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Zion Mengesha

Graduate Dissertation Fellow, 2023-24

Zion Mengesha is a PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics. As a sociolinguist, her research focuses on how we use language to lay claim to social and political ideologies. Her dissertation explores the role of respectability politics in language variation and change among African American women in Sacramento, California. She is also invested in understanding the consequences of linguistic bias, and her previous research includes exploring linguistic bias toward African Americans in education and AI. Zion currently serves as a sociolinguistics subject matter expert at Google Research, where she is helping the team run foundational research to ensure voice-AI systems and large language models are more inclusive for African Americans.