Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
BA, MA (Auckland), PhD (La Trobe)
Tel+64 3 479 8813
Office 1N4
First Floor
Arts Building
Albany Street

Mail English and Linguistics
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand



My research interests have two main threads. Firstly, Amazonian languages, in particular those of northwest Peru, and their historical connections with other Amazonian and Andean languages. Secondly, my work in grammatical description relates to larger concerns with how individual and cultural knowledge are expressed through language, and what are the interpersonal and cultural factors that interact with diachronic processes of language change.

I have extensive fieldwork experience with Aguaruna (known to its speakers as Iiniá Chicham), a language in the small Chicham family (formerly known as Jivaroan), spoken by about 55,000 people in Peru's Amazonas and Loreto regions; and Kandozi-Chapra (Candoshi-Shapra), an isolate spoken on the Morona and Pastaza rivers in Loreto, Peru.


Overall, S. E. (2023). Reflexive and reciprocal constructions in Aguaruna. In K. Janic, N. Puddu & M. Haspelmath (Eds.), Reflexive constructions in the world's languages. (pp. 725-745). Berlin, Germany: Language Science Press. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.7861660

Overall, S. (2023). Kandozi-Chapra. In P. Epps & L. Michael (Eds.), Amazonian languages: An international handbook: Language isolates I: Aikanã to Kandozi-Shapra (Vol. 1). (pp. 615-657). Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton. doi: 10.1515/9783110419405-013

Overall, S. E. (2022). While we are not yet dead: Themes of love and loss in a Kandozi-Chapra drinking song. In A. Storch & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), The art of language. (pp. 53-80). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789004510395_005

Cop, M., & Overall, S. (2021). How to make dramatic use of body parts. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand: Language & Society 2020 (LangSoc). Retrieved from

Overall, S. (2019, November). Nasal prosody in Aguaruna (Chicham, Peru), and the challenges it presents for orthography development. Verbal presentation at the Annual Conference of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand: Language & Society (LangSoc), Christchurch, New Zealand.

Back to top