Sandra (Sandy) Chung is a linguist and professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a past president of the Linguistic Society of America. She earned her A.B. and Ph.D. at Harvard University, where her dissertation was on the comparative syntax of Polynesian languages. At UC Santa Cruz, she served as chair of the Linguistics Department (1994–99), chair of the Philosophy Department (2002–04), and Faculty Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor (2004–11).
Chung has made major contributions to syntax and to semantics, and her work is known for its combination of theoretical acuity with attention to linguistic detail and primary fieldwork. Much of her data comes from her own work with Chamorro speakers both in the continental U.S. and in Saipan. Most notable is her work on sluicing and on wh-agreement (where she demonstrated that Chamorro shows overt morphological signals of Wh-movement).
In 2007, Chung was selected as a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America. She was invited to give a plenary lecture at the annual meeting in 2008, where she spoke about combining primary (including documentary) research on understudied languages with theoretical linguistics, arguing that these two often competing interests can and should find a congenial home together.
She has also worked on Māori. On the basis of Māori and Chamorro, she and William Ladusaw argued in Restriction and Saturation (MIT Press, 2003) that the number and kind of semantic combinatoric operations must be expanded beyond the typically assumed function application and abstraction. Her other theoretical work has addressed topics in agreement, predicate-initial word orders, wh-movement, and ellipsis (especially sluicing), among many others.
Books by Chung
- 2006. Estreyas Marianas: Chamorro. Tinige': Joaquin Flores Borja, Manuel Flores Borja, yan Sandra Chung. Saipan, CNMI: Estreyas Marianas Publications. 145 pages.
- 2003. (co-authored with William A. Ladusaw) Restriction and Saturation. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph 42. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. xiv + 173 pages.
- 1998. The Design of Agreement: Evidence from Chamorro. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. xii + 423 pages. (paperback edition, 2000)
- 1978. Case Marking and Grammatical Relations in Polynesian. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 401 pages.
- 'How Much Can Understudied Languages Really Tell Us About How Language Works?' Invited plenary lecture, 2008 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America.
- "Chung and Ladusaw propose and motivate an original and elegant solution to a longstanding problem in syntactic-semantic composition: how to deal with combinations that are neither function-argument application nor function composition. The fruit of a collaboration between two major researchers in the syntax and semantics of natural language, this study will have a lasting impact on the field." Emmon Bach, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and SOAS, University of London 
- "Presidents--Linguistic Society of American". Retrieved February 15, 2015.