Jhonni Carr

Lecturer of Spanish Linguistics

5222 Dwinelle Hall


Office Hours: T, Th 12:30-1:30 pm

Dr. Jhonni Carr holds a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently teaches in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley and was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at UCLA. Specializing in Spanish Sociolinguistics, she investigates the power dynamics of languages in contact in the public space of Southern California and Mexico. She uses interdisciplinary methods to explore these areas’ signage (i.e. linguistic landscape) and residents’ attitudes toward the presence and absence of different languages. Dr. Carr has published work related to the concept of language solidarity, as well as language attitudes with respect to varying pronunciations of Spanish and English and the intersection between U.S. Latinx culture and Food Studies. Her research has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the American Federation of Teachers, the UC Regents, and the UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies.

Dr. Carr’s dissertation, “Signs of Our Times: Language Contact and Attitudes in the Linguistic Landscape of Southeast Los Angeles” exposes the dynamic situation of Spanish and English in the signage of three L.A. cities and the manner in which language is intertwined with the public space and its inhabitants. She does so by comparing the material presence of languages in the linguistic landscape with Latinx community members’ perceptions of language use and their resulting attitudes. A corpus containing images of 4,664 signs is examined, along with responses from 24 semi-directed, sociolinguistic interviews. This investigation illuminates the power relations that lie in the coexistence of Spanish and English inscriptions in the urban space of Southeast Los Angeles.

She is currently revising her dissertation to produce a book manuscript. In writing her first book, Dr. Carr is delving into the finer details of her corpus in order to expand her macro analysis of language contact in the signage with a micro analysis by using a corpus linguistics approach. She is currently working on a new chapter regarding the use of Los Angeles Vernacular Spanish (Parodi, 2004, 2009, 2011) and Spanglish as seen in public space, exploring such morphological innovations as store names Wateria and Shoeteria.

An additional research interest of hers is second language pedagogy. In 2021 she gave a presentation entitled “Technology in the classroom and beyond: Designing and disseminating results of a collaborative LL research project” at the Linguistic Landscapes International Workshop. She has organized a panel on best practices for teaching Spanish to heritage speakers for the International Conference on Language Teacher Education and also enjoys giving presentations at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese conferences.

Dr. Carr is a passionate educator and has been distinguished with awards and honors for her instruction. This year (2021-2022), she is collaborating with the Center for Teaching and Learning as a Teaching Fellow to develop a Linguistic Solidarity curriculum for the language and linguistics classroom. She was recently a recipient of the university-wide Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times award, for which approximately 500 nominations were received. In Spring 2020, she received a teaching release to serve as a Berkeley Language Center Fellow in order to develop a course on the presence of Spanish in the linguistic landscape. She has taught classes related to the study of Spanish, Portuguese, and English linguistics, languages, and cultures.

For more information, see her CV and personal website.

Jhonni Carr