Marlyse Baptista, Professor of Linguistics, studies the morphosyntax interface in pidgin and creole languages. She also examines theories of language creation and language change; her current work investigates the cognitive processes involved in contact situations and focuses on the role of convergence in creole genesis. She is currently involved in three collaborative projects: a psycholinguistic experiment testing the convergence hypothesis in creole genesis (with Susan Gelman and Erica Beck), a project using field data to document language variation in Cape Verde (with Saidu Bangura, Eric Brown, and Emanuel de Pina), and a project reconstructing the ancestry of Cape Verde founding populations (with geneticists Paul Verdu and Noah Rosenberg).
Professor Baptista teaches Languages in Contact, Pidgins and Creoles, Comparative Linguistics, Introduction to Syntax, a graduate seminar on Creole Syntax and Language in a Multicultural World. She is currently (co)-supervising Eric Brown’s, Candice Scott’s and Tridha Chatterjee’s Ph.D. dissertations and serves as advisor to several other graduate students; she has also directed undergraduate honors theses.
She is president of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics and an associate member of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (Structures Formelles du Langage- Paris, France). In the Linguistics department, she has served on the Executive Committee, the Graduate Admissions Committee and the Undergraduate Committee. At the College level, she has served on the Nominating Committee, the Faculty Allies for Diversity and co-directed the theme semester on Language in Winter 2012. She is currently serving on the Rackham Graduate School Executive Board.