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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Christina Willis Oko
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor of Linguistics
 
e-mail:willisoko@rice.edu
 
  • Ph.D. Linguistics (2007) University of Texas, Austin
  • B.A. Anthropology (1996) University of Montana, Missoula
 
Primary Department
   Department of Linguistics
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Websites
 http://willisoko.rice.edu/
 
Research Areas
 My research focuses on the description and documentation of threatened and endangered languages, especially the Tibeto-Burman languages of the Himalayas. I use research methods that are drawn from the fields of linguistics and anthropology. My emphasis in linguistic analysis is to use naturally-occurring speech that is culturally significant in the documentation and description of each language. This type of in-depth research also allows me to situate the data within a social context and produce an ethnographic sketch of the community. As a descriptive linguist I draw on cross-linguistic and typological comparisons to inform my analysis.
 
Selected Publications
 Refereed articles
 

Christina Willis Oko "Deictic Expressions in Darma (Almora)." Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 38.1 (2015) : 26-65.In Press

 
 

Willis, Christina "Evidentiality in Darma (Tibeto-Burman)." Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 30.2 (2007) : 89-124.

 
 

Willis, Christina M. "Optional Case Marking in Darma (Tibeto-Burman)." Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 34.2 (2011) : 101-132.In Press

 
 

Willis, Christina M. "Optional Case Marking in Darma (Tibeto-Burman)." Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 34.2 (2011) : 101-132.In Press

 
 Book reviews
 

Willis, Christina M. 2010. “Review: A Grammar of Dhimal.Himalayan Linguistics, Vol. 9(2,), 132-138. http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/HimalayanLinguistics/reviews/2010/HL0902_RB.pdf

 
 

Willis, Christina M. 2009.“Review of Byangsi Grammar and Vocabulary.” Himalayan Linguistics Review 8, 1-3. http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/HimalayanLinguistics/reviews/2009/HLR_Sharma_Willis.pdf

 
 Refereed conference papers
 

Willis, Christina M. 2007. Converb constructions in Darma--A Tibeto-Burman Language. In Douglas Bigham, Frederick Hoyt, Nikki Seifer, Alexandra Teodorescu, and Jessica White (eds), Texas Linguistic Society 9: Morphosyntax of Underrepresented Languages Austin, Texas: Stanford: CSLI Publications.

 
 

Willis, Christina M. "Documenting One Language in a Multi-Lingual Community." Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (February 2007) (2013) : 487-498.In Press

 
 

Willis, Christina M. "Documenting One Language in a Multi-Lingual Community." Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (February 2007) (2013) : 487-498.In Press

 
 

Willis, Christina M. 2011. The context of the context (and other factors to consider in describing a language). Proceedings of  Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory, 3, 307-315. London, England: School of Oriental and African Studies.

 
 Other
 

Christina M. Willis "“The Voices of Houston: A Linguistic Survey.” ." White Paper for the Kinder Institute for Urban Research (2012) : 1-26.


http://kinder.rice.edu/uploadedFiles/Kinder_Institute_for_Urban_Research/People/Research_Fellows/Willis_White_Paper_Kinder_Fellowship_2012.pdf
 
Presentations
 Conference Paper
 

Willis Oko, Christina. 2015. “Clause-level Nominalization in Darma and the Rung Languages of Uttarakhand, India.” The 48th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Aug. 21–23.

 
 

Willis Oko, Christina. 2015. “Collaboration Within and Without Borders.” International Workshop on Linguistic Fieldwork in South Asia, Uppsala University, Sweden, Jun 1-2.

 
 

Willis Oko, Christina. 2013. “Field Report: Preliminary Notes on Khengkha.” The 46th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, Aug. 7-10.

 
 Invited Papers
 

“Optional Case Marking in Darma (Tibeto-Burman).” Workshop on Optional Case Marking at the Himalayan Languages Symposium, 16 School of Oriental and African Studies, London, England, September 2-5.

 
 

“Grammaticalization of the Past Morpheme in Darma (Tibeto-Burman).” South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable XXVIII University of North Texas, Denton, October 9-11.

 
 Invited Talks
 

""Contextualizing Data: A Case Study from Darma (Tibeto-Burman) on the Implications of Method on Field Research"." Linguistics and Technical Communication Colloquium Series, University of North Texas, Denton. (December 5, 2011)

 
 

"“The Implications of Methodology on Language Description: A Case Study from the Himalayas”." Linguistics Colloquium Series/Rice University, Houston, TX. (October 27, 2011)

 
 Keynote Speaker
 

Willis Oko, Christina. 2015. “Language purity: Constructing the idealized speaker in Darma.” RLS 6: Rice Linguistics Society Biennial Conference, Mar 20-21.

 
 Lectures
 

""Language and Culture: What an endangered Tibeto-Burman language can tell us"." Rice University Alumni College Weekend, (March 19, 2011)

 
 Other
 

“The context of the context (and other factors to consider in describing a language).” Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory, 3 School of Oriental and African Studies, London, England, November 18-20.

 
 Panelist
 

Willis, Christina. 2009. Panelist, United Nations Travelling Film Festival screening of The Linguists, Rice Media Center, Nov. 7.

 
 Workshops
 

Willis Oko, Christina and Linda Ho Peché (Organizers). 2014. “Expanding the Linguistic Holdings of the Houston Asian American Archive.” Rice University, Nov. 13–14.

 
Editorial Positions
 Other, Rice Working Papers in Linguistics. (2009 - 2015)

Supervised Theses & Dissertations
 Jennifer Hoecker, Masters Not quite your grandmother’s jam: Place, time, and identity in constructing a home canning community of practice. (2011) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Chelsea L McCracken, PhD A Grammar of Belep. (2012) (Thesis Director)

 Cassandra Pace, PhD “A Phonetic Description of Mangarla (MEM)”. (2013) (Thesis Director)

 Katie Nelson, PhD “A study and cross-linguistic analysis of Nez Perce (NEZ) Phonetics”. (2013) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Christopher Schmidt, PhD “Typological issues in Austronesian linguistics in light of Riung, a West-Central Flores language”. (2013) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Chelsea McCracken, PhD “A Grammar of Pulu Belep”. (2013) (Thesis Director)

 Akua Agyei-Owusu Campbell, PhD A Comprehensive Grammar of Ga. (2015) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Evgeniya Poluektova, PhD A Reference Grammar of Moksha-Mordvin. (2016) (Thesis Director)

 Steven Watters, PhD A Grammar of Spoken Dzongkha. (2018) (Thesis Director)

Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
 Presidential Research Award, Rice University (5/2013)

 Presidential Research Award, Rice University (5/2012)

 Presidential Research Award, Rice University (2011)

 Presidential Research Award, Rice University (2010)

 Presidential Research Award, Rice University (2009)