Dr. Amanda Swenson

Assistant Professor

Dr. Amanda Swenson
Room 362, Peck Hall (PH)

Global Expertise

Countries and/or Territories of Expertise

    Languages Spoken

      Areas of Global Specialization

        Degree Information

        • PHD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017)
        • BA, Baylor University (2011)

        Areas of Expertise

        Linguistic Theory

        Syntax

        Semantics 

        Fieldwork 

        Biography

        Dr. Swenson’s research explores the ways in which understanding the grammars of understudied languages can contribute to the discovery of the building blocks of human language. Her research focuses on the way syntax (the structure of language) and semantics (the meaning) interface with each other and with the other parts of the grammar. Much of the data she works with is collected through linguistic fieldwork. She has advised theoretical linguistics research by students on languages and...

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        Dr. Swenson’s research explores the ways in which understanding the grammars of understudied languages can contribute to the discovery of the building blocks of human language. Her research focuses on the way syntax (the structure of language) and semantics (the meaning) interface with each other and with the other parts of the grammar. Much of the data she works with is collected through linguistic fieldwork. She has advised theoretical linguistics research by students on languages and topics such as null subjects in Kinyarwanda, do-support in Twi, why-wh-questions in Korean, polar and alternative questions in Khmer, reflexives in Jordanian & Egyptian Arabic, Noldorin Elvish morphophonology, and uses of '-ish' in English.

        She also explores how theoretical linguistic research can be applied to create pedagogical materials for English as a Second Language instruction and to better inform how speakers of stigmatized dialects (especially Appalachian Englishes) are engaged in the classroom. She has advised a student project on African American English discourse on Twitter and in the classroom and ESL oriented work on Haitian Creole, Chuj, and Syrian & Egyptian Arabic.

         

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        Publications

        Swenson, Amanda. (2019). Malayalam Verbs: The Functional Structure and Morphosemantics. Studies in Generative Grammar. Mouton DeGruyter.

        ____. (to appear). Auxiliary, light verb, and ‘do’ support: the roles of irikk-in Malayalam. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 7

        ____. (2017). Typological variation in the Universal perfect: Insight from Malayalam. Swanimam. Vol 3, 5-21. Un...

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        Swenson, Amanda. (2019). Malayalam Verbs: The Functional Structure and Morphosemantics. Studies in Generative Grammar. Mouton DeGruyter.

        ____. (to appear). Auxiliary, light verb, and ‘do’ support: the roles of irikk-in Malayalam. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 7

        ____. (2017). Typological variation in the Universal perfect: Insight from Malayalam. Swanimam. Vol 3, 5-21. University of Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram. 

        ____. (2017). The incompatibility of Malayalam conjunctive participle constructions with multiple temporal adverbs and individual level predicates. Proceedings of Triple A3, 111-125.  

        ____. (2016). A temporal semantics for Malayalam Conjunctive Participle Constructions. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 6,131-140.

        ____. (2016). Nominalizing at different levels: How Malayalam can help us better understand Universal Grammar. Swanimam. Vol 2, 7-22. University of Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram. 

        ____., Aravind, A., & Marty, P. (2015). The expression of information structure in Malayalam.  Swanimam. Vol 1, 11-25. University of Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram. 

        ____. & Marty, P. (2014). On the features of Malayalam taan. Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society 44, Vol. 2, 171-182. 

         

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        Presentations

        Conference Presentations 

        Swenson, Amanda. (2022). Re-examining A-prefixing: A Mirative Account. Southeastern Conference on Linguistics 89, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (USA), March 31st-April 2nd.

        ____., Mattos da Costa, L., & Kim, Y. (2020). Error as a Cause for Celebration: Linguistic Tools for Improving English Language Learners’ Writing. Southeastern Conference on Li...

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        Conference Presentations 

        Swenson, Amanda. (2022). Re-examining A-prefixing: A Mirative Account. Southeastern Conference on Linguistics 89, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (USA), March 31st-April 2nd.

        ____., Mattos da Costa, L., & Kim, Y. (2020). Error as a Cause for Celebration: Linguistic Tools for Improving English Language Learners’ Writing. Southeastern Conference on Linguistics 87,University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS (USA), March 26-28th. [Conference canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak] 

        ____. (2017). Deciphering the Malayalam Universal Perfect. Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (USA), March 4th-5th. 

        ____. (2016). The Semantics of Malayalam Conjunctive Participle Constructions.  The Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages 3, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany), July 6th-8th.  

        ____. (2016). Malayalam Conjunctive Participle Constructions: A Temporal Semantics. Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 6, University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA), March 12-13th.  

        ____. (2015). Negation, Finiteness and Tense in Malayalam. 43rd All India Conference of Dravidian Linguistics, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu (India), June 18-20th.  

        ____. (2014). Tense and the Malayalam Perfect: A reply to Amritavalli and Jayaseelan(2005). 42nd All India Conference of Dravidian Linguistics, Dravidian University, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh (India), June 19-21st.  

        ____. & Marty, P. (2013). Malayalam taan: A local account for an anti-local form. Poster presented at North East Linguistic Society 44, University of Connecticut (USA), October 18-20th.  

        ____. & Marty, P. (2013). Malayalam taan: Implications for Binding. Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 3, University of Southern California (USA), March 9-10th.  

        ____. (2010). Logophoric Binding: Unraveling the Mystery. Eighth Annual Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA(USA), April 17th. 

        Invited talks

        _____. (2019). Revisiting the Gerund Puzzle: A Case Study in Finding a Research Project. Invited talk by the Linguistics Club at Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts (USA), November 26th.

         ____. (2019). Verbal Masala: Exploring the Verbal Flavors in South Baffin Inuktitut, Hausa, English and Malayalam. Invited talk at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (USA), March 18th. 

        ____. (2018). The Perfect Principle of Compositionality Puzzle: Insight from Malayalam. Invited talk at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (India), July 26th. 

        ____. (2018). A Pluractional Account for the Semantics and Pragmatics of Malayalam –unnu. Invited talk at English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad (India), July 4th.  

        ____. (2017). The uses of irikk- and kondu in Malayalam. Invited talk at English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad (India), July 5th.

        ____. (2017). Auxiliaries and light verbs: exploring the clausal spine in Malayalam. Invited talk at the Forum for Theoretical Linguistics, Universitetet i Oslo (Norway), June 8th.  

        ____. (2016). Finding Similarity in Dissimilarity: Tensed and Tenseless Languages. Invited talk at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan (USA), February 17th. 

        ____. (2015). On the Tense-Aspect Puzzle in Malayalam. Invited talk at English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad (India), August 19th.  

        ____. (2014). The Morphosemantics of the Perfect in Malayalam.  Invited talk at English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad (India), July 25th.

         

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        Courses

        ENGL 1009 (Introduction to University Writing)

        ENGL 1010 (Expository Writing)

        ENGL 1020 (Research and Argumentative Writing) 

        ENGL 2020 (Themes in Literature & Culture: Language, Identity & Power) 

        ENGL 3510 (English Grammar for Educators)

        ENGL 3570 (Introduction to Linguistics)

        ENGL 4520 (The Structure of English)

        ENGL 4570 (Special Topics in Linguistics: Semantics & Pragmatics)

        ENGL 6651/7651 (Essentials of Linguistics)