Primary Research Interests

  • Diaspora varieties of German (including Gottscheerisch & Pennsylvania Dutch)

  • Language contact

  • Phonology

  • Morphosyntax

  • Typology

  • Language documentation & revitalization


Research Goals

As a linguist, my research spans two broad subfields of the study of language.  My primary interests lie in the documentation and preservation of endangered languages, e.g. heritage languages and minority languages.  This research is inherently collaborative and relies on the cooperation and support of local communities around the country and abroad.  I am deeply humbled to be able to work with these communities to help document and promote their unique languages and the manifold stories and knowledge contained therein.

Related to these goals is my interest in language contact and change.  My research addresses the issues of contact and change, resulting from heritage language contexts.  My work looks at the (in)stability of various linguistic subsystems (e.g. phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic systems) when in contact with another, socially dominant language.  With this work, I hope to shed light on the robustness of language in the face of immense social and linguistic pressure as well as highlight the linguistic areas most susceptible to contact-induced change.