About me

About me

Hi! I’m Darby and I’m a third-year PhD student in linguistics at the University of Southern California.

My reserach interests are primarily in phonology, phonetics, and experimental/lab phonology. I’m advised by Louis Goldstein and Stephanie Shih, and I’m especially interested in prosodic systems and what leads to exceptions in regular prosodic patterns. I’m also interested in affixation, particularly the asymmetry between prefixes and suffixes, both typologically, and in the exceptional phonological behavior of prefixes.

I’m originally from Michigan, and received a BA and MA from Michigan State University. For my MA, I studied phonotactic acceptability judgments using methods from speech perception and was advised by Karthik Durvasula.



University of Southern California - August 2021 - Present
Ph.D. in Linguistics

Michigan State University - August 2019 - Spring 2021
M.A. in Linguistics
Thesis: Understanding Acceptability Judgements: Grammatical Knowledge vs. Lexical Search
Advisor: Dr. Karthik Durvasula

Michigan State University - August 2016 - May 2019
B.A. in Linguistics
Second degree in Japanese
Minor in TESOL

Lansing Community College - August 2013 - May 2016
Japanese Major - Transferred 54 credits to MSU

Teaching and Research Experience

USC LING 210 (Intro to Linguistics)
Teaching Assistant
Aug 2023 - Present

USC LING 115 (Language and Society)
Teaching Assistant
Aug 2022 - May 2023

MSU LIN 230 (Languages of the World)
Graduate Instructor
June 2020 - August 2020

MSU Child Language Acquisition Lab
Graduate Research Assistant
August 2019 - June 2020


Morris Halle @ 100
September 2023

University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF)
April 2019

Michigan State Undergraduate Linguistics Conference (MSULC)
April 2019

Great Lakes Expo for Experimental and Formal Undergraduate Linguistics (GLEEFUL)
April 2019

Lab Groups

USC Phonetics and Phonology Group (co-organizer)

Language Processing Lab


English - native

Japanese - intermediate

Contact me


3601 Watt Way
Grace Ford Salvatori 340
Los Angeles, CA 90089