By training, I am a laboratory phonologist, which means I worry about sounds both as physical entities and as grammatical entities.  Broadly, I’m interested in phonological categories: What are they?  How are they formed?  What’s the evidence for them?  How do they relate to the phonetic substrate?  In more traditional terms, I study features, segments and inventories and the way they play together at the phonology-phonetics interface.  I’m particularly interested in addressing these questions from a cross-linguistic, or typological, perspective.  Stemming from my dissertation work on /v/ and more generally on the class of voiced spirants (the voiced, non-sibilant fricatives), I remain particularly interested in all things fricative.

Over the last several years I’ve devoted a lot of my energy to linguistic pedagogy.  I am particularly committed to building capacity for scholarly teaching with the Faculty Learning Community that was initially formed in 2019 as an LSA-sponsored NSF grant.  My departmental service is an extension of this work, in that I supervise the graduate and undergraduate student TAs and graders, together with Joel Smith.  I am also dedicated to using linguistics to shed light on issues of discrimination and prejudice, and I strive to design classes that incorporate pedagogical linguistic justice. 

I run the (newly established) Phonetics-Phonology Interface and Typology (PhIT) lab at CMU.  If you’re a CMU student and you’re interested in being a research assistant or working on your senior thesis with me, please don’t hesitate to email me!  I love getting undergraduates involved in authentic research, and this is one of my main pedagogical interests, so I would be very happy to hear from you.

I’m a heritage speaker of Greek (mother’s side), and am somewhat fluent in French when I can keep the Greek from hijacking whatever I try to say.

I can be reached at cbjorn AT andrew DOT cmu DOT edu.

My CV.

A note on this webpage: Maintaining an online presence is a lot of work!  I know we’re supposed to constantly be marketing ourselves, but I find that tiresome.  I’d rather be hanging out with my kids, knitting, cooking, gardening, walking my dog, or just about anything else (like getting on my soapbox ;), so this page will only be updated a couple of times a year.  For similar reasons, I’m not active on social media, even though I often find myself in awe of and so grateful for the amazing things my colleagues and fellow linguists post to the interwebs.  However, I’m a shameless extrovert and I love meeting new people, so if you’d like to chat or find out what I’m up to, please come find me in real life, or email me!