Director, Southeast Asia Program
Abby Cohn is a professor of linguistics and Southeast Asian studies. Her research interests include the Austronesian languages of Indonesia, with a particular focus on their phonetics, phonology, and morphology.
Recently she has focused on the sociolinguistic situation in Indonesia, as more young people switch from using a local language as their first language to Indonesian. In collaboration with Maya Ravindranath Abtahian and Tom Pepinsky, she is studying the fate of the languages of Indonesia with more than a million speakers, as reported in The International Journal of the Sociology of Language.
She was a Fulbright senior research scholar at Unika Atma Jaya. Her research project, "Language Contact in Indonesia: Shifts in Usage and their Structural Manifestations," investigated the mutual influences of Sundanese and Indonesian as a case study.
Her publications include articles and book chapters in both general linguistics and areal linguistics venues. She is coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology and coeditor-in-chief of the new online journal Linguistics Vanguard.