Photo of Cameron, Richard

Richard Cameron, PhD

Professor, Head, and Director of Graduate Studies



Building & Room:

1715 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone Voice:

(312) 996-3241


I work in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis/pragmatics with professional interests in TESL and second language acquisition. In sociolinguistics, I pursue quantitative research with the goal of applying or testing linguistic and social theory. Among social topics, I am interested in age, gender, social class, and the question of what counts as a social fact.


Classes I have taught at UIC:

LCSL/English 567: Discourse Analysis (Previously Ling / English 553: Research Seminar in Discourse Analysis)
Ling 554: Theories of TESOL
Ling/Span 551: Research Seminar in Sociolinguistics: Sociolinguistic Research Methods
Ling / Gender & Women’s Studies/ Span 540: Language and Gender. (Renumbered as 440)
Ling 531: Grammar for TESOL
Ling / Curriculum & Instruction 483: Methodology of TESOL
Ling /Anthropology 480: Sociolinguistics
Ling 430: Syntax
Ling 415: Linguistic Structures I. (Introduction to Phonetics/Phonology)
Ling 405: Introduction to General Linguistics
Ling 270: Language in Healthcare
Ling 260: Language Acquisition, Language Contact, and Bilingualism
Ling 160: Language and Society
Ling 150: Introduction to the Study of Language

Span 406: Spanish Sociolinguistics
Span 366: Current Topics in Spanish Linguistics
Span 300: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (Previously Span 206)

Selected Publications


  • Bayley, Robert and Richard Cameron. (eds.) 2015. Language Variation and Change: Critical Concepts in Linguistics. Routledge Publishers. Five Volumes: Volume 1. Foundations and Methods Volume 2: Issues and Debates in the study of variation Volume 3. Language Change Volume 4: Internal and External Constraints Volume 5: Extensions and Applications of Sociolinguistics.
  • Bayley, Robert, Richard Cameron, & Ceil Lucas (eds.). 2013.  The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Potowski, Kim and Richard Cameron (eds.) 2007. Spanish in Contact: Policy, Social, and Linguistic Inquiries. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Núñez-Cedeño, Rafael, Luis López, and Richard Cameron (eds.). 2003. A Romance Perspective on Language Knowledge and Use: Selected Papers from the 31st Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Chicago, 19-22 April 2001. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Journal Articles

  • 2010. “Growing up and apart: Gender divergences in a Chicagoland elementary school.” Language Variation and Change. 22:279-319.
  • 2005. “Aging and gendering. Language in Society.” 34(1): 23-61. Reprinted in Meyerhoff, Miriam and Erik Schleef (eds.). 2010. The Sociolinguistics Reader. London: Routledge.
    Also in Hungarian translation in: Juhász, Valéria (ed.) Tarsadalmi nem és nyelvhasznalat (Gender and language use). Szeged, Hungary: JGYF Kiadó.
  • 2004. “Words of the Windy City.” Language Magazine. 3(7): 49- 53. Reprinted in: Wolfram, Walt and Ben Ward (eds.) 2005. “American voices: How dialects differ from coast to coast.” Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing Company. Pp. 112-117.
  • 2004. With Nydia Flores Ferrán. Perseveration of Subject Expression across Regional Dialects of Spanish. Spanish in Context. 1(1): 41-65.
  • 2002. With Susanne Rott and Jessica Williams. “The effect of multiple-choice L! glosses and input-output cycles on lexical acquisition and retention.” Language Teaching Research. 6(3): 183-222.
  • 2001. “Language change or changing selves?: Direct quotation strategies in the Spanish of San Juan, Puerto Rico.” Diachronica. 17(2): 249-292.
  • 1998. “A variable syntax of speech, gesture, and sound effect: Direct quotations in Spanish.” Language Variation and Change. 10(1): 43-83.
  • 1998. “A language-focused needs analysis for ESL-speaking nursing students in class and clinic.” Foreign Language Annals. 31(2): 202-218.
  • 1997. “Accessibility theory in a variable syntax of Spanish.” Journal of Pragmatics. 28:29-67.
  • 1997. With Jessica Williams. “Senténce to Ten Cent: A case study of relevance and communicative success in nonnative-native speaker interactions in a medical setting.” Applied Linguistics. 18(4): 415-445.
  • 1996. “A community-based test of a linguistic hypothesis.” Language in Society. 25(1): 61-111.
  • 1995. “The scope and limits of switch reference as a constraint on pronominal subject expression.” Hispanic Linguistics. (6/7):1-27.
  • 1995. “¿Cómo se dice blue jeans?”: Using English to negotiate learning in an introductory Spanish language class.” The Mid-Atlantic Journal of Foreign Language Pedagogy. 3:1-22.
  • 1993. “Ambiguous agreement, functional compensation, and nonspecific tú in the Spanish of San Juan, Puerto Rico and Madrid, Spain.”  Language Variation and Change. 5(3): 305-334.

Book chapters, encyclopedia entries, conference proceedings

  • 2017. Coauthored with Janet Fuller. Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology: Sociolinguistics.
  • 2016. Sabita Acharya, Barbara Di Eugenio, Andrew D Boyd, Karen Dunn Lopez, Richard Cameron and Gail M Keenan. “Generating summaries of hospitalizations: A new metric to assess the complexity of medical terms and their definitions.” The 9th International Natural Language Generation Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • 2016. Coauthored with Kim Potowski. “La diversidad sociolingüística.” In Gutiérrez-Rexach, Javier (ed.) Enciclopedia de lingüística hispánica. Routledge Publishers.
  • 2015. “Looking for structure-dependence, category-sensitive processes, and long-distance dependencies in usage.” In Adli, Aria, Marco García-García, and Göz Kaufmann (eds.) Variation in Language: System- and Usage-based Approaches. De Gruyter. Pp. 69-89.
  • 2015. Coauthored with Robert Bayley. “General Introduction: A brief history of the study of language variation and change” in Vol. 1: Foundations and Methods. Language Variation and Change: Critical Concepts in Linguistics. Routledge Publishers. Pp. 1- 12.
  • 2014. “Acquiring sociolinguistic difference: Gender and age in a Chicago elementary school.” Chicago Linguistic Society. 2011. Main Session: Volume 47, Issue 1. (Eds.) Abrego-Collier, Carissa, Arum Kang, Martina Martinovic, and Chieu Nguyen. Pp 17-29.
  • 2013. Coauthored with Scott Schwenter. Pragmatics and Variationist Sociolinguistics. In Bayley, Robert, Richard Cameron & Ceil Lucas (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 464-483
  • 2011. Aging, age, and sociolinguistics. In Díaz-Campos, Manuel (ed.) The Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden MA. pp. 207-229.
  • 2010. Definition of “Dialect” in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences. Patrick Colm Hogan, Editor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp.254.
  • 2007. Three approaches to finding the social in the linguistic. Holmquist, J., A. Lorenzino, & L. Sayahi (eds.) Selected Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. Pp. 1-22. Electronic Version available at:
  • 2006. Puerto Rico: Language Situation. In Volume 10, the ‘Countries and Languages’ section of the 2nd ed of the Encyclopedia of Languages and Linguistics. Keith Brown, Editor in Chief, Oxford : Elsevier Publishers. Pp. 285-286.
  • 2003.Three Puerto Rican Spanish variables as texts on aging and gendering. In Sanchez, T. and U. Horesh (eds.) 2003. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: 9.2: Papers from NWAV. 2003. 31.15-25.
  • 2002. Coauthored with Linda Garcia-Shelton.  La comunicazione nel rapporto medico/paziente: Modulo di valutazione per i docenti. In Cigoli, Vittorio and Mauro Mariotti (eds.) 2002. Il Medico, La Famiglia E La Comunità: L=approccio biopsicosociale alla salute e alla malattia. Milano: Franco Angeli. Pp. 109-113.
  • 1996. Accessibility theory and specificity of reference in Spanish. CLS 32: Papers from the Parasession on Theory and Data in Linguistics. ed. by McNair, L. et. al. Chicago Linguistic Society. 1996. Pp. 13-27.
  • 1996. A proposed explanation of the Specific/Nonspecific TÚ constraint ranking in Spanish. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: (N)Waves and Means: A selection of papers from NWAVE 24. 1996. 3(1):25-42.
  • 1994 .Switch reference, verb class, and priming in a variable syntax. Papers from the 30th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society: Volume 2: The Parasession on Variation in Linguistic Theory. ed. by Beals, K. et. al. Chicago Linguistic Society. 1994. Pp. 27-45.
  • 1989. Coauthored with Joseph DeChicchis. Semantic field, linguistic geography, and semantic change: Original Spanish vocabulary in Kekchi. Penn Review of Linguistics. 1989. 13:91-105.


PhD in Linguistics
MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL