We are delighted to announce that Ryan Bennett will join the department as Assistant Professor starting in July 2017. Ryan received his PhD in Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz in 2012, and since then has been a faculty member at Yale University.

Ryan’s research is in formal and experimental phonology, with an emphasis on prosody and theoretically motivated phonetic analysis. He has worked extensively on phenomena at the intersection of phonological theory and other grammatical domains, including phonetics, morphology and syntax. His investigation focuses on these topics in the context of lesser-studied languages, particularly Irish and K’ichean branch Mayan languages.

Welcome (back) to the department, Ryan!


We are very happy to announce that Amanda Rysling will join the department as Assistant Professor starting in July 2017. Amanda is currently a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she is simultaneously a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistics and an M.S. candidate in Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Amanda’s research is at the intersection of psycholinguistics, phonetics, and phonology, with a strong interest in psycholinguistic models of segmental parsing. Recent projects and areas of interest include syllable structure phonotactics, word recognition, and sentence processing. Her language research interests are on Slavic languages, particularly, Polish and Russian.

Welcome to the department, Amanda!


Please welcome our new LRC visitor Anissa Hamza. She is a PhD student from the University of Strasbourg in France and she will be here for the Spring 2017 quarter, in part to collaborate on the Santa Cruz Ellipsis Project. Her faculty mentors are Pranav Anand and Jim McCloskey. She will also be working closely with our other LRC visitor Dan Hardt. Anissa’s office will be the Cave LRC Visitor office.

Anissa, we hope you will have a pleasant and productive stay!


This week, we had not one, but two of our graduate students advance to candidacy by successfully defending their qualifying exams:

Kelsey Kraus defended her QE on April 17, entitled “Performance of English Discourse particles,” with committee Pranav Anand (chair), Donka Farkas, Grant McGuire, and Jean E. Fox Tree (Psychology).

Jason Ostrove defended his QE on April 20. His was entitled “Linear adjacency and case morphology in Scottish Gaelic”, with committee Sandy Chung (chair), Jim McCloskey, Jorge Hankamer, and Ruth Kramer (Georgetown).

Congratulations, Kelsey and Jason!


This fall, alumnus Aaron Steven White (BA, 2009) will begin as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester in the Department of Linguistics and the Goergen Institute for Data Science, with secondary appointments in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Aaron received his PhD from the University of Maryland in 2015, and has since been a postdoctoral fellow in the Johns Hopkins Science of Learning Institute where he’s been working with Benjamin Van Durme and UCSC PhD alum Kyle Rawlins. Congratulations, Aaron!


On Thursday, April 6, Sandy Chung drove to Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose to speak at a workshop organized by the school’s Linguistics Club. She and the other two speakers (Arto Anttila and Roula Svorou) were astonished at the large audience, which included over 35 students. Among the Linguistics Club’s organizers are Suzanne Golshanara and Eliza Kolmanovsky, both of whom plan to major in Linguistics when they enter UC San Diego in the Fall. The following week, Sandy traveled to Evanston to give a colloquium at Northwestern on the work she and Matt Wagers are doing on Chamorro anaphora. While there, she had a most enjoyable conversation with M.A. alum Tommy Denby, who is now a fourth year Ph.D. student there, about to embark on a dissertation in phonetics and phonology.