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Mary Paster

Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science; On leave for the 2021-2022 academic year
  • Expertise


    Mary Paster specializes in phonology, the branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in languages. Her research focuses primarily on describing poorly documented languages, with a focus on African and Native American languages, and demonstrating the theoretical importance of the linguistic phenomena found in those languages, particularly their sound patterns. 

    Research Interests

    • Phonology - tone, vowel harmony, sound change
    • Morphology - suppletive allomorphy, affix order, multiple exponence
    • Phonetics - (un)naturalness, instrumental measurement and documentation
    • The phonology-morphology interface
    • Field linguistics / working with consultants
    • African languages
    • Indigenous American languages

    Areas of Expertise


    • African Languages
    • Phonology
    • Morphology
  • Education


    University of California, Berkeley

    Master of Arts
    University of California, Berkeley

    Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude
    Ohio State University

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Introduction to Linguistics
    • Field Methods in Linguistics
    • Morphology
    • Phonology
    • Topics in Phonology