Avery Ozburn

Assistant Professor, Linguistics
Language Studies

Graduate Appointment: Graduate Linguistics Program

Avery Ozburn is a linguist who is particularly interested in long-distance segmental phonology, such as vowel and consonant harmony systems. She explores the typology and motivations of these patterns through fieldwork, theoretical analysis, corpus phonology, phonetics, and experiments. She is also interested in how the use of evidence from language games and artificial language learning experiments can shed light on phonological issues. She has a special focus on increasing the representation of under-represented languages in the discipline.

Current Courses

Fall/Winter 2024-25:

  • LIN101 (Introduction to General Linguistics: The Sounds of Language)
  • LIN329 (Phonological Theory)
  • LIN419 (Field Methods: A Language Unlocked)


  • PhD, Linguistics, University of British Columbia 
  • MA, Linguistics, University of Toronto
  • BMath, Pure Math, University of Waterloo 

Areas of Teaching and Research Interests 

  • Phonology 
  • Phonetics 
  • Field methods 
  • Language documentation 

Selected Publications

  • Akinbo, S., Ozburn, A., Nweya, G., & Pulleyblank, D. Imilike Igbo has eleven vowels with ATR and RTR schwa. To appear in Journal of the International Phonetic Association
  • Ozburn, A., Giovio Canavesi, G. F., & Akinbo, S. Perception of ATR in Dagaare. To appear in Laboratory Phonology
  • Ozburn, A. (2022). Neutral Paired vowels in Mayak and Kurmuk. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 40(4): 1269–1315. 
  • Ozburn, A. (2019). A target-oriented approach to neutrality in vowel harmony: Evidence from Hungarian. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 4(1): 47. 1–36.
  • Ozburn, A., & Schellenberg, M. (2019). Largonji des Loucherbems: An Optimality Theoretic analysis of a 19th century French language game. Canadian Journal of Linguistics /Revue Canadienne De Linguistique, 64(3): 509–537.  
  • Ozburn, A., & Kochetov, A. (2018). Ejective harmony in Lezgian. Phonology, 35(3): 407–440. 

Selected Grants, Fellowships and Awards

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Principal Investigator, 2021–2024, Vowels in East African Languages
  • University of Toronto Learning and Educational Advancement Fund (LEAF) Grant, Principal Investigator, 2022–2025, Language Profiles for Enriching Student Education through Cultural Contextualization