My background

Tammingas in Friesland


Tamminga is a Frisian surname. All four of my grandparents are post-WWII immigrants from the Netherlands to Canada. I was born in Ontario, grew up in Pennsylvania, and became an American citizen in 2001. My mom is a teacher, my dad is a professor, my brother Aaron is a grad student, and my sister Mila is a student at Penn State. I graduated from State College Area High School in 2005.

At left, hanging out with some Tammingas during a cycling trip around Ameland, Friesland in 2011.


Undergraduate at McGill

From 2005-2009, I majored in linguistics and minored in anthropology at McGill University in Montreal. I wrote an undergraduate honours thesis with Charles Boberg and was the recipient of the U2 (3rd-year) Academic Achievement Award. I was a member of the Society of Linguistics Undergraduates at McGill and helped found the McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates.

At left, braving the early-morning Montreal cold along the edge of McGill's campus.


Fieldwork in Orkney

In 2006 I first traveled to the island of Westray in Orkney, Scotland as an undergraduate RA with the North Orkney Population History Project. This position was funded by the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Additional NSF REU funding allowed me to return to Westray in 2007 to do sociolinguistic fieldwork for my undergrad honors thesis.

At left, perched on the cliffs at the north tip of Westray, between interviews.


Study abroad in Edinburgh

I spent the 2008-09 academic year studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh on a Universitas 21 scholarship. While there I learned some Scots Gaelic, took a variety of courses in the linguistics department, and continued my research on the Insular Scots dialect spoken in Orkney. I also worked at a jewelry store in the Ocean Terminal mall.

At left, enjoying a farmer's market beneath the Edinburgh Castle.


Grad school at Penn

I began my doctoral study at Penn in 2009 and graduated in May 2014. While at Penn, I was very fortunate to be co-advised by Bill Labov and Dave Embick. Besides my research, I started a sociolinguistics reading group, helped organize NELS and PLC, and held various positions with ClubLing (now GradLings). I completed Penn's Course in College Teaching and participated in the Philadelphia Science Festival with the Franklin Institute in 2013.

At left, posing in front of the Philadelphia skyline at Penn Park before Commencement.



I now live in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia with my two cats, Lady Grey and Earl "Junior" Grey. In my free time I enjoy trying out Philly's amazing restaurants, practicing aerial yoga, thrift shopping, and reading books about unfamiliar places and kick-ass women.

At left, Lady cuddles up with Junior shortly after his rescue and adoption in 2012.