Justin Davidson
Assistant Professor
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
justindavidson@berkeley.edu

Research Expertise and Interest

Spanish linguistics, romance linguistics, contact linguistics, bilingualism, Catalan, sociophonetics, language variation and change, quantitative methods

Description

My main research agenda is guided by questions that primarily address language variation and language change in contact situations, specifically as linked to the empirical assessment of linguistic influence (via language contact), incorporating a variety of linguistic frameworks and methodologies. In particular, I have explored bi-directional effects of language contact between Spanish and Catalan manifested phonetically in the speech of the diverse community of Catalan-Spanish bilingual speakers in Barcelona, Spain. I am interested in the dynamics of language use in bilingual speech communities, particularly as a consequence of a complex interplay between both linguistic and social factors, and my research aims to account for why, as well as by what processes certain linguistic features (and not others) propagate throughout the wider community of speakers. Central to this line of research is the pursuit of the best quantitative models in sociolinguistics, from which I have developed a vested interest in evaluating (and combining) various statistical toolkits. I have additionally published on the diachronic development of diaspora varieties of Catalan from a framework of sociohistorical linguistics, as well as the variable acquisition of Spanish inflectional morphology by U.S. heritage speakers and L2-learners using empirical methodologies informed by the fields of second language acquisition and psycholinguistics.

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