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Professor of Linguistics, Yale University

Claire Bowern is Professor of Linguistics at Yale University. Her 2004 PhD is from Harvard University and examined the historical morphology of complex verb constructions in a family of non-Pama-Nyungan (Australian) languages. Her research focuses on the Indigenous languages of Australia, and is concerned with language documentation/description and prehistory. This includes fieldwork in Northern Australia with speakers of endangered languages, as well as archival work, shedding light on the linguistic history of Pama-Nyungan. With colleagues in linguistics, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, she is currently comparing features of hunter-gatherer languages in different areas of the world.


  • 2017–present
    Professor, Yale University
  • 2010–2017
    Associate professor, Yale University
  • 2008–2010
    Assistant Professor, Yale University


  • 2018 
    Yale University, MA
  • 2004 
    Harvard University, PhD
  • 1998 
    ANU, BA (Hons)

Professional Memberships

  • Linguistic Society of America
  • Australian Linguistic Society

Research Areas

  • Linguistics (2004)
  • Language In Time And Space (Incl. Historical Linguistics, Dialectology) (200406)
  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) (200408)