When exploring the grammars of extinct but textually preserved languages, such as the languages of 2nd and 1st millennium BC Anatolia (modern Turkey), philology and linguistics need to go hand in hand. I define my field as linguistic Hittitology, rather than Hittitological linguistics, in that I use linguistic analysis to gain a better understanding of the interactions of text and society. My teaching and writing therefore operates at the intersection of linguistics, close reading of texts, and cultural analysis of the societies in which these texts functioned. My linguistic research interests cover several interrelated fields of linguistics from a functional and typological perspective: syntactic alignment, discourse cohesion, information structure and language change in contact situations.
I work with students with an interest in linguistics and literary analysis. I have advised theses and dissertations or have been a member of dissertation committees on meter, literary language, reflexivity, and the use of tense in Hittite; succession to the throne in the Old Hittite kingdom; Hittite warfare, religious administration, and ritual practice. I have also worked with students on literary techniques in Hebrew, contact-induced language change in Semitic, and linguistic variation in Ancient Egyptian. I am enthusiastic to work with students interested in semantic, syntactic, pragmatic and discourse studies of the Anatolian languages (Hittite, Luwian, and the minor languages), and languages in contact throughout the Ancient Near East.