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Tim Thornes

Associate Professor of Linguistics
Office: SMASH 218A | Phone: 426-4267 | Email:

Tim at Snake River

Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, 2003, University of Oregon, Eugene

Dissertation title: A Northern Paiute Grammar with Texts

Areas of specialization: Language Documentation, Endangered Languages, Native North American Languages, Morphosyntax, Linguistic Typology

Classes taught at BSU:

  • Introduction to Morphology and Syntax (LING 318)
  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics (LING 321)
  • Capstone in Linguistics: Linguistic Fieldwork and Language Documentation (LING 498)
  • Introduction to Language Studies (LING 305)
  • Advanced Special Topics: Introduction to Linguistic Typology (LING 425)

Current class schedule (Spring 2017):

  • Special Topic: Perspectives on Native North American Languages (LING 397)
  • Senior Capstone: Field Methods and Language Documentation (LING 498)

Next semester courses (Fall 2017):

  • Introduction to Morphology and Syntax (LING 318) 
  • Introduction to Language Studies (LING 305)

Current Projects:

  • Wadateka’a Nateguyengana: Harney Valley Stories (in collaboration with the Burns Paiute Elders Group: Burns Paiute Tribe, Burns, Oregon) Request current draft here (link not yet live)
  • Tulebé M’Ebembe: Ebembe Proverbs (in collaboration with African Community Development: Boise, Idaho) Listen to a sample here.
  • Transcription and translation of the early Bannock recordings of Sven Liljeblad (in collaboration with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho)

    Rena, Ruth, and I at work

    Paiute Elders Rena Adams Beers and Ruth Hoodie Lewis at work on translating oral histories with Dr. Tim Thornes

Recent Publications:

accepted. ‘Evidentiality in the Uto-Aztecan languages.’ in Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality. Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (ed.) Oxford University Press.

in press. ‘On the heterogeny of directive speech in Northern Paiute.’ in Commands. Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and R.M.W. Dixon (eds.) Explorations in Linguistic Typology. Oxford University Press.

2013. Functional-historical approaches to explanation: in honor of Scott DeLancey. with Eric Andvik, Gwen Hyslop, and Joana Jansen (eds). [Typological Studies in Language, vol. 103] Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

2013. ‘Causation as “functional sink” in Northern Paiute.’ In Functional-historical approaches to explanation. Thornes, Tim, Erik Andvik, Gwendolyn Hyslop, and Joana Jansen (eds.). [Typological Studies in Language, vol. 103] Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

2012. ‘Functional underpinnings of diachrony in relative clause formation: the nominalization-relativization connection in Northern Paiute.’ in Relative Clauses in Languages of the Americas: a Typological Overview. Comrie, Bernard and Zarina Estrada Fernández (eds.). [Typological Studies in Language, vol. 102] Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. pp 147-170.

2011. ‘Dimensions of Northern Paiute multi-verb constructions.’ in Multi-verb Constructions: a View from the Americas. Muysken, Pieter and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (eds.). Leiden/Boston: Brill Publishing. pp 27-61.

2009. ‘Historical pathways in Northern Paiute verb formation.’ in New Challenges in Typology: Transcending the Borders and Refining the Distinctions, Epps, Patience and Alexandre Arkipov (eds.) Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 295-320.