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funchaku

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Everything posted by funchaku

  1. I am derailing this thread somewhat, but there is a tendency for people to throw around terms like pro-UG and anti-UG without specifying i) what exactly about UG-type hypotheses they take issue with, and ii) how much the answers to that question has direct ramifications to the work they do. I think considering both is important to your decision, and I am also interested in hearing more about it. My two cents. Re: (i) it simply cannot be that you disagree with everything UG! E.g., everybody--nativists and empiricists alike--agree that there is something innate, a hypothesis space, i.e. the
  2. I am rather confused by your last few posts. What do you mean exactly by funding? If you are talking about funding as a graduate student: the top programs in Linguistics all fund their PhD students, that means covering full tuition, insurance, etc. and giving them a stipend in addition. If you are talking about funding after graduation, that is to say, finding a job, then yeah the job market is pretty bleak. But that is the case for solid academic jobs (i.e. tenure track) in all fields actually. If you are interested in this, every couple of months, there's a piece in the Chronicle of High
  3. To the best of my knowledge, Maryland is a state school that offers full funding to international students. There are some state schools (e.g., UCSC) that don't have a lot of funding for international students, so they often do not accept any unless they are somehow exceptional. But at Maryland, I don't think your acceptance is contingent on you getting external funds, so I'd rest easy
  4. I am curious as to what this means! Whether or not it directly signals acceptance, it's gotta be a good sign Note, however, that at the open house, most (if not all) candidates are still being vetted, so it might be good to be in interview-mode as opposed to accepted-students open house mode when you go there! In any case, congrats!
  5. I don't think this is the kind of information they would reveal, even if they were to respond to your email.
  6. I don't think it would be inappropriate, but I am also not sure you would get the kind of reply detailing what you needed to do to improve your application, or any reply at all for that matter. This isn't anything personal. Faculty members often barely have the time to perform the adcom-related duties required of them, it might be too much to expect that they'll spend their time explaining to someone why they were rejected. Who were you planning to email, by the way? The graduate director?
  7. That would be kind of an odd thing for them to extend invitations based on proximity. When I went to the open house at Maryland two years ago, there were a number of international people present (including someone from New Zealand!). Unless their budget situation has significantly changed since then (and I am willing to bet it hasn't), I don't see why they would change their policy.
  8. That's odd.. did you send them an email asking about the missed appointment? I wouldn't worry too too much, if this was a mistake on their part, I am certain that they will reschedule as soon as they realize it.
  9. I'll add another datapoint. During my application season (2 years ago), my phone interviews with both Maryland and UPenn were with two POIs simultaneously. When you are called down for an in-person interview, it is quite common to meet with a number of people (I met with 9 at UMD, which, to be honest, is maybe too many..)
  10. I am not a 100% sure about the logistics for international students, but I am certain schools will cover at least part of the costs. If you get accepted/called for interviews at multiple places, you could arrange it such that there is a single trip to the US, and use the combined funds from different universities to cover travel costs. Lots of international students visit during open house, so my guess is that sufficient help is provided to make travel cheap, if not free.
  11. If you're asked to an interview, they reimburse you for the travel costs. You'll also have a graduate student who will host you, so no paying for hotels.
  12. From your list of schools: Maryland, NYU and UPenn do interviews. Unless things have changed since my application cycle, NYU/UPenn do phone/skype interviews and Maryland does an in-person interview/open house combo. And yes, it means you're on a shortlist--typically around 15 candidates are interviewed. MIT, and UMass don't do interviews. I have no clue about Yale, CUNY, Stony Brook, or Delaware.
  13. My point is: mentioning POIs from other departments is not going to win you any points, and runs the risk of making you look less focused. As others have already mentioned, having lots of POIs is not a very wise move to begin with. This is a forum where people help each other, but if you find our advice irrelevant, feel free to ignore it and move on.
  14. I want to echo Fuzzy and onzeheures30: 9 is too many. In my opinion, 6 is too many, but to each his own. Could ask why you are bothering to mention POIs in other departments? That simply raises the question as to why you aren't applying to, e.g., Philosophy, to begin with.
  15. Technically, no. The degree itself counts less than the experience, I think. On the other hand, having a Linguistics BA or even having Linguistics courses listed on your transcript might tell the committee that you have the requisite knowledge about, e.g., syntax. In the absence of these things, you'll just have to do some extra work explaining why you are nevertheless qualified. There are some post-bacc positions in Linguistics that are quite competitive. The Baggett Fellowship at Maryland, for example, has excellent grad-school placement rates for Baggett alums, and consequently gets a l
  16. I know many people who start graduate school with a reasonable, but imperfect, command of English, but their English picks up quickly as they are forced to use it everyday. Whatever the case, someone's two-paragraph post on a forum isn't going to predict how they will do on the GREs, or how they will fare in an English-speaking graduate program. That being said, the lack of funding in the MA programs you mentioned, Hamedtr65, is non-trivial. If you are set on going abroad for your MA, I would broaden my search to countries where they do have funded MAs (other parts of Europe, Canada, et
  17. "Statement of Purpose" should be good enough. I don't think its necessary to have a header, since your SOP is only 2 pages tops, but then again, I really don't think this will matter very much. Re: "thanking the committee," that sounds quite strange to me too. You want to end with a couple of sentences indicating why this particular school is a good fit (e.g., mention some of the people you would be interested in working with and why). But I don't think an SOP (at least for linguistics programs) needs to end with a salutation.
  18. Hmm, I see. So, are you asking if would you need separate applications for the MA and PhD at the same department? I don't know the answer to this question, but my guess is that it will vary by school. In any case, a PhD rejection does not entail rejection flat-out. Acceptance rates for MA-programs tend to be a lot higher.
  19. I don't think you should apply to PhD programs if you are unsure about what you would like to study. Besides being highly competitive, these programs take up 5+ years of your life, so it is not something to go into without some serious thought. Sure, there may be PhD programs that you might get into, but the job market for Linguistics is very tight, and even top graduates from top universities have trouble-- so you really want to ask yourself whether dedicating 5+ years of effort at just any university will actually be worth it. It is highly uncommon for linguistics programs to over you at
  20. Short answer: No. No serious program is going to evaluate the quality of your writing based on your GRE AW score. More nuanced answer: Certain schools use the GRE as a kind of filtering tool, such that they don't even look at candidates who do not have a certain score. UPenn, for example, has cut off points for the both verbal and quantitative section, but your scores on these are good enough to make the cut. I don't know of any school that has a specific cut off for the writing section. Rant (take with grain of salt): The GRE is a joke, I really have no idea what exactly it measures.
  21. Two things. First, it's not clear from what you describe as your interests why you want to do a PhD in a linguistics program, as opposed to Computer Science or even Cognitive Science. Some of the options you are considering are strong theoretical departments, and the adcom will certainly wonder about this question. If in fact linguistic theory is not so important to you, I'd expand my search to other fields. MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences, for instance, does a lot of modeling of language (even some "non-traditional models", as you put it). But this work, as far as I know, is not strongly gro
  22. Hi Chiki, It's great that you've taken some advanced courses, and have a sense of what graduate classwork is like. Nevertheless, I think it will come across the wrong way to the adcom if you give a dissertation proposal (or even talk about dissertation!) in your SOP. I fear it will make you come across as naive and uninformed, or too inflexible, or both. During your graduate career, there are several milestones that you have to pass before you even get to write your dissertation proposal. And this is for a good reason! I second Fuzzy's advice about sticking with current interests.
  23. I am a linguist at a theoretical linguistics program, and I don't know how to answer many of your questions--may I suggest the Languages forum for them instead? Here is the answer to the question I do feel comfortable answering: it is not a requirement for linguists to have a native proficiency in the language they are studying. For us, language is an object of scientific study, and we often rely on consultants for our data. That being said, a working knowledge of a language other than English can only help. I know people have said this in response to your questions in other forums, but let me
  24. You seem to have put a lot of thought into this, and your list seems pretty comprehensive. The only other one I might (tentatively) add is Rutgers. In my opinion, you absolutely should apply to the top schools that fit your research interests. There are more qualified candidates than jobs in linguistics, and the school's reputation and placement rates matter. I also don't think that terms like "safety school" makes that much sense for PhD applications. I was rejected from a school that is lower-ranked, simply because it was obvious my interests weren't that great of a match.
  25. I am in agreement with Fuzzylogician that before you decide to expend the time, money, and effort towards an MA program in Linguistics, you should probably get a bit more exposure to different subfields in Linguistics. This can be done several ways-- you might want to read textbooks on your own, sit in on Linguistics courses as a visitor, etc. There aren't that many MA programs in theoretical linguistics, but they do exist! Some that I can immediate think of are: UNC Chapel Hill, Univ Hawaii Manoa, CU Boulder, Georgetown. Deciding whether or not you want to do a PhD in something is a huge
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