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The culmination of the PhD program of study is a doctoral dissertation, prepared with the guidance of a thesis advisor. The dissertation must demonstrate originality and ability for independent investigation, and the results of the research must constitute a noteworthy contribution to knowledge in the field. The dissertation must exhibit mastery of the literature on the subject and familiarity with the sources, and must be well written.

A PhD candidate files a dissertation proposal form with the University of Minnesota Graduate School shortly after passing the preliminary oral examination.

Students defend their PhD thesis to an oral examination committee consisting of four members, including their advisor and two other members of the Linguistics Graduate Faculty, plus one member external to the Linguistics program. Three members of the final oral examination committee will serve as reviewers of the dissertation, including their thesis advisor, one other member of the linguistics graduate faculty, and one member from the field of the minor or the supporting program. More details on examination committees can be found here. Students must follow all Graduate School requirements for formatting their thesis.


PhD Dissertations

2019. Paul Tilleson. On Bipartite Negation

2016. Michael Sullivan. Relativization in Ojibwe

2014. Muhammad Abdurrahman. Sociophonetic Perception of African-American English in Minnesota

2014. Suzanne van Duym. Informativeness, Category Membership, and the Distribution of Adjectival Past Participles

2014. Mahmoud Sadrai. Cognitive Status and ra-Marked Referents of Nominal Expressions in Persian

2014. James Stevens. Control and Disposal of Demonstratives, with Electrophysiological Evidence from English and Japanese

2013. Hiroki Nomoto. Numerals in Classifier Languages

2012. Mamadou Bassene. Morphophonology of Jóola Eegimaa

2012. Kaitlin Johnson. Development of Scalar Implicatures and the Indefinite Article

2012. Kateryna Kent. Morphosyntactic Analysis of Surzhyk, a Russian-Ukranian mixed lect

2012. Dingcheng Li. Entity Relation Detection with Factorial Hidden Markov Models and Maximum Entropy Discriminant Latent Dirichlet Allocations

2012. Ellen Lucast. The Interaction of Structural and Inferential Elements in Characterizing Human Linguistic Communication

2012. Mark Wicklund. Use of Referring Expressions by Autistic Children in Spontaneous Conversations: Does Impaired Metarepresentational Ability Affect Reference Production?

2011. Paula Chesley. Linguistic, Cognitive, and Social Constraints on Lexical Entrenchment

2011. Eden Kaiser. Sociophonetics of Hmong American English in Minnesota

2011. Sarah Loss. Iron Range English Long-Distance Reflexives

2010. Sharon Gerlach. The Acquisition of Consonant Sequences: Harmony, Metathesis, and Deletion Patterns in Phonological Development

2010. Oksana Laleko. The Syntax-Pragmatics Interface in Language Loss: Covert Restructuring of Aspect in Heritage Russian

2009. Khalfaoui Amel. A Cognitive Approach to Analyzing Demonstratives in Tunisian Arabic

2009. Michiko Buchanan. Ellipsis Involving Verbs in Japanese

2009. Linda Humnick. Pronouns in Kumyck Discourse: A Cognitive Perspective

2009. Brendan Fairbanks. Ojibwe Discourse Markers


MA Theses

2020. Mskwaankwad Rice. The Preterit Mode and Counterfactuality in Ojibwe

2020. Ian White. The Argument Structure of Deverbal Nouns

2020. Mitchell Klein. Tag, You’re It! An Examination of Pre-Velar Raising in Minnesota English

2017. Anthoni Fortier. Split Ergativity in Newari

2017. Maria Heath. Interpretation of Non-standard Capitalization on Twitter

2017. Jesse Scheumann. Hebrew Voicing Assimilation

2016. Jonathon Coltz. Expressing dislike in focus groups on food

2016. Mark McKay. The MorphoSyntax of Bipartite Negation in Paraguayan Guaraní

2016. Yolanda Pushetonequa. Phonological Change in Meskwaki and Effects on Orthography

2016. Borui Zhang. Predictions of Entropy Reduction Theory on Chinese Relative Clauses

2015. Martha Abramson. Contrast Preservation and Enhancement in Mandarin Chinese

2015. Anna Farrell. Official Language Policy and the Linguistic Landscape of an Internationalizing University

2015. Wei Song. The Sentence-final de and the Post-verbal de in the construction in Mandarin

2015. Joshua St. George. Features of Language: A Study of Informative Features for Use in a Supervised Non-deterministic Transition-based Dependency Parser over the Latin Dependency Treebank

2014. Geoffrey Fischer. Local Constraint Implication in Phonological Opacity

2014. Emily Hanson. ‘We’ll take that as a compliment’ Changes in the use of bitch as gender-role enforcement  

2014. Jeremy Orosz. Prosody, Semantics and Narrative Structure: Revis(it)ing Labov

2013. Paul Tilleson. Bipartite negation in Sgaw Karen

2013. Guillermo Carlos Alvarez. Creole Derivational Morphology

2013. Alexa Landazuri. Female Swearing Behavior and Usage of the F-word: A Study of Californian and Midwestern Young Adults

2013. Hannah Sande. Nouchi as a Distinct Language: The Morphological Evidence

2012. Michael Sullivan. Documentation and description of narrative styles between Minnesota and Wisconsin Ojibwe