Research Projects & Field Work

Person Marking Referent Shifts (PMRS)

Language Families Surveryed: Arawakan, Bantu, Dravidian, Mayan, Mongolic, Paman, Panoan, Semitic, Southern Pama-Nyungan, Totonacan, Uto-Aztecan (examples from Austronesian and Indo-European)

Goals: Identify and analyze types of diachronic shift in person marking reference. 

Ongoing Projects:

Papers & Presentations: 

-Bates, J. (2021). Toward a typology of change in Person Marker reference. Submission to  Folia Linguistica (Historica). Submission Draft. 

-Bates, J. & McKenzie, A. (2021). A Plural to Singular Reanalysis Cycle. Submission to Journal of Historical Syntax.  JHS Link. PDF

- Bates, J. (2020). Typology & Analysis of Person Marking Referent Shifts. PhD dissertation. University of Kansas. Link

-Bates, J. (2019). Typology of Change in Person Marker Reference, 13thConference for the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT). Slides. Handout Style

-Bates, J. & McKenzie, A. (2019). A Plural to Singular Reanalysis Cycle. 21stDiachronic Generative Syntax (DiGS). Slides. Handout

-Bates, J. (2018). A Typology of Person Marking Referent Reanalysis In Six Language Families. MA Project. University of Kansas. Paper

-Bates, J. (2018). Person Marking Reanalysis in Six Language Families. KU Child Language Proseminar. Invited Talk. Slides.

-Bates, J. (2018). The Lowland Mayan First Person Shift In Typological Context. Form and Analysis in Mayan Linguistics (FAMLi) 5. Proceedings

Status: Formatting and editing dissertation for book first draft

Dialect Variation in Teenek

Language: Wastek (Huastec) - teenek kaw | Mayan | San Luis Potosi, MX

Goals: Capture variability in left-periphery and person marking among Wastek dialects

Ongoing Projects: 

-Bates, J. Simplification of Wastekan Set A Person Marking: Implications for Proto-Mayan. Prepping for journal submission. 

-Bates, J. Movement Sensitive ɸ-probes: In Bahdini Kurdish and Wastek Mayan. Prepping for journal submission. 

-Bates. J. ¿De donde ‘u’? On the origins of third person absolutive marking in Wastek Mayan. Prepping for conference submission.

-Bates, J. The diachrony of transitive clitics in Wastek Mayan. Prepping for conference submission.

-Teenek Stories

Papers and Presentations: 

-Bates, J. (2024). Unraveling the Wastek Imperfective. FAMLi VII presentation. 

-Bates, J. (2019). What is Definite and what is not in South Eastern Wastek. in Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics. Vol 40. Paper


-Bates, J. (2019). Deriving the Eastern Cholan 2nd-Position Polar Question =ka from Proto-Mayan *qa. Comparative Approaches to the Diachronic Morpho-Syntax of the Indigenous Languages of North and Central America (Pre-DiGS Workshop). Slides

Collaborators: Benigno Robles Reyes (MA), Dra. Anuschka van ´t Hooft, Dra. Lucero Meléndez Guadarrama

Status: Transcribing field notes, Looking for presentation opportunities

Tseltal DP Structure

Language: Tseltal/Tzeltal - batz'il k'op | Mayan | Chiapas, MX

Goals: Provide morpho-syntactic and phonological evidence for the presence of a productive sub-categorical root-merging low diminutive ch'in in the Central and Southern Tseltal Dialects. Model the double/multiple exponence of Set A markers referencing possessors. Compare accounts of adjectival adjunction and the typology of diminutives. 

Ongoing Projects:

-Bates, J. When clitic ‘doubling’ isn’t doubling: Purely morphological multiple exponence in Tzeltal Mayan. Prepping for journal submission. 

Papers & Presentations: 

-Bates, J. (2019). More than just 'a little': Evidence for a low diminutive in Tseltal Mayan. 45ᵒ Incontro di Grammatica Generativa. Poster. Handout

-Bates, J. (2017). Multiple Exponence in Oxchuc Tseltal. Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA) VIII.

-Bates, J. (2017). The effect of DIM on Tseltal Person Marking, One Possessor: Two Agreements? 50thAnniversary of KU Linguistics.

Status: Corpus Study Finished, Looking for collaborators in the field, Looking for presentation opportunities, Looking for publication opportunities

Phonetics of Mam Bilabials

Language: Mam - qyol mam | Mayan | San Ildefonso Ixtahuacan, GT

Goals: Phonetically describe the glottalic bilabials of San Ildefonso Mam and model the phonological distribution of bilabial stops. More broadly ascertain the distribution of ejective bilabials among Mam speakers. 

Papers & Presentations: 

-(in embryo) Pilot Study 

-(for collaborators) Project Proposal

-(for collaborators) Project Proposal Slides

Status: Pilot Study Finished, Looking for collaborators in the field, Preparing for presentation

Photo By Asubwa Wesley [CC BY-SA 4.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

Tiriki Phonology

Language: Tiriki - lutiɾitʃi | Bantu (Luyia) | Kenya

Goals: Describe the phonology of the Tiriki variety of the Luyia macro-language. 

Papers & Presentations: 

-Bates, J. (2012). Nasal-Consonant Phonology in Tiriki. African Linguistics Workshop 1.

-Marlo, M. & Bates, J. (Submitted). Tiriki PhonologyTiriki Grammar Sketch

Status: Finished for now.