Research Opportunities

Research opportunities in French and Italian

In Italian Studies and French/Francophone Studies, graduate students work closely with individual faculty members to pursue their research interests and learn from faculty expertise. In French Linguistics, the department has research groups which focus on one area or problem in the field and faculty also engage in individual mentoring.

The Second Language Acquisition of French Laboratory, led by Professor Laurent Dekydtspotter, investigates the role of real-time syntactic analysis (parsing) in sentence comprehension by native and non-native language users, through psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic means.

Reading and Discussion Groups

Sociolinguistics Discussion Group: This group hosts cross-departmental meetings where students and faculty discuss their current work as well as talk about both classic and recent publications on language variation and change. Contact Professor Jeff Lamontagne for more information.

Old Occitan Reading Group: In this group, we read, translate, and discuss texts written in the medieval period in the language of southern France. If you’re interested, please contact Professor Barbara Vance or Professor Liz Hebbard. Beginners welcome!

The Language Forum: This is a graduate student discussion group focused on languages and their interaction with culture and society. The group is designed to promote interdepartmental conversation, so graduate students from all fields are welcome and encouraged to share their perspectives. Meetings take place every two weeks during the semester and are intended to be interesting, thought-provoking, and low-commitment. Each meeting centers around a topic predetermined by group members, but no preparation is required to join the discussion. For more information, contact Jennifer Cox or Clara Miller-Broomfield.

Recent collaborative research projects

Recent collaborative research projects involving our faculty and graduate students include:

  • Transcription and digitization of audio recordings of the Picard language - departmental grant
  • Morphological tagging and syntactic tree correction of the Flamenca manuscript in Old Occitan departmental grant
  • Funding application and event organization for the Tournées French Film Festival- departmental grant
  • Organization of an exhibition of banned books and engravings at the Lilly Library - departmental grant
  • Proofreading and manuscript preparation for the work Universal History and the Making of the Global - departmental grant
  • The Preparation of a Differential, Historical, and Etymological Dictionary of Louisiana French - National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant
  • Preparation for publication of a digital edition of Francesco Petrarca’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta - National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant

In addition to departmental awards for collaborative projects, the department and Indiana University provide several other funding opportunities for graduate students to pursue research.