Research Expertise and Interest
linguistics, English, California, language change, Indo-European languages, historical linguistics, northern California Indian languages, linguistic structure, typology, ancient Greek, Latin, Irish, Oceanic languages
Andrew Garrett is a professor in the Department of Linguistics. He works on Karuk and Yurok (languages of northern California) and on early Indo-European languages, especially Greek, Latin, and languages belonging to the Anatolian branch (such as Hittite and Lycian). He has also worked on the history and (British) dialects of English, on comparative Austronesian (especially involving Leti, Ponapean, and Rotuman), and on the Ohlone language Rumsen (spoken around Carmel and Monterey).
He is a historical linguist interested in language change (in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics), patterns of language diversification, and methods of reconstruction. One broad aim of his historical research is to reintegrate the study of language change with linguistic theory and typology. A goal of his Americanist work is to bring philological and field work together to develop a picture of the linguistic ecology of California and the west coast. In language documentation, he is especially interested in language documentation projects whose products serve both academic linguists and indigenous communities. He has found that digital databases and online resources are flexible enough to benefit a variety of users.