Research Interests

My primary interests are in language endangerment, 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 Coastal Bantu language spoken in southern Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, as well as examining speakers' perceptions of multilingualism and language shift. 

Language Documentation and Revitalization

I'm committed to the creation of thorough, representative records of languages, especially endangered languages, and ensuring that these records are accessible to the appropriate audiences - especially the communities which speak these languages. Documentation and language revitalization are complementary activities, and I aim to bring together documentation and sociolinguistic research to help develop creative revitalization methods tailored to specific language contexts. I'm also interested in best practices for archival and dissemination of language data, as well as ethics in data management and sharing. 

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 how these interact with language endangerment. I'm also interested in variationist sociolinguistics, or looking at how small differences in speech (for example, saying "fourth floor" instead of "fouhth flooah") correlate with broad social categories associated with the speakers. 

Global Language Endangerment

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

Some Cameroon photos, just for fun:

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Anna the Turtle

My namesake kudu (turtle): an Iyasa friend found this small turtle and named it after me.