Arienne Dwyer

Arienne M. Dwyer
  • Professor Emerita, Linguistic Anthropology

Contact Info


Arienne M. Dwyer is a Professor of Linguistic Anthropology and Co-Director of the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on language contact and language ideology. She has conducted 20 years of local research with individuals and communities in Inner and Central Asia (on Turkic-Mongolic-Sinitic-Tibetic language contact), and has directed a number of collaborative documentation and archiving projects, including Salar (1991-1993, Fulbright), Kazakh (1993, Fulbright), Uyghur dialectology, language ideology and verb typology (2002-2003, ACLS, 2011-2014, NSF), Salar, Monguor, Baonan and Wutun (2000-2005, 2007-2008 Volkswagen-DOBES), Kyrgyz folklore and language policy (2004 and 2008, respectively, Open Society Institute), and archaic German dialects in Kansas (2005). Internationally she acts as a consultant on language documentation and multimedia annotation and archiving (IMDI, UNESCO, EMELD), on social science research methods (Open Society Institute, Trace Foundation), has chaired the Linguistic Society of America's Committee on Endangered Language Preservation (CELP), and has organized conferences and summer schools on language resources and technology, the Digital Tools Summit in Linguistics (DTSL), Towards Interoperability in Language Resources (TILR), and Co-Lang 2012: Institute for Language Research. She is currently working on Middle Turkic (Chaghatay) texts from the Jarring Collection, focusing on healing and medicine and on XML technologies ( In addition, she and her research teams continue to enhance a major primary resource on language contact in Inner Asia (Interactive Inner Asia, and another longitudinal corpus of the Central Asian Uyghur language (Uyghur Light Verbs,


Language Contact and variation (areal processes, linguistic creolization, discourse and ideologies) Digital Humanities, Corpora, Media Archives, cyberinfrastructure: Methods, tools, cultural practices and standards for analyzing data and representing knowledge; XML, Unicode. China; Chinese Inner Asia (especially Xinjiang and Qinghai); Kyrgyzstan Language Endangerment and Revitalization; Less-commonly taught language pedagogy Sinitic, Turkic, and Mongolic languages Performance, narratology and ethnopoetics

Research interests:

  • language contact, language documentation, language technology, language ideology
  • digital humanities
  • media archiving
  • China
  • Central Asia
  • Chaghatay
  • Uyghur
  • Wutun
  • Monguor
  • Salar
  • Baonan
  • Kyrgyz
  • language change and climate change.


Teaching interests:

  • language contact, language documentation, language revitalization, language ideology
  • digital humanities
  • historical linguistics
  • linguistic typology
  • China
  • Central Asia
  • Uyghur language and culture
  • Turkic languages
  • Chinese languages

Selected Publications

Dwyer, Arienne M. 2017. “Manuscript Technologies, Writing and Reading in Early 20th Century Kashgar.” Book Chapters. In Kashgar Revisited: The Life and Work of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, edited by Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Jun Sugawara, and Birgit Schlyter, 34–57. Brill.
Rosenblum, Brian, and Arienne M Dwyer. 2016. “Co-Piloting a Digital Humanities Center: A Critical Reflection on a Libraries-Academic Partnership.” Book Chapters. In Laying the Foundation: Digital Humanities in Academic Libraries, edited by John W White and Heather Gilbert, 111–126. Purdue University Press.
Dwyer, Arienne M. 2016. “Bringing Digital Data Management into Methods Courses: Linguistic Anthropology Module.” Book Chapters. In Bringing Digital Data Management Training into Methods Courses for Anthropology. Arlington, Va: American Anthropological Association.
Dwyer, Arienne M. 2016. “Endangered Turkic Languages of China.” Book Chapters. In Tehlikedeki Türk Dilleri: Kuramsal ve Genel Yaklaşımlar / Endangered Turkic Languages: Theoretical and General Approaches, edited by Süer Eker and Ülkü  Çelik Şavk, 1:431–450. Ankara: International Turkic Academy and Astana: International Turkish-Kazakh University.
Dwyer, Arienne M, Lindsay Lloyd-Smith, Kathryn Oths, and George H Perry. 2016. “General Principles and Practices of Digital Data Management.” Book Chapters. In Bringing Digital Data Management Training into Methods Courses for Anthropology, edited by Blenda Femenías. Arlington, Va: American Anthropological Association.
Engesæth, Tarjei, Mahire Yakup, and Arienne Dwyer. 2010. Teklimakandin Salam: Hazirqi Zaman Uyghur Tili Qollanmisi / Greetings from the Teklimakan: A Handbook of Modern Uyghur. Books. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas ScholarWorks.

Selected Presentations

Dwyer, A. M. (7/19/2013). XQuery databases for the UyLVs and IAIA projects. Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. Lincoln, NB

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Automated Speech Recognition for Uyghur. NSF-IIS 1519164. U.S. National Science Foundation, Information & Intelligent Systems, $27338.00. Submitted 11/1/2014 (2/15/2015 - 7/31/2016). Federal. Status: Funded
Interactive Inner Asia: documenting an endangered language contact area. $264220.00. (5/1/2011 - 7/31/2016). Original funding $259,220; Supplementary REG funding for Benjamin J Gray, ("Southwestern Kansan Corn Farmers’ Cultural Models of Groundwater and its Use"), Summer 2015, $5,000; No-cost extension in Jan 2015. Federal. Status: Funded. Project website:
Light verbs in Uyghur. U.S. NSF-Linguistics Project website: $327960.00. (1/1/2011 - 12/31/2015). No-cost extension in Jan 2015; project web page: Federal. Status: Funded
Co-Lang: Institute for Collaborative Language Documentation Training. NSF-BCS 1065469. $190344.00. (1/1/2011 - 12/31/2013). Federal. Status: Funded. 1. Summer school: $174,609. Funded, disbursed. 2. Supplement award (Aug 2012): "Documenting Northern Cheyenne Signs." For Melanie McKay-Cody. $15,735 Funded, disbursed. Website:
Language and Location: A Multimodal Annotation Project (LL-MAP). $18000.00. (1/1/2006 - 12/31/2008). Federal. Status: Funded.
Towards Interoperability in Language Resources. NSF-BCS 0709732. NSF-Linguistics. (1/1/2006 - 12/31/2007). Federal. Status: Funded. Workshop, 13-15 July 2007, Stanford University. P.I. (50%). $25,157 (to Dwyer) and $13,334 (to Aristar-Dry and Aristar with Dwyer as co-I)
Digital Tools Summit in Linguistics. NSF-BCS 0624048. NSF-CISE, NSF-Linguistics. $24973.00. (12/31/2006). Federal. Status: Funded. Workshop, Michigan State University, June 22–23, 2006 (+ $2500 Utilika Foundation)
Language Contact and Variation: A Discourse-based Grammar of Monguor. FA 52154-05. NEH-NSF Documenting Endangered Languages program. $40000.00. (1/1/2005 - 12/31/2006). Federal. Status: Funded. Fellowship.