Martha Ratliff

Martha Ratliff

Professor Emerita

Martha Ratliff

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

 Martha Ratliff is Professor Emerita of Linguistics at Wayne State University in Detroit. Her primary research has been on the description and history of languages of the Hmong-Mien family, but she also studies language contact and change in Asia, and tone languages worldwide. Hmong-Mien Language History (Pacific Linguistics 2010) contains a new reconstruction of Proto Hmong-Mien. She is also author of Meaningful Tone (Northern Illinois University Press 2010), and with Paul Newman edited Linguistic Fieldwork (Cambridge University Press 2001). She is a co-founder of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society.


  • Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Chicago, 1986
  • M.A.T., English Education, University of Chicago, 1970
  • B.A., English, Carleton College, 1968

Currently teaching


Courses taught

Introduction to Linguistic Theory ENG/LIN 5700 3 cr. W16
Advanced Studies in Linguistic Structure: Historical Linguistics ENG/LIN 7710 3 cr. F16
Languages of the World ENG/LIN 2730 3 cr. F16
Phonology ENG/LIN 5290 3 cr. W16