Linguistics

Interested Scholars

The following scholars are interested in this topic:

I am a political communication scholar with a particular focus on gender. My research interests include gendered mediation, political communication, online campaigning, political marketing, political journalism, African media and journalism and visual communication. Methodically, my expertise is in qualitative research including (multimodal) critical discourse analysis, (elite) interviewing, textual analysis and focus groups. My recent research examined representations of Ghanaian and Nigerian women politicians in print and radio news, as well as their self-representation on social media.

I am interested in Sub-Saharan African languages and connections this may have with culture and development. I work on Bantu languages with interest in linguistic diversity.

I am interested in semantics, syntax, and lexical semantics and, especially, the syntax-semantics interface. In particular, I’m interested in the question of possible verb meanings and how the meaning of a verb derives argument realization. My dissertation (completed in May 2016) investigated the interface between verb meaning and morphosyntax in Bantu languages, looking at the syntax and semantics of applicative and causative morphology. Other topics of interest are copular verbs, agreement, grammatical complexity, lexical semantic typology, tense/aspect, and motion predicates. I have conducted fieldwork in East Africa on three languages: Kinyarwanda (Rwanda), Lubukusu (Kenya), and Chichewa (Malawi).

Dr. Leah Windsor is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at The University of Memphis. She received her Bachelor of Science in Linguistics from Georgetown University in 1998, her Master’s degree in Political Science at The University of Memphis in 2005, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in 2012. Dr. Windsor currently serves as PI for a Minerva Initiative grant administered by the U.S. Department of Defense that examines political communication in authoritarian regimes and opaque political groups. Her work uses computational linguistics and discourse analysis to answer questions about regime survival, political crisis and conflict, propaganda and persuasion, bluffs and threats, governance, and radicalization. Her interdisciplinary approach to understanding political language is situated at the intersection of political science, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, neurobiology, methodology, and linguistics. Dr. Windsor was selected as Smart City Fellow with the City of Memphis and the FedEx Institute of Technology where she analyzes issues in local Memphis politics. She is also interested in issues of bias and ethnocentrism in studying political language, including corpus selection, translation, and document preparation. In February 2017, Dr. Windsor’s lab was selected for a Team Initiation Grant by the University of Memphis’ Division of Research and Sponsored Programs to study how multimodal forms of communication including language, nonverbal cues, and audiovisual elements, can inform our understanding of methods of persuasion, elements of cognition, keys to decoding deception, and locus of attention. Dr. Windsor is also co-authoring a book on family formation in academia that presents research from an international survey about academic parents. Most recently she was invited to present her work to the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Defense. Her work has been published in Terrorism and Political Violence, International Interactions, The International Feminist Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly.

Sophia’s main research interest is the learning, teaching, and use of vocabulary in a second language. She is also interested in first- and second-language literacy skills in countries where English is a foreign or second language. She has recently conducted collaborative research on reading comprehension in an indigenous language (Igbo) and in English in Nigeria. While working as a postdoctoral researcher, she examined the role of vocabulary in English as a foreign language oral fluency and writing quality in Taiwan. Sophia’s current research examines a) foreign/second language English academic vocabulary learning and teaching, b) the comprehension of figurative language during first-language reading, and c) how people come to perceive a text as coherent or not.

I am currently working as a postdoctoral Senior Research Officer, at the Department of Government, University of Essex, as part of the Evaluation Team (Catalyst Project), where I have been working with collaborators to acquire, process and analyse administrative data to support local authorities (such as Essex and Suffolk County Council, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service) improve the impact of programmes and interventions for the communities they serve. A computational linguist by training (text analytics, natural language processing, mathematical models of language) (PhD in Computational Linguistics, Essex – 2010; MA in Computational Linguistics, Essex – 2004), I have been working as a data scientist since 2010 (UK Data Archive (Essex); Endangered Languages Archive (SOAS, University of London); Administrative Data Research Network (Essex)), when I took up my current role.