Dissertations/Theses

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 an 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 on Onestop's site. 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 shi...de 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