Dr. Rod Casali
Associate Professor of Linguistics
Rod hails from New England, but grew up in Massachusetts, north of Boston. He met his wife, Ellen, while in the Buffalo area in 1980. They were married in 1981 and have three adult children and three grandchildren. Rod and Ellen have worked with Wycliffe Bible translators and SIL in various roles (language analysis and literacy work, linguistic consulting), mainly related to work in Africa. They spent several years doing language work in Ghana, including several years (1985-1988, 1989-1991) in a translation and literacy project in the Nawuri language.
The Casalis have been at CanIL since 2006. Rod currently teaches three classes (Advanced Phonology, Acoustic Phonetics and Advanced Field Methods). He loves working with language data and doing linguistic research, and greatly enjoys the interaction with students here. Rod says, “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to train bright and enthusiastic young (and, occasionally, not quite so young!) people to do linguistic research and language development in ways that contribute to Bible translation. The program here can be intense at times, but it is very rewarding.”
Interesting facts: Rod is proficient in French and Nawuri from Ghana, but also knows some Korean, Ewondo, and Ancient Greek.
1992-1996. Ph.D. in linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles.
1983-1988. M.A. in linguistics, University of Texas at Arlington.
1975-1980. B.S. in physics with honors, University of Massachusetts.
Casali, Roderic F. 1996. Resolving hiatus. UCLA dissertation. (Published by Garland Publishing, New York, 1998.)
Principal Research Interests
Phonology, phonetics, African languages.
2006-present. Instructor, Canada Institute of Linguistics
2000-present. International Linguistics Consultant for SIL International. Responsible for advising the SIL international linguistics coordinator on issues involving linguistics in SIL and assisting SIL field teams and entities with linguistic analysis and publication.
1996-2004. Africa Area Linguistics Coordinator for SIL International. This involved developing and implementing strategies to improve the quality and quantity of SIL’s linguistic field research in Africa, providing advice and assistance to linguistics consultants in SIL field entities in Africa, and facilitating communication and sharing of resources among SIL linguistic consultants and field researchers in Africa. It also involved teaching linguistics courses and seminars and providing consultant help in phonology.
1997-1999. Linguistics Coordinator and Consultant for the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy, and Bible Translation. This position involved overseeing linguistics research and publication projects for GILLBT and advising field linguists on aspects of phonological, morphological, and syntactic analysis in Ghanaian languages. It also involved teaching linguistics courses and seminars.
2001-2004. Phonology Software Tool Developer for SIL Africa Area. Helped develop a software tool to aid SIL field linguists in analyzing the phonological systems of Bantu languages.
1996. Teaching Assistant, UCLA, for Prof. Victoria Fromkin, Linguistics 1 (Introduction to the Study of Language).
1994. Teaching Assistant, UCLA, Prof. Robert Stockwell, Linguistics 10 (Structure of English Words).
1993. Teaching Assistant, UCLA, for Prof. Nina Hyams, Linguistics 1 (Introduction to the Study of Language).
1989. Research Assistant in phonetics, University of Texas at Arlington.
1985-1991. Linguistic Field Worker, SIL. Conducted field research on the Nawuri language of Ghana and developed literacy materials for this language. Designed and taught an introductory course in phonology for the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation. Served as a linguistics consultant, assisting other field workers with phonological analysis of various Ghanaian languages.
1988. Casali, Roderic F. Vowel clusters and syllable structure in Nawuri. Papers in Ghanaian Linguistics 7:40-61, ed. by Kofi Saah & Emmanuel Osam. Legon: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.
1990. Contextual labialization in Nawuri. Studies in African Linguistics 21:319-346.
1994. Nominal tone in Nawuri. Journal of West African Languages 24, 2:45-64.
1995. Nawuri Phonology. (Language Monographs no. 3.) Legon: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.
1995. Labial opacity and roundness harmony in Nawuri. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 13:649-663.
1995. NC’s in Moghamo: prenasalized onsets, or heterosyllabic Clusters? Studies in African Linguistics 24:152-166.
1995. An overview of the Nawuri verbal system. Journal of West African Languages 25,1:63-86.
1995. On the reduction of vowel systems in Volta-Congo. African Languages and Cultures 8,2:109-121.
1996. Vowel elision in hiatus contexts. UCLA Working Papers in Phonology 1:18-56.
1996. A typology of vowel coalescence. UC Irvine Working Papers in Linguistics 2:29-42.
1997. Vowel Elision in hiatus contexts: Which vowel goes? Language 73:493-533.
1998. Predicting ATR Activity. Chicago Linguistic Society 34, 1:55-68.
1998. Review of Natural Phonology: The State of the Art, ed. by Bernard Hurch and Richard A. Rhodes. Notes on Linguistics 81:32-35.
2002. Nawuri ATR harmony in typological perspective. Journal of West African Languages 29, 1:3-43.
2003. [ATR] value asymmetries and underlying vowel inventory structure in Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan. Linguistic Typology 7:307-382.
2008.ATR harmony in African languages. Language and Linguistics Compass 2:496-549.
2011. Hiatus resolution. The Blackwell Companion to Phonology, vol. 3, ed. by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume & Keren Rice, 1434-1460. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
2012. [+ATR] dominance in Akan. Journal of West African Languages 39,1:33-59.
2012. Nelson, Deborah, Roderic F.Casali, Tina Ensz, Jill Francis, Donald Chomiak & Jonathan Janzen. 2016. A preliminary overview of Gonja phonology. Canada Institute of Linguistics Electronic Working Papers 2:99-187. https://www.canil.ca/academics/electronic-working-papers/canil-ewp-volume-2-2016.
2016. Jumpstarting phonological fieldwork with a core phonological database. CanIL Electronic Working Papers 2: 1-47. https://www.canil.ca/academics/electronic-working-papers/canil-ewp-volume-2-2016.
2016. Some inventory-related asymmetries in the patterning of tongue root harmony systems. Studies in African Linguistics 45:
2017. High-vowel patterning as an early diagnostic of vowel inventory type. Journal of West African Languages 44,1:79-112.
1991. Casali, Roderic F. Vowel elision and glide formation in Niger-Congo: An approach based on syllabification. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Nairobi.,
1993. Labial opacity and roundness harmony in Nawuri. Paper presented at the 24th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Ohio State University.
1994. Vowel Elision and Glide Formation in Niger-Congo: A Harmony Theoretic Approach. Paper presented at the January 1994 Linguistic Society of America meeting, Boston, January 9, 1994.
1995. Patterns of Glide Formation in Niger-Congo: An Optimality Account. Paper presented at the January 1995 Linguistic Society of America meeting, New Orleans, January 7, 1995.
1996. A typology of vowel coalescence. Paper presented at the 2nd Southwest Optimality Theory Workshop, University of California Irvine, May 11, 1996.
1996. Vowel coalescence in Niger-Congo: Implications for height-feature theory. Paper presented at the 27th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, March 29, 1996.
1997. ATR harmony systems: Some issues for research. Paper presented at the 28th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Cornell University, July 11-13, 1997.
1998. Predicting ATR Activity. Paper presented at the 34th regional meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, April 1998.
1998. Is the active value of ATR predictable? Paper presented at the 21st West African Linguistics Society Congress, Abidjan, July 27, 1998.
1999. Nawuri ATR harmony in typological perspective. Paper presented at the 29th Colloquium on African Languages and Linguistics, Leiden University, 29 August – 1 September 1999.
2002. In search of Yoruba+: [ATR] dominance and vowel inventory structure. Paper presented at the January 1995 Linguistic Society of America meeting, San Fransisco, January 4, 2002.
2002 . [-ATR] Dominance in Underlying Five-height Vowel Systems. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Ohio University, March 22-24, 2002.
2002. Casali, Roderic F. & Myles F. Leitch. Underspecification revisited: [-ATR] dominance and default [+ATR] in Bantu C. Paper presented at the Workshop on the Phonology of African Languages, November 2, 2002, Vienna.
2006. Preliminary observations on the phonology and noun class system of Animere. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference on African Languages and Linguistics, University of Oregon, April 6-9, 2006.
2007. On the distinction between root-controlled and dominant ATR harmony. Paper presented at the 38th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, March 22-25, 2007.
2008. Phonetics, phonology and [+ATR] dominance in Akan. Paper presented at the Simon Fraser University Phonology Fest, April 5, 2008.
2009. A software tool for phonological fieldwork. Paper presented at the 6th World Congress of African Linguistics, University of Cologne, August 17-21, 2009.
2010. Dekereke: A software tool for phonological fieldwork. Paper presented at the 41st Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Toronto, May 6-8, 2010.
2012. On the markedness of high [-ATR] and mid [+ATR] vowels: Some non-trivial effects of vowel inventory structure. Paper presented at the 7th World Congress of African Linguistics, University of Buea, Cameroon, August 20-24, 2012.
2015. Revisiting markedness and dominance relations in tongue root harmony. Paper presented at the 46th Annual Conference on African Languages and Linguistics, University of Oregon, March, 2015.
1992-93, 1994-95 President’s Fellowship, UCLA.
West African Linguistics Society
LING-LIN 680 Advanced Field Methods: Analysis and Writing
LING-LIN 650 Survey of Linguistic Theories
LING-LIN 4/586 Advanced Phonological Analysis
LING-LIN 576 Acoustic Phonetics