Projects by language & subfield


Language revitalization

Syntax & Morphology

(theoretical/field ling)



Philip T. Duncan. (2018). Unaccusative structures and verbal suppletion in Meꞌphaa. WCCFL 36. Los Angeles, CA, April 20, 2018. Poster

Philip T. Duncan. (2017). The role of argument structure in Me'phaa verbal agreement [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Kansas. PDF

Philip T. Duncan. (in prep). Can a language ever be consistently ergative? New insights from Me'phaa.

Philip T. Duncan. (2017). When a language is consistently ergative (& how it gets that way). University of Kansas Department of Linguistics Colloquy presentation. January 26, 2017. Slides

Philip T. Duncan. (2016). Patterns of case and agreement in Me'phaa. University of Kansas Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Merienda Lecture Series. December 8, 2016.

free relatives

Philip T. Duncan & Harold Torrence. (to appear). Headless relative clauses in Iliatenco Me'phaa. In I. Caponigro, H. Torrence, & R. Zavala, (eds.), Headless Relative Clauses in Mesoamerican Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lingbuzz

Philip T. Duncan & Harold Torrence. (2018). Headless relative clauses in Me'phaa from Iliatenco. Headless relative clauses in Mesoamerican languages. CIESAS Sureste, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. May 29, 2018.


Philip T. Duncan. (under review). Me'phaa indefinite pronouns: Descriptive characteristics and typological implications.

Philip T. Duncan. Haspelmath's (1997) semantic map for indefinite pronouns: The view from Me'phaa. 11th Meeting of the Association for Linguistic Typology. Albuquerque, NM, August 2015. Slides

Philip T. Duncan. (2013). The morpho-syntax of indefinite pronouns in Me'phaa [Master's thesis]. University of Kansas. Available here

Philip T. Duncan. The Morpho-Syntax of Indefinite Pronouns in Iliatenco Me’phaa. Department of Linguistics Colloquy, Lawrence, KS, September 2012.

Philip T. Duncan. Morphological and Syntactic Aspects of Indefinite Pronouns in Iliatenco Me’phaa. Linguistic Society of America, Portland, OR, January 2012. Extended abstract here

Philip T. Duncan. Indefinite Pronouns in Ajngáa Me’phaa. Oklahoma Workshop on Native American Languages. Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK, April 2011.

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Ibibio is a Niger-Congo language spoken in Akwa Ibom State in southeastern Nigeria. Both individually and in collaboration with Travis Major, Mfon Udoinyang, & Harold Torrence, I have researched focus constructions, verb/predicate coordination, & complementizer agreement.

Complementizer agreement

Harold Torrence & Philip T. Duncan. Verbal complementizers and the Indirect Agree relation in Ibibio. Linguistic Society of America, Austin, TX. January 7, 2017. Handout


Philip T. Duncan, Travis Major, & Mfon Udoinyang. (to appear). Verb and predicate coordination in Ibibio. In E. Clem, P. Jenks, & H. Sande (eds.), Theory and Description in African Linguistics: Selected Papers from the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Link


Philip T. Duncan. (2017). What contrastively focused anticausatives and reciprocals say about each other in Ibibio. KU Linguistics 50th Anniversary Celebration. September 16, 2017. Handout

Philip T. Duncan, Travis Major, & Mfon Udoinyang. (to appear). Searching high and low for focus in Ibibio. In J. Kandybowicz, T. Major, & H. Torrence (eds.), African Linguistics on the Prairie: Selected Papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Link

Philip T. Duncan. (2016). Parallel chain formation in Ibibio contrastive verb focus. In E. Clem, V. Dawson, A. Shen, A. H. Skilton, G. Bacon, A. Cheng, & E. H. Maier, (eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Berkeley Linguistics Society, 87-106. Link

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K'iche' is a Mayan language from the Eastern branch spoken in Guatemala. Currently, I'm exploring the mechanisms responsible for assigning ergative case in the language, as well as implications for such on extraction.


Philip T. Duncan. (in prep). On the importance of being ergative: Case assignment and extraction asymmetries in K'iche'. 

Philip T. Duncan. (2016). El caso ergativo como caso dependiente y ergatividad sintactica en K'iche' [Dependent ergative case and syntactic ergativity in K'iche']. Form and Analysis in Mayan Linguistics 4, Saki' (Valladolid), Yucatan, Mexico. November 17, 2016. 

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Harold Torrence, Pedro Mateo Pedro, & Philip T. Duncan. (under review). Non-interrogative wh-expressions in Kaqchikel.

Harold Torrence & Philip T. Duncan. Wh-expressions in non-interrogative contexts in Kaqchikel. Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of America. Washington, DC. January 2016.

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Language Revitalization


Kiksht is a Penutian language from central Oregon, and one of three languages of the Warm Spring Indian Reservation. Together with Valerie Switzler & Nariyo Kono, I'm part of a project through the Smithsonian Institute's Recovering Voices Program to document aspects of Kiksht.

(details forthcoming)

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ᏣᎳᎩ (Cherokee) is an Iroquoian language spoken primarily in Oklahoma and North Carolina. With Lizette Peter, Tracy Hirata-Edds, Durbin Feeling, Ryan “Wahde” Makcey, & Wyman Kirk, I've been part of a project investigating children's language use at Tsalagi Dideloquasdi, Cherokee Nation's immersion school. Read about our work in the KU News

Philip T. Duncan, Tracy Hirata-Edds, Lizette Peter, Ryan “Wahde” Mackey, & Wyman Kirk. (2018). Dynamics of immersion: Ideology and practice in the Cherokee Nation immersion school. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA, November 2018.

Lizette Peter, Tracy Hirata-Edds, Durbin Feeling, Wyman Kirk, Ryan "Wahde" Mackey, & Philip T. Duncan. (2017). The Cherokee Nation immersion school as a translanguaging space. Journal of American Indian Education, 56(1), 5-31. Available here

Lizette Peter, Tracy Hirata-Edds, & Philip T. Duncan. Multilingual perspectives on second language learning in a Cherokee immersion school. University of Kansas Department of Linguistics Colloquy, Lawrence, KS, January 2015.

Lizette Peter, Tracy Hirata-Edds, Philip T. Duncan, Durbin Feeling, & Wyman Kirk. Linguistic and sociocultural perspectives on second language learning in the Cherokee Nation Immersion School. American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA, April 2014.

Lizette Peter, Tracy Hirata-Edds, Durbin Feelin, Wyman Kirk, & Philip T. Duncan. Second language learning in the Cherokee Nation Immersion School: Linguistics and sociocultural perspectives. American Association of Applied Linguistics, Portland, OR, March 2014.

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Sociocultural linguistics

(critical discourse studies)

Christian Zionist Discourses

My major project involving Critical Discourse Studies has been an investigation of U.S.-based Christian Zionist discourses on Israel and Palestine. I work largely from texts that span nearly eight decades and pertain to multiple genres. Much of my work is situated in two CDS approaches: the discourse-historical approach and the sociocognitive approach. I also draw themes and concepts from cultural memory studies to understand how remembering functions discursively. My current research examines the function of the future in Christian Zionist discourses, and I am also investigating complex structures of othering and identity formation in these discourses.

Philip T. Duncan. (2014). Remembering the future: Temporal tensions in the discursive construction and commemoration of Israel. Critical Discourse Studies, 11(4), 416-440. Available here

Philip T. Duncan. (2011). Commemmorating Israel, forgetting Palestine: Representation and remembering in dispensational discourses [Master's thesis]. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Available here

Philip T. Duncan. Remembering the Future: Constructing Potential Worlds in Christian Zionist Discourses. Mid-America Humanities Conference, Lawrence, KS, March 2012.

Philip T. Duncan. ‘Blessing Israel’: Constructing Pro-Israel Support in Christian Zionist Discourses. Conference on Culture, Language and Social Practice, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, October 2011.

Philip T. Duncan. Analyzing Dispensational Discourses: Combining Discourse-historical and Sociocognitive Approaches in Critical Discourse Analysis. Discourse Brownbag seminar. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. February 2011.

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This case study focuses on an AP article (and its permutations) discussing U.S. Secratary of State Hillary Clinton's 2009 visit to Pakistan amidst U.S. drone strikes there. I propose the concept of neotextualization to account for the unique ways updated versions of a "single" text relate to one another.

Philip T. Duncan. (2012). The discursive protection of national interests: Indigenous erasure in Internet news revisions. Journal of Language and Politics, 11(3), 357-381. Available here

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Michelle Reed, Philip T. Duncan, & Germaine Halegoua. (2017). Engaging our student partners: Student leadership in a library-initiated experiential learning project. In Merinda Kaye Hensley & Stephanie Davis-Kahl (eds.), Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case studies & best practices. ACRL. Link to paper on KU ScholarWorks; link to book (with amazing cover art by Ania Bui)

Philip T. Duncan. (2017). Nurturing voyeurism, vibrant sexism, and violence: Why we can't (yet) afford to forget about Wild at HeartPriscilla Papers, 31(1). Link

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(and now for something completely different)