Paul De Decker


  • Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Minor in NL Studies
  • B.A., M.A. York University
  • Ph.D. New York University

Research Interests

My research programme centers on linguistic creativity - how speakers alter their voices to achieve a variety of socially-centered goals. While we find examples of such creativity in everyday linguistic encounters, I am primarily interested in cases influenced by dialect contact due to migration or social mobility, such as speakers who grew up in one dialect zone and moved to another. 

I use experimental methods, and acoustic, articulatory and perceptual analyses to understand linguistic creativity as a tool for constructing social relationships, as well as its role in initiating and transmitting linguistic change. My most recent work on this topic can be found here

Dr. Sara Mackenzie and I are currently carrying out research on production and perception of light and dark variants of /l/ in Newfoundland English. We are funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for our project "Allophony in Newfoundland English: production, perception, and variation". 

Hear me on CBC radio talking about dialect change in Newfoundland.

Contact Info

Link to Google Scholar Public Profile


Curriculum Vitae

Current version here.