Short CV/Education and training

  • 1990
    Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 1990. Dissertation: “Problems in Jita tonology.” Dissertation director: Charles W. Kisseberth

  • 1986
    A.M. in Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • 1977
    B.S. [Bachelor of Science] in Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Selected publications


  • Downing, Laura J. and Annie Rialland (eds.). 2017. Intonation in African Tone Languages. Phonology & Phonetics 24. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-048479-3.

  • Downing, Laura J. and Al Mtenje. 2017. The Phonology of Chichewa. Phonology of the World’s Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-872474-2.

  • Downing, Laura J. 2006. Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 9780199286393.

  • Downing, Laura J. 1996. The tonal phonology of Jita. LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 05. Munich: LINCOM EUROPA.

Selected book chapters and journal articles

  • Downing, Laura J. 1998. On the prosodic misalignment of onsetless syllables. NLLT 16, 1-52.

  • Downing, Laura J. 1999. Prosodic Stem ≠ Prosodic Word in Bantu. In T. Alan Hall & Ursula Kleinhenz (eds.), Studies on the Phonological Word. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 73-98.

  • Downing, Laura J. 2005. On the ambiguous segmental status of nasals in homorganic NC sequences. In M. van Oostendorp & J.M. van de Weijer (eds.) The internal organization of phonological segments. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 183-216.

  • Downing, Laura J. and Lisa L.-S. Cheng. 2009. Where’s the topic in Zulu? In Helen de Hoop & Geertje van Bergen (eds.), Special issue on Topics Cross-linguistically, The Linguistic Review 26, 2/3: 207-238 doi: 10.1515/tlir.2009.008

  • Downing, Laura J. and Bernd Pompino-Marschall. 2013. The focus prosody of Chichewa and the Stress-Focus constraint: A response to Samek-Lodovici (2005). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 31, 647-681. doi: 10.1007/s11049-013-9192-x.

  • Downing, Laura J. and Lisa L.-S. Cheng. 2016. Phasal syntax = cyclic phonology? Syntax 19 (2), 159-191.

    DOI: 10.1111/synt.12120

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Swedish Vetenskapsrådet (VR) ÄR-HS grant for a project entitled, “Somali and prosodic typology.” Diarienummer 2015-01394. Other project members: Morgan Nilsson, GU; Maarten Mous, Leiden University, 2016 – 2018

  • co-PI, Prof. Annie Rialland, ANR-DFG French-German cooperative research grant for project entitled, “The Phonology-Syntax Interface in Bantu languages.”, 2009- 2012

  • NWO visitor fellowship for research on the “Prosody of focus in Bantu languages” at LUCL, University of Leiden; local sponsors: Dr. Lisa Cheng and Dr. Thilo Schadeberg, 2005 – 2006

  • NSF POWRE grant #SBR-9806180, for project entitled, “The interaction of morphology and phonology in constraining Bantu reduplication”, including International Grant for travel to Zimbabwe, Summer 2000, 1998 – 2000


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