In the Land of Invented Languages was published in 2009. Highly Irregular was released July 2021.

The weirdness of English, explained. Now available for pre-order at OUPBookshop, and Amazon

The history of the human impulse to build a better language. Book site with excerpts, language examples and sortable lists of languages at



I produced a bunch of of videos for Mental Floss with Sean O’Neill that you can see on my YouTube channel. These are some of my favorites.

What causes a foreign accent?

Why do animals make different sounds in different languages?

The story of the umlaut

How do we know how languages are related?

I collaborated with Julie Hochgesang, professor of Linguistics at Gallaudet University, on this video about how sign languages have accents

Do sign languages have accents?


  • Okrent, A. (2020). Budding linguists and how to find them. In J. Punske, N. Sanders, and A. Fountain (Eds.), Language invention in linguistics pedagogy (pp.). Oxford University Press.
  • Okrent, A. (2013). Artificial Languages. In M. Aronoff (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics.
  • Okrent, A. (2006). Disorders of sign language. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Second Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Shintel, H., Nusbaum, H. C., & Okrent, A. (2006). Analog acoustic expression in speech communication. Journal of Memory and Language, 55(2), 167–177.
  • Okrent, A. (2002). A modality-free notion of gesture and how it can help us with the morpheme vs. gesture question in sign language linguistics. In R.P. Meier, K. Cormier, and D. Quinto-Pozos (Eds.), Modality and Structure in Signed and Spoken Language (pp.175-198). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ya wanna read my dissertation? Have at it!