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historicallinguist

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Everything posted by historicallinguist

  1. historicallinguist

    Making a Choice of University

    Surely go to iowa state with funding. Neither school is top-ranked. Then, why bother to go to the one without funding?
  2. Hi, linguists. I am considering transferring to a better phd program, and wonder whether anyone has done this sort of thing before and succeeded. I want to do this because the advising available in our department is quite awful. Though I am doing probably the best among the phd cohort(winning university-wide award, best gpa possible, very good reports from instructors, etc), I am pretty much learning everything my own, and advising is like a 9minutes conversation per semester. Emails rarely got responded, or got responded after two weeks (which is useless after all). Then, for external fellowship and grant application, folks who barely spent time with students told me that they did not know well about my research and cannot write LORs that focus on research(of course they did not know because they did not bother to spend time in knowing mine or those of other students well after all). What has happned is that this department has not had anyone getting external funding for many years in a row. Surely a bleak future! what’s worse is the situation that it has so few profs that it is literally impossible to have a dissertation committee. Current 4th year or 5th students get bare minimal advising from the one or two folks in the diss committee, and sending emails back and forth with the external members who are the majority of the committee and the couple email communication is what it means to be advising. This is not anything new, I guess. Then, what ended up for MANY recent phds who completes their diss here is 1. Cannot find a decent job anywhere else and be an adjunct in this department for more than 4 years in a row, teaching 3-5courses per semester 2.cannot find an adjunct prof job even here, and stay here for another couple years as a TA 3. Ended up working in some wage-based job that has nothing to do with the phd whatsoever, and pay does not match the expected pay of the degree at all Finance and job matters aside, how about research? The output of the research is far below standard as well! Rarely, if ever, a phd dissertation completed here is of publishable quality. Not a single dissertation (correct me if I am wrong) completed here makes it to be published as a LI monograph. Citation of each of them barely gets more than 2 digits over many years(which is in a sad contrast with good departments such as umass where many outstanding diss. got cited hundreds of times or thousands of times). Of course, understandably, they could not, with such minimal advising and poor connection with the field and other well known folks in the field. Okay, research aside, how about course offering? Probably the biggest class size you could find in a phd program, with a single course crosslisted and taken by BA, MA, and Ph.D students. What this means is little to none personal attention from instructors. Plus, the quality of instructors is so low to the point that many courses are taught by nontenured people with little to none publication whatsoever, and they cannot address many questions about the materials they are teaching. Better to ask google than asking them! I am not saying adjuncts are necessarily bad, but adjuncts who are not interested in research and not doing research at all are bad fits to teach such research oriented courses. another problem is that course offering neither fits students research interests nor is marketable. Because the course intends for large enrollment from BA, MA, and PhD at the same time, it is impossible to make it specialized. Then, a so-called graduate level seminar here ends up being a general survey course that would otherwise be a lower division undergrad course in other better universities. These kind of course are majority of offering here and seem to me useless for research, and training in these courses are not the training marketable for academic job search in the future. These are some of the reasons that I want to get the hell out of here. Any Input welcomed !
  3. You definitely should not put all the interests you mentioned above in your PS. Stay focused on one or two sub fields (if two, between some sort of interface type of thing), and write about one or two particular thing(s) in the sun field(s) in your PS. UCLA’s anthropology phd program is probably a better fit for you than is its linguistics phd program. Also, for god’s Sake, please do not say you want to work with only a particular awesome prof X in department Y in awesome UNiveristy Z, as admission is made by a committee not a particular prof. You probably want to mention profs xyz and explain how THESE profs could support your interests to show your fit with the department as a whole.
  4. 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.
  5. historicallinguist

    Applying for Fall 2018!

    Why?
  6. historicallinguist

    Applying for Fall 2018!

    To be honest, it is really HARD TO BE REJECTED by UW Madison, because the program is really in bad shape right now there and they even have a rolling admission for their phd program. So, I think you will get at least into this school.
  7. historicallinguist

    Need advice- thinking of leaving graduate school

    I think you should stay for a while and see how things go in this new lab. One thing you could do is to take some GPA booster easy courses as your elective courses to bring up your GPA. For this matter, my bet is that you check out ratemyprofessor.com and see what students said about the instructor's easiness.(don't get me wrong, there are lots of problems with the website, but my personal experience seems to suggest that the evaluation of the easiness of the instructor is generally quite accurate)
  8. historicallinguist

    What are best GRE prep for improving Verbal and ace Quant ?

    Usually, you cannot improve too much in 20 days, and you probably need more time.
  9. historicallinguist

    Advice needed

    Being rather weak doesn't mean it won't be helpful for you to apply for Ph.D. programs. One thing you need to consider is private vs public schools. class size in private is usually much smaller than the public school, meaning that you will have more contact and personal attention from your professors. Also, in private school, masters level courses are almost exclusively taught by real professors, but in public school there is a good chance that masters level courses are taught by Ph.D. students. Because LORs written by Ph.D. students are rarely helpful, you probably don't want to be in a situation that you will have to ask Ph.D. students to write you letters because you have no one else to ask for. Also, some masters level courses in public schools are also online courses, which are something you probably want to avoid too. So, everything else being equal, choose a private school over a public one, for the sake of your letter of recommendation. Try some reach schools, but probably not too many. I guess 3-4 reach schools are enough. I guess that you could take advantage of the fact that you never took these courses and try to spend two years in Boston. That way, in the first semester of the second year when you apply, you have in your belt some course grades in linguistics in your transcript, some term papers already written that could be used for writing samples, and some professors who know you and can write you good letters. Thesis is not necessary if you already have some good term papers that could be used for writing sample and if your masters program doesn't require a thesis. These are just my personal thoughts about it. Like fuzzy said, check with the program, and see what they have to say. But be sure that, when you ask, ask in a way that you do not project yourself as someone who does not know what your career goal/research goal is, because this will undermine your chance to get into the masters program.
  10. historicallinguist

    Which MA program is a better choice for further PhD application?

    Purdue has a linguistics department, but it is rather weak.
  11. historicallinguist

    Advice needed

    I think your best bet is Boston University. The overall ranking of this university is high, but its linguistics program is somewhat weak, meaning it is not hard for you to get in. There are some other choices you can get if you absolutely need funding to go(you didn't know specify whether you can go without funding)Other programs in the States such as the one at university of Iowa may have partial funding (ie no funding for the 1st year but full funding for the second year) for international students, but you will have much fewer opportunities for both mentoring and jobs compared with BU. Don't go to a qualifying year program because that will get you to nowhere if you couldn't get a phd offer after that. Focus on MA program which could serve as a qualification for you to apply for a job if you couldn't get a phd offer after you graduate from the MA program. Also, I won't recommend the one year Master program at Chicago and any one year master program. This is because being in a one year master program means you will start apply for a phd weeks after you started your Master program in the Fall, and I don't think that is a good time for you to apply. So, applying for a two year MA program should be the better option, as then you will have at least a year to prepare a good writing sample, and get good letters from professors in the MA program after they knew you well.
  12. 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.
  13. historicallinguist

    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.
  14. historicallinguist

    Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    me too.
  15. historicallinguist

    Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    What language are you applying?
  16. historicallinguist

    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.
  17. historicallinguist

    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.
  18. historicallinguist

    Applying for Fall 2018!

    But I think UMASS amherst requires GRE, if I remember it correctly. @spreadglottis
  19. 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!
  20. historicallinguist

    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.
  21. historicallinguist

    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.
  22. historicallinguist

    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 ?
  23. historicallinguist

    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.
  24. historicallinguist

    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.
  25. historicallinguist

    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?
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