Deborah C. Morton

IMG_5541bI have been a Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University since 2015. I received my PhD in Linguistics from The Ohio State University in August 2014.

My research interests include African languages, phonology (specifically tonology), (tense-aspect-modality) semantics, language description and documentation, language contact, and language variation, among others. My passion is describing little-studied language varieties, which can involve almost any subfield of linguistics.

My current focus is on the Anii language (, spoken in Togo and Benin, West Africa.

As a result of my work on Anii, I have also become involved in language development workers’ efforts to promote and support literacy in the Anii community. I have conducted phonological studies of the nasals, the vowel harmony system, and the tone system in order to help with orthography development. The most interesting forum where this work is now being used is the new Anii-language magazine, with which I have been involved in a training capacity. (  I am also a member of the Beninese language development ONG LINGO Bénin (

Some more information and  Anii language materials can be found on the Anii Language website (Gasana).  They even wrote a blog entry about my dissertation (found here)!

A bit more information about Anii can be found on the French Wikipedia site (  The English Wikipedia article is still a stub, but can be found here: .

I would love to hear from you if you want to know more about any of the above topics!