Clarissa Surek-Clark


I am a linguist and a practicing professional translator and interpreter. My main academic interest lies in languages in contact, with special focus on Portuguese, and on the language situation of Sub-Saharan Africa. My master's thesis, "Leite Quente Dá Dor de Dente: Dialect Acquisition and Prestige in Brazilian Portuguese", focused on teenage girls acquiring the Curitiba dialect under a Labovian Sociolinguistics framework.

Subsequently I spent several years researching the pidgin Fanakalo in and around Durban, South Africa, where I taught at the (then) University of Natal. Most recently I taught Linguistics at the University of Washington and led study abroad programs to South Africa. My current research interest lies on Verbal Autopsy and how to improve this method under a qualitative point of view. My native language is Brazilian Portuguese, and I am proficient in English, Spanish and Zulu.

Areas of Expertise
  • Languages in Contact
  • Translation and Interpreting
  • Narratives in Verbal Autopsy
  • M.A., Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 1998
  • B.A. (cum laude), Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 1997
  • Certified Translator - English into Portuguese; Portuguese into English. American Translators Association
  • Registered Court Interpreter (Portuguese). Washington State Courts, 2011

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211 Townshend Hall
1885 Neil Ave Mall
Columbus, OH 43210

Office Hours Spring 2017:
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
And by appointment