This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Cheryl Zoll’s research combines her training in linguistic theory with a strong interest in linguistic diversity. Her work embraces many languages of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Zoll’s main research interest is the function and behavior of tone patterns in African languages and their implications for linguistic theory. Her original approach to tone in human language provides new insight into a wide variety of tonal phenomena that extends to the behavior of tone in all the world’s languages.
Her research project during her Radcliffe fellowship will focus on two key African language families: Chadic and Mande. This year, she will develop a series of case studies and complete a manuscript on the theory of tone mapping.
Zoll is an associate professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and associate editor of Linguistic Inquiry. She was a Rocca Scholar at UC Berkeley’s African Studies Center and the recipient of a university fellowship at Brandeis University. She earned a BA in biology at Harvard, an MA in linguistics at Brandeis, and an MA and a PhD in linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley.