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David Margolin

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Educational History

  • Ph.D. 1999 Educational Linguistics, Division of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico
  • M.A. 1987 Secondary Education, University of New Mexico; secondary certification in Mathematics, Social Studies, and teacher training
  • M.A. 1982 Counseling, University of New Mexico
  • A.M., A.B.D. 1975 Anthropology, minor Linguistics, Harvard University
  • Certification 1971 Faroese language and culture, Fróðskaparsetur Føroya, Faroe Islands
  • A.B. 1970 Scandinavian Folklore and Mythology, Harvard College Title and director of dissertation “Our Language is Our Culture: Representations of Native American Language Use,” directed by Prof. Alan Hudson

Research Interests

Societal bilingualism, especially with respect to endangered languages

Selected Publications

  • 2004 The joy of Tawahka: An overview of some aspects of the phonology, morphology, and syntax of a Misumalpan language. In Proceedings of the Fifth Annual High Desert Linguistics Society Conference, November 1st & 2nd, 2002 (University of New Mexico), pp. 19-28.
  • 2003 Levels of context, islands of use: Tawahka in the Honduran Mosquitia. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 163:123-36.
  • 2002 With Marcela Carías, Suyapa Dilworth, and Carmen Palacios, The symbolic value of oral literature for the revitalization of Tawahka, in Endangered Languages and Their Literatures: Proceedings of the Sixth FEL Conference, Antigua, Guatemala, 8–10 August 2002, ed. by R. McKenna Brown (Bath, England: Foundation for Endangered Languages),pp. 113–18.
  • 1997 Review of Dennis Gaffin, 1996, In Place: Spatial and Social Order in a Faeroe Islands Community (Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press), in Journal of Anthropological Research 53(4): 469–71.
  • 1996 Review of Lisa Phillips Valentine, 1995, Making It Their Own: Severn Ojibwe Communicative Practices, in Journal of Anthropological Research 52(4): 510–12.
  • 1981 With Jonathan Wylie. The Ring of Dancers: Images of Faroese Culture. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 182 pp. (Responsible for chapters on “Øskudólgur, Social Change, and the Meaning of Faroese Folklore” and “Language Roles and Culture Contact: The Linguistic Development of the Faroe Islands.”)


  • 2001-2002 Fulbright Lecturing/Research award, Tawahka Intercultural and Bilingual Education Project (PEBIT), Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Worked with students being trained for teaching in village schools using Tawahka materials, replacing Miskito-speaking teachers.
  • 2011 Fulbright Lecturing/Research award, Federal University of Pará, Belém, Brazil. Taught course on theory and practice of societal bilingualism and endangered language revitalization; advised graduate students in linguistics.

Teaching Interests

Courses in sociolinguistics at all levels, especially those dealing with bilingualism and endangered languages, in addition to general linguistics.