Paul De Decker


Paul De Decker on Fogo Island

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


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 contact due to migration or social mobility, such as speakers who grew up in one dialect zone and moved to another. 

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. 

In a recent project I examined the production and perception of light and dark variants of /l/ in Newfoundland English. This project "Allophony in Newfoundland English: production, perception, and variation" was funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant and carried out with Sara Mackenzie. 

I am Vice-President of DOCTalks Inc., a not-for-profit based in Fredericton, NB that specializes in developing partnerships for producing, funding and distributing knowledge-based documentary media in Atlantic Canada. DOCTalks has enabled me to work with knowledge-mobilization initiatives for research in linguistics, and social science/humanities more generally.

Contact Info

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


  • LING 2210: Language in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • LING 3210: Sociolinguistics
  • LING 3104: Phonetics
  • LING 2220: Linguistics and Law
  • LING 4210/6210: Language Variation and Change
  • LING 4700/6700: Experimental Phonetics
  • LING 7000: Graduate Seminar in Research Methods


Department of Linguistics

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000