Madeline Snigaroff

You can find Madeline’s website here.


Madeline has been involved with her own heritage language community, (Western) Aleut, since 2018. She has participated each year in the ongoing language revitalization efforts in the Aleut community using the Where Are Your Keys (WAYK) methodology, learning the language while simultaneously building and teaching a curriculum for newer learners. Her time using WAYK inspired her undergraduate Honors Thesis at Stanford University, in which she produced pedagogical materials that complemented the learning methods. She returns yearly to Alaska to conduct language revitalization with the team there. She hopes to put together a corpus of naturalistic conversation between Aleut speakers, something currently missing from Aleut documentation.

On the formal side, Madeline has investigated the polysynthetic nature of Aleut, writing her first Qualifying Paper at University of Chicago on a curious phenomenon in which adjectives incorporate into verbs under certain conditions. The project has shown how Aleut can shed light on broader syntactic topics like head movement and word-building.


Madeline has spent several quarters working with a speaker of Western Samoan, investigating TAM markers and ergativity. In the future, she hopes to continue eliciting data to answer deeper questions about how ergativity and case marking interact.