Ryan Henke

Position title: Assistant Professor

Email: rehenke@wisc.edu

1152 Van Hise Hall

Ryan Henke

Language Sciences

Co-director, Wisconsin Indigenous Languages Lab

Story: Visit to the Wi Indigenous Languages Lab


Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Hawaiʻi
M.A., Linguistics, University of Hawaiʻi
M.A., Communication, University of Illinois
B.A., Philosophy, Southern Illinois University

Research Statement

Ryan’s research centers on the vitality of the Indigenous languages of North America, where he primarily works at the intersection of first language acquisition, language documentation and description, and language revitalization. His research program is dedicated to understanding how speakers use these languages, how young children and learners acquire them, and how best to use this knowledge to inform science and community-grounded language efforts. Much of his work has centered on East Cree, an Algonquian language spoken in Eeyou Istchee territory in Northern Québec, Canada.


Ling 101: Human Language
Anthro/Ling 301: Introduction to Linguistics: Descriptive and Theoretical
Ling 322: Morphology
Ling 522: Advanced Morphology
Ling 571: Structure of a Language – Northern East Cree
Ling 800: Research Methods & Materials
Ling 977: Seminar – Language Endangerment, Documentation, & Revitalization

Selected Works

2022. Obviative demonstratives in Northern East Cree: Insights from child-directed speech. International Journal of American Linguistics 88(1), 53–93. (with Julie Brittain.)

2021. The acquisition of obviation in Northern East Cree: Evidence from possessive constructions. In Monica Macaulay & Margaret Noodin (Eds.), Papers of the Fiftieth Algonquian Conference, pp. 113–134. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.

2020. The first language acquisition of nominal inflection in Northern East Cree: Possessives and nouns. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

2019. The development of possession in the L1 acquisition of Northern East Cree. Journal of Child Language 46, 980–997.

2018. Language archiving. In Kenneth Rehg and Lyle Campbell (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Endangered Languages, pp. 347–369. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (with Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker.)

2016. A brief history of archiving in language documentation, with an annotated bibliography. Language Documentation & Conservation 10, 411–457. (with Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker.)


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