Jhonni Carr

  • Lecturer of Spanish Linguistics

  • 5222 Dwinelle Hall
  • Office hours: T, Th 2-3pm
  • jhonni@berkeley.edu

Lecturer of Hispanic Linguistics


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 Hispanic Sociolinguistics, she investigates the power dynamics of languages in contact in the public space of Southern California and Mexico. In her work, she uses interdisciplinary methods to explore these areas’ signage (i.e. linguistic landscape) and residents’ attitudes toward the presence and absence of different languages. She has published articles related to language solidarity and attitudes with respect to varying pronunciations of Spanish and English and the intersection between Hispanic culture in the U.S. and Food 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. She has organized a panel on best practices for teaching Spanish to heritage speakers for the International Conference on Language Teacher Education and has also given 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. 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 held a Berkeley Language Center Language Lecturer Fellowship 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.


Courses taught at UC Berkeley


Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (Spanish 100)
Spanish Pronunciation and Accents in Native and Non-Native Speakers (Spanish 101)
Spanish Phonetics and Phonology (Spanish 161)
Spanish Morphology and Syntax (Spanish 162)
Sociolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches to Spanish Bilingualism (Spanish 163)
Spanish Dialectology and Sociolinguistic Variation (Spanish 164)
Spanish in the U.S. and in Contact with Other Languages (Spanish 165)


Selected publications


Tentatively accepted. Signs of language justice? Solidarity, belonging, and strategies for fostering linguistic inclusion. In M. Ramos Pellicia, P. MacGregor-Mendoza & M. Niño-Murcia (Eds.), Linguistic Social Justice. Press TBD.

In press. Reframing the question of correlation between the local linguistic population and urban signage: The case of Spanish in the Los Angeles linguistic landscape. In P. Gubitosi and M. Ramos Pellicia (Eds.), Linguistic Landscape in the Spanish-Speaking World. John Benjamins. Projected publication date: August 2021.

2020. Language solidarity: How to create a forcefield with words. With Román Luján. In C. Boullosa and A. Quintero Soriano (Eds.), Let’s Talk about Your Wall: The Border Crisis from the Mexican Perspective. New York, NY: The New Press.

2019. Linguistic landscapes. In M. Aronoff (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/OBO/9780199772810-0251

2017. Signs of our times: Language contact and attitudes in the linguistic landscape of Southeast Los Angeles. (Doctoral dissertation). University of California, Los Angeles.

2015. Hablas mejor que yo: actitudes de hablantes nativos hacia el español de hablantes no nativos avanzados. Voices 3(1): 31-45.

2014. One margarita, please! Language attitudes regarding pronunciation in the language of origin. Voices 2(1): 63-73.

2013b. The quest for authenticity in L.A. Mexican food: A preliminary study. The International Journal of Food Studies 2(1): 45-51.

2013a. Yo quiero Taco Bell: How Hispanic culture affects American taste buds. Voices 1(1): 49-55.