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". 

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


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