Dr. Ofelia Zepeda is a linguist with a focus on dialect variation and language shifts, an educator at the University of Arizona, a poet, the cofounder and director of the American Indian Language Development Institute and the editor of the Sun Tracks series.
Ofelia Zepeda is the author of the only pedagogical textbook on the Tohono O’odham language, A PAPAGO GRAMMAR, a book she wrote as part of the language course she developed some years ago. She is also co-author of the article, “Derived Words in Tohono O’odham”, published in the International Journal of American Linguistics.
Her research and publication also extends into more interdisciplinary fields of language study. She is the lead author of the article, “The Condition of Native American Languages in the United States”, published in DIOGENE and is co-author of a paper for the book, RESPONSIBILITY AND EVIDENCE IN ORAL DISCOURSE edited by Dr. Jane Hill. The paper is titled, “Mrs. Patricio’s Trouble: The Distribution of Responsibility in an Account of Personal Experience”. Ofelia also contributed the foreward to the book, A COMMUNITY OF WRITERS, edited by Dr. Yetta Goodman. She has also guest co-edited the journals, The Bilingual Research Journal and the International Journal of the Sociology of Language.
Ofelia’s teaching includes regular courses on the Tohono O’odham language as well as general undergraduate and graduate courses on the survey of American Indian languages and the structure of the O’odham language. Her teaching like her research and publications is also interdisciplinary. She has taught courses for the American Indian Studies Program, the English Department and the Division of Language, Reading and Culture in the College of Education. Courses there have included a seminar on oral tradition, American Indian literature, and language and culture in education.