Our Board


Neil Alexander Walker


  • Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
    Thesis: A Grammar of Southern Pomo: An Indigenous Language of California
  • B.A. University of California at Berkeley


Dr. Walker’s interests include clause-combining strategies (especially switch-reference systems), phonetics, historical linguistics, and lexicography. His undergraduate and graduate work in linguistics focused on the documentation of Southern Pomo, the recently extinct native language of Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Walker’s dissertation was the first descriptive grammar of the language, and he taught Southern Pomo for the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians from 2011-2014. In addition to ongoing work with Southern Pomo, Dr. Walker works on Northeastern Pomo, a related language with no living speakers. Dr. Walker is currently a Research Fellow at the Language and Culture Research Centre in the Cairns Institute of James Cook University, Australia, where his research is centered on Titan, a poorly documented Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea.

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3474-2777


Uldis Balodis

Vice President

  • Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
    Thesis: Yuki Grammar in its Areal Context with sketches of Huchnom and Coast Yuki
  • B.A. University of Arizona


Dr. Balodis has documented and analyzed threatened languages and those with no speakers in both Northern Europe and the Southwestern United States. In his undergraduate studies he focused on the native languages of Arizona, working with speakers of the Uto-Aztecan Tohono O’odham language along with studying other languages of the state. Over the course of his life he has worked on an ongoing basis on Livonian, an extremely endangered Finnic language native to Latvia. Dr. Balodis wrote the first grammar of Yuki, an indigenous language of California, for his dissertation. He recently finished postdoctoral research in Finland, where he documented the linguistic and cultural knowledge of the Finnic Lutsi community of southeastern Latvia. More information on Dr. Balodis’s present work with the Lutsi community can be found at his project website. Dr. Balodis also works as a literary translator, with work appearing in print in 2018; he also participated as a translator on the first Livonian-English bilingual poetry anthology, Trillium, published in 2018 to coincide with the centennial of Latvia’s independence. His ongoing projects include translations of several well-known Latvian novels and short stories, all funded by grants from the Latvian Writers Union. Visit his professional website for more information.

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-5970-2494


Timothy Henry-Rodriguez


  • Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
    Thesis: A Pedagogical Grammar of Ventureño Chumash: Implementing Grammatical Theory in Grammar Writing
  • B.A. California State University Fullerton


Dr. Henry-Rodriguez specializes in Chumashan languages, Mongolic-Turkic languages, Old English, and English dialects. He is also interested in the fields of morphosyntax, morphophonology, historical semantics, and second language learning. Along with his PhD, he also earned an emphasis in applied linguistics, which helped inform his dissertation, the first of its kind, a fusion of theoretical and pedagogical materials for an indigenous language of California: Ventureño Chumash. He currently teaches at California State University, Fullerton.

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7369-3141

Photo of Tim Henry

Jesse Saba Kirchner


  • Ph.D University of California, Santa Cruz
    Thesis: Minimal Reduplication
  • B.A. University of Arizona


Dr. Saba Kirchner has pursued an interest in morphological exponence and other morphophonological phenomena across several languages. In his research he aims to make meaningful theoretical contributions (particularly within the framework of Optimality Theory), but his work is also informed by close engagement with understudied languages and a commitment to documentation work as a part of linguistic scholarship. Much of his research has focused on Kwak’wala and Dakota. He currently works at Google as an analytical linguist.

 Photo of Jesse Saba Kirchner

Edmundo Luna


  • Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
    Thesis: The Semi-Formulaic Nature of Balinese Sociopolitical Discourse
  • B.A. University of California at Berkeley

Dr. Luna specializes in Austronesian languages of western Indonesia, namely Balinese and Indonesian. His thesis focused on the interaction of established ritual language and “ritualized” language (via frequency and routinization) used in periodic meetings of the banjar, the smallest administrative sociopolitical unit in Bali. His current interests include the use of Balinese in online interaction, Balinese spelling reform, and general Balinese language advocacy, all of which he highlighted during his tenure as a Summer Scholar at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, NM, in 2011. Dr. Luna is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature (Faculty of Humanities) at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2027-0185

Photo of Ed Luna

Associate Member-Consultants

Michael Weese

  • B.A. University of California at Berkeley

Mr. Weese is an expert on the languages of East and Southeast Asia. He learned White and Green Hmong as a young man and went on to study Chinese and Japanese at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently studying the dialects of the Wu language of China in addition to non-standard Mandarin dialects. Mr. Weese has given invited lectures to linguistics students at both San Joaquin Delta College and California State University, Fullerton. His volunteer work for WIELD includes the translation of some of our website content into Mandarin Chinese and his serving as a consultant on East Asian languages in general.

Michael Weese

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