LIGN199 – Independent Study

LIGN199 provides undergraduates with the opportunity to participate in linguistic research conducted in the Department of Linguistics, both by graduate students and faculty members. This is an excellent opportunity to see how research is conducted, and it provides foundational training for graduate school.

Students assist in running experiments, analyzing data, or participating in field research.

LIGN199 is taken for Pass/No Pass. Students may take more than one LIGN199, but may only count one quarter of LIGN199 towards their major or minor.

Opportunities for each quarter will be posted here with contact information.

Click here for the 199 enrollment application.

Language Comprehension Lab

How do speakers get from thought to language? How do comprehenders get from form to meaning?
What are the biological underpinnings of this magical process? How did evolution get us here?
What is the best way to test our hypotheses on language and cognition?

Those are the questions that the Language Comprehension Lab at UCSD seeks to answer. We are a new lab, and we are looking for curious, interested, quick-thinking and independent students to assist in all tasks relevant to running a lab: designing, programming and running experimental studies; literature searches, scheduling and organizing; asking questions and thinking about ways of answering them. If you join us, you will be an integral part of our lab-building process. Some of the tasks will be boring, some of them will be exciting, but you will definitely learn something.

You MUST be interested in linguistic structure, the structure of thought, experimental design and execution, and theory.
You MUST be absolutely reliable, efficient, organized, communicative, and a team player.
You MUST commit to two quarters of 10 hours/week minimum.

To apply, please visit our website ( and fill out the undergraduate volunteer application form.

Border Spanish Project

Coding interviews from San Diego and Tijuana on a project that examines Spanish, as spoken on the San Diego-Tijuana border region.  Native or near-native Spanish required. If interested, please contact Professor John Moore,

Phonetics Lab

The UCSD Phonetics Lab often has 199 research assistant positions open for up to 10 hours/week (4 credits). Duties include generating experimental stimuli, recruiting participants and running experiments, as well as phonetic and statistical analyses. Preference is given to students with some phonetic training (e.g., LIGN 110), native or near-native ability in English or the language of study, and basic computer skills in Word and Excel. Knowledge of basic statistics is useful. More details of current projects led by members of the Lab can be found at If interested, please contact Marc Garellek at

Linguistics Language Program

A 199 research assistant position is open in the Linguistics Language Program for up to 5 hours/week (2 credits). This work involves analyzing data that we have collected regarding the proficiency  level of second language learners (UCSD students) in 7 languages and 4-5 levels of study. We are looking for possible differences among languages, different rates of increase from quarter to quarter, etc. This position is ideal for someone with an interest in second language acquisition who enjoys quantitative work. Training will be provided, but knowledge of Excel, statistical analysis, and language acquisition is a plus. If interested, please contact Grant Goodall at

Experimental Syntax Lab

The Experimental Syntax Lab has 199 research assistant positions open for up to 5 hours/week (2 credits). Duties vary but may include generating experimental sentences, recruiting participants and running experiments, compiling results, and assisting with analysis. Training is provided. Preference is given to those with a background in basic syntactic analysis (such as in LIGN 121) and basic computer skills in Word and Excel. If interested, please contact Grant Goodall at

Perceptual Dialectology Study

For this study, data have already been collected on people's perceptions of the "correctness" and "pleasantness" of their own speech and the speech of others living in the same state (Kentucky). A portion of the data have already been entered and coded for analysis. Some information about the study is available at

 A 2-credit (up to 5 hours/week) position is available for someone to perform the following tasks: (1) enter and code the remainder of the collected data, (2) come up with a variety of questions to ask of those data (e.g., "Do people who think that their own speech is more correct than that of others also think that it's more pleasant?"), and (3) create graphs for displaying the answers to these questions. Someone with the skills to perform the following additional tasks would be highly desirable: (4) create a web-based tool that would allow anyone to ask questions about the data and display the answers, and (5) display the answers to these questions with maps rather than graphs. If interested, please contact Eric Bakovic at


• Background in linguistics

• Familiarity with Excel
• Minimum GPA: 3.0
• Programming skills a plus

Sign Language Research

199 positions are available involving sign language research under the supervision of Professor Rachel Mayberry and other members of Mayberry Lab for Multimodal Language Development. Research involves using computerized transcription software known as ELAN, video transfer, and assisting the researchers responsible for analyzing the data. Attendance at weekly research laboratory meetings is recommended when schedule permits. Preference will be given to students who know some ASL and are linguistic majors. A minimum of three hours per week commitment is preferred.

Contact: Marla Hatrak