George Aaron Broadwell

Specializes in linguistic discrimination and endangered Native American languages

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George Aaron Broadwell

College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Anthropology

Language; bilingualism; English-only movement; Native American languages; gay and lesbian language; linguistic discrimination; English language usage; language endangerment

Campus phone: (518) 442-4711
Campus email:


George Aaron Broadwell is a Professor in the Dept of Anthropology and the Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. His primary research agenda focuses on endangered languages, primarily Native American languages of the United States and Mesoamerica. He is interested in the issues of integrating language description and documentation with contemporary work in linguistic theory.

His long-term descriptive commitments have been to grammatical and lexical descriptions of Choctaw, contemporary Zapotec (San Dionisio Ocotepec, Macuiltianguis, and Sierra Juarez varieties), colonial Zapotec, Copala Triqui, Timucua, with occasional work on grammatical issues in a number of other languages around the world (Mon, Kaqchikel, Kiche, Turkish, Crow, Creek).

From a theoretic point of view, he has been interested in word order, causative structures, lexical semantics, negation, diachronic syntax, and syntactic typology.

In recent years, Dr. Broadwell has also developed a series of research collaborations with colleagues from the Institute for Informatics, Logic, and Security Studies, to work on issues involving language and computation. His current project is Robust Extraction of Metaphors from Novel Data, in which his team seeks to develop methods to identify and interpret metaphors in natural language text.

His recently concluded project, Detecting Social Actions and Roles in Multiparty Discourse, was an exercise in computational sociolinguistics, which sought to identify characteristics like leadership and persuasion in small groups based solely on linguistic interaction.