I’m a Linguistics Ph.D. student here at UBC… Vancouver born and raised t’boot! (Ladner, actually, but you probably don’t know where that is…?)


  • 2014 – MA Linguistics, University of Toronto
    • Forum Paper: A preliminary description of the acoustics of Canadian English ejectives — Supervisor: Dr. Philip Monahan
  • 2013 – BA Hons. Linguistics w/ Minor in Asian Language and Culture (Mandarin Chinese), University of British Columbia
    • Honours Essay: An acoustic description of glottalized obstruents in Gitksan — Supervisor: Dr. Molly Babel


  English –   L1
  German –   Heritage?
  Gitksan –   Beginner-Intermediate
  Mandarin –   Rusty Intermediate


Courses Currently Teaching

None Currently

Teaching Experience – Teaching Assistant

2011-Present Doreen Jensen Memorial Gitxsan Language Class Native Education College
2014 LIN200 – Introduction to Language University of Toronto
2013 LIN100 – Introdution to General Linguistics University of Toronto


Brown, J., Davis, H., Schwan, M., & Sennott, B. (2016). Gitksan. Journal of the International Phonetic Association. doi:10.1017/S002510031500043

Keough, M., Ozburn, A., McClay, E. K., Schwan, M. D., Schellenberg, M., Akinbo, S., & Gick, B. (2015). Acoustic and articulatory qualities of smiled speech. Canadian Acoustics, 43(3).

Schwan, M. D. (2013, June). Acoustic characteristics of glottalized obstruents in Gitksan. In Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (Vol. 19, No. 1, p. 060292). Acoustical Society of America.


Presentations and Posters

Bicevskis, Katie, and Michael David Schwan. (2015). Tests for lexical aspectual classes in Gitksan. Presentation at the 50th International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages, August 5, University of British Columbia.

Schwan, Michael David. (2013). Acoustic characteristics of glottalized obstruents in Gitksan. Poster presented at the 21st International Congress on Acoustics, June 7, Montreal, QC.

Anghelescu, Andrei, and Michael Schwan. (2013). Nuclear consonants in Gitksan. Poster presented at Canadian Linguistic Association Conference, June 2, University of Victoria.

Schwan, Michael. (2013). An acoustic description of glottalized obstruents in Gitksan. Poster presented at Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference 2013, March 23, University of British Columbia


Gitksan, Tsimshianic, language revitalization & documentation, phonetics (acoustics and perception of glottal states), semantics (lexical and grammatical aspect), and some broader interests including methodologies and the accessibility of research to the public (i.e. effective dissemination, reduction of jargon).

Research Experience

2016-Present Coordinator UBC Gitksan Research Lab
2011-Present Research Assistant UBC Gitksan Research Lab