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Research Opportunities

One of the aspects that make our undergraduate program unique is the opportunity to engage in research with professors on campus. Participating in linguistics research allows you to figure out what kind of work you enjoy, apply the information from your classes, gain valuable professional experience, and make your resume more competitive. Past interns have worked with professors on projects about endangered languages, sign language syntax, Spanish politeness and pragmatics, second language phonology, oral history, child bilingual acquisition, and more.

There are several ways to participate in research as an undergraduate. The first is to contact professors whose labs interest you and ask if they are recruiting undergraduates that semester. With the adviser's approval, credit can be given for these experiences. To receive funding and credit for the experience, we encourage students to apply for the Wilke Undergraduate Research Internship and/or Summer Stay Scholars.  When applying for the Wilke program, study the projects posted by the linguistics faculty to decide which is the best fit for you.

What might undergraduates do? The work is usually a combination of training and hands-on application. The training may be as theoretical as reading articles to understand the project goals or as applied as learning how to use ELAN, Praat or Excel. The work also varies, including participating in interview collection, coding data, transcribing interviews, segmenting sound files, and assisting graduate students. Students often write a summary report at the end, and some have also presented posters at Purdue events.