Current Work

It’s all go here – we just started classes for the year last week and I have a number of things on the boil.

I am teaching the introductory linguistics course this semester, and the historical class. Introduction to linguistics regularly gets between 70 and a hundred students each semester, and so with about 85 at the moment we’re right on the money. This is one of the important courses in the linguistics Department. Rice has fewer than 3000 undergraduates at any one time — so between this course, my colleague Nancy Niedzielski’s sociolinguistic class, and Suzanne Kemmer’s English words class, we teach almost 400 students each year at the introductory level. This has the practical result that a fairly substantial proportion of Rice students have a linguistics class by the time the graduate. (And a note to any of my students who are reading this blog — welcome!)

I have a nice group of students in historical this semester too. I must admit that historical is one of the most enjoyable classes for me to teach.

Research… couple of things in progress there as well. They just submitted a grant application to do some work on Bardi texts from the 1920s. It’s a combination of preparing a book for community use, and doing research on the changes between those recordings and the modern language that I did work on. There’s only two generations also between the speakers, but you can see quite a few changes involving the structure of head marking and discourse particles.

I also submitted a large grant application over the summer to do work on the history of Pama-Nyungan and theoretical aspects of historical linguistics and prehistory.

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