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Arienne Dwyer

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Co-Director, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities
Ph.D., Chinese and Altaic Linguistics, University of Washington
Primary office:
Fraser Hall
Room 638
University of Kansas
1415 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7590

Arienne M. Dwyer is a Professor of Linguistic Anthropology and Co-Director of the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on language contact and language ideology. She has conducted 20 years of local research with individuals and communities in Inner and Central Asia (on Turkic-Mongolic-Sinitic-Tibetic language contact), and has directed a number of collaborative documentation and archiving projects, including Salar (1991-1993, Fulbright), Kazakh (1993, Fulbright), Uyghur dialectology, language ideology and verb typology (2002-2003, ACLS, 2011-2014, NSF), Salar, Monguor, Baonan and Wutun (2000-2005, 2007-2008 Volkswagen-DOBES), Kyrgyz folklore and language policy (2004 and 2008, respectively, Open Society Institute), and archaic German dialects in Kansas (2005).

Internationally she acts as a consultant on language documentation and multimedia annotation and archiving (IMDI, UNESCO, EMELD), on social science research methods (Open Society Institute, Trace Foundation), has chaired the Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Endangered Language Preservation (CELP), and has organized conferences and summer schools on language resources and technology, the Digital Tools Summit in Linguistics (DTSL), Towards Interoperability in Language Resources (TILR), and Co-Lang 2012: Institute for Language Research.

She is currently working on Middle Turkic (Chaghatay) texts from the Jarring Collection, focusing on healing and medicine and on XML technologies ( In addition, she and her research teams continue to enhance a major primary resource on language contact in Inner Asia (Interactive Inner Asia, and another longitudinal corpus of the Central Asian Uyghur language (Uyghur Light Verbs,


Ph.D., Chinese and Altaic Linguistics, University of Washington

M.A., Chinese Language and Literature, University of Washington

B.A., Linguistics, University of British Columbia

Teaching Interests

  • Language contact, language documentation, language revitalization, language ideology
  • Digital humanities
  • Historical linguistics
  • Linguistic typology
  • China
  • Central Asia
  • Uyghur language and culture
  • Turkic languages
  • Chinese languages


Language Contact and variation (areal processes, linguistic creolization, discourse and ideologies)

Digital Humanities, Corpora, Media Archives, cyberinfrastructure: Methods, tools, cultural practices and standards for analyzing data and representing knowledge; XML, Unicode.

China; Chinese Inner Asia (especially Xinjiang and Qinghai); Kyrgyzstan

Language Endangerment and Revitalization; Less-commonly taught language pedagogy

Sinitic, Turkic, and Mongolic languages

Performance, narratology and ethnopoetics

Research Interests

  • Language contact, language documentation, language technology, language ideology
  • Digital humanities
  • Media archiving
  • China
  • Central Asia
  • Chaghatay
  • Uyghur
  • Wutun
  • Monguor
  • Salar
  • Baonan
  • Kyrgyz
  • Language change and climate change.

Selected Publications

Sperberg-McQueen, C., & Dwyer, A. M (2014). XQuery databases for linguistic resources in the IAIA and UyLVs projects.

Dwyer, A. M. (2014). China's Language Policy Goes Global. World Politics Review.

Dwyer, A. M. (2013). Clause Chaining in Salar. In M. Erdal, Y. Koç, & M. Cengiz (Eds.), Dilleri ve Kültürleri Yok Olma Tehlikesine Maruz Türk Toplulukları konulu 4. Uluslararası Türkiyat Araştırmaları Bildirileri (pp. 209-215). Ankara: Hacettepe Üniversitesi Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Yayınları.

Dwyer, A. M. (2013). Tibetan as a dominant Sprachbund language: its interactions with neighboring languages. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Tibetan Language (pp. 258–280). New York: Trace Foundation.

» Show All Publications

Selected Presentations

Dwyer, A. (07/19/2013). XQuery databases for the UyLVs and IAIA projects. Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. Lincoln, NB

Selected Grants

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Co-Principal), Schultz, Tanja J., (Co-Principal), Automated Speech Recognition for Uyghur, NSF-IIS 1519164, U.S. National Science Foundation, Information & Intelligent Systems,, $27,338, Submitted 11/01/2014 (02/15/2015 - 07/31/2016) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Principal), Interactive Inner Asia: documenting an endangered language contact area, $264,220, (05/01/2011 - 07/31/2016) . Original funding $259,220; Supplementary REG funding for Benjamin J Gray, ("Southwestern Kansan Corn Farmers’ Cultural Models of Groundwater and its Use"), Summer 2015, $5,000;No-cost extension in Jan 2015. Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Principal), Light verbs in Uyghur, U.S. NSF-Linguistics website:, $327,960, (01/01/2011 - 12/31/2015) . No-cost extension in Jan 2015; project web page: Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Principal), Co-Lang: Institute for Collaborative Language Documentation Training, NSF-BCS 1065469, $190,344, (01/01/2011 - 12/31/2013) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Collaborator), Aristar, Anthony, (Principal), Dry, Helen, (Principal), Language and Location: A Multimodal Annotation Project (LL-MAP), $18,000, (01/01/2006 - 12/31/2008) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Principal), Aristar-Dry, Helen, (Co-Principal), Aristar, Anthony, (Co-Principal), Towards Interoperability in Language Resources, NSF-BCS 0709732, NSF-Linguistics, (01/01/2006 - 12/31/2007) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., (Principal), Digital Tools Summit in Linguistics, NSF-BCS 0624048, NSF-CISE, NSF-Linguistics, $24,973, - 12/31/2006) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Dwyer, Arienne M., Language Contact and Variation: A Discourse-based Grammar of Monguor, FA 52154-05, NEH-NSF Documenting Endangered Languages program, $40,000, (01/01/2005 - 12/31/2006) . Federal. Status: Funded.

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CEAS offers an M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies.This interdisciplinary degree focused on 20th and 21st century East Asia provides students with in-depth interdisciplinary knowledge of a selected East Asian country (China, Korea, Japan); a broad knowledge of modern East Asia; and social science research skills and methods appropriate to international area studies. Read more about the CEAS M.A. Program, or contact Ayako Mizumura, CEAS Assistant Director, at or 785-864-1478.

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