Coleen grew up in Southern California not far from coast. However, though she had grown up just 90 minutes from then Wycliffe headquarters in Huntington Beach, she had never heard of Bible translation. Then at the age of 18 she spent a year as a foreign exchange student in Germany where she first heard about linguistics, Bible translation and cross cultural service. Her call to cross-cultural service was the answer to her prayer, “Show me what you want me to do with my life!” Cross-cultural service has been her passion ever since.
She especially delights in training and mentoring and generally passing on information whether linguistics or life experience. Coleen joined Wycliffe in early 1986 and spent the 1990s as a part of SIL’s work in Togo where she was assigned as a Linguist/Translator to the Akposo project. She returned to Dallas in 2000 to work on her PhD in linguistics at UTA where she met Ervin. She’d be happy to tell you of their courtship, but it is much more entertaining when Ervin tells the story, so ask him. “Marrying Ervin is the second best decision I’ve ever made,” she claims.
In 2010, the two of them went to Nigeria to teach at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria. Coleen also became the linguistics coordinator for SIL Nigeria. When she’s not teaching a course at GIAL, is also the linguistics coordinator for Africa West Area and all that means is that she has more Skype meetings to attend. SIL’s work in this area is all in Nigeria. Coleen likes to read and write and talk about interesting things and hang out with people who like to do the same. But she has also been known to play an instrument or two, or maybe three. But only one at a time.
The University of Texas at Arlington,
2008, PhD in Linguistics
Dissertation Topic: The Acoustic Correlates of ATR Harmony in Seven- and Nine-Vowel African Languages: A Phonetic Inquiry into Phonological Structure
The University of Texas at Arlington,
1987, M.A. in Linguistics
1984, B.A. in Intercultural Studies
Dallas International University, Dallas, TX
2014-Present, Adjunct Faculty in Applied Linguistics Department
Theological College of Northern Nigeria
2010-2013, Senior Lecturer in the Bible Translation Department
Courses taught: Phonetics I&II, Phonology, Phonetics Field Project, Phonology Field Project, Phonology Write-up
University of Texas at Arlington
2000-2008, Graduate Teaching Assistant (Instructor of Record)
Courses taught: Phonetics and Phonology, Academic Writing for English Speakers of Other Languages, Developmental English ESL, Phonology I
Oregon SIL, Northwest Christian College, Eugene, Oregon
2005-06 Assistant Course Head, Articulatory Phonetics;
2001 Teaching Assistant, Language and Culture Learning
1993 Instructor of Record, Phonology I
Université de Lomé, Togo
2004 Guest Lecturer as visiting Fulbright Scholar in the Département d’Anglais, Faculté des Langues et des Sciences Humaines
Course taught: Thesis Writing Seminar
Texas SIL, The University of Texas at Arlington, Dallas, Texas
1993, Instructor of Record, Principles of Translation: Lexicology
Oklahoma SIL, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
1987 Instructor of Record, Beginning Phonology
Other Professional Appointments
SIL Nigeria Linguistics Coordinator
SIL Nigeria Linguistics Consultant
UTASCIL Conference Coordinator
2002-2003 10th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics
Editor LingBits, the electronic newsletter of the International Linguistics Coordinator’s Office of SIL International
M.A.T.A. (Akposso Association for Literacy and Bible Translation), Atakpame, Togo
1993-1998 SIL Project Consultant and Field Linguist
1992-1993 Sociolinguistics Surveyor
Fellowships and Awards
Fulbright Grant for Graduate Study and Research Abroad
2003-2004 Country of Affiliation: Togo, West Africa
Linguistics Program Fellowship
2005-2006, 2002-2003, 2001-2002, The University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Student Fellowship
2000-2001 The University of Texas at Arlington
Yumi Nakamura Prize in Linguistics
2006 14th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics: Most Outstanding Oral Presentation
2005 13th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics: Honorable Mention for Outstanding Oral Presentation
2001 8th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics: Honorable Mention for Outstanding Oral Presentation
President’s Convocation for Academic Excellence
2002 University Scholar
2009. “Review of: The origins of vowel systems: studies in the evolution of language 1, by Bart de Boer” SIL Electronic Book Reviews 2009-006.
2008. “The Acoustic Correlates of ATR Harmony in Seven- and Nine-Vowel African Languages: A Phonetic Inquiry into Phonological Structure” UTA Dissertation. Dissertation posted at: http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/50335
2007. “F1 and Center of Gravity Interplay in the Maintenance of Phonological Height within a Statistical Model of a Communal Grammar: The Case of Foodo [ATR] Acoustics” UTA Working Papers in Linguistics 2006-2007:2-29.
2003. “In Search of an Acoustic Correlate to ATR in Ikpɔsɔ.” Linguistic description: typology and representation of African languages. In Trends in African Linguistics Vol. 8. John M. Mugane, ed. Trenton: Africa World Press.
1999. “ATR Vowel Harmony in Akposso.” Studies in African Linguistics 28.2:185-214
2010. Laboratory Phonology on Site: Hardware, Software and Application within the African Context or ‘Fancy Fieldwork Fun with
Phonetics’. Presented at the Jos Linguistics Circle, Plateau State, Nigeria.
2009. (with Phil Davison) [ATR] in Konabere Syllabic Nasals: A Pilot Study. Presented at the GIAL Academic Forum, Dallas Texas.
2006. The Acoustic Analysis of the Vowel Systems of Three GMT Languages: Ikposo, Tuwuli and Foodo. Presented at the Ghana-Togo Mountain Languages Workshop in Ho, Ghana.
2006. The Search for a Reliable Acoustic Measurement of ATR: The case of Foodo. Presented at the 14th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics, Arlington, Texas.
2005. The Practical Application of Linguistic Theory and Phonetic Software to a Linguistic “Problem”: the case of Limbum [æ]. Presented at the 13th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics, Arlington, Texas.
2004. GIVE and TAKE Serial Verb Construction in Ikpɔsɔ-uwi: a discourse perspective. Presented at the 24th West African Linguistics Conference, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
2002. In Search of an Acoustic Correlate to [ATR] in Ikpɔsɔ. Presented at the 33rd Annual Conference in African Linguistics, University of Ohio, Athens, Ohio.
2002. The Chiastic Nature of Ikpɔsɔ Argument: A Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) Analysis. Presented at the 9th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics, Arlington, Texas.
2001. Mɛ and kʊ and mainline in Akposso narrative, procedural and expository discourse. Presented at the 8th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics, Arlington, Texas.
2015. SIL Participatory Tone Orthography Workshop, Jos, Nigeria (Workshop Co-Coordinator and Linguistics Consultant for Kuce) Tone Analysis and Orthography (Constance Kutsch Lojenga)
2013. Kuce Tone Workshop, Rukubu, Nigeria (Instructor and Consultant) Tone (Weeks 1 and 2 of a 6-week workshop)
2013. SIL Translation Consultants Workshop (Co-Coordinator) Discourse for Translation Consultants (Stephan Levinsohn)
2012. SIL Tone Workshop, Jos, Nigeria (Coordinator) Tone (Weeks 3-6 of a 6-week workshop Keith Snider)
2012. SIL Translation Consultants Workshop (Coordinator) Discourse for Translation Consultants (Ervin Starwalt)
2011. SIL Tone Workshop, Jos, Nigeria (Coordinator and Consultant) Tone (Weeks 1 and 2 of a 6-week workshop Phil Davison)
1999. SIL New Teams Workshop, Kara, Togo (Coordinator & Instructor) Tone and Intro to Speech Analyzer
1999. GILLBT Phonetics Workshop, Tamale, Ghana (Co-Instructor with Rod Casali) Tone
- Ghana-Togo Mountain Languages Working Group
- West African Linguistic Society (WALS)
- SIL International
- ATR phenomenon in Konabere syllabic nasals and vowels
- Tone and orthography in Kuce and other Nigerian languages