Amy Fountain

About Amy Fountain

My training is in Anthropology and Linguistics (Ph.D. UA, Anthropology and Linguistics Joint Program 1998).  I have been at the University of Arizona in one capacity or other - most involving undergraduate teaching -  since 1986, and have also taught at Pima Community College.  In addition to my teaching commitments I serve on several University committees including Faculty Senate, University Hearing Board, the University-Wide General Education Committee, and others.  I served for four years as Secretary of the Faculty of the University of Arizona,  I am currently working to support technology development for Indigenous language communities, including undergraduate research opportunities in the areas of tech development, language reclamation and universal design for linguistics teaching and learning. 


Areas of Study

Language revitalization, documentation and repatriation; phonology, morphology; teaching linguistics.


The Coeur d'Alene Online Language Resource Center:

Related News

  • We had a wonderfully successful Navajo Immersion Workshop! Thanks to our friends from Dine College who made it possible, as well as Professors Aresta La Russo and Amy Fountain. Here's a picture of Professor Simin Karimi learning some Navajo from... read more

Research Interests

My research interests are in language endangerment, documentation and revitalization, language rights, repatriation of language materials to indigenous communities.  Within these areas of study, my interests revolve around:

  • Native American languages generally,
  • Arizona languages, more specifically,
  • Diné Bizaad (Navajo language), intensely,
  • Coeur d'Alene language, documentationally.  See the Coeur d'Alene Online Language Resource Center (, a resource developed in collaboration with the Coeur D'Alene Language Program and supported by the National Science Foundation,
  • Low-cost, grass-roots development of electronic resources for use in language revitalization and language repatriation programs.
  • The science of teaching, including teaching linguistics with language invention.
  • Increasingly, the relationships between computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and public discourse.

I am also interested in the study of the sound systems of languages (Phonology), particularly at the level of syllable structure and rhythm (Prosodic Phonology), and the study of the word buliding systems of languages (Morphology), particularly as they relate to the prosodic and phonological systems.

As are we all, I'm interested to better understand the language use around me, including linguistic attitudes and sociolinguistic patterns found among the students, faculty and staff at the University of Arizona. 


Areas of Study

Language revitalization, documentation and repatriation; phonology, morphology; teaching linguistics.

Selected Publications

Anderson, Skye, Shannon Bischoff, Jeff Punske and Amy Fountain. Accepted.  Learning about language by language invention.  In Punske, et al (eds), Language Invention in Linguistics Pedagogy.  Oxford University Press.

Bischoff, Shannon, Audra Vincent and Amy Fountain. 2018.  Tgwe’l nok’o’qin he spintch ‘itsmeyptsni’wes hiɬ ‘itsqhwaq’wpmi’wes ‘ul snchitsu’umshtsn: One hundred years of learning and analyzing the Coeur d’Alene language together. In Bischoff and Jany (eds), Perspectives on Language:  Community-based Research.  Cambridge University Press. 

Bischoff, Shannon and Amy Fountain. 2013. A Case-study in Grass roots Development of Web Resources for Language Workers: The Coeur d'Alene Archive and Online Language Resources (CAOLR). In Bischoff et al (eds), Persistence of Language: Constructing and confronting the past in the voices of Jane H. Hill. J. Benjamins.

McKee, Cecile, Elly Zimmer, Amy Fountain, Hui-Yu Huang, Mia Vento 2015.  Engaging Broader Audiences”.  Language and Linguistics Compass. 9. 349-357.

Fountain, Amy. 2008. Introduction to Navajo Language Studies. Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics, Linguistic Theory at the University of Arizona.  M. Hulden and S. Bischoff, eds. Volume 16:9-34.  University of Arizona, Tucson AZ.



Amy Fountain's picture

Contact Information

Amy Fountain
Associate Professor of Practice
Office: Douglass 224


Ph.D.  University of Arizona, Anthropology and Linguistics 1998

M.A.  University of Arizona, Communication. 1988

B.S. Speech with a Major in Theatre, Northwestern University. 1986

Dissertation Title

An Optimality Theoretic Account of Navajo Prefixal Syllables

Courses Taught

LING 150A1 Language in the World

LING150C1 Linguistics in the Digital Age

HNRS195H Freshman colloquium (Honors program, various titles)

LING195A Freshman Colloquium (Arizona Assurance Program)

LING/PSYC 201 Introduction to Linguistics

LING/AIS 210 American Indian Languages

LING/PHIL 211 Meaning in Language and Society

LING 315 Introduction to Phonology

LING 320 Language and Social Issues

LING/ENGL 322 Structure and Meaning of Words 

LING 445A/545A Structure of a Non-Western Language

LING 498 Senior Capstone

LING 500 Linguistics for non-majors

LING 597A Descriptive Linguistics for Native American Languages

ENGL620 Cultural Dimensions of Second Language Acquisition