Undergraduate Research Opportunities

We offer a number of research opportunities for undergraduate students, including Presidential Scholarships, grant-funded research assistantships, honors thesis research, and other opportunities.

Student Research Opportunities

Our faculty members regularly provide a number of research opportunities for undergraduate students. The nature of these opportunities is highly variable. Some are for single terms, while others require two terms or more. Some are available to any interested student, while others are only open to majors in the department. Some are strictly extracurricular, while others may include the possibility of receiving academic credit.

This page provides information on commonly available research opportunities. Interested students should meet with faculty to discuss various possibilities.

Undergraduate Research Grants

At Dartmouth we have an outstanding faculty who are committed to their research and the insights it brings to all parts of their professional life. Creative ideas help generate new knowledge and new research directions, and help encourage students to think beyond the textbook. To this end, Dartmouth's Office of Undergraduate Research administers several forms of funding to support research and discovery. Click on the link to find out more about these resources.


Presidential Scholarships

The James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar Research Assistantship program is a Dartmouth-wide opportunity made available to all juniors who are in the top 40% of their class after their sophomore fall. The assistantship is two terms in length, and students selected into the program are expected to work 7-12 hours per week on their assistantship. A small stipend is provided and the possibility of academic credit exists. 

Interested students should look for the announcement of the Presidential Scholars Program in campus mail during the winter of their sophomore year. Members of the Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science frequently make assistantships available through this program. Below are some recent offerings and recent scholars:

  • "Dialect variation in northeastern Vermont" (w/Prof. Stanford): Isabelle Strong '19
  • "Automatizing sociolinguistic data collection and crowd-sourcing" (w/Prof. Stanford): Chaeyoon Kim '18
  • "Using Reddit to investigate linguistic variation and change" (w/Prof. Stanford): Ben Packer '17
  • "Mru research" (w/Prof. Peterson): Grant Schutzman '16
  • "Khumi research" (w/Prof. Peterson): Kelsey Sipple '16
  • "Seeku language data analysis" (w/Prof. McPherson): Rebecca Schantz '16
  • "French dialects in Maine and New Hampshire" (w/Prof. Stanford): Leslie Fink '16
  • "Jordanian Arabic variation" (w/Prof. Stanford): Jordan Kastrinsky '16
  • "New variationist methods with Automated Speech Recognition" (w/Stanford and Reddy): Sarah Young '16
  • "Maine English dialect features" (w/Prof. Stanford): Hannah Perry '15
  • "Vector-space methods for machine translation" (w/Prof. Reddy): James Brofos and Steven Nugent ‘15
  • "Four generations of dialect features in a New Hampshire maple syrup farming family" (w/Prof. Stanford): Erin Landau '15
  • "Computational analysis of language in social media" (w/Reddy and Stanford): Ian Stewart '14
  • "Eastern New England dialect changes" (w/Prof. Stanford): Leah Nicolich-Henkin '12
  • "Variation and change in Cherokee language immersion programs" (w/Prof. Stanford): Gregory Buzzard '12
  • "Dialect features in the transition zone between eastern and western New England" (w/Prof. Stanford): Jill Tetirick '11
  • "Moroccan Arabic in multilingual online interactions" (w/Prof. Stanford): Chelsea Stewart '12
  • "Sociophonetics and gender" (w/Prof. Stanford): Natalie Schrimpf '12
  • "Acoustic investigation of consonant-glide- vowel sequences in two Romance languages" (w/Prof. Chitoran): Lauren Loehlein '05 and Nathan Saperia '05
  • "Acoustic study of Dholuo consonants" (w/Prof. Chitoran) Rachael Degenshein '04 
  • "Discourse analysis of Oroqen Folklore texts" (w/Prof. Whaley): Scott Anderson '05
  • "The typology of antipassives" (w/Prof. Peterson)
  • "A Cross-Linguistic Examination of Quantifier Float" (w/Prof. Whaley)
  • "Cross-linguistic study of stress and vowel height interaction" (w/Prof. Chitoran)
  • "Discourse analysis of medical information on the Internet" (w/Prof. Glinert)
  • "Ethical Issues of the Internet" (w/Prof. Moor)

Language Revitalization Project

Professor Whaley is involved in a multi-year project examining language revitalization projects.

An estimated 60-90% of the world's languages are threatened with loss over the course of this century. Indigenous minority communities world-wide are seeking ways to prevent the loss of their heritage language, and for most of these communities this involves establishing programs which will enable them and their descendants to maintain their language while still becoming part of the global community. This project investigates the issues involved in implementing indigenous minority language programs, the kinds of revitalization programs in existence, the resources needed and strategies which can bring about a successful program.

Research assistants are hired for individual terms or for multiple terms to collect information relevant to this project. Typically, the research assistant is assigned a region of the world, a language family, or a topic (e.g. literacy) and given the task of collecting recent information relevant to language revitalization from the web and print publications. Interested students should contact Professor Whaley.


Professor Stanford works with Dartmouth students in sociolinguistic research of indigenous minority languages, dialect research of English in New England, automatic speech recognition, computational modeling of dialects, and other projects. Dartmouth students have participated in acoustic analysis of data from various languages (e.g., Sui and Hmong) and also analysis of local New England English variables. Some students have conducted English dialect fieldwork in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts, and other students have written computer programs to model the transmission and diffusion of dialects. Other students have assisted in the DARLA project (Dartmouth Linguistic Automation), including research on automatic speech recognition methods for sociolinguistics.

Endangered languages of Bangladesh

Prof. Peterson conducts grant-funded research of underrepresented languages in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Students have worked with Prof. Peterson on data analysis at Dartmouth.

Neukom Scholars

Linguistics students have worked on research projects with Dartmouth faculty funded by the Neukom Scholars program. Neukom-funded projects involve computational methods. 

  • "Dialect features of South Boston" (w/Prof. Stanford): Kelsey Sipple '16
  • "Linguistic variation on social media" (w/Prof. Reddy): Joy Zhong '15
  • "Automated classification of non-native English writing" (w/Prof. Reddy): Crystal Ye '14
  • "Online interactive games for Abenaki language learning" (w/Prof. Stanford): Bonita Langle '13, Shloka Kini '13, Aaron Ellis '15
  • "Computational modeling of dialect interaction and change" (w/Prof. Stanford): Laurence Kenny '11


Women in Science Project

WISP's mission is to collaborate in creating a learning environment where women can thrive in science, engineering and mathematics.  We welcome your feedback. Please contact us at WISP@Dartmouth.edu with any comments or suggestions.

Linguistic Discovery

Linguistic Discovery (LD) is an open-access electronic journal edited by Lindsay Whaley. The journal's aim is to present original research on language structures. The orientation of this research may be either descriptive or theoretical, but all papers in LD contain significant empirical data that are unavailable or hard to access in published sources.

Editorial assistants are hired regularly to assist with the preparation of manuscripts that are scheduled to appear in LD. Interested students should contact Professor Whaley.

Independent Research for Credit

Independent research for credit may be carried out by students as a single-term independent study course (Linguistics 85) or as a two-term senior honors thesis (Linguistics 86-87). Interested students should approach individual faculty members to serve as advisors for such projects, although the projects must be approved by the Linguistics Department.

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

Dartmouth Mellon Mays scholars in linguistics:

Zachary Cooper '17 (w/Prof. Stanford): Native American English features in Arizona