Martha Ratliff is Professor of Linguistics at Wayne State University in Detroit. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1986 under Gérard Diffloth. Her primary research has been on the description and history of Hmong and languages of the Hmong-Mien family, but she also studies language contact and change in Asia and tone languages worldwide. Her book Hmong-Mien Language History (Pacific Linguistics 2010) contains a new reconstruction of Proto Hmong-Mien. She is also author of Meaningful Tone (Northern Illinois University Press 2010), and with Paul Newman she edited Linguistic Fieldwork (Cambridge University Press 2001). In 1991, with fellow Chicago linguist Eric Schiller, she founded the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society.