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James C. Wamsley


  • Adjunct Professor

PhD, Indiana University Bloomington, 2023

Office Hours: By appointment


James C. Wamsley joined the Department of Linguistics in Fall 2023. He received his PhD. in Linguistics from Indiana University in 2023. His dissertation, Topics in Hakha Lai Nominal Marking, investigates discourse deictics, a type of postnominal marker which performs several semantic and pragmatic functions in Hakha Lai, a South Central (formerly 'Kuki-Chin') language spoken in northwest Burma. His current research involves the encoding of referential properties of nominals in South Central Tibeto-Burman languages. Prior to coming to the University of Rochester, James was a founding member of the Chin Languages Research Project (

Research Overview

Research Interests

  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
  • Definiteness
  • Nominal Morphology
  • Tibeto-Burman languages
  • Fieldwork

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • LING 104:  Language & Culture
  • LING 110:  Intro to Linguistic Analysis
  • LING 226 / 446:  Morphology
  • LING 389:  Senior Seminar

Selected Publications

  • James C. Wamsley. 2023. Topics in Hakha Lai Nominal Marking. PhD. Thesis, Indiana University Bloomington.
  • Kelly Berkson, James C. Wamsley, Samson Lotven, Shobhana Chelliah, Kenneth Van Bik, Sara Champlin, Kimberly Sakhong, Sui Hnem Par, Alina Matthews, Amanada Bohnert. 2023. "A developing community of collaboration in Indiana". In B. Murray, M. Brill-Carlat & M. Höhn, (eds.) Migration, Displacement, and Higher Education: Now What? (Political Pedagogies). Palgrave Macmillan. 23-35.
  • James C. Wamsley. 2022. "Hakha Lai Definites". InIshani Guha, Sana Kidwai and Martha Schwarz (eds.) Proceedings of (F)ASAL 10.
  • Alina Matthews & James C. Wamsley. 2020. "A Brief Report on the Demonstrative System of Hnaring Lutuv". Indiana Working Papers in South Asian Languages & Cultures (IWPSALC) 2(1).