"Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind." - Wade Davis

I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta, working on Dr. David Beck's Totonacan languages project, where I am doing fieldwork on Cerro Xinolatépetl Totonac.

I am also a collaborator on the Pan-Athapaskan Comparative Lexicon project with Dr. Sally Rice and Dr. Jack Ives.

My research interests include lexical semantics, language documentation & description, historical linguistics and linguistic anthropology.


Stang, Michaela & Conor Snoek. 2016. How Similar are Athapaskan Languages. Proceedings of the 11th High Desert Linguistics Society Conference. pdf

Snoek, C., Thunder, D., Lõo, K., Arppe, A., Lachler, J., Moshagen, S. and T. Trosterud. 2014. Modeling the Noun Morphology of Plains Cree. Proceedings of the 2014 Workshop on the Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages, 34-42. Association for Computational Lingusitics. pdf

Snoek, C. 2014. Review of Gabmap: Doing Dialect Analysis on the Web. Language Documentation & Conservation (8): 192-208 pdf

Snoek, Conor & Christopher Cox. 2013. Measuring linguistic distance in Athapaskan. Proceedings of the 39th Berkeley Linguistics Society Conference. pdf

Snoek, C. 2013. Using semantically restricted word-lists to investigate relationships among Athapaskan Languages. In Borin, Lars & Anju Saxena, Approaches to measuring linguistic differences, Trends in Lingusitics Studies and Monographs 265. Germany: de Gruyter Mouton.

Snoek, C. 2011. Irregular -im suffixation in Tok Pisin: exploratory methods in multivariate analysis. In Newman, John, Rice, Sally & Harald Baayen (eds.) Corpus-based Studies in Language Use, Language Learning, and Language Documentation. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

Snoek, C. 2011. The Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute and linguistic research. Ethnoscripts (13): 2. pdf




[with Jordan Lachler] Towards a Best Practices Model in Skills-Training for Language Revitalization. First International Conference on Revitalization of Indigenous and Minoritized Languages, Barcelona, Spain, April 19-20, 2017.

[with Sally Rice and Michaela Stang]Linguistic Relationships between the Apachean Subgroup and Northern Athapaskan. Symposium: Implications of the Promontory, Dismal River, and Franktown Archaeological Records for Apachean Prehistory, Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, BC, April 1st, 2017.

[with Jordan Lachler and Layna Aschenmeier]Fostering Emotional Resiliency in Language Revitalization: Training insights from social work and trauma recovery. 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. Honolulu, Vancouver, BC, April 1st, 2017. Talk audio

From ‘sight’ to ‘lightning’: On the cultural basis for metonymy. “Familiar Strange” 114th Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, Colorado, 18-22 November 2015. Poster

[with Dorothy Thunder, Antti Arppe] Literacy and language learning tools for Plains Cree. Prairies Workshop on Language and Linguistics, Brandon, Manitoba, 1 March 2014.

A Cognitive Linguistics approach to studying language relationships in Athapaskan. 12th Internation Cognitive Lingusitics Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, 23-28 June 2013.

Visualizing dialect geography in Northern Athapaskan through Kinship terms. High Desert Linguistics Society Conference. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 1-3 November 2012.

Historical Language Relationships and Lexicalization in Athapaskan. Athabaskan (Dene) Languages Conference. Western Washington University, Bellingham 15-17 August 2012. Video [begins at 00:36]

Tendencies of Semantic Change in Athapaskan BEETs. Conceptual Discourse, Structure and Language Conference. University of British Columbia, Vancouver 17-20 May 2012.

PACL: A database for linguistic research and language revitalization. Alberta Graduate Conference. University of Alberta, 3-5 May 2012. Poster

Semantically restricted wordlists: classifying Athapaskan Languages with semantic and phonetic data. Workshop on comparing approaches to measuring linguistic differences. University of Gothenburg, 24-25 October 2011.

Semantic differences in body-part, effluvia, and ephemera terms in Athapaskan. The Body in Language: Lexicon, Metaphor, Grammar and Culture. University of Warsaw (Pałac Kazimierzowski), 21-22 October 2011.

Tendencies of semantic change in Dene body-part, effluvia and ephemera terms. Workshop on Cognitive and Usage-Based Approaches to Language (with Joan Bybee). University of Alberta, 6 October 2011.

[with Sally Rice] Event metonymies in Northern Athapaskan. Dene (Athapaskan) Languages Conference. University of Oregon, 26-27 June 2010.

Variation in the occurrence of the transitive suffix in a corpus of Tok Pisin. Conference of the American Association for Corpus Linguistics. University of Alberta, 8-11 October 2009.

[with Sally Rice] Lexicalization patterns in body-part and effluvia terms in Athapaskan. Workshop on American Indigenous Languages. University of California Santa Barbara, 8-9 May 2009.

Metonymic meaning extension: two case studies in Tok Pisin. Conference of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association, Jagiellonian University, 15-20 July 2007.

[with Dagmara Dowbor] Metonymy in a construction-based account of indirect speech acts. Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 5-7 October 2006.



Photographic ehtnographies of Irish crafts and other visual studies by Michael Snoek can be found here:

Michael Snoek: Photography