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John Lipski

John Lipski
Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Co-Principal Investigator at Penn State
John Lipski


Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at the Pennsylvania State University, where he served as department head from 2000 to 2005. He received his B. A. from Rice University, and his M. A. and Ph. D. from the University of Alberta. He has taught at Newark State College/Kean College of New Jersey, Michigan State University, The University of Houston, The University of Florida, and The University of New Mexico; at the latter university he served as department chair from 1996 to 2000.

His research involves the study of bilingual contact situations that represent limiting cases allowing for the separation of research variables that are inextricably intertwined in more frequently studied environments. phonology, particularly, Spanish and Portuguese language variation, the linguistic aspects of bilingualism, creole languages, and the African contribution to Spanish and Portuguese. He has done fieldwork in Spain (including the Canary Islands), Africa, Brazil and all Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, the Philippines, Guam, and many Spanish-speaking communities within the United States. His research has been funded by two Fulbright research fellowships, an NEH summer fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, a grant from Penn State's Africana Research Center, and numerous university-internal grants.

Recent Publications:

Vocalic phenomena in Andean Spanish dialects. (2022). In M. Díaz-Campos (ed.), The Routledge handbook of variationist approaches to Spanish. London & New York: Routledge, pp. 23-35.

Sibilants in Ecuadoran Spanish. (2021). In E. Núnez-Méndez (ed.), Sociolinguistic approaches to sibilant variation in Spanish. London & New York: Routledge, pp. 262-277.

Trujillo-Falcón, J. E., Bermúdez, O., Negrón-Hernández, K., Lipski, J., Leitman, E., & Berry, K. (2021). Hazardous weather communication en Español: Challenges, current resources, and future practices. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 102(4), E765-E773

Heritage languages in South America. (2021). In S. Montrul and M. Polinsky (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of heritage languages and linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 305-350.

La parlata afro-italiana e le sue rappresentazioni letterarie nei testi rinascimentali. (2021). In Giafranco Salvatore (ed.), Il chiaro e lo scuro. Gli africani nell'Europa del Rinascimento tra realtà e rappresentazione. Lecce: Argo, pp. 91-113.

Morphological and Syntactical Variation and Change in Latin American Spanish. (2021). Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Linguistics;

Code-Switching Knowledge as Heritage Grammar Attainment: A Case Study. (2021). Heritage Language Journal, 18, 1-34. doi:10.1163/15507076-12340017

La contribución africana a las variedades americanas del español. (2021). In E. M. Eckkrammer (ed.), Manual del español en América. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 359-371.

Searching for the sociolinguistic history of Afro-Panamian Congo speech. (2021). In Whitney Chappell & Bridget Drinka (eds.), Spanish socio-historical linguistics: isolation and contact (141-162). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Language revitalization as L2 shadow-boxing: the case of Palenquero plural-marking. (2021). Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 43, 220-235.

Can a bilingual lexicon be sustained by phonotactics alone? evidence from Ecuadoran Quichua and Media Lengua. (2020).  The Mental Lexicon, 15(2), 330-365

Equatorial Guinea Spanish non-continuant /d/: more than a generic L2 trait. (2020). Rajiv Rao (ed.), Spanish Phonetics and Phonology in Contact: Studies from Africa, the Americas, and Spain (15-31). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

What you hear is (not always) what you get: subjects and verbs among receptive Palenquero-Spanish bilinguals. (2020). Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 10(3), 315-350. DOI:

Pronouns, interrogatives, and Quichua-Media Lengua code-switching: the eyes have it. (2020). Languages, 5; doi:10.3390/languages5020011

Spanish and Palenquero: Language identification through phonological correspondences. (2020). Whitney Chappell (Ed.), Recent advances in the study of Spanish sociophonetic perception, 153-185.. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Spanish phonological variation. (2020). The Routledge handbook of Spanish phonology, ed. Sonia Colina and Fernando Martínez-Gil, 453-467. London: Routledge.