Linguistic Society of America elects Prof. Nina Hyams as 2020 fellow

Published: January 7, 2020

The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) has selected professor Nina Hyams to be a fellow for its 2020 cohort.

Since the early ’80s, Hyams has been a member of the LSA, an organization dedicated to fostering a community of linguistic professionals. The LSA aims to further advance the study of linguistics and promote public education, outreach, and advocacy by supporting its members’ research efforts.

LSA Fellows are nominated and chosen by committee voting based on the merit of their contributions to the field of linguistics.

Outside of her teaching as a distinguished professor in the UCLA Department of Linguistics, Hyams conducts research on language development in children. Hyams, who expressed how honored she feels to receive the fellowship, spoke about the research she plans to continue.

“In my most recent project, I started to look at something that’s known as ellipses,” Hyams said. According to Hyams, elliptical structures are universal to all languages, and children begin to understand this concept at an early age.

“If I say something like, “Somebody wrote a message on the blackboard, but I don’t know who,” what’s intended is “I don’t know who wrote a message on the blackboard,” she said, “but you haven’t said it. So there’s this empty space, and nevertheless, we understand perfectly what’s intended.”

There will be an LSA meeting in January located in New Orleans, Louisiana where Hyams will be formally recognized in a ceremony with the other fellows.

Photo courtesy of UCLA Newsroom

By Jasdy Perillo