By Ariana Bancu
Nov 17, 2013
Jelena Krivokapic recently joined the UM Linguistics Department as an Assistant Professor focusing on phonetics, and especially on speech prosody. We interviewed her to find out more about her path to linguistics and to the University of Michigan.
Prof. Krivokapic grew up in Belgrade, Serbia. She got her first MA from the University of Göttingen, Germany, where she discovered her interest in Linguistics. She has always loved English. She took classes focusing on English language and literature, and also on South Slavic languages and literatures. She became interested in linguistics while taking a course in Latin. It looked a bit like English, a bit like German, a bit like Serbian, so she asked her advisor if there is a discipline that would allow her to look at various languages. Her advisor recommended her some classes in linguistics. Her coursework at the University of Göttingen lead her to an MA in the syntax-morphology interface.
Prof. Krivokapic got a second MA in Linguistics from the University of Southern California. Entering the program she had a strong interest and background in syntax and the syntax-morphology interface. During her coursework at USC she discovered a strong interest in phonetics. When she first heard of articulatory phonology several things fell into place for her. The more she learned about phonetics the more it made sense to her that language works in a specific way. She received a PhD from the USC. Her dissertation focused on planning, production, and perception of prosodic structure.
In her research, Prof. Krivokapic looks at as many perspectives as possible and tries to bring everything together as a whole. She examines influences from syntax, semantics, and phonetics, and sees prosody at the interface with all these fields. She wants to further research the details of phonetic and gestural timing in English. She would also like to document the articulatory properties of Serbian in the future.
Prof. Krivokapic joined the Linguistics department at the University of Michigan this fall, after working as an Assistant Professor at Yale. She enjoys Ann Arbor and constantly discovers new things to do. She enjoys performances at the University Musical Society, movies at the Michigan Theater, and the chocolate stores.