in your SOP. After all, the Adcom could tell your background from your CV, transcript, and LORs, and you should not repeat the informations that are already there. Second, I think you should very briefly mention your background as it is relevant to the research project you plan to undertake in the department you are applying to. Then, say something about your idea about your plan of research. Outline the project with some jargons (for example, lambda conversion, conservativity, scope ambiguity, operator, opacity, etc). At least some profs in the adcom (based on my experience) will take your use of jargons as a sign that you have a lot of backgrounds in your proposed subfield. Also, should there be a Skype interview, be prepared to explain the jargons, and if you could explain well the jargons during the interview, you should be on the right track of being admitted. After outlining the project, then name each prof and say something about how each prof's specialization could support certain aspect of your overall interest in subfield X. Then, summarize and say something about the department as a whole and show that the department as a whole could support your interests. Rule of thumb, find at least 3 three profs to say something about in the SOP.
  19. 2016 Graduate Applicatons

    Definitely you should do this. Overall fit with the department as a whole is one important factor, if not the most important, that will determine whether you get admitted or not. This school is fairly easy to get in, if you tell them in advance that you are going to pay everything on your own.Well, actually, a better way to say it is something like "even if there is no funding available, I still want to be considered for admission." Alternatively, why don't you try to find a problem to solve and submit the solution as your writing sample. If you are trying to do computational ling, the emphasis should be placed on ling, not Spanish. It sounds like you are planning to do something in computational phonology with emphasis on applying computational methods to build (or extend) corpora. If that is the case, definitely you should focus on linguistic theories and computational methods, and avoid saying too much about your interests in Spanish or any other specific natural language. Also, if you had backgrounds in computer science, definitely emphasize this background in your SOP. This background is very valuable and may make you stand out above many other applicants who have humanities (i.e. BA) degree for their undergrad. Finally, I do not think using one SOP for all programs is a good idea. The better approach would be adjust your SOP for each department so that your interests could well align to those of the POIs in each department you mentioned in your SOP.
  20. 2016 Graduate Applicatons

    GPA is not that a big deal when it comes to linguistics application. This is weird but true. I think the real deal lies in SOP, specifically how well you can formulate your interests to show that your interests match with those of the faculty members in the department. For GRE, this may be the least important thing you need to worry. In fact, many top departments do not require GRE at all. If it is required, it is more likely a formality or for the purpose of nominating you for university/college-wide scholarship/fellowship which generally has some sort of threshold for GRE score.
  21. faculty member plagiarism

    Hi. Fellow linguists. It has been recently come to my attention that one of the Profs in my school has been involved in plagiarism several times. I am so sure because when I did research in the library I (accidentally) found that this prof actually copied data from an old series of linguistics journal, distorted and fabricated the data to confirm his intended conclusions. This prof presented orally and in writing the data this prof copied from somewhere else as if this prof had elicited the data in person (i.e. doing field work) or could speak the languages. But based on my conversation with this prof and the prof's colleagues and based on the information on this prof's website, it becomes obvious that this prof never did field work in these languages, and could not speak these languages. Is there anyone here who had encountered similar situation like this? Should I simply stay silent and do nothing? Or should I report this incident (maybe anonymously) to the ombudsperson and/or dean? Thanks in advance for your input.
  22. Hi. Fellow graduate students! I am now applying for an external(non-deparmtnetal) fellowship that is based on a humanity/social justice theme. I wonder whether it would be considered cheating, if I discuss about my fellowship application with my peers from a different department. In particular, is it okay to discuss with my peers about the philosophy/ideology behind the organization that sponsors the fellowship? It is my first time applying for a fellowship, and obviously I am not quite familiar with the quirk of fellowship application process yet. Any one has any idea about the norm?
  23. Is it Okay to discuss fellowship application with peers?

    Thanks for the information. I was not sure because, when I checked the definition of "cheating", definitions from different sources vary, and it was hard for me to figure out which one to follow. For example, some definitions involve "discussing the materials with other unauthorized parties without prior authorization", whereas some other definitions are limited to what you just said. I checked out the website of the fellowship application organization, and they don't have any clear guideline about how they define "cheating". Nor do they say anything about whether unauthorized discussion is allowed. This is why I was very confused. And I then assumed the organization may just follow some kind of norms of fellowship application in general, but I was not sure what the hidden norms are. This is why I was asking.
  24. Worth it? Grade appeal?

    Hello. Linguists. I am a first year MA student in school A who will transfer to a Ph.D. program in school B next year (with an offer in hand already). So, now I have a problem. I am taking one class required by the MA program taught by a Prof who is both the chair of the department and my advisor. I know that the semester just started but problems come very soon (just like the problems sets!). The core issue here is that he reduced my grade of the submitted problem sets by 25 percent for some absurd reasons. If I did something wrong in the problem set, fine and I would accept the grade. But he was basically saying that I did not answer some of the questions that were not even asked by the prompts of the problem, and therefore I missed some important points he expected me to make in the solution, and thus a big chunk of my grade was taken away. I feel this is not fair, and such grading is capriciously arbitrary with no rubric whatsoever. I wrote to him a two days ago, trying to solve the issue and find some way to avoid potential similar disputes in the future, without escalating the issue to the higher administration. But I haven't heard anything back from him yet, and I am not sure whether he is going to write back to me to address this issue. In case that he refuses to address the issue, what should I do next? This one grade in itself is one issue, but may be not the most worrisome. The more worrisome issue I have is that he may continue to do such things, assigning grades arbitrarily and capriciously, with no good rationale behind how he grades problem sets or other works.(He does not even have a grading system in the syllabus explicitly telling me what ranges are for A, B, C, D, and F respectively!) Because now it is the beginning of the semester and I do want to avoid such potential disastrous situation that may be too late to handle at the later time, I checked out the student rights page of my university. According to the page, I have the right to file two complaint for instructor misconduct for "not stating clearly grading scale and criteria", and for grade grievance respectively. The issue at hand here is whether it worths to go so far to file a complaint or two complaints, escalating the issue beyond the level of the department. Filing a complaint or two complaints would certainly save me from potential continuous unjust treatments in this class, and thus have a decent grade out of the class. This is the thing I could get out of the filing process. But filing such complaints will certainly damage my relationship with him, and potentially alienate some other people in the department. This is the downside of the filing. On the other hand, not filing would potentially keep me acquiescing to accept the unfair treatment and therefore I would end up with a bad grade, no matter how hard I work in this class. The good side of not filing would be maintaining cordial relationship with him and other people in the department. So, I got a dilemma right here. Should I file or not file? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
  25. Giving up (marine biology/oceanography)

    Maybe it is a bit cynical but I do think that unpaid internship is just a way for employer to get free human resources. So, it rarely helps when it comes to Ph.D. application. You need to understand that the Ph.D. you are applying to is a research degree, not an applied professional degree. So, admission committees will generally look at your academic record, personal statement(how well you can articulate your proposed research project), and other things relevant to your proposed research project. If you are applying to a lab, you need to first find a PI that suits your research interests. You said you are dedicated to Marine science. Great, you are passionate about it. But more importantly, in what specific sub fields of marine science do you do more research on? You need to be more specific about what you want to do if you are admitted. That way, it is better for you, and for those who admit you. You don't want to get admitted and, after you start your program, find that the program does not fit your academic interests, and struggle for the next several years.