Sarah Ouwayda
Linguistics Department, University of Geneva
Home Papers CV About me

About me

I am a linguist!

Coincidentally, I also happen to love languages!

I'm a native speaker of Lebanese Arabic. And I'm of the belief that it is, indeed, a language. I also have near-native proficiency in Standard Arabic, English, and French (each was the dominant language in at least 9 years of my life). And I speak Spanish well enough to get things done.
I can fake Egyptian Arabic well enough to fool speakers of other Arabic dialects, but maybe not Egyptians. The same goes for Syrian Arabic. I also understand all all eastern Arabics and most North African Arabics when spoken slowly.
I have some basic skills in German, like understanding flight/train information, discussing what time it is, discussing prices, and ordering food. I theoretically should have the same skills in Hebrew since I've taken a course. But that's theoretical and has never been tested. In reality, my only 'active' Hebrew vocabulary is taken from syntax papers, and only allows me to form sentences involving cats, apples, boys, and wooden houses.
I'm also very interested in Syriac, which I tried to learn for a while, but moving a lot made taking regular classes difficult. So I've set it aside for the moment.

While my research focuses on syntax and semantics, I really enjoy teaching other areas of linguistics. I've taught an undergraduate course in Phonetics once, and it was extremely enjoyable. I also absolutely love teaching language. I've taught Arabic for several years, and really enjoyed it. I don't believe in grades, but I succumb to the obligation to give them. I particularly like language teaching because I get to give students individual attention.

A little more personal:

I am in love with the sun, but I'm a night owl.
To me, the day is for meetings, teaching, fun, and social life, and the night is for work (focused work).

I really (really) like theater, especially low budget, hole-in-the-wall, theater.

I also really enjoy swimming.

And here are some other random things I enjoy:
The casual/sad version of the Lord's Prayer (in Lebanese)
This cool video about refusing to be intimidated
Jacques Brel, whatever he sings,