Paul De Decker


  • Associate Professor
  • Ph.D. New York University
  • B.A., M.A. York University


My sociolinguistic research 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 marginalization.

I have used 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. 

Read more about my research here and here.

I am also Past-President and board member of DOCTalks Inc., a not-for-profit that specializes in developing partnerships for producing, funding and distributing knowledge-based documentary media in Atlantic Canada. In this work, I am author of the bilingual DOCTalks Guide, which has enabled me to work with knowledge-mobilization initiatives for research in linguistics, and social science/humanities more generally. An example of this is the short-documentary " Getting the Words Out". 

My most recent research collaboration is with the Newfoundland and Labrador Stuttering Association. Check out our podcast, "Some Stutter, Luh!", about living with communication disorders.

Current Classes

Winter 2021

  • LING 2210: Language in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • LING 4210/6210: Sociolinguistics II: Language Variation and Change
  • LING 4999: Undergraduate Honors Thesis


  • LING 2220: Linguistics and Law
  • LING 3210: Sociolinguistics I
  • LING 4700/6700: Experimental Phonetics
  • LING 7000: Graduate Seminar in Research Methods

Contact Info

  • Email:
  • Telephone:(709) 864-8132
  • Office: SN3043