Troi Carleton has been teaching in the Linguistics and TESOL programs at SF State since 1996. Her areas of specialization include discourse analysis, intonation and prosody, poetics, sociolinguistics and documentary linguistics.
Carleton has been committed to the preservation and documentation of endangered languages around the world since 1992. She lived in Malawi, Africa, for a year working on Chiyao and Chichewa, both Bantu languages spoken in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1995 and 2000 she documented Zenzontepec Chatino, an endangered Zapotecan language spoken in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2004, she initiated the Teotitlán del Valle Community Language Archive Project in collaboration with the community of Teotitlán del Valle in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The work has concentrated on creating and building an archive of the community’s oral history in Zapotec for their municipal museum and international digital archives. Students join her to work on the archive for three weeks each summer.
Carleton’s work is centered on the notion that community members are stakeholders in the documentation and preservation of their linguistic traditions. Her philosophy reflects an effort to promote and practice community-based, participatory action research.