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 hope you enjoy this website.


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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 am 40 years old, 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. I also sing karaoke.

News 1

Recently completed acoustic study of Tetsǫ́t'ıné stress (with Phil Howson). We found that stress is realized as a combination of increased duration and intensity.

News 2

Working on paper on gamma lowering in Tłı̨chǫ and Slavey.

News 3

Latest Project


Emerence Cardinal and I have recently completed a full printed version of our Tetsǫ́t'ıné dictionary, with approximately 7,300 entries. This is the largest dictionary of any Dëne Sųłıné dialect. Soon we will submit it for publication. Next we will work on an electronic version which will have clickable audio. The remaining work will be to cut up the sound files, and attach them, to produce the electronic version.

My joint paper with Paul Kiparsky, on Level Ordering and Opacity in Tetsǫ́t'ıné will appear in Phonology 37.4.