Franz Boas PapersWestern Social Science

Sean O'Neil

Sean O'Neil

Contact Information



Research Areas

Linguistic anthropology; music; song; dance; narrative texts; linguistic relativity; diffusion; culture areas; the role of comparison in anthropological thought; language revitalization; the legacy of Edward Sapir.


Sean O'Neill is a linguistic anthropologist who specializes in the expression of oral literature in multicultural and multilingual settings. He is particularly interested in the intersection of language and music in the work of Franz Boas, an area of research that holds tremendous interest today as indigenous languages undergo revitalization, with an equal emphasis on both oral narrative and song. O'Neill is author of Cultural Contact and Linguistic Relativity among the Indians of Northwestern California (2008) and serves as an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma.