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Tim Thornes

Professor and Interim ChairTim Thornes faculty photo

208-426-4267 | SMASH 218A

Fall 2022 Office Hours: TBA

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


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

Dissertation title: A Northern Paiute Grammar with Texts

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).
  • Transcription and translation of the early Bannock recordings of Sven Liljeblad (in collaboration with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho)

Recent Publications

  • 2018. ‘Evidentiality in the Uto-Aztecan languages.’ in Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality. Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (ed.) Oxford University Press. pp. 409-430
  • 2017. ‘On the heterogeny of directive speech in Northern Paiute.’ in Commands: A Cross-Linguistic Typology. Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and R.M.W. Dixon (eds.) Explorations in Linguistic Typology. Oxford University Press. pp. 146-168
  • 2017. ‘Losing a vital voice: Grief and language work.’ with Racquel-Maria Sapién. Language Documentation and Conservation.11.256-274
  • 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. pp. 237-257
  • 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.


  • 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, now LING 418)
  • Special Topic: Perspectives on Native North American Languages (LING 397)