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Hi! My name's Alex I am a phonologist and fieldworker, specializing in Dene (Athapaskan) languages.
I recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Linguistics at the University of Toronto. I currently teach at Sisseton Wahpeton College. I hope you enjoy this website.


My work in phonology is in the framework of Stratal OT (Kiparsky 2000). I am also interested in representational issues, including the Contrastive Hierarchy (Dresher 2009). My phonology work is based on data from my fieldwork, with Dene (Athapaskan) languages.


My fieldwork has been mostly with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation in Yellowknife, NWT, who speak two languages: Tetsǫ́t'ıné (Chipewyan) and Wıı̀lıı̀deh (Dogrib). My fieldwork includes text collection, lexicography, and grammatical description, as well as making teaching materials.


In recent years, all of my teaching has been with First Nations / Native American communities, including Navajo Language Academy (in AZ/NM) and Dene Literacy classes (in Yellowknife). In the past, I have also taught Italian classes, and TA'd for linguistics classes. I currently teach at Sisseton Wahpeton College.


I am originally from Saint Paul, MN. I play the harpsichord, do running and weightlifting, and drink aojiru, a green health food drink from Japan. I cook both Italian food and Indian food, having worked in an Indian restaurant. My specialty is eggplant. I also sing karaoke.

News 1

My joint article with Phil Howson, An Acoustic Study of Tetsǫ́t'ıné Stress, has been published in Phonology.

News 2

My article Tetsǫ́t'ıné Prefix Vowel Length: Evidence for Systematic Underspecification has been published in NLLT.

News 3

Latest Project


I am currently working on a paper entitled "Demorphemicization in Lexical Phonology." Using data from Dene languages, I describe the process by which phonological processes reach the end of their life cycle and become morphologized, which is also the same process by which agglutinating languages become fusional.

My joint paper with Paul Kiparsky, on Level Ordering and Opacity in Tetsǫ́t'ıné has been published in Phonology 37.4.

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