MY RESEARCH PROGRAM
My research interests involve the documentation, acquisition, and revitalization of Algonquian and Siouan languages, which are indigenous to Canada and the United States. See below for more information on these three areas of work.
More than 40 percent of the world’s 7,000+ languages are in danger of disappearing. When languages cease to be spoken, communities and cultures lose unique resources—including historical, medicinal, and traditional knowledge. Language documentation is the work to create thorough and long-lasting records of languages as they are spoken. These records can not only preserve information for scientific research, but they can also serve as a resource for communities looking to revitalize their own languages.
Linguists have spent decades studying the processes through which people learn to speak languages. However, most of our efforts have been spent studying languages with large numbers of speakers, especially English. This means that we know very little about the acquisition of thousands of languages, especially those indigenous to Canada and the United States. I am interested in exploring the first- and second- language acquisition of these languages, both for the benefit of science and revitalization efforts in communities.
Communities throughout the world are engaging in efforts to create new speakers for their languages. This includes language nests, immersion schools, adult classes, one-on-one mentorship, and more. I am interested in helping to bring together communities and researchers to innovate and improve language revitalization, so we can figure out effective methods to connect speakers with learners and restore the passing down of language and culture across generations.