I am a Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Dean of the Graduate Division at UC Santa Barbara. My research centers around the documentation and description of languages of the Himalayas, especially Tibeto-Burman. (I have a secondary interest in Rhaeto-Romance, but have not fully explored this yet. I also love everything Bantu.) I am interested in all aspects of language and especially in how linguistic structures are shaped by the function of language as a tool of human communication. I am specialize in the syntax of complex sentences, but have much broader interests in phonetics, phonology, morphology, clause structure, typology, language change, and language contact.
I am actively involved in efforts to preserve the world’s linguistic diversity and am especially interested in the role of training in these efforts. I am a Co-Founder of the Consortium for Training in Language Documentation and Conservation (www.ctldc.org
) and will continue working to expand this organization. I am also a member of the LSA Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation.
I have recently published an edited textbook, How Languages Work, published by Cambridge University Press (March 2014). This book has a number of unique features, such as extensive multimedia materials, interactive problem sets and other fun tools, and lots of resources for instructors and students.