I work 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). I have 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).
I am 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 my historical research is to reintegrate the study of language change with linguistic theory and typology. A goal of my 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, I am especially interested in language documentation projects whose products serve both academic linguists and indigenous communities. I have found that digital databases and online resources are flexible enough to benefit a variety of users.
In the News
The new California Language Archive (CLA) website at UC Berkeley – the largest indigenous language archive at a U.S. university – is now accessible free of charge to anyone with Internet access.