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 2019, I’m teaching Phonetics, as well as Linguistic Discrimination, which is an Inside-Out Prison Exchange course with Pomona/Pitzer students and incarcerated students at the California Rehabilitation Center.



-In April 2020, I’ll be an invited speaker at Grinnell College, talk title TBD

-In January 2020, I’ll be an invited speaker at Stanford University’s Sociolunch, talk title TBD

– In January 2020, I’ll be at the American Dialect Society’s Annual Meeting, presenting a collaborative project with Pomona senior Emelia Benson Meyer. The talk is entitled “Black alignment and political stance: intonational variation in the debate speech of Cory Booker and Kamala Harris”.

-At NWAV48 in October, at the University of Oregon, I will give a talk entitled ““Sounding black” vs. “talking black”?: Racial Identity Performance at Different Levels of Variation”

-In September 2019, I was an invited Colloquium speaker at Boston University, where I presented a talk entitled “How black should a black president sound?: Sociophonetic variation in the speech of Barack Obama”.

-In July 2019, I co-organized a symposium entitled “Advancing African American Linguistics” at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute at the University of California at Davis, with Mary Bucholtz and Anne Charity Hudley, both of UCSB.

-In March 2019, I appeared on a panel on “Diversifying Linguistics” at the Georgetown University Round Table (GURT), as well as presenting a paper with Lauren Squires (OSU) entitled “It’s not linguistically accessible to people like me”: The linguistic experiences of black students at HWIs”.

-In March 2019, I gave at invited talk at the University of Missouri-St. Louis entitled “Sounding Mixed: Sociophonetic Variation in the Speech of Black/Biracial Men”.

-In February 2019, I published a paper in American Speech entitled “Variation in Question Intonation in the Corpus of Regional African American Language”. Paper here, or email me if you don’t have access! https://read.dukeupress.edu/american-speech/article-abstract/doi/10.1215/00031283-7308038/135989/Variation-in-Question-Intonation-in-the-Corpus-of?redirectedFrom=fulltext

-In February 2019, I appeared as a guest on the amazing Vocal Fries Podcast. Check out the episode here: https://vocalfriespod.fireside.fm/40

-In February 2019, I presented a paper entitled “Police Narratives and the Construction of Black/Biracial Identity Through Intonational Variation” at “The Nature of Police-Citizen Interactions”, a conference the sponsored by the UCLA Center for Language, Interaction, and Culture.

-In January 2019, I presented 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.


-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


-Vocal Fries Pod



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