Yvonne Lam, PhD, MA, BA (Hons)
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics & Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta
4-41 Assiniboia Hall
9137 116 St NWEdmonton ABT6G 2E7
Area of Study / Keywords
sociolinguistics of multilingualism language ideologies identity indigenous languages heritage languages foreign languages
I hold a joint appointment in the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (Spanish). My PhD (2003) is in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Toronto. In 2017, I was a visiting professor in the Masters program in Indoamerican Linguistics at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City.
My general area of research is the sociolinguistics of multilingualism, including indigenous languages, heritage (immigrant) languages, and foreign languages. I am interested in the social factors that influence which language(s) multilingual speakers use, particularly their language ideologies and their sense of identity. The goal of my research is to help multilingual speakers feel comfortable using their full linguistic repertoire. My projects focus on two general groups, indigenous communities in Mexico (notably the Totonac) and heritage language communities in Alberta. More recently, I began a collaboration with the Hul'q'umi'num' Language and Culture Society in Duncan, British Columbia, to understand the linguistic insecurities among Hul'q'umi'num' learners.
I teach a variety of senior-level undergraduate courses in Spanish language and linguistics, as well as graduate-level courses in applied linguistics. I have supervised a number of MA and PhD students on a variety of topics in second language acquisition and sociolinguistics. I have also supervised several undergraduate honours students as well as several winners of the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Researcher Award.
LING 224 - Endangered Languages
An examination of local and global factors affecting the vitality of languages: how language endangerment arises, how linguistic and cultural diversity suffers, and how linguists can respond. Students cannot receive credit for both LING 224 and 324.
LING 620 - Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism
Major theories and issues in second language acquisition and bilingualism research. (Course is cross-listed with MLCS 620). Credit will only be granted for one of LING 620 or MLCS 620. Prerequisite: Consent of Department.
MLCS 620 - Applied Linguistics: Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism
Major theories and issues in past and present second language acquisition research. Course is cross-listed as LING 620. Credit will only be granted for MLCS 620 or LING 620. Prerequisite: LING 101 or equivalent and consent of Department.
SPAN 373 - Spanish as a World Language
Focus on the evolution of Spanish from Latin and its spread around the world. Examines the different varieties of Spanish as well as practices and attitudes regarding the use of Spanish in different regions. Prerequisite: SPAN 300 or 306 or consent of Department. Note: Not open to students with credit in SPAN 372. May be taken in place of SPAN 372 for program requirements.
Los cargos: Un relato del sistema de cargos en el totonaca del Río Necaxa [Los cargos: An account of the system of cargos in Upper Necaxa Totonac]
David Beck; Yvonne Lam
Tlalocan: Revista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México. 2020 January; XXV
"I don't want them to be like me": Discourses of inferiority and language shift in Upper Necaxa Totonac
Anthropological Linguistics. 2020 January; 62 (2):159-182
Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics. 2018 January; 21 (1):1-22
La diversidad lingüística y el futuro de las lenguas originarias [Linguistic diversity and the future of indigenous languages]
Ichan Tecolotl: Puntos de Encuentro. 2018 January; mayo 2018
In P. Levy & D. Beck (Eds.), Las lenguas totonacas y tepehuas: Textos y otros materiales para su estudio. Mexico City, Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.. 2012 January;
Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics. 2010 January; 13 (2):54-72
Language Awareness. 2009 January; 18 (1):2-18
International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 2009 January; 195
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