Home | People |

Robert Bayley


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 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. 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 conducting research on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence by second language learners and, with Kristen Kennedy Terry, working on a book on social network analysis for second language acquisition research..

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. (2021). The development of a regional phonological feature during a semester abroad in Argentina. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 43: 109–132.

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. (Eds.). (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 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

Kline, Tyler (in progress). “Storytelling in contact: The role of prosody in bilingual Mexican American narrative practice.”

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

Zhang, Xinye (in progress). "Variation in language input and bilingual child language: Phonetic/phonological development in a dual immersion preschool."

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.


2022. Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.

2022. Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award from the Linguistic Society of America to the Black ASL Project (C. McCaskill, C. Lucas, R. Bayley, & J. Hill) for documenting and raising public awareness of Black American Sign Language.

2021. 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 (C. Lucas, C. McCaskill, & R. 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, San Antonio.

1997. National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship.

1994. Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in TEFL to Mexico.