Until further notice, the University of Arizona, in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages all employees to work remotely. Our offices are closed to the public, but you can reach us Monday–Friday 8:30am-4pm.

For current linguistics majors/minors and prospective students who need advising, please contact:

For all other inquiries, please contact:

Get COVID-19 updates and information for the University of Arizona community. Also, see SBS resources for continuing instruction and learning.

John Powell

About John Powell

John W. W. Powell is a PhD student of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. His research interest are in syntax, morphology, historical linguistics, language documentation, revitalization, and maintenance of Indigenous languages, specifically historical Yuman morphosyntax. He collaborates with the Piipaash (Maricopa) community.


• Piipaash Community-based Collaboration with Salt River Pima - Maricopa Indian Community, 2016 to Present
• Research Assistent — PI: Robert Henderson and Heidi Harley: Compositional Morphosemantics of Plurality (NSF), Fall 2020 to Spring 2021
• Research Assistent — PI: Simin Karimi: Documentation and comparative grammatical analysis of aspects of five Iranian languages (NSF), Summer through Spring 2020
• Research Aide — PI: Wilson de Lima Silva: Analyzing Siriano and Desano to Determine Universal Principles of Language Change (NSF), Summer 2019
• Chair — Arizona Linguistics Circle 15 (2021)
• Associate Editor — Coyote Papers
• Co-organizer — Friends of Yuman Languages Research Group, 2018 to Present

Research Interests

• Historical Linguistics
• Language Documentation, Revitalization, and Maintence
• Syntax
• Morphology
• Indigenous Languages
• Typology
• Linguistic Geography

Current Research Topics

• Grammaticalization and Linguistic Cycles
• Ergative Case and Agreement
• Dormant Language Reclamation through Historical Documents
• Passive, Middle, and Active Voice
• Innovative Passives, Reflexives, and Reciprocals
• Duals, Paucals, Plurals, and Pluractionality
• Clause Chaining in Switch-Reference
• Morphosyntactic Variation in African American Language
• Geo-spatial Aspects in Language Revitalization

Language Families

• Yuman
• Western Romance
• Iranian
• Celtic
• Tucanoan

Selected Publications

Powell, J. W. W. (2019). [Review of Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, & Identity in Eastern Canada, by Bernard C. Perley]. International Journal of American Linguistics, 85(3), 449-451. https://doi.org/10.1086/703243

Powell, J. W. W. (8 February, 2019). [Review of Word Hunters, by H. Sarvasy & D. Forker (Eds)]. LINGUIST List, 30(631), 168-70. https://linguistlist.org/issues/30/30-631.html

Powell, J. W. W. (2019). [Review of An 1860 English-Hopi Vocabulary Written in the Deseret Alphabet, by K. L. Beesley & D. Elzinga]. International Journal of American Linguistics, 85(1), 168-70. https://doi.org/10.1086/700322

John Powell's picture

Contact Information

John Powell
University Fellow, Graduate Assistent


MA, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Arizona State University, 2018.
BA, English (Literature), French minor, Arizona State University, 2010
AA, Mesa Community College, 2006.

Courses Taught

• Summer, 2020: LING 210 — American Indian Languages (online)
• Spring, 2020: LING 310 — Linguistic Typology (online)
• Fall, 2019: LING 201 — Introduction to Linguistics (in-person)