Swarthmore College Professor to Be Honored by the Linguistic Society of America

120730_napoli_cDonna Jo Napoli, professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, was selected as the winner of the 2014 Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award from the Linguistic Society of America. She will be presented the award at the society’s annual meeting in January.

Professor Napoli was recognized for her contributions to the medical profession and the public on the acquisition of sign language and to her advocacy for increased exposure to language for young children. The society describes Professor Napoli as an “eloquent spokesperson on behalf of our field, showing how ideas about language can achieve societal benefit.” She is also being honored for elevating “the discussion of early language experience of deaf children in a new and humane way, moving forward where others would have given up in frustration.”

Professor Napoli has taught at Swarthmore since 1987. She is a former professor of linguistics at the University of Michigan and has also taught at Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Smith College. She is also a writer of fiction and is teaching a creative writing course at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.

Dr. Napoli is a graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in mathematics. She also holds a master’s degree in Italian literature and a Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard.

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