Lev David Michael
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Berkeley
LDM with Shanewa and Maritin (Nanti speakers) in Montetoni, Peru (2006)
LDM working with Máíhɨ̃ki speakers on ethnobiological identification, Yanayacu River basin, Peru (2013)
Alberto Mogica (Máíhɨ̃ki consultant) in Nueva Vida, Peru (2010)
Chris Beier, Ema Llona Yareja (Iquito consultant), LDM in San Antonio de Pintuyacu, Peru (2014)
R to L: LDM with Alejandrina Chanchari and Donalia Icahuate (Muniche speakers) in Munichis, Peru (2009)
LDM with Kisimina and Behatirisa (Nanti speakers) in Montetoni, Peru (2005)
Headed up the Napo River: Grace Neveu, LDM, and Chris Beier; Liberato Mogica (Máíhɨ̃ki consultant) in background (2014)
LDM and Chris Beier with Ana Maria Santi and ‘Cesario’ Santi (Sápara speaker, seated) in Jandiayacu, Ecuador (2011).
Chris Beier and LDM (clean-shaven allomorph) in Muir Woods, California (2014)
I am an anthropological linguist with an areal commitment to Amazonia and South America more generally. My research focuses on the interplay of language structure and social activity, and explores the ways that social, political, and cultural processes both shape, and are shaped by, the structural dimensions of language. I also engage in comparative work on the grammars and lexicons of South American languages to shed light on the history of the indigenous societies of the continent.
Methodologically, my work is grounded in language documentation and description, and historical and contact linguistics. The typologically remarkable nature of Amazonian languages has also led to an interest in language typology, while my involvement with indigenous communities, has led to a substantial engagement in community-oriented language pedagogy and revitalization activities.
I have carried out in situ fieldwork with speakers of Aʔɨwa, Andoa, Iquito, Kashibo-Kakataibo, Máíhɨ̃ki, Matsigenka, Muniche, Nanti, Omagua, and Sápara, and comparative work on the Arawakan, Tukanoan, Tupí-Guaraní, and Zaparoan language families.