- IU Bloomington
I first joined the AISRI staff in 1992 while still a graduate student in the departments of Central Eurasian Studies and Linguistics at IU, shortly after returning to the U.S. from an extended period of fieldwork in Uzbekistan. I was initially hired as a research assistant to work on dictionary projects for the American Indian languages Pawnee (Skiri) and Arikara. Soon afterwards I also became involved with the journal Anthropological Linguistics, initially as an editorial assistant in 1993, before being hired as full-time managing editor in 1994. As managing editor, I have been responsible for administration, production, marketing, and sales of the journal. During that time, with the support of AISRI, I finished my Ph.D. and have pursued my own research in the field of Turkic linguistics. More recently, I have embarked on a series of research projects involving the language Uzbek that have been funded by two Title VI grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
I received my Ph.D. with a double major in Central Eurasian Studies and Linguistics from IU in 2001. In my dissertation, "Language Contact and Morphosyntactic Change: Shift of Case-Marker Functions in Turkic," I investigated the evidence for shift-induced interference in the case- marking system of Turkic languages. By means of a comparative analysis of data from modern Turkic languages, such as Uzbek, Turkish, and Kazak, as well as Old Turkic and Iranian languages, such as Modern Persian, I argued that the crosslinguistic similarity of many case-marking functions in Turkic and Iranian languages is in all likelihood the result of the indirect transfer of case-marking patterns from Iranian to Turkic languages.
I have lived and studied in a number of republics of the former Soviet Union, as well as in Turkey. In 1991 and 1992, I received two grants from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) for a year and a half of language study and research in Central Asia, as a visiting researcher at the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, USSR/Republic of Uzbekistan. During that time, I traveled extensively throughout the region in Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. In 1986, I also studied Turkish at the Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, under a grant from the American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT). I have subsequently returned to both Uzbekistan and Turkey since my original studies there. In recent years, I have also visited Uzbekistan in connection with my ongoing Title VI research projects.
I currently hold the position of assistant scholar in the Department of Anthropology, and I have recently been appointed director of the new Center for Turkic and Iranian Lexicography and Dialectology (CTILD) here at IU. The latter center has been established with the support of the College of Arts and Sciences to promote the production of general and specialized dictionaries of Turkic and Iranian languages and dialects for English speakers, as well as to conduct research in Turkic and Iranian lexicography and dialectology. Its inception grew out of two three-year Title VI grants that I have received from the International Research and Studies Program of U.S. Department of Education for the following research projects: (1) the Uzbek Dictionary Project, for which a new comprehensive bilingual dictionary of modern literary Uzbek is being compiled for English speakers, containing over 40,000 words in each of its Uzbek-English and English-Uzbek parts; and (2) the Title VI Web-based Multimedia Uzbek Dialect Dictionary Project, which builds on the work of the initial project by creating an online multimedia comparative dictionary that can be used as a self-learning tool by students to listen to, compare, and study the linguistic variation of Uzbek dialects and the literary language.
Both Title VI projects have received inspiration from ongoing lexicographic research projects at AISRI. Moreover, both projects also utilize the Indiana Dictionary Database software application developed at AISRI and draw on the technical support and skills of computer programmers and other staff affiliated with the institute.
My research interests encompass the fields of historical linguistics; anthropological linguistics; language contact and linguistic change, particularly in Central Asia; Turkic and Iranian linguistics; Uzbek lexicography and dialectology; and Central Asian arts and crafts.