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Robert Bayley


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1991, Language, Literacy, and Culture.
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley.
  • B.S., Columbia University.


Robert Bayley is a Professor of Linguistics and a member of the Graduate Group in Education. He is also an associate member of the Centre for Research on Language Contact at York University in Toronto and an affiliate of the Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and general linguistics. His research focuses on language variation and language socialization, especially in bilingual and second language populations. Professor Bayley is the author of more than 140 publications, including 15 co-authored and co-edited volumes and articles in major journals such as Asia-Pacific Language Variation, Language Variation and Change, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and American Speech. Currently he is investigating the role of frequency in language variation and change and conducting research on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence by second language learners.

Research Focus

Second Language Acquisition and Development: Language socialization, especially in bilingual and second language populations; standardized testing for English language learners and students with disabilities; language issues related to mathematics teaching and learning in elementary schools.

Language and Society: Language variation and change, especially in Latino and second language populations; language socialization.

Selected Publications

Pozzi, R., & Bayley, R. (2020). The development of a regional phonological feature during a semester abroad in Argentina. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Published online before print.  doi: 10.1017/S0272263120000303

McCaskill, C., Lucas, C., Bayley, R., & Hill, J. (2020). The hidden treasure of Black ASL: Its history and structure, Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. Paperback edition with links to online video examples and updated foreword and bibliography.

Bayley, R., & Cameron, R. (2019). Variationist sociolinguistics. In M. Aranoff (Ed.), Oxford bibliographies in linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199772810/obo-9780199772810-0243.xml

Bayley, R., & Villarreal, D. (2019). Coronal stop deletion in a rural south Texas community. In E. Thomas (Ed.), Mexican American English: Substrate influence and the birth of an ethnolect, 198–214. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Li, X., & Bayley, R. (2018). Lexical frequency and syntactic variation: Subject pronoun use in Mandarin Chinese. Asia-Pacific Language Variation 4: 135–160.

Bayley, R. (2017). Presidential address: Dialectology in a multilingual America. American Speech 92: 6-22.

Bayley, R., Greer, K., & Holland, C. (2017). Lexical frequency and morphosyntactic variation: Evidence from U.S. Spanish. Spanish in Context, 14: 413-439.

Bayley, R., & Cameron, R. (2015). Language variation and change. Critical concepts in linguistics (5 volumes). New York: Routledge.

Geraci, C., Bayley, R., Cardinaletti, A., Cecchetto, C., & Donati, C. (2015). Variation in Italian Sign Language (LIS): The case of wh-signs. Linguistics, 53, 125-151.

Bayley, R., & Holland, C. (2014). Variation in Chicano English: The case of final (z) devoicing. American Speech, 89, 385-407.

Bayley, R. (2013). The quantitative paradigm. In J. K. Chambers & N. Schilling (Eds.), The handbook of language variation and change, 85-107. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bayley, R., Cameron, R., & Lucas, C. (Eds.). (2013). The Oxford handbook of sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Recent courses include

LIN 6, Language and Society. An introduction to sociolinguistics

LIN 152. Introduction to Sociolinguistics (LSA Linguistic Institute, Summer 2019)

LIN 160, American Voices. The study of American dialects

LIN 182. Multilingualism. The study of bi-/multilingualism from social and cognitive perspectives

LIN 205. Language Socialization. A seminar on theory and methods in language socialization

LIN 260. Variation in Speech Communities. A seminar on language variation and change

LIN 281. Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition and Development

Current and recent dissertations supervised

Torres, Peter Joseph (in progress).“The nation’s fix: The language of the opioid crisis” (co-chair with Vaidehi Ramanathan).

Escalante, Chelsea (Spanish, 2018). The acquisition of a sociolinguistic variable while volunteering abroad: s-weakening among heritage- and L2 learners in coastal Ecuador (co-chair with Travis Bradley).

Notarianni Burk, Gabriella (2018). The acquisition of tense and aspect by instructed adult learners of Italian.

Banes, Leslie (Education, 2017). Explain your answer’: Writing mathematical explanations in elementary classrooms with linguistically diverse students (co-chair with Rebecca Ambrose).

Pozzi, Rebecca (Spanish, 2017). The acquisition of regional features during a semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina (co-chair with Cecilia Colombi).

Villarreal, Dan (2016). The construction of social meaning: A matched guise investigation of the California vowel shift.

Holland, Cory (2014). Shifting or shifted? The state of California vowels.

Kennedy Terry, Kristen (French, 2012). What we don’t learn in the classroom: The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence during study abroad (co-chair with Eric Russell Webb).

Sturman, Heather (2012). Immigrant socialization: Literacy development among girls in a U.S. high school.


2020. Fellow of the American Dialect Society

2015-17. President, American Dialect Society.

2015. Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in TEFL to Argentina.

2011. Andrew Foster Humanitarian Award from the National Black Deaf Advocates to the Black ASL Project (Ceil Lucas, Carolyn McCaskill, & Robert Bayley, co-directors) for the book and DVD, The hidden treasure of Black ASL: Its history and structure (Gallaudet University Press, 2011).

2010-14. California Postsecondary Education Commission Grant: Strategic Alliance II, a project to improve mathematics instruction for students in grades K-6 (Rebecca Ambrose, Robert Bayley & Michelle Anderson, co-directors), $549,000.

2003. Fulbright Distinguished Chair (Linguistics), York University, Toronto, Canada.

2002. President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Research Excellence, University of Texas at San Antonio.

1997. National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship.

1994. Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in TEFL to Mexico.