Robert Bayley: Language Variation in Diverse Communities

Quick Summary

  • Robert Bayley, a sociolinguist that specializes in language variation and change, was among the first people to apply the methods of variationist research to second language acquisition.

Robert Bayley follows in the linguistic tradition established by William Labov. He is currently working on an edited volume, Variation in Second and Heritage Languages: Crosslinguistic Perspectives, and is collaborating with Kristen Kennedy Terry on another book on social network analysis for second language acquisition research. Moreover, he is working with UCD PhD graduate Cory Holland and several current grad students on a paper on subject pronoun variation in Spanish heritage language speakers’ written compositions. In addition to the above, for the past year, colleagues from Gallaudet University, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, and Dr. Bayley have been doing numerous virtual film showings and panels on Black ASL, the dialect of American Sign Language that developed in the segregated Deaf schools in the pre-civil rights era South. Their book on Black ASL, The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL, was published in 2011, with an updated version in 2020 in conjunction with the North Carolina Language and Life Project’s film, Signing Black in America