Yá’át’ééh! Shí éí Kayla Palakurthy yinishyé. Bilagáana nishłį́ dóó bilagáana báshíshchíín. Bi’éé Daalchíi’ii dashicheii dóó bi’éé daalchíi’ii dashinalí. New Yorkdę́ę́’ naashá ákondi Ahééhíshííhdi shighan. Saad naalkaah dóó Diné bizaad yíníshta’.
I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literature at San Francisco State University. I am primarily interested in language documentation and revitalization, and my research focuses on variation and change, and language contact. I take a discourse-functional approach, whereby I view discourse as a locus for the emergence of grammar, and I investigate cognitive, social, and diachronic explanations for linguistic structure. I work mainly with speakers of Navajo, or Diné bizaad, a Southern Dene/Athabaskan language spoken in the American Southwest. In my current projects, I seek to understand the ways in which speakers adapt and maintain their Diné language at a time of significant sociolinguistic change. I completed my dissertation in Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in May 2019.
Before graduate school, I taught middle school, and I remain interested in how linguistics can be applied in an educational context. Through the Skills program at UCSB, I taught linguistics at San Marcos High School, as well as at the Chumash Learning Center in Santa Ynez. I am also a member of the Navajo Language Academy, a collaborative organization comprised of linguists, Navajo language teachers, and language activists.
An East Coast transplant to California, I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2009 with a double major in Linguistics and Russian. Outside of linguistics, I like to run, hike, cook, and spend as much time as possible outside.
Winner of Best Student Abstract for NWAV 47, October 2018
Dissertation Completed, May 2019