Tom Priestly began his linguistic career with an interest in Russian phonetics and phonology, and then did some work in child phonological acquisition. In 1978 he first visited an area of Carinthia (Austria) where Slovene-speakers are in a minority, and began trying to describe the phonology and grammar of the dialect of one Carinthian village, Sele. The extent of linguistic variation among its 1000-odd speakers led him into (psycho-)sociolinguistics and political linguistics, in which areas he concentrated most of his work. He recently returned to more traditional linguistics with projects involving informant-based research. He has also translated Slovene poetry and prose into English, with several books published.
Photo by Linda Priestly