About Me

¡Hola! Taj K'aneenek! My name is Jonah Bates and I am a fifth year graduate student in the Linguistics PhD program at the University of Kansas. My research focuses on how person marking and its associated structures change over time, with an emphasis on the discovery of typologically consistent cross-linguistic patterns and investigation of their theoretical implications. I analyze the patterns I find within generative linguistic models, exploring how the interface between syntactic structure and semantics/pragmatics or morpho-phonology may both trigger and constrain language change. In my view, theoretical claims should be informed by, and in turn make predictions for, the comparative methods used in typology and language reconstruction. Although I work with data from a variety of language families, my descriptive and reconstructive work focuses primarily on the Mayan language family and is largely based on findings from my fieldwork with Teenek (Wastek) Mayan. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!