Many people from my year decided to go on with their academic carriers and entered PhD programmes. Some of them stayed at HSE, others went to universities abroad. I am going to study at Harvard
My strongest memory from my MA studies is the feeling that life is so full. Things are happening all the time. Lots of assignments, invited lectures, now and again informal encounters with eminent scholars. Excellent friendships with many of my year-mates - we were few, and we often tried to make sense of difficult tasks together, staying at the university until closing hours. We were all aware of each other’s points of interest, both professional and personal.
Honestly, studying was not easy. Lots of classes. I strongly advise against combining studies with any full-time employment. However, the knowledge you are left with after the MA studies is not only a massive and diverse amount of professional literature read, but also skills in statistical data analysis, which can help you to find a job in applied linguistics.
Many people from my year decided to go on with their academic carriers and entered PhD programmes. Some of them stayed at HSE, others went to universities abroad. I am going to study at Harvard. There were many things about the HSE Masters programme which really helped me and my friends when we were entering the PhD studies. Firstly, it helped that HSE had so many contacts with various universities abroad. European and American professors would often come to HSE, and you could meet them to discuss your research. Secondly, the opportunity to work in one of the many HSE research labs as a professional experience. I was affiliated with the Formal Linguistics Laboratory. Thirdly, my senior colleagues were always happy to help us put together a PhD application and prepare us for the interview.
At first, when I had to voice my affiliation at summer schools and conferences, I felt shy and tried to be witty about the connection between economics and linguistics. Later I understood it was unnecessary. Both the School of Linguistics and the Linguistic Theory and Language Description MA programme are known by many in Academia. Linguists abroad know our students to be clever and highly motivated.
I am where I am and do what I love doing the most only thanks to the two years in this MA program.
The most vivid memories I have from doing an MA in this department are connected to the acquaintances I made there and to the atmosphere at the department. My participation in this program was indeed a very family-like experience, it is the period of my life most of my close friendships stem from. The group of students was rather small and many people had very different backgrounds and yet strived to study and spend a lot of time together. Quite often the classes didn’t just stop at nine, we got together and walked to a cozy bar in Pokrovka or Arma, where the discussions continued, gradually turning into “bar conversations”. We had great two years together.
This sense of unity and engagement did not appear out of nowhere, it is intentionally maintained in the department by both the teachers and the students. The atmosphere is very egalitarian, which allows to have great discussions and encourages students to express their opinion knowing that it is respected and always taken seriously. Studying in this department was not easy: there was a lot of reading, sometimes on very different topics, and everyone was supposed to actively participate in the discussions. There was also a lot of statistical and experimental training, which was well integrated with the theoretical courses. The most impressive part of the program was a series of courses and master-classes taught by invited prominent linguists. Even though I’ve got my BA from the same department, the amount of new knowledge and skills I acquired there was considerable. These skills allowed me to put my own research, the questions I ask and the way I answer them, to a completely new level of quality.
Since the classes were very intense and required a lot of preparation, it was uneasy to combine studying with full-time work. Luckily, I worked at the same department as a teacher and in the Linguistic Convergence Lab as a research assistant. Both workplaces were in the same building, so I did not have to commute from work to classes. Even though it was rough and I can’t say that I fully recommend this lifestyle, working at the lab taught me a lot about conducting real research and teaching was a very useful experience, especially in terms of sort skills.
After finishing the MA program, I entered the HSE PhD program and then, after my first year there, the doctoral program at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, where I continued my studies. When I applied here, I was aware that HSE linguistics is well-known to linguists abroad. Professors and researchers from Jena were very impressed with the research and teaching in my alma mater and valued the applicants from this university very highly. My senior colleagues from HSE fully supported, and even encouraged my decision to do research at MPI and helped me with recommendations and even conducted test interviews for me, for which I am very grateful. I have to admit that I am where I am and do what I love doing the most only thanks to the two years in this MA program that shaped me as a researcher, to my teachers and their careful and professional guidance, as well as to my fellow students, who made this part of my life unforgettable.
Within a small stretch of time you learn something totally new, something you would not expect of yourself
My first memory from my MA studies is Francis Morton Tyers, wearing slippers and explaining how to code your own parser. I think this image is so fresh because, back then, I only had a very vague idea about what parser is in the first place - and just a couple of months later Fran and I compiled a treebank of Bamana. I think this is a good illustration of what can happen to you in the Linguistic Theory and Language Description MA programme. Within a small stretch of time you learn something totally new, something you would not expect of yourself. Together with acquiring computer skills and studying other, equally interesting linguistic courses I was doing a lot of fieldwork in Bashkiria, Ivory Coast and Togo.
Presently, I am an assistant researcher at CNRS in Paris, where I am part of a project on creating corpora of poorly documented African languages. I continue my fieldwork and cherish happy memories about my two years at the School of Linguistics
I chose sociolinguistics and Russian studies as my study foci, and they turned out to be what I am working with now.
I graduated from the Linguistic Theory and Language Description MA program in 2018. My main research interests back then were derivational morphology and language contact. I chose sociolinguistics and Russian studies as my study foci, and they turned out to be what I am working with now.
After graduation, I got a researcher position at the Institute of Slavic and Caucasian Studies, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany. It is a multinational and multilingual community, where I tend to use three languages on a daily basis. Nevertheless, in terms of research and teaching, my focus at least for now shifted to Russian. I teach a seminar on East Slavic sociolinguistics and write my Ph.D. thesis on regional variation in the Russian lexicon. After finishing it, I plan to continue my research career as a sociolinguist with Central and Eastern Europe as my main area of interest.
During my study I worked with the corpus of Katharevousa Greek (lit. “purifying”), artificial archaizing register.
I graduated from the MA program “Linguistic theory” in 2017. During my study I worked with the corpus of Katharevousa Greek (lit. “purifying”), artificial archaizing register, used as the official language of Greece until 1976. Despite the fact that there are a lot of texts, written in Katharevousa, the language remains severely understudied. Apart from collecting the texts, I wrote a program to automatically enhance the Katharevousa morphological dictionary. So the morphologically annotated data became available for qualitative and quantitative linguistic research, and I started working with this data on the second year of the MA program.
Now am a 3rd year PhD student and lecturer at HSE and I continue working with Greek language: my PhD project ‘Greek spatial terms in diachrony: right/left and cardinal directions’ deals with diachronic linguistic analysis of spatial relations based on Greek data (Ancient and Medieval Greek, Katharevousa, Modern Greek). Since this language has a long written history and considerable text corpora of different periods, these data are ideally appropriate for historical study and enable us to track down the diachronic development of spatial expressions.