A Message from the Chair


Dear Alumni and Friends of the Department of Linguistics at Ohio State,

The global COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the way we work and interact with one another. At Ohio State, we have moved all of our spring semester courses to online learning, all work is now being done remotely, and all university travel and in-person human subjects research has been suspended. Our faculty, staff, and students have worked incredibly hard over the last month to adjust to this new virtual model of learning, teaching, interacting, and conducting research. I am grateful every day to be leading such an incredibly dedicated, passionate, and good-humored group of people through this uniquely challenging time in our collective history.

As we address the immediate concerns related to online teaching and learning, we are also beginning to think strategically about pivoting our research methods from those that require in-person human subjects data collection, including fieldwork and work in our labs on campus and at COSI (the local science museum), to those that can be conducted virtually through videoconferencing and online surveys. The department is committed to helping our undergraduate and graduate students identify creative solutions to the obstacles that the pandemic presents to their research. Undergraduate thesis defenses, graduate candidacy exams, and doctoral dissertation defenses are all moving forward this semester in a fully-online format. For research that is ongoing, we will provide additional funds to graduate students whose research will require more or different kinds of funding as a result of the pandemic.

I would like to invite you to support our graduate students’ research through a contribution to the Ilse Lehiste Memorial Fund. This fund was established to honor our founding department chair and all funds go directly to supporting research by graduate students in the Department of Linguistics. Contributions will be used in the short-to-medium term to help our graduate students continue to make progress on their research, despite restrictions on in-person data collection and research-related travel.

You can make a contribution to the Ilse Lehiste Memorial Fund here: Ilse Lehiste Memorial Fund

Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Your contribution is an investment in the continued excellence of the Ohio State graduate program in Linguistics. We recognize that for some of you, it may not be possible to make a financial contribution at this time. However, if you are able to help support our graduate students to continue their research, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and stay well,

Cynthia Clopper
Professor and Chair