Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

Philip S. LeSourd

Photo of Philip S. LeSourd

  • Associate Professor of Second Language Studies
  • Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Second Language Studies
    (812) 855-4649
    Student Building 336

Research Interests

  • Morphological and syntactic theory
  • Comparative Algonquian linguistics
  • Maliseet-Passamaquoddy


  • Ph.D. in Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989

Personal Statement

My research focuses primarily on issues in the structure of languages of the Algonquian family, the most widespread linguistic stock in North America. My specialty within this domain is Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, an Eastern Algonquian language spoken in New Brunswick (Maliseet) and Maine (Passamaquoddy).

I began working with Maliseet and Passamaquoddy speakers in the 1970's when I was hired by the Wabnaki Bilingual Education Program at Indian Township, ME, to organize a dictionary project. The small dictionary that grew out of the work of this project was published in 1984 by the Micmac-Maliseet Institute of the University of New Brunswick. A community-based project continued my work, developing a computer database that now includes over 16,500 entries and many sound files. In 2007, Peskotomuhkati Wolastoqewi Lautuwewakon / A Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Dictionary was published (Orono, ME: University of Maine Press), with more than 18,000 entries.

In the 1980's, my work focused on the phonology of Passamaquoddy. This was the subject of my doctoral dissertation, which presents an analysis of the stress system of the language, together with its intricate system of vocalic syncope. More recently, I have been involved in editing various Maliseet and Passamaquoddy texts. In one such project, I worked with a corpus of material that was recorded in New Brunswick in 1963 by Karl V. Teeter of Harvard University. The majority of speakers with whom Teeter worked were born before 1900. Thus their narratives, which provide a significant sample of the oral literature of the Maliseet people, reflect an older style of speech, one that employs to the fullest the morphological resources of their polysynthetic language. A new project that I am undertaking looks at nineteenth century religious texts in Passamaquoddy and the neighboring language to the southwest, Penobscot. I have also been working on a series of studies of the syntax of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, while occasionally venturing a look at another Eastern Algonquian language, Western Abenaki.


  • LeSourd, Phillip S. (2007) Tales from Maliseet Country: The Maliseet Texts of Karl V. Teeter. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • LeSourd, Philip S. (1993) Accent and Syllable Structure in Passamaquoddy. New York: Garland.


  • Lesourd, Phillip S., and Conor McDonough Quinn. (2009) How to Swear in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy and Penobscot. Anthropological Linguistics 51:1-38.
  • LeSourd, Phillip S. (2006) Problems for the Pronominal Argument Hypothesis in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy. Language 82:486-514.
  • LeSourd, Philip S. (2003) Reflexes of Proto-Algonquian *wi:la 'he, she' in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy. International Journal of American Linguistics 69:357-69, 2003.
  • LeSourd, Philip S. (2000) The Passamaquoddy "Witchcraft Tales" of Newell S. Francis. Anthropological Linguistics 42:441–98.

Book Chapters

  • LeSourd, Phillip S. (2009) On the Analytic Expression of Predicates in Meskwaki. In Hypothesis A / Hypothesis B: Linguistic Explorations in Honor of David M. Perlmutter, edited by Donna B. Gerdts, John C. Moore, and Maria Polinsky, 247-74. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press.
  • Reintges, Chris H., Philip S. LeSourd, and Sandra Chung. (2006) Movement, Wh-Agreement, and Apparent Wh-in-situ. In Wh-Movement: Moving On, edited by Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng and Norbert Corver, 165-94. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  • LeSourd, Philip S. (2005) Traditions of Koluskap, the Culture Hero. In Algonquian Spirit: Contemporary Translations of the Algonquian Literatures of North America, edited by Brian Swann, 99-111. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • LeSourd, Philip S. (2004) The Legendary Tom Laporte: A Maliseet Tradition. In Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America, edited by Brian Swann, 546-60. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • LeSourd, Philip S. (2003) The Noun Substitute in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy. In Essays in Algonquian and Siouan Linguistics in Memory of Frank T. Siebert, Jr., edited by Blair A. Rudes and David C. Costa, 141-63. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

Conference Proceedings

  • LeSourd, Phillip S. (2011) On Split Coordination in Passmaquoddy. In Papers of the Forty-First Algonquian Conference, edited by Karl S. Hele. London, Ont.: University of Western Ontario.
  • LeSourd, Phillip S. (2010) On Raising to Object in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy. In Proceedings of WSCLA 14: The Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas, edited by Heather Bliss and Amelia Reis Silva. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics 26. Vancouver: Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia.
  • LeSourd, Phillip S. (2004) The Internal Structure of the Noun Phrase in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy. In Papers of the Thirty-Fifth Algonquian Conference, edited by H.C. Wolfart, 239-63. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba.

Courses Taught

  • SLST T510 Modern English Grammar
  • SLST S304/S604 Language Revitalization
  • SLST S670 Language Typology
  • ANTH L200 Introduction to Language and Culture
  • ANTH L407 Language and Prehistory
  • ANTH E323 Indians of Indiana

The learning of second and foreign languages is a rich and fascinating process involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, and social dimensions. The Indiana University Department of Second Language Studies is dedicated to teaching and research on the structure, acquisition, and use of nonnative language in both instructed and contact contexts.