Research Interests

My primary interests are in language shift, language documentation and revitalization, and sociolinguistics, with a focus on languages of Cameroon. My dissertation research focused on documenting the sociolinguistics of language shift and maintenance in Iyasa, a Sawabantu language spoken in southern Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, as well as exploring speakers' perceptions of multilingualism and language shift. 

In all this work, my hope is to offer my academic training in support of language communities' goals for their languages. If any of the areas of study described here sound like they could be useful to your community's work in language documentation or revitalization, please feel free to contact me via the Endangered Languages Project.

Language Documentation and Revitalization

I'm committed to the creation of thorough, representative, culturally relevant records of languages, and ensuring that these records are accessible to the appropriate audiences - especially the communities who speak these languages. Documentation and language revitalization are complementary activities, and I aim to bring together documentation and sociolinguistics to help support revitalization work that's tailored to specific language contexts. I'm also interested in best practices for archival and dissemination of language materials, as well as ethical issues in language documentation. 

Sociolinguistics

My second main research interest is sociolinguistics: how language use interacts with social structures. I'm especially interested language shift and maintenance, multilingualism, language attitudes and ideologies, and how these interact with language loss and revitalization. I'm also interested in variationist sociolinguistics, or looking at how small differences in speech (for example, saying "fourth floor" instead of "fouhth flooah") interact with social categories. 

Global Language Shift

Another of my research interests is the big-picture status of the world's languages and their vitality. I've worked since 2011 on the Catalogue of Endangered Languages, a global database of information about the status of every known language facing threats to its vitality. I'm interested in how we can best aggregate and analyze the huge amounts of available information about language vitality; how we can identify the gaps in it; and how we can use this knowledge to support language documentation and revitalization.  

Nighttime view of Yaoundé, Cameroon

Some Cameroon photos, just for fun:

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