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Jocelyn Ahlers

Professor, Linguistics
Chair, Liberal Studies Department
PhD, Linguistics
University of California, Berkeley, 1999



English grammar and syntax; introduction to linguistics; linguistic field methods; cognitive linguistics; linguistic anthropology; language and gender.

Research Interests:

Dr. Jocelyn Ahlers is a linguistic anthropologist whose work focuses on the documentation and revitalization of Native California languages.  Her collaborative projects with a number of tribes across the state have resulted in the development of teaching grammars, a semantic dictionary, and language teaching materials.  She has also helped to lead a number of language camps and has been involved in training language teachers and learners, under the auspices of the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program and the Breath of Life, Silent No More Language Restoration Workshop. Ahlers' recent research has focused on the role of Native California languages as semiotic resources in the performance of multiple and overlapping identities among Native Californians, and her published work includes a consideration of the role of non-fluent language use in public identity work, as well as an examination of conflicting interpretations of gendered language use in the context of language revitalization.  She has also recently begun a collaborative project with Dr. Marie Thomas of the Psychology Department which is focused on an ethnographic examination of the modern knitting community in North America. 

Selected Publications:

Ahlers, Jocelyn.  2012.  "Language revitalization and the (re)constituting of gender."  Gender and Language.

Ahlers, Jocelyn. 2012.  "Two eights make sixteen beads: The counting systems of Elem Pomo."  International Journal of American Linguistics.

Ahlers, J. Forthcoming.  Native California languages and intersecting identities.  In Papers from the First VOX California Workshop.

Ahlers, Jocelyn. 2009.  "The many meanings of collaboration: Fieldwork with the Elem Pomo."  Language and Communication 29(3):230-243.

Ahlers, Jocelyn and Suzanne Wertheim. 2009.  "Reflecting on language and culture fieldwork in the early 21st century."  Language and Communication 29(3):2-7.

Ahlers, Jocelyn. 2006.  "Framing discourse:  Creating community through Native language use."  Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 16(1).

Hinton, Leanne and Jocelyn Ahlers. 1999.  "The issue of "authenticity" in California language restoration." Anthropology and Education Quarterly 30(1):56-67.

Ahlers, J. 1997.  "Cognitive metaphors in Hupa."  American Indian Culture and Research Journal.  21:3.