I am an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. I'm primarily a documentary linguist specializing in Athabascan (Alaska) and Chimbu-Wahgi (Papua New Guinea) languages. My approach to language description examines field-collected data and archived materials in a discourse-functional theoretical framework. I consider language to be a human behavioral phenomenon to be studied in the context of discourse and society, and I see grammatical structure as a product of the cultural and linguistic practices of the members of a speech community.
I am also dedicated to supporting a technological infrastructure for field linguistics that promotes long-term data sustainability and interoperability, and in my fieldwork I try to bridge the gap between linguistics, archiving, technology and community language activism. To this end, I'm the director of Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawai‘i Digital Language Archive.
I work mainly with speakers of the Northern Athabascan languages Ahtna and Dena'ina, and of Kuman and Kere (Chimbu-Wahgi, Papua New Guinea).