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SLLLC Welcomes New Faculty Member

Fri, 02/03/2017


The School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures is pleased to welcome the newest member of the School's Division of Linguistics, Dr. Will Bennett.

Will comes to us from Rhodes University, in South Africa, where he worked since receiving his PhD in linguistics from Rutgers University in 2013. His research focuses on phonological theory, and the interfaces between phonology and phonetics and morphology. His work also puts a strong emphasis on using new data from under-studied languages to inform linguistic theory.

In his recent (2015) book, The Phonology of Consonants: Harmony, Dissimilation and Correspondence, Will develops a theory of long-distance interactions between consonants, demonstrates is explanatory value in approaching phonological patterns from 10 different languages from around the world, and explores is wider-reaching typological consequences, based on a broader survey of reported patterns from more than 150 languages.

Much of Will’s other research revolves around fieldwork on African languages. He has worked with numerous indigenous South African languages, and written on topics ranging from the complex noun classification systems of Bantu languages to the click consonants found in languages like Xhosa, !ora, and !Xóõ. Will is also currently working with colleagues at Rutgers, York University, and the University of Port Harcourt to produce dictionaries and descriptive grammars of Defaka and Nkọrọọ, two critically endangered languages that are both spoken only in a single remote town in the Niger delta area. 

Please note Dr. Bennett will be teaching courses starting in Fall 2017.