Éy laba, byinvini! Hello, welcome! 

I am a sociolinguist at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where my research is broadly concerned with endangered languages and contact languages such as creoles and pidgins. Specifically, I'm interested in the rise and fall of languages and how their grammars vary and change over time as people start using new vernaculars, shift to speaking other languages or attempt to (re-)learn their heritage language. I work mainly on Louisiana Creole, spoken by between 3,500 and 6,000 people living mostly in south Louisiana. I hope to make a contribution to our understanding of how languages come into existence, change and fall out of use as well as a positive impact on the documentation and revitalization of this unique gumbo language. I am also interested in other contact varieties, especially Tây Bồi (Vietnamese Pidgin French), Naijá (Nigerian Pidgin), Haitian, and the emergent vernaculars of urban Francophone West Africa and the Vietnamese diaspora.

Mo travay enho lingwistik a University of Cambridge, a Langlatèr. Mo war komen langaj pe shanjé kan moun arèt parlé yêchènn langaj é komens parlé in nòt, ou kan moun fé kishòj pou chonbo yê langaj vivan. Mo gèt komen moun apé parlé kréyòl dan Lalwizyann jou jòrdi é kompar ça èk komen moun t'apé parlé lontem pasé. Ina pa in ta d moun ki stìl apé parlé kréyòl, probab ent 3,500 é 6,000. Mo swèt mô travay èd nouzòt konné pli pou nôchènn bèl langaj k'apé gònn - langaj gombo, kouri-vini, kréyòl. 

Ki mo yê / biography 

I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2019 and now hold a Title A (Junior Research) Fellowship at Trinity College. I am also Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics, where I teach the sociolinguistics of the French-speaking world and co-convene the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group (CELC). 

I am a regular Scholar in Residence at NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville, Louisiana (2017 - 2024). I am also affiliated as a consultant with Trung Tâm Từ Điển Học - The Vietnam Lexicography Centre in Hanoi. In 2023, I was elected to the Executive Committee of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics

My PhD thesis, supervised by Professor Mari Jones, sought to question the notion of decreolization and to test empirically whether creole languages undergo the same processes of contact-induced language change as other languages. I built and analysed a diachronic corpus of Louisiana Creole which included three centuries' of data, including new data from my own fieldwork and from social media. For several years I have also been involved in the revitalization of Louisiana's unique, fascinating Creole language (and published a ten-year retrospective in 2024). In 2020, some friends and I co-authored the first learner's guide to the language, the Ti Liv Kréyòl. Baton Rouge Poet Laureate Jonathan Mayers and I also co-edited Févi (2022), the first anthology of contemporary poetry in Louisiana Creole (also probably the first ever book to be written completely in the language!).

Before coming to Cambridge for my MPhil and PhD, I studied for a BA in Korean and Linguistics with Yoruba at SOAS with a year at Korea University (고려대학교). During that time, I worked as a Research Assistant in Korean Linguistics at SOAS and the University of Oxford, and also as a bookseller at my favourite bookshop. I grew up between Scotland and Nigeria to an English mother and a Louisianian father, a childhood I blame for my lifelong love for languages and my weird English accent. 'Mayeux' is a fairly common Creole family name of Avoyelles Parish and is pronounced  [mɑˈjø] in Louisiana Creole and French.

Hopefully this website will be a way for me to exchange research and receive feedback  - please do get in touch if you'd like to chat!