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Racquel-Maria Sapien

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Racquel-María Sapién

Headshot of Racquel-María Sapién, professor at the University of Oklahoma.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Oregon, 2010

Office: Dale Hall Tower 506

Research Interests

  • Community-collaborative field research
  • Language documentation, analysis, description, reclamation
  • Cariban languages
  • Morphosyntax
  • Historical linguistics


In addition to her appointment as an Associate Professor at OU, Dr. Sapién is the editor of Language Documentation & Conservation (LD&C). She works primarily with speakers and heritage learners of languages that have fallen out of regular use due to both voluntary and involuntary shifts. Her interest is in supporting work to reclaim spaces for languages that have been minoritized.

Her research foci include developing field research methodologies that are inclusive of community members who have a vested interest in work with their languages. She continues to work in collaboration with members of Kari'nja (Cariban) and Lokono (Arawakan) communities in Suriname to document, analyze, and support the reclamation of these and other languages.

In addition to mentoring OU students working with their own heritage languages, she has taught at institutes such as the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) at the University of Oregon, the Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang), and the Oklahoma Breath of Life, all with a goal of supporting language work of all kinds.

She regularly teaches OU courses across a range of topics in linguistics and linguistic anthropology, including at the OU Study Center in Puebla, Mexico. Her interests in linguistics include analyses of synchronic patterns of morphosyntax that incorporate functionalist and diachronic perspectives.

Courses Taught

  • ANTH/LING 1203 Language Across Cultures
  • ANTH/LING 2303 General Linguistics
  • ANTH 3833 Language & Power
  • ANTH/LING 4/5053 Morphology
  • ANTH 4/5063 Language Contact, Loss, & Revitalization
  • ANTH 4/5283 Curriculum and Teaching Materials Development for Endangered Languages
  • ANTH 5623/33 Descriptive Linguistic Methods I & II
  • ANTH 6223 Community Engaged Anthropology
  • TESL 5133 General Linguistics for ESL
  • TESL 5333 Understanding Cultures for ESL