From early on, I've been fascinated with languages, their diversity and history. Today I teach linguistics to as wide an audience as possible; I teach classes at Stanford's Department of Linguistics and the Continuing Studies Program, as well as at several Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes around the Bay Area.

My current classes open to the public include:

Why do languages change?
Stanford Continuing Studies Program, 10 weeks, starting January 11, 2012, Wednesday 7-8:50pm (no class March 7). For more information and to sign up, click here.

I also write for two blogs: Languages of the World and GeoCurrents.

My latest textbookLanguages of the World: An Introduction is published by Cambridge University Press.

My academic research interests focus on the morphosyntax of Slavic, specifically on noun phrases in Russian and how they fit into the larger structure of a clause. I have published a book and numerous articles on these issues.

I am also an avid reader, writer, dancer and cook.


Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge