I am Professor of Linguistics and Slavic Studies at the University of Georgia. I received my Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics from Yale University, where I also taught for three years as a lecturer. My research focuses mainly on the South Slavic languages, investigating the organization of their sound systems, word structure, and the interaction of the two; how language changes over time; and the ways language functions in society, particularly in the formation of identity. I teach courses in theoretical and historical linguistics, Russian language, and Slavic studies. I created the A.B. in Russian degree program at the University of Georgia and served as the Russian Language Program Coordinator (1995–2017) and Undergraduate Advisor (2007–2016) for the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies, where I also served as Department Head (2003–2006). I became Director of the Linguistics Program in 2016 and helped transform this into the Department of Linguistics, where I currently serve as Department Head (2017–present). For more information, follow the links in the menu above.
I received my undergraduate degree in piano performance from the University of Alabama. I still play, but my main musical outlet is singing in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus. I’ve performed with them in Carnegie Hall, at the Ravinia Festival, and with the Berlin Philharmonic in the Philharmonie. Other hobbies include spoiling our Siberians, Katya and Kolya.