Why French?

Jeremy Yeaton

Graduation Year: 2016

Jeremy YeatonDouble Major French & Linguistics: Graduated, January 2016
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria, 2016-2017

I have a sort of insatiable curiosity about why things are the way they are, particularly with regard to language. The French faculty at Rutgers helped me to explore and expand this curiosity and were consistently supportive throughout my time there. Toward the end of my first year, I met Prof. Deprez, to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. After joining her lab as an Aresty Undergraduate Research Assistant at the start of my sophomore year, I was able to engage with the French language in a totally new way. Research became an integral part of my French Linguistics and Linguistics double major. My dual-department senior capstone project was an investigation of the role of intonation and context in the interpretation of ambiguous negative expressions like “personne ne mange rien”. With the support of the French faculty, as well as generous grants from the French Embassy in the US and the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, I was able to go to France to collect the data for this project. My experiences as a student in the French classrooms at Rutgers have also helped me to feel more confident as I start this year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria, where I hope to infect my students with the same curiosity for language.

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