I have been a member of The University of Edinburgh’s Linguistics and English Language Department since 2014, first as a postoctoral fellow and, as of April 2021, as Lecturer.
My research is mostly within the scope of the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics (AMC). I work on the historical phonology and morphology of Mapudungun, the ancestral language of the Mapuche people of south-central Chile and Argentina, as well as on the early sounds and spellings of the Scots language. I also have an interest in the languages of the Americas more broadly and their contribution to linguistic diversity and linguistic theory.
I recently completed a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship entitled “Digital methods in New-World language change: Words & sounds in older Mapudungun”. The project allowed me to build and mine the first stages of the Corpus of Historical Mapudungun. I am also a member of the From Inglis to Scots (FITS) project, which is charged with creating a corpus of grapho-phonological correspondences for some of the earliest Scots documents.
Originally from Santiago, Chile, I began my work life as a secondary-school Philosophy and English teacher, both on the southern island of Chiloé, and in New York City state schools. At times, I’ve also worked in adult education and HR consultancy in Santiago and as a freelance pronunciations editor for the Oxford English Dictionary.
DPhil in Linguistics and Philology, 2014
The University of Oxford
MPhil in Linguistics and Philology, 2010
The University of Oxford
MSc in Education/TESOL, 2008
City University of New York
One of my main focuses is the morphological and phonological structure of Mapudungun, a polysynthetic and agglutinating language-isolate of Chile and Argentina. I am currently developing a diachronic corpus focusing on endogenous variation, as well as contact-induced changes.
I recently launched the first version of the Corpus of Historical Mapudungun which uses text-based approaches to reconstruct the 400-year history of this Native American language. Such tools, though mostly neglected for historical material of the Americas, have huge potential for pushing back the date of comparative reconstruction, informing historical developments of individual varieties, as well as ideas of local contact and genetic inheritance.
I am a team-member in the AHRC-funded From Inglis to Scots (FITS) project project, mapping sounds to spellings in the earliest documentary records for the Scots Language.
My recently-completed Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (Apr. 2018–Mar. 2021) created version 1.0 of a linguistically tagged corpus of the earliest attestations of written Mapudungun.
In previous years, I have been involved in the teaching of the following English Language and Linguistics courses here at Edinburgh:
In the 2023-2024 academic year, I will be teaching on the following courses: