FAQ for UNIL students

1. Which MA courses am I teaching in the coming year?


I currently teach courses in the English department centred broadly around four areas of linguistics:

  1. Psycholinguistics/digital methods
  2. Grammar/syntax
  3. Language change
  4. Language learning

In the upcoming summer semester, I’m teaching an MA seminar called Topics in Digital Linguistics. This is a practical course on data-oriented linguistics that will give you tools to go on to independent research projects that use data and/or to understand recent advances in linguistics. It will also give you a good preparation for the Psycholinguistics course in the winter semester, as well as a good preparation for mémoire projects in linguistics.

In this year’s winter semester, I’m teaching a second MA seminar called Psycholinguistics. This course goes more specifically into the methods and theory used in psycholinguistics than the Digital linguistics course. You can take the Psycholingusitics course without taking the Digital linguistics course, they are standalone courses.

If you are interested in doing a mémoire project with me, I recommend taking one or both of these MA courses.

2. Which BA courses am I teaching in the coming year?

In this year’s winter semester I’m teaching a 2nd year BA and programme à options course on Second Language Learning and variation in English. The course starts with self-reflection on one’s own linguistic behaviour in English (as first, second or third+ language speakers), and uses this starting point as a stepping stone to explore how people learn English and what impact second language learning has on how the English language changes over time.

In the following summer semester (2023) I’m teaching a 3rd year BA and programme à options course on Grammatical change. This course primarily focuses on contemporary English (you don’t need to read or write any Old or Middle English!). We start by considering change at the individual level, and then move on to considering change at the community level. This course will also give you a good grounding in grammatical theory, and is based around doing datasets (small olympiad-style puzzles - see uklo.org for some examples).

3. Can you do an MA project (mémoire) with me?

Yes, send me an email me at jessica.brown at unil.ch if you are considering doing an MA project with me. Briefly mention the year you are in, what you have studied (e.g., some titles of courses you’ve taken and the university you took them at) and what you would like to work on.

I particularly welcome projects on the same topics as the courses I teach (data-driven projects on grammar, learning and change) and on English use in the canton (particularly syntax), but I’m open to supervising anything within the general remit of linguistics.