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Simeon Floyd


Erasmusplein 1
6525 HT Nijmegen
room: E 4.27

Simeon Floyd is a specialist in the languages and cultures of South America. He completed a PhD in Linguistic Anthropology (2010) at the University of Texas, followed by postdoctoral positions at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (2010-2015), Senescyt-Ecuador and Radboud University Nijmegen (current). He focuses on Andean and Amazonian languages, including Cha’palaa and Quechua in Ecuador and Nheengatú in Brazil, spanning a number of different perspectives including descriptive field linguistics, gesture and multimodality, and social interaction.
Floyd’s PhD looked at language and racial and ethnic identify among indigenous speakers of Cha’palaa and Afro-descendant Spanish-speakers in Ecuador. At MPI he formed part of Nick Enfield’s ERC project on pragmatic typology, using the methods of Conversation Analysis to compare language usage across different cultures. Several recent publications look at the role of visual-bodily behavior in language. He has received grants from agencies such as the US NSF and NEH, the Fulbright program, and the Wenner Gren foundation in support of field-based research, language documentation and description, and grammatical typology.
As a part of Asifa Majid’s NWO project on olfactory language at RU, Floyd is engaged in research on sensory language in two languages of Ecuador, Quechua and Cha’palaa, bringing out what is unique about how these languages express sensory meanings, and asking what this may teach us more generally about human diversity in comparison with other languages. He is also currently participating in the Ecuadorian science agency Senescyt’s Prometeo Fellowship program for collaboration with local institutions in Ecuador.



‘Recruitments in Cha’palaa.’ In S. Floyd et al eds. Getting others to do things: a pragmatic typology of recruitments. Language Sciences Press.


‘Requesting: a basic practice for negotiating distributed agency.’ In N. Enfield and P. Kockelman, eds. Distributed Agency. Oxford University Press
‘Modally hybrid grammar? celestial pointing for time-of-day reference in Nheengatú’. Language.
forthcoming with E. Manrique, G. Rossi and F. Torreira. ‘The timing of visual bodily behavior in repair sequences: evidence from three languages’ Discourse Processes.
forthcoming ‘Insubordination in interaction: The Cha’palaa counter-assertive’. In N. Evans and H. Watanabe (Eds.) Dynamics of Insubordination. Typological Studies in Language. Amsterdam: John Benjamin’s.
2015 ‘Other-initiated repair in Cha’palaa’. Open Linguistics 1:467-489.
2015 Dingemanse, M., Roberts, S. G., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Drew, P., Floyd, S., Gisladottir, R. S., Kendrick, K. H., Levinson, S. C., Manrique, E., Rossi, G., & Enfield, N. J. ‘Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems.’ PLoS One, 10(9): e0136100.
2015 L. San Roque, S. Floyd and E. Norcliffe. ‘Evidentiality and Interrogativity’. Lingua. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2014.11.003.
2015 San Roque, L., Kendrick, K. H., Norcliffe, E., Brown, P., Defina, R., Dingemanse, M., Dirksmeyer, T., Enfield, N. J., Floyd, S., Hammond, J., Rossi, G., Tufvesson, S., Van Putten, S., & Majid, A. ‘Vision verbs dominate in conversation across cultures, but the ranking of non-visual verbs varies.’ Cognitive Linguistics 26:31-60.
2015 ‘Transparência semântica e o ‘calque’ cultural no noroeste amazônico’ [Portuguese transl. of ‘Semantic transparency and cultural calquing in the Northwest Amazon’, 2013]. Wamon: Revista dos alunos do PpGas/UFAM, 1(1), 95-117
2014 with M. Dingemanse. ‘Conversation across cultures’. In N. J. Enfield, P. Kockelman, & J. Sidnell (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of linguistic anthropology. (pp447-480) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2014 ‘Four types of reduplication in the Cha’palaa language of Ecuador’. In H. van der Voort and G. Goodwin (eds.), Reduplication in South American Indian Languages. (pp77-114) Amsterdam: Brill.
2014    ‘‘We’ as social categorization in Cha’palaa’. In Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou, ed.   Constructing Collectivity: ‘We’ across Languages and Contexts. Amsterdam: John Benjamin’s.
2013 ‘Semantic transparency and cultural calquing in the Northwest Amazon.’ In Patience Epps and Kristene Stenzel, eds. Cultural and Linguistic Interactions in the Northwest Amazon.   (pp271-308) Rio de Janiero: Museu do Indio.
2013 Review of Lessons from a Quechua strongwoman: ideophony, dialogue and perspective. Janis Nuckolls. Tucson: UAP, 2010]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 22, 256-258.
2013 Enfield, N. J., Dingemanse, M., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Brown, P., Dirksmeyer, T., Drew, P., Floyd, S., Gipper, S., Gisladottir, R. S., Hoymann, G., Kendrick, K., Levinson, S. C., Magyari, L., Manrique, E., Rossi, G., San Roque, L., & Torreira, F. (2013). ‘Huh? What? – A first survey in 21 languages’. In M. Hayashi, G. Raymond, & J. Sidnell (Eds.), Conversational repair and human understanding (pp. 343-380). New York: Cambridge University Press.
2012 Review of Poeticas de vida en espacios de muerte: Género, poder y estado en la contidianeidad warao [Poetics of life in spaces of death: Gender, power and the state in Warao everyday life] Charles L. Briggs. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala, 2008. American Anthropologist, 114, 543
2011 ‘Re-discovering the Quechua adjective’. Linguistic Typology 15:25-63


Review of Teun A. Van Dijk. (ed.), Racism and discourse in Latin America. Lanham, ML: Lexington Books, 2009. Language in Society. 40:5, 670-671.


with M. Bruil. ‘Interactional functions as part of the grammar: The suffix –ba in Cha’palaa’. In P. K. Austin, O. Bond, D. Nathan, & L. Marten (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Language Description and Theory (pp. 91-100). London: SOAS
2010 ‘Discourse forms and social categorization in Cha’palaa.’ PhD Thesis, University of Texas, Austin, TX
2009 ‘Nexos históricos, gramaticales y culturales de los números en cha’palaa’ [Historical, grammatical and cultural connections of Cha’palaa numerals]. In Proceedings of the Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA)-IV
2008 ‘The Pirate Media Economy and the Emergence of Quichua Language Media Spaces in Ecuador’.   Anthropology of Work Review XXIX(2):34-41
2007 ‘Changing times and local terms on the Rio Negro, Brazil: Amazonian ways for depolarizing epistemology, chronology and cultural change’. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. 2(2):111-140
2007 ‘Reported Speech, Codeswitching, and Speech Genre as Integrated Phenomena in Ecuadorian Quichua’ Language, Meaning and Society 1(1): 4-47 [online student-run journal] (
2005 ‘The Cash Value of Style on the Andean Market’. Proceedings from 13th Annual Symposium About Language and Society at Austin (SALSA). Texas Linguistic Forum 49:50-60 (
2005 ‘The Poetics of Evidentiality in South American Storytelling’. Santa Barbara Papers in Linguistics 16:28-41 (
2003 ‘Purismo lingüístico y realidad local: ¿Quichua puro o puro quichuaño l?’ Proceedings from CILLA I Conference, UTAustin (www.ailla.utexas.o rg/site/cilla1/Floyd_Quichua_Spanish.pdf)
September 2015 with Elisabeth Norcliffe and Harald Hammarström. ‘The reconstruction and classification of the Barbacoan language family’. 48th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. Leiden.
June 2015 with Elisabeth Norcliffe. ‘The locative origins of core constituent marking in the Barbacoan languages.’ Diachronic Morphosyntax in South American Languages, Institut des Sciences de l’Homme, Lyon.
June 2015 ‘Modally hybrid grammar? Celestial pointing for time-of-day reference in Nheengatú’. ACLC Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication Seminar.
May 2015 ‘Pragmatic typology: Unity and diversity in systems of language use’ (with Mark Dingemanse and N.J. Enfield). Diversity Linguistics: Retrospect and Prospect, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig.
December 2014 ‘Egophoricity: typological explorations of a lesser-known cross-linguistic phenomenon.’ (in collaboration with Elisabeth Norcliffe & Lila San Roque). Invited talk, Séminaire de Linguistique, Lille University.
July 2014 Floyd, S., Rossi, G., Enfield, N. J., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Dingemanse, M., Kendrick, K., & Zinken, J. ‘Recruitments  across languages: A systematic comparison. Talk presented at the 4th International Conference on Conversation Analysis [ICCA 2014]. University of California at Los Angeles.
May 2014 ‘The ‘deceased-referent’ marker in Nheengatú, a first look at a lesser-known type of social status marking.’ Amazónicas VI, 26-30 May 2014, Belém do Pará, Brazil.
April 2014 ‘Everyday requesting across 8 languages’. with Giovanni Rossi, Nick Enfield, Julija Baranova, Joe Blythe, Mark Dingemanse, Kobin Kendrick, Jörg Zinken. Workshop on Social Agency. Ringberg, Germany.
February 2014 with Rossi, G., Enfield, N. J., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Dingemanse, M., Kendrick, K., & Zinken, J. ‘Everyday requesting across eight languages.’ Talk presented at the Center for Language, Interaction, and Culture (CLIC) workshop ‘About Face’. University of California at Los Angeles.
October 2013 Clasifiicando las partes del cuerpo (sin la palabra ‘cuerpo’) en Cha’palaa. Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA) VI. University of Texas at Austin. with J. Pianchiche.
September 2013 ‘Switch reference systems in the Barbacoan languages and their neighbors’. Switch-reference: state of the art and where to go from here? (Workshop 1). Societas Linguistica Europaea 46. Split, Croatia. with E. Norcliffe.
May 2013 ‘Place reference in story launchings’. Place, landscape and language workshop. Radboud University Nijmegen. with M. Dingemanse and G. Rossi. May2013.
October 2012 ‘Insubordination in interaction: the Cha’palaa counter-assertive’. October 25-28. Dynamics of Insubordination Workshop, organized by Nick Evans and Honoré Watanabe. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Tokyo, Japan.
June 2012 ‘Interrogating evidentiality & egophoricity’. June 14-16, 2012. The Nature of Evidentiality. University of Leiden. With Lila San Roque (presenter) & Elisabeth Norcliffe.
May 2012 ‘Switch reference with and without person.’ 60th Birthday Colloquium for Robert Van Valin, jr. Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf.
April 2012 ‘Egophoricity: typology, grammar and interaction.’ Invited talk, Leuven University.
September 2011 ‘An interactive account of conjunct/disjunct grammar in Cha’palaa, a language of Ecuador.’ Societas Linguistica Europaea 44. Logroño, Spain.
August 2011 ‘Conjunct/disjunct alignment and experiencer constructions in Cha’palaa’. International Conference on Role and Reference Grammar. Santiago, Chile.
July 2011 ‘Conjunct/disjunct marking in Cha’palaa.’ Workshop: The Grammar of Knowledge Asymmetries, conjunct/disjunct marking in cross-linguistic perspective. Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
July 2011 ‘“We” as membership categorization in Cha’palaa, a language of Ecuador.’ International Pragmatics Association 12. Manchester, UK.
November 2010 ‘”How is the security there?” Dangerous neighborhoods and unequal “mestizaje” in Quito, Ecuador.’ 109 th Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. New Orleans, LA, USA.
October 2010 ‘Social categorization in Cha’palaa grammar and discourse’. Language and Cognition Group talk. Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.
July 2010 ‘Pointing at time of day in Nheengatú: gesture and the verb phrase’ 4th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies. Frankfurt/Oder, Germany.
March 2010 ‘Making grammar drowsy with Cha’palaa lullabies’ Symposium About Language and Society at Austin (SALSA) XVIII. UT-Austin.
October 2009 ‘Nexos históricos, gramaticales y culturales en los números de Cha’palaa’. Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA) Conference IV. UT-Austin.
July 2009 ‘Cultural convergences and their linguistic correlates in the Northwest Amazon.’ 53rd International Congress of Americanists, Mexico City.
July 2009 ‘Cha’palaa reduplication across word classes and construction types.’ 53rd International Congress of Americanists, Mexico City.
July 2009 ‘Stages in the development of Cha’palaa numerals.’ Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Summer Meeting, UC Berkeley.
May 2008 ‘Together in a tight space: Chachi discourses of contact with Afro-Ecuadorians and other social actors in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.’ First Conference on Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean, University of California San Diego.
May 2008 ‘Solar iconicity, conventionalized gesture and multimodal meaning in Nheengatú’ Arizona Linguistics and Anthropology Symposium, Tucson, Arizona.
April 2008 ‘Video as ethnographic and linguistic methodology, case studies from indigenous South America’ Poster presentation for Anthropology Graduate Students Association‘New Directions in Anthropology’ Conference, UT Austin.
December 2007 ‘Digital video media and autonomous discursive space in indigenous Quichua communities of Ecuador’ American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC.
February 2007 ‘Digital video media and the circulation of Quichua discourse in Ecuador’. Indigenous Languages in Digital Cultures Conference, Department of Latin American Studies, University of Florida at Gainesville.
January 2007 ‘On the status of the ‘adjectival noun’ in the Quechuan langauges’ Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California.
September 2006 ‘An introduction to the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America’. Guest lecture, Anthropology Department, Universidad Central de Venezuela.
March 2006 ‘Changing times and local terms on the Rio Negro’. Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico.



2010 PhD Linguistic Anthropology, University of Texas – Austin
2004 MA Latin American Studies, UT-Austin (linguistics and anthropology)
2001 BA Latin American Studies (with honors), UT-Austin

Employment and professional experience


2015-present Prometeo Fellow, Senescyt Coordinación Zonal 1&2, Ecuador


Postdoctoral Researcher, Radboud University Nijmegen; Meaning, Culture and Cognition research group (dir. A. Majid)
2010-2015 Staff member – Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen,   Language and Cognition Department (dir. Stephen Levinson, ERC Project (N. Enfield): Human Sociality and Systems of Language Use
Summer 2013 Instructor: Evidentiality: Typological Challenges (with L. San Roque), LOT School, Groningen
July 2013 Organizer, Symposium: ‘Spatial Language in Latin American Indigenous Languages’ at the 54th International Conference of Americanists, Vienna
Spring 2012 Instructor, master’s level course: Ethnographic Methods for Field Linguistics
July 2012 Co-Organizer, Workshop: The grammar of knowledge asymmetries. LSA Summer Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder
2006-2007 Archivist, Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America, UT Austin

Awards and Fellowships


2013 NSF Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowship for Cha’palaa 50.400USD
2011 Wenner-Gren Grant for Workshop “The grammar of knowledge asymmetries” (with L. San Roque and E. Norcliffe) LSA Summer Institute 2011; 20.000USD
2009-2010 NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant; 12.000USD
2009 Powers Graduate Fellowship, UT Austin; 27.000USD
2008-2009 Fulbright Hays doctoral fellowship – Ecuador; 35.700USD
2006 Endangered Language Foundation grant – Quechua, Ecuador; 1.200USD
2003-2008 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship; 97.000USD
2001-2002 Fulbright Student Fellowship – Ecuador; 10.000USD
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