Sara Sowers-Wills

Sara Sowers-Wills

Professional title

Assistant Professor


Sara Sowers-Wills received her PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University before joining the faculty in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies at UMD. Prior to beginning her studies in linguistics, she worked in reference book publishing and edited for academic journals in sleep medicine and neurology. Before this, she earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa and later taught composition, literature, and creative writing at a community college in New Jersey. Her research interests include child language development, language and cognition, and morphologically rich languages. Her teaching interests include introductory linguistics, language acquisition, and writing in various capacities. While her current research focuses on language acquisition, her heart lies also in poetry. She also devotes time to freelance editing for writers in various genres.


PhD, Linguistics, Indiana University, 2017
MA, Linguistics, Indiana University, 2013
MFA, English, Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa, 2001
BA, English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1999
BA, Classics, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1999

Teaching Interests

Introductory linguistics, language acquisition, writing

Courses Taught

WRIT 1120: College Writing
LING 1811: Introduction to Linguistics

Research Interests

Child language development, language and cognition, morphologically rich languages, corpus analysi


"Using schema theory to support a whole-word approach to phonological acquisition." Cognitive Linguistics, 28(1), 155-191.