Select publications

When conducting fieldwork on tone languages, the linguist choosing to use the IPA to make phonetic transcriptions of tone is presented with a challenge: Current methods of tone transcription in the IPA require a degree of phonological analysis before they can be applied and when applied they do not adequately display pitch distinctions relative to other pitches. I describe this challenge and the bar method as a proposed solution. The bar method visually presents F0 distinctions relative to other F0 expressions without ties to segments. I hope this solution facilitates the discussion of phonetic tone transcription without regard to phonological assumptions, linguistic tradition, or geographical area of research.
In Proceedings of ICPhS2015, 2015

Successful writing systems today depend on electronic input methods which can be easily used for producing printed or electronic material. This paper explores keyboard design issues involved in designing two keyboards for two different established orthographies. Both orthographies are based on Latin scripts and cover a total of five minority languages in Mexico (four languages in the Meꞌphaa genus and Sochiapam Chinantec [cso] ). The design issues consider:

  1. Technical differences encountered across major computer operating systems (OS X and Windows)

  2. Computer culture issues like the keyboard layout of the national language

  3. Key stroke frequency of language specific segments

  4. Unicode/non-Unicode issues related to character composition

Designing a Unicode keyboard for data input allowed native speakers of Meꞌphaa to have a greater involvement in the data collected by feeding the documentation team typed data and texts in addition to providing oral data. Early adaption of digital input methods may prove to better meet the needs of both language community and researcher. By giving the language community a keyboard for their orthography the minority language speakers were given the opportunity to enter into, and use, new technological domains with their language.

In Endangered Languages and New Technologies edited by Mari C. Jones.,2014

The (inter)dental approximant is a little-studied speech sound in the Philippines and Western Australia. In this paper, we document the articulation of the sound, providing acoustic and video data from Kagayanen and Limos Kalinga, respectively. The sound is attested in at least fifteen languages. It is contrastive in five Western Australian languages, while in the Philippines it generally patterns as an allophone of /l/ but has emerged recently as a separate phoneme due to contact. It arose independently in the two regions. The sound is easily describable in terms of values of phonological features or phonetic parameters. All of these factors argue for the inclusion of the sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
In JIPA, 2010

In Progress

Colaborations, Drafts & White Papers

More Publications


Posters & Publications

. The Death of Victor Hugos. 2019.

Project Google Doc Draft

. Open Source Code Serving Endangered Languages. In Proceedings of LREC 2016 Collaboration and Computing for Under-Resourced Languages: Towards an Alliance for Digital Language Diversity (CCURL) Workshop. Portorož, Slovenia, 23 May, 2016 Edited by: C. Soria, L. Pretorius, T. Declerck, J. Mariani, K. Scannell, Eveline Wandl-Vogt. pp. 86-88., 2016.

PDF Project Community

. Phonetic transcription of tone in the IPA. In Proceedings of ICPhS2015, 2015.

PDF Poster Reddit Paper repo on Github

. Lexical dataset archiving: an assessment of practice. At 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation., 2015.

Code Dataset Project Poster Conference Archive Collection

. Keyboard layouts: Lessons from the Meꞌphaa and Sochiapam Chinantec designs. In Endangered Languages and New Technologies edited by Mari C. Jones., 2014.

Project Book Review Publisher Page Amazon

. Las Conexiones Externas e Internas. SIL Mexico Working Papers in Linguistics, 2011.

PDF Project Publisher Page

. The phonetic status of the (inter)dental approximant.. In JIPA, 2010.

PDF Project Publisher Page SIL Archive


Conference talks & Special lectures

Archives: Features without a buisness plan
Apr 26, 2019
Copyright and the distributed lexicon
Mar 3, 2019
Phonetic transcription of tone in the IPA
Aug 11, 2015
African Languages: Assessing the text input difficulty
Mar 26, 2015
Assessing the difficulty of the text input task for minority languages
Feb 26, 2015
Language archiving and data ecology
May 23, 2014
Getting things out of FLEx: Dictionaries in multiple modes
Oct 9, 2011
Lasting linguistics: Making a meaningful mark
Jul 30, 2009
An unlikely retention
Jun 23, 2009
Repair strategies used with the interdental approximant in some Philippine languages
May 18, 2009

Recent Posts

Notes of professional interest

More Posts

This is a short non-exhaustive bibliography of papers which discuss Informed consent in the context of one of the following: minority language communities, low literacy levels, language research, the legal aspect of the US IRB, and ‘how informed is informed consent’ . I have several nagging questions, which I wonder how discussed they are: “Is Intellectual property rights of minority language people covered in the typical informed consent protocols of language researchers?” and “How ethical is it to create voice-to-speech tools for a small language community when only one or two people provide voice samples?” When working independently, outside the confines of an organization these factors are not mitigated by institutional barriers to creativity or participant considerations.


This is a short non-exhaustive bibliography of instigations and their reports when looking at tone in whispered speech.


This is a short non-exhaustive bibliography of phonological descriptions of Philippine languages.


This is a short non-exhaustive bibliography of lexicon projects which have tested or opted to use the XML TEI format for their data.


This post is a quick review of the ethno-arts literature before a general language documentation project in Northern Nigeria.



Corporate & Personal projects

Automatic Speech Recognition

Working with several collaborators on Automatic Speech Recognition for low-resource tone languages.

Business Maturity Canvas

Discussing the business maturity of an ongoing business idea and a business in operation is a frequent task of IDX. This canvas was designed to facilitate that conversation.


Working within SIL’s Ideation and Experimentation Lab to produce a product which gives real time language use and valuation metrics.

U̠t-Ma'in Lexicography

A collaboration with Becky Paterson to organize the various layers of U̠t-Ma’in linguistic data into a shareable resource.

U̠t-Ma'in oral history

U̠t-Ma’in Language Documentation with Becky Paterson.

Wasta Linux additions for the language scientist.

Some changes and additions to Wasta Linux for the language and linguistic Scientist. It is basically a long bash script, and some additional settings.

An Awesome list of Software for Endangered Languages

A Github collaboration to index open source software for minority or low resource languages.

Linguistic Services Planning

We use the Business Model Canvas to develop the business case for SIL service offerings.

SIL Communications Strategy Consulting

An ongoing consultation with SIL staff to develop interdepartmental communications strategy.

The minority language typing experience

How much work is it to type languages with tonal markers in their orthographies?

User Experience Consulting on

Worked with a team to bring modern features via Drupal 7 to the flagship website of SIL International.

Meꞌphaa and Sochiapam Chinantec Keyboards

Revolutionizing text input. We moved text input from being on a single OS via a non-unicode input method, to working on multiple OSes in Unicode.

Audio Digitization

SIL Americas Area project to digitize analogue audio mediums.

Photo Digitization

SIL Americas Area project to digitize photos documenting the people and the work of SIL in the Americas.

Text Digitization

SIL Americas Area project to digitize for electronic distribution many of its indigenous language resources in print mediums.

Language Archive Usability

This project seeks to make known issues in Language Resource Accessibility. It is primarily concerned with two facets of accessibility 1) the User Experience related to interacting with archived content; and 2) the aggregation of item level metadata about language resources in collections.


This project seeks to visually display patterns about languages as those visualizations relate to cartography.

Meꞌphaa Language Documentation

A collaboration with an experienced linguist. I contributed extensive metadata and technical audio-visual expertise a team of people from the USA and Meꞌphaa speakers.

Interdental approximant

An investigation and description of a rare and socially stigmatized speech sound where the tongue protrudes out of the mouth.


Classroom & Workshop leadership

Teaching Assistant University of North Dakota

Personal Trainer Apple, Inc.

  • One-to-One trainer: iLife, iWork & OS X

Classroom instructor It’s a Small World

  • Elementary German teacher


Highlights from my most recent employment history.

IDX Innovation Analyst

SIL International, IDX Innovation Virtual Team 2018 – 2019

Within the context of IDX Innovation’s mission I:

  • Identify opportunities to create customers
  • Describe, plan, and report on innovation projects
  • Ensure the effective execution of projects
  • Manage small teams of people
  • Manage project budgets
  • Advise the Chief Innovation Development Officer

Usefulness Engineer

SIL International, International Language Program Training Dallas, Texas and Virtual Team 2011 – 2018

Within the context of SIL’s Training mission:

  • I worked with a team to bring language documentation and linguistic content to the web in a user friendly manner with current web technologies.
  • I acted as a business consultant to organizational units in SIL International to bring their services to the web.
  • My major areas of participation included: Information Architecture, Planning, Business Analysis, User Experience Analysis, Communication Strategy Development and implementation.

Assistant to the Americas Area Access Coordinator

SIL International Dallas, Texas 2010 – 2012

  • Consulted industry standards for best practices related to audio and video archiving
  • Established archival quality digitization procedures for language documentation and minority language education materials.
  • Collaborated with SIL’s Language & Culture Archive to establish metadata schemas for audio and video materials, both for discovery and processing of materials through digitization work flows.
  • Managed a team of volunteers digitizing various mediums of language documentation and cultural resources.

Assistant to the Americas Area Linguistics Coordinator

SIL International Dallas, Texas 2010 – 2012

  • Worked with SIL staff in México doing language documentation
  • Established project metadata tracking and file organization procedures for multi-researcher language documentation project
  • Made project specific technology recommendations for language documentation and language development use cases

Mac Specialist

Apple, Inc. St. Louis, Missouri October 2007 – February 2008

Apple, Inc. Smith Haven, New York October 2006 – December 2006

  • Developing complete solutions based on customers’ specific needs.
  • Provided one-on-one training to customers on Apple products.
  • Created brand advocates by providing an amazing, personalized shopping experience to each and every customer.

Professional Communities

Professional Affiliations & Technical Workgroups — past & present

Non-Government Organization

  • SIL International Intellectual Property Policy Team


Audio Archiving

Educational metadata

Internet Metadata


Family & Social fit

Marital Status

Strength Finder Themes

Belbin Team Roles

  • Resource Investigator
  • Specialist
  • Monitor Evaluator

Myers-Briggs Personalty Type

I usually vacillate on test between ‘E’ and ‘I’. Usually this means that the NT archetype is much stronger than the single value for ‘E/I’.


Learning a language is almost as easy as forgetting a language. All skills ebb and flow with fluency in various seasons of life.

Language skills

Digital tools

WordPess, Drupal, Hugo, Github, Google Apps, Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages, MailChimp, Omnigraffle, Confluence, MediaWiki, FLEx, XLingPaper, Atom, Lightroom, Endnote, Zotero, Linux (Ubuntu), OS X/MacOS 10.6-10.12, Markdown, HTML, Bash

Lesser experience with: ELAN, Praat, Audacity, WeSay, SayMore, Bloom, CSS, Python, php, MySQL, XML, Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, Pro Tools, FinalCut Pro.

Strategy games

Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne

Non-digital art mediums

Woodworking, Canvas (Painting, Melted Crayons), Sketching