May Helena Plumb

Linguistics Researcher & PhD Candidate, University of Texas at Austin

What I do


I am a linguist and PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. My current research investigates the expression of temporal-modal semantics in the Zapotec languages of Oaxaca, Mexico, with a particular focus on Tlacochahuaya Zapotec. My broader interests extend to digital humanities and the preservation of language data. I am committed to ethical, community-engaged research that extends beyond the academy.

In addition to linguistics, I enjoy dancing, baking, and needlecrafts (particularly embroidery and knitting). I also tweet a lot and read fantasy novels.

Contact me


305 E. 23rd St. STOP B5100
RLP 4.304 Dept of Linguistics
Austin, TX 78712
Office: RLP 4.700E12 (map)
Email: mayhplumb@utexas.edu
Twitter: @mayhplumb
San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya

a Zapotec town in the Tlacolula Valley: the view from Cerro Negro

Examining Colonial Zapotec documents

at the Archivo General del Poder Ejecutivo del Estado de Oaxaca (photo by Brook Danielle Lillehaugen)

Linguistics Field School REU

researchers and local collaborators at the Mitla archeological site, June 2016

I would like to acknowledge that I live on the ancestral territory of the Comanche, Tonkawa, and Sana peoples. I further acknowledge the Abenaki people, on whose lands I grew up. Many nations have stewarded this land across generations; we should take time to honor their cultures, their histories, and their present experiences. I recommend reading An Indigneous People's History of the United States.