Director of Linguistics
Fields of Study: Theoretical linguistics, phonology, morphology, African languages; Africa
Dr. Orie received her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 1995, writing her dissertation under Douglas Pulleyblank on Optimality in Benue-Congo prosodic Phonology and Morphology. Her research interests are focused on the formal analysis of the phonology and morphology of Benue-Congo languages of West Africa, especially Yoruba. Her research topics include vowel processes, prosodic morphology, comparative Yoruba/Benue-Congo phonology, Yoruba names, first language acquisition, language loss, and visual languages such as gestures and sign language. For the past several years, she has been documenting language loss in postlingual deafness contexts and comparing these language loss patterns to language acquisition patterns in children. Her most recent book publications are: Acquisition Reversal: the Effects of Postlingual Deafness in Yoruba (2012, Mouton de Gruyter) and Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics—Linguistic Interfaces in African Languages (2013 co-ed with Karen W. Sanders, Cascadilla Press).
Another area of strong interest for Dr. Orie is the phonology of Yucatec Maya. In collaboration with Victoria R. Bricker (Tulane University), her work has focused on 'weak' sounds--laryngeal consonants and schwas. Their most recent publication is: "Schwa in the Modern Yucatecan Languages and Orthographic Evidence of Its Presence in Colonial Yucatecan Maya, Colonial Chontal, and Precolumbian Maya Hieroglyphic Texts," International Journal of American Linguistics, 2014, 80 (2), pp 175-207.
Her work has been supported by grants from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Endowment for Humanities.
She is on the Editorial Board of The Linguistic Review.