Mary Catherine O’Connor

Office address:
2 Silber Way
SED Room 330
Boston University
Boston , MA   02215
(617) 353-3318
mco@bu.edu

Education

Ph.D.   Linguistics, University of California , Berkeley.  May, 1987.  Dissertation: Topics in Northern Pomo Grammar.

M.A.    Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley.  June, 1983.

A.B.     Human Language, Stanford University. June, 1977.

Selected Academic Experience

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs School of Education, Boston University (July 2012-June 2015)

Program Director Program in Applied Linguistics, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Boston University (1999-2012)

Professor Boston University, Boston, MA.  School of Education: Developmental Studies; and Graduate School: Program in Applied Linguistics (1996-present)

Selected Presentations in Linguistics

Orman, W., Franich, K., Goldman, N. Hawkes, R., Ngabeu, A., and O’Connor, C. (March, 2013). Variation in noun class realization in Medumba, a Grassfields language.  ACAL 44: Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Georgetown University, Washington, DC. March 9, 2013.

Hawkes, R., Paquette, E., Goldman, N., Ngabeu, A., and O’Connor, C. (March, 2013). Animacy constraints on prepositional objects in a Grassfields language.  ACAL 44: Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Georgetown University, Washington, DC. March 8, 2013.

O’Connor, Catherine. (June 2011). Is animacy the most important factor in predicting the English possessive alternation? ISLE Workshop on Genitive Variation. 2nd Bienniale Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English. Held at Boston University, Boston, MA.

Franich, K., Barnes, J. & O’Connor, C. (June 2011). Tone change and downstep in Medumba, a Grassfields language. ACAL 42: 42nd Annual Conference onAfrican Linguistics. College Park, MD. June 12, 2011.

Danis, N., Barnes, J. & O’Connor, C. (June 2011). Downstep and contour formation in Medumba, a Grassfields Bantu language. ACAL 42: 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics. College Park, MD. June 12, 2011.

O’Connor, C. & Zaenen, A. (Symposium organizers). (January 2010). Towards a Linguistically-motivated Annotation Scheme for Information Status. (3-hour symposium included 6 presentations.) Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Baltimore, MD. January 9, 2010.

O’Connor, M.C. and A.R. Deal. (May, 2009). Evidentiality and the Interpretation of Fluid-S Case-marking in Northern Pomo. SULA-5. Semantics of Under-represented Languagesof the Americas. Held at MIT, Cambridge, MA. May 15-17, 2009.

O’Connor, M.C. (April, 2006). Logistic recreation: Modelling genitive alternations. Constructing Meaning: Stanford Semantics and Pragmatics Workshop. Linguistics Department, Stanford University.

O’Connor, M.C., A. Anttila, V. Fong (January 2004).  Differential possessor expression in English: Re-evaluating animacy and topicality effects. Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, January 9-11, 2004. Boston, MA.

O’Connor, M.C., A.R. Deal (January 2004). Case-marking and clause type in Nez Perce: A corpus study of animacy and discourse dimensions. Annual Meeting of Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas,  January 9-11, 2004 . Boston, MA.

Skarabela, B., O’Connor, M.C., & J. Maling (January 2004).  The mono-lexemic possessor construction: pragmatic constraints in the noun phrase. Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, January 9-11, 2004. Boston, MA.

O’Connor, M.C. and A.R. Deal. (July, 2003).  Differential possessor expression: Are pair-wise comparisons required?  LFG03: 25th Annual Conference on Lexical Functional Grammar.  Workshop on Native American Languages. SUNY Albany, held at Saratoga, NY. July 19-21.

O’Connor, M.C. (May, 2003). Implicatures and event frames: Interpretive consequences of  the external/internal possession alternation.  Conference on the Linguistic Encoding of Three-Participant Events: Crosslinguistic and Developmental  perspectives.  The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen , NL. May 14-16.

O’Connor, M.C. (October, 1999). An Optimality Theory account of possessive DPs in Northern Pomo.  Joint meeting of the NSF-funded Optimal Typology projects at Stanford University and U.C. Santa Cruz.  Stevenson College , UCSC.

O’Connor, M.C. (July, 1999).  Harmonic alignment of the animacy hierarchy and the structure of possessive DPs in Northern Pomo.  Workshop on Native American Languages, LFG 99. University of Manchester , Manchester UK .

Selected Publications in Linguistics

O’Connor, C., Maling, J. and Skarabela, B. (2013.) Nominal Categories and the Expression of Possession: A cross-linguistic study of probabilistic tendencies and categorical constraints. In Borjars, K., Denison, D., and Scott, A. (Eds.) Morphosyntactic Categories and the Expression of Possession. John Benjamins. Pp. 89-121.

Franich, K., Barnes, J. & O’Connor, C. (2012) Tone change and downstep in Medumba, a Grassfields language. In Michael R. Marlo, Nikki B. Adams, Christopher R.Green, Michelle Morrison, and Tristan M. Purvis (Eds.): Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Cascadilla Press. Pp. 33-46.

Danis, N., Barnes, J. & O’Connor, C. (2012). Downstep and contour formation in Medumba, a Grassfields Bantu language. In Michael R. Marlo, Nikki B. Adams, Christopher R. Green, Michelle Morrison, and Tristan M. Purvis (Eds.): Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Cascadilla Press. Pp. 23-31.

O’Connor, M.C. (2011). Spelunking’s dangers and Simpson’s paradox: Categorical and gradient in the study of usage. In Taylan, E.E. & Rona, B., (Eds.) Puzzles of Language: Essays in Honour of Karl Zimmer. Turcologica 86. Harrissowitz Verlag. Pp. 137-156.

Deal, A.R., and O’Connor, M.C. (2010). The Perspectival basis of fluid-S case-marking in Northern Pomo. In Lima, S. (Ed.) Proceedings of SULA V: Semantics of Under-Represented Languages of the Americas. University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers 41. Pp. 173-188.

O’Connor, M.C. (2007). External possession and utterance interpretation: a crosslinguistic exploration. Journal of Linguistics. Vol. 45.3. Pp. 577-613.

Fillmore, C.J., Kay, P. and O’Connor, M.C. (2007). Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions. In Evans, V., Bergen, B. and Zinken, J. (Eds.) The Cognitive Linguistics Reader. London: Equinox. (Reprinted from Language, 64(3), 5-01-538 (1988).) Pp.545-588.

Garretson, G. and O’Connor, M.C. (2007). Between the humanist and the modernist: semi-automated analysis of linguistic corpora. In Fitzpatrick, E. (Ed.) Corpus Linguistics Beyond the Word: Corpus Research from Phrase to Discourse. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Pp.87-106.

Skarabela, B., O’Connor, C. and Maling, J. (2004). Monolexemicke posesory v cestine a jinychjazycich. (The monolexemic possessor in Czech.) In: Hladka, Z. a P. Karlik. Cestina–univerzalia a specifika, 5. (Czech, Universal and Specific). Praha: Nakladatelstvi Lidove Noviny. Pp.28-36.

Zaenen, A., Carletta, J., Garretson, G., Bresnan, J., Koontz-Garboden, A., Nikitina, T., O’Connor, M.C., and Wasow, T. (2004). Animacy encoding in English: why and how. Association for Computational Linguistics 2004 Workshop on Discourse Annotation.Association for Computational Linguistics: Barcelona, Spain. Pp. 118-125.

O’Connor, M.C. (2003).  Differential possessor expression: Are pair-wise comparisons ever required?  In Butt, M and T. King, (Eds.) Proceedings of the LFG03 Conference.  CSLI Publications. http://csli-publications.stanford.edu. Pp. 119-140.

O’Connor, M.C. (1996).  The situated interpretation of possessor raising.  In S.Thompson and M. Shibatani (Eds),  Grammatical Constructions: Their Form and Meaning.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 125-156.

O’Connor, M.C. (1995) Privative opposition and pragmatic inference: the marking of possession in Northern Pomo.  Proceedings of the 20th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society.  University of California, Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society, 387-401.

O’Connor, M.C.  (1993).  Disjoint reference and pragmatic inference: anaphora and switch reference in Northern Pomo. In W.A.Foley  (Ed.) The Role of Theory in Language Description.  Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs No. 69. W. Winter, Series Editor. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 215-242.

O’Connor, M.C. (1992).  Topics in Northern Pomo Grammar.  Garland Series of Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics, J. Hankamer, Ed. New York: Garland Publishing Inc.

O’Connor, M.C. (1990).  Third person reference in Northern Pomo conversational narrative: The indexing of discourse genre and social relations.  International Journal of American Linguistics. 56(3):  377-409.

Fillmore, C.J., Kay, P. and  O’Connor, M.C. (1988).  Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions. Language, 64(3):  501-538.

Selected Fellowships and Grants in Linguistics

Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowship: National Endowment for the Humanities& National Science Foundation (FN-50107-12) Documentation of Northern Pomo.2013-2014.

National Science Foundation (BCS 0820475) Medumba (byv) Linguistic Fieldwork and Collaborative Language Development. Two-year grant to (a) support documentation of Medumba, a Grassfields Bantoid language of Cameroon, and (b) train graduate students to conduct linguistic fieldwork. ($86,460; Aug. 2010-Jan. 2012. C.O’Connor, PI, J. Barnes, co-PI.)

National Science Foundation (BCS 0820475). Supplementary REU (Research Experience forUndergraduates) award to Medumba fieldwork grant to support data analysis. ($5625;December 2010–January 2012.)

Linguistic Society of America, Special Service Award. January 4, 2008. Awarded forspecial service to the Society and to the field of Linguistics in capacity as Chair ofProgram Committee. Initiated and oversaw change of abstract review proceduresfor annual meeting; created panel of 60 external expert reviewers and associatedprocedural changes in order to improve scientific quality of abstract review process.

National Science Foundation (BCS 0820475): one-year grant to convene linguists andcomputational linguists to develop consensus among leaders in the field concerningstandard annotation schemata for animacy and discourse status. ($30,000; July 1-June 302009. C.O’Connor, PI, G. Ward, co-PI.)

National Science Foundation (BCS-0548399) and National Institutes of Health, interagencyfive-year grant to support the Boston University Conference on Language Development. S.Allen, PI; C. O’Connor, Co-PI. ($213,365), 2007-2011.

National Science Foundation (REC-0231893), three-year grant to conduct controlled study ofthe efficacy of focused classroom discussion on mathematics learning in middle school. C.O’Connor, PI; S. Chapin, Co-PI. ($733,000) 2003-2006.

National Science Foundation, supplement to “Optimal typology of the DP: Markedness within the nominal” ($31,000) 2003.

National Science Foundation, two-year grant to conduct a crosslinguistic study of the internal structure of determiner phrases.  “Optimal typology of the DP: Markedness within the nominal” ($158,854), 2000-2002.

National Endowment for the Humanities, two one-year grants to construct a dictionary and text data base of Northern Pomo ($73,000), 1995-97.

National Science Foundation, Supplementary Grant to DBS 9111264.($8000), 1994-95.

National Science Foundation, three-year grant to study the interaction of grammar and discourse in Northern Pomo (DBS 9111264; $124,800), 1991-94.

Selected Presentations in Education

Matthews, M.E., Anderson, N., & O’Connor, C. (April, 2012). Exploring efficacy in studies of discourse-intensive mathematics instruction.  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Presession.  Philadelphia, PA. April 25, 2012.

Michaels, S. and O’Connor, C. (October, 2012). Complex texts, the Common Core, and academically productive conversations.   Pre-Conference Institute:  Meeting the Challenge of Making Complex Text Accessible for all Students, 56th Annual Fall Conference: Council of the Great City Schools. Indianapolis, IN, October 15-16, 2012.

Michaels, S., and O’Connor, C. (September, 2011).  Problematizing dialogic and authoritative discourse, their coding in classroom transcripts and realization in the classroom.  Paper presented at ISCAR, the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research. Rome, Italy. September 7, 2011.

Michaels, S., O’Connor, C., Sohmer, R. (April 2011).  Teacher orchestration of talk in a pedagogy of multiliteracies. AERA Presidential Session. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.  New Orleans, LA. April 9, 2011.

O’Connor, C. (May, 2008). Invited plenary panel presentation. Equity and mathematics content in discourse-intensive instruction: Can we demonstrate measurable outcomes for all students? NSF-funded conference: Investigating Equitable Discourse Practices in Mathematics Classrooms. University of Rochester, May 15-18, 2008.

Rosebery, A., O’Connor, C., Hudicourt-Barnes, J., Warren, B., & Wright, C.G. (April 2008).  Exploring item-based difficulty: Item analyses and statistical studies.  Symposium: Making Sense of Children’s Performance on Achievement Tests:  The Case of the 5th Grade Science MCAS. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.  New York, NY.

O’Connor, C., Noble, T., & Suarez, C. (April 2008).  Tampering with item-based difficulty: A foray into item revision. Symposium: Making Sense of Children’s Performance on Achievement Tests:  The Case of the 5th Grade Science MCAS. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.  New York, NY.

O’Connor, C., Michaels, S., and Chapin, S. (April, 2007). Small-scale experimental studies of classroom talk:  Seeking local effects in discourse-intensive instruction. Symposium: In Vivo Experimentation for Understanding Robust Learning: Pros and Cons (Kurt van Lehn and Ken Koedinger, symposium organizers). Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.  Chicago, IL.

O’Connor, M.C. (May, 2002). “Can any fraction be represented as a decimal?” A case study of position-driven discussion.   Invited presentation,  International Conference on Qualitative Research in Classrooms, sponsored by the Spencer Foundation and the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados , Mexico City, DF.

O’Connor, M.C. (May, 1999).  Is this square a rectangle? The linguistic sign and the contexts of classroom discussion.  Conference on Problems in Discourse Analysis in Mathematics and Science Classrooms. Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford , CA .

Selected Publications in Education

Chapin, S., O’Connor, C., and Anderson, N.  (2003). Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn, Grades 1-6.  Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

O’Connor, M.C. (2001).  “Can any fraction be turned into a decimal?” A case study of a mathematical group discussion.   Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 46. pp. 143-185.

O’Connor, M.C. (1999).  Language socialization in the mathematics classroom: Discourse practices and mathematical thinking. M. Lampert and M. Blunk, Eds. Talking Mathematics.  Cambridge University Press. Pp. 17-55.

O’Connor, M.C. (1998). Can we trace the “efficacy of social constructivism”? P. David Pearson & Ali Iran-Nejad, Eds. Review of Research in Education, Vol.22: 1-47.

O’Connor, M.C., Godfrey, L. and Moses, R.P. (1998). The missing data point: negotiating purposes in classroom mathematics and science.  J. Greeno and S. Goldman. Thinking Practices in Mathematics and Science.  Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Pp. 89-125.

O’Connor, M.C., Michaels, S. (1996).  Shifting participant frameworks: orchestrating thinking practices in group discussion.  In D.Hicks (Ed.), Child Discourse and Social Learning.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 63-102.

O’Connor, M.C., Michaels, S. (1993).  Aligning academic task and participation status through revoicing: analysis of a classroom discourse strategy. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 24(4): 318-335.

Gee, J. , S. Michaels and M.C. O’Connor.  (1992).  Discourse analysis.  In M.D. LeCompte, W.L. Millroy, & J. Preissle (Eds)  Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education. New York: Academic Press, 227-291.

Gifford, B.R. and O’Connor, M.C. (Eds).  (1992).  Changing Assessments: Alternative Views of  Aptitude, Achievement, and Instruction .  Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Selected Grants in Education

National Science Foundation, three-year grant to conduct study of the efficacy of focused classroom discussion on mathematics learning in middle school.  C. O’Connor, PI; S. Chapin, Co-PI. ($733,000) 2003-2006.

Jacob K. Javits Foundation, U.S. Dept. of Education. Three-year grant to continue intervention research on mathematics learning among Chelsea students with potential talent in mathematics. “Project Challenge” (co-PI with Prof. Suzanne Chapin, project founder) ($646,000) 2001-2004. [Grant awarded, not funded, due to changes in DOE allocations with new administration.]

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Technologies.  One-year research internship for MA student in Applied Linguistics.  “Statistical approaches to natural language processing”   ($15,000) 2000-2001.

Spencer Foundation Major Grants Program, three-year grant: “Teacher discourse in middle school mathematics classrooms” ($212,507), 1996-1999.

National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship,  1989-91.

University Teaching

Sociolinguistics                                   Discourse Analysis

Language Universals                         Linguistic Field Methods

Introduction to Linguistics             Discourse, Narrative & Literacy

Foundations of Inquiry                    Language and the Deaf Child

Selected Other Professional Activities

National Science Foundation Member, Organizing Committee: Initiative to establish funding program for research on endangered languages.  2001-present.

National Science Foundation Member, Senior Review Panel, Linguistics Program. 2001-2003.

Linguistic Society of America Program Committee, appointed 2004-2006.

Member, Editorial Board Cognition and Instruction. 2003-2005.

Manuscript, article and grant proposal review:  Cambridge University Press; Natural Language and Linguistic Theory; Cognitive ScienceJournal of Research in Mathematics Education; Journal of Teacher Education; Spencer Foundation Major Grants Program; Bunting Institute Fellows Program, National Science Foundation.

Institute for Learning, (PI:  Professor Lauren Resnick, University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center )  With Sarah Michaels, designed and wrote materials for CD-ROM on the use of discussion in K-12 classrooms.  CDs distributed to school districts across the  nation who have contracted with the Institute, an OERI-funded major grant to reform K-12 education.

Chelsea Public Schools , Chelsea , MA . Professional development associated with Project Challenge and Moving Forward classrooms at Clark Middle School and Burke Complex. Includes summer workshops and in-service training. 1999—2003.

Northern Pomo Coyote Valley Tribe, Creation of language learning materials (written and video) for the Northern Pomo Coyote Valley Tribe. 1993—1997; 1999-2003. Pinoleville Tribe, 1999.

National Voluntary Tests on Reading and Mathematics Development of item review processes for NAEP-style items to be used in the National Voluntary Tests proposed by the Clinton administration.  Consultant to American Institutes for Research, Palo Alto (Contract from NAGBE). 1997-1998.

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