Hello! Thanks for stopping by! First things first, my CV can be found here

I study sociolinguistics, specifically, how individuals interact with language to conceptualize and construct identity of both self and others. I’m especially interested in how individuals who cross traditional  racial/ethnic boundaries reflect multiple social identities through linguistic practices. Specifically, I examine the use of suprasegmental features that speakers may employ in the performance of their ethnic identities. The focus of my dissertation was intra- and interspeaker prosodic variation in the sociolinguistic behavior of American black/biracial young men. 

In April 2016, I successfully defended my dissertation entitled “Intonational Variation, Linguistic Style, and the Black/Biracial Experience”at New York University. My dissertation chair was Renee Blake, and my committee consisted of Lisa Davidson, Greg Guy, John Singler, and Erik Thomas (NCSU).  In 2016-2017, I was a Chau Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College, where I have continued my research on intonational variation and identity! Since July 2017, I have been an Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College. My ongoing research aims to address aspects of the question “What does it mean to sound black” from the perspectives of speakers and listeners, with a special focus on intonational and prosodic variables. In Fall 2017, I taught Phonetics, as well as Linguistic Discrimination, which was an Inside-Out Prison Exchange course with Pomona/Pitzer students and incarcerated students at the California Rehabilitation Center. In Spring 2018, I’m teaching Introduction to Linguistics and Language and Society at Pomona.

Since January 2018, I have also been the chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s (LSA) Committee for Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL).



-In January 2019, I’ll present a paper with Lauren Squires (OSU) and Pomona student Lemuel Lan at the American Dialect Society (ADS) Annual Meeting in New York City. The paper is entitled “I’ve code-switched on behalf of the black student population”: Linguistic Insecurity Among Black Students at HWIs”.

-In November 2018, I gave an invited talk entitled “Black Language Matters: The Role of Linguistics in Addressing Social and Racial Inequality” for the Furman University Cultural Life Program.

-In October 2018, I presented two papers at Experimental and Theoretical Approaches to Prosody (ETAP) 4 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The first, in collaboration with Jason McLarty (University of Oregon) is entitled “Sociolinguistic Approaches to Prosody and AAL: Findings, Implications and Future Directions”. The second, in collaboration with Jason Bishop (CUNY) and Grace Kuo (National Taiwan University) is entitled “Intonational Contour Shape, AAL, and Political Style: The Case of Barack Obama”.

-In July 2018, I presented a talk entitled “What’s the difference between RAINbow and rainBOW? Using SSANOVA to Model Ethnolinguistic Variation in Intonational Contour Shape” at International Congress of Linguistics 20 (ICL) in Cape Town, South Africa.

-In June 2018, I presented a paper entitled “Rising above the standard: Variation in L+H* contour use across 5 varieties of American English” with Rachel Steindel Burdin (University of New Hampshire) and Paul Reed (University of Alabama) at Speech Prosody 2018 in Poznań, Poland. Paper here.

-In June 2018, I appeared as a guest scientist on the podcast Ologies, with host Alie Ward. The interview can be found here: https://art19.com/shows/ologies-fb/episodes/a042f4d4-3396-4fa9-9efb-dac70d355ec6

-In May 2018, I gave an invited talk as part of the Princeton University Linguistics Colloquium series.

-In March 2018, I gave an invited colloquium talk at the Harvard Linguistics Universals workshop.

-In January 2018, Rachel Steindel Burdin (University of New Hampshire) and I gave a talk entitled “Same tune, different key: bitonal pitch accents in African American and Jewish Englishes” at the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

-In January 2018, I was part of a panel entitled “Linguistics and Race” organized by Anne Charity Hudley (UCSB) and Christine Mallinson (UMBC) at the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

-In November 2017, my paper with Sean Martin entitled “Vowel categories and allophonic lowering among Bolivian Quechua–Spanish bilinguals” came out in the Journal of the International Phonetic Association. Read it here.

-In November 2017, I presented two talks at New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 46 in Madison, Wisconsin. With co-author Dan Villarreal (University of Canterbury), I gave a talk entitled “How Black Does Obama Sound Now?: Testing Listener Judgments of Intonation in Incrementally Manipulated Speech” (slides here). Additionally, my student research assistant, Wyatt Barnes, and I presented the results of a sociophonetic seminar project entitled “Wh-/u/ participates in vowel changes? Effects of Spanish/English Bilingualism on Southern California /u/-fronting”.

-In October 2017, I was interviewed about my research by Gretchen McCulloch on the Lingthusiasm podcast!

-In July 2017, I co-taught a course with Paul Reed (University of Alabama) at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. The course was entitled “Intonation and Social Identity”.


-Standard American English (Native)

-African American Vernacular English (Native)

-Latin American Spanish (Near-native)

-Bolivian Quechua (Intermediate)

-Cairene Arabic (Beginner)


-Ph.D., Linguistics, New York University (2016). Dissertation Title: Intonational Variation, Linguistic Style, and the Black/Biracial Experience. Supervisor: Renee Blake

-M.A., Linguistics, New York University, New York, NY (2014)

-B.A., Magna Cum Laude with Honors and Research Distinction in Linguistics; Linguistics, Spanish. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (2010)


-Chau Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship-Pomona College (2016-2017)

-New York University Global Research Initiative Fellowship at NYU Washington, D.C. (2015)

-NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (2015-2016)

-National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2013-2016)

-Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute Fellowship (2013)

Links to Linguists I Like

-Word. The Online Journal of African American English


-All Things Linguistic


-Language Log



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