Jessica Kantarovich graduated with a BA in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2012. After a 2-year stint in the thrilling world of call center consulting, she grew tired of “leveraging synergies” and decided to return to the life of the mind. Her academic interests include language contact, variation, and change, and she hopes to one day work on the documentation of an understudied language in contact with Russian (preferably someplace with better weather than Chicago, but let’s face it, it’s probably going to be the far reaches of Siberia). In her free time she enjoys baking pies, crocheting, and reading that one book she started at the beginning of the quarter.
Tran Truong received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He was born in Vietnam, which is why he cannot produce non-implosive [b, d], but was raised in Minneapolis, MN, which is why he is always asking people if they ‘wanna come with’. He is primarily interested in morphosyntax, particularly as studied from the framework of Distributed Morphology. Secondary interests include modularity, grammaticalisation, and the Mande languages. Tran manages the all-linguist intramural volleyball team, the Covert Movers (and has his sights set on managing the all-linguist intramural indoor soccer team, the Internal Subjects). His guilty pleasures include Israeli pop music and Clarke’s Diner in Hyde Park.
Orest Xherija was born in Albania and has lived most of his life in Greece. He completed undergraduate studies in the University of Chicago where he graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics. Orest’s research interests revolve around applications of mathematical and computational theories to the formal modeling of structure and meaning in natural languages. Specific topics of interest include negation and negative polarity items, quantification and focus. The languages he wishes to work on are (naturally) Albanian and Modern Greek, Turkish, and Vlach, an endangered language of the Balkans. Orest’s non-academic interests include playing bouzouki (a stringed folk instrument of Greece), playing football (the non-American sort) and listening to folk music of the Balkans and Middle-East.