M. Erin J. Shay holds an MA and PhD in Linguistics from CU Boulder. Her dissertation and much of her subsequent research has been based on endangered languages of the Chadic family, spoken in areas of West Central Africa. She has authored or co-authored grammars of three endangered Chadic languages and has published many works on those and other languages. Much of her research, including travel to Africa, has been funded by grants from federal agencies and other entities. Her discovery of grammatical functions in Chadic languages and the grammatical means used to code those functions have helped widen the scope of linguistic studies, as some of those functions and grammatical means have not yet been discovered in other languages. Identifying such language characteristics, and preserving the data that led to their discovery, helps to preserve endangered languages for future studies and provides valuable records for speakers of those languages and their descendants. Dr. Shay has also conducted substantial research on language change and diachronic linguistics.