Donald Tuten

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Office: 512S Callaway Center

Phone: 404-727-6487



Dr. Tuten received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. His research in historical sociolinguistics focuses on questions of language change in Spanish and other Romance languages, with particular attention to how social, cultural and political factors interact with cognitive factors to influence change.

Koineization in Medieval Spanish (Mouton de Gruyter)

His book Koineization in Medieval Spanish (Mouton de Gruyter) examined the effects of dialect mixing on the history of medieval Castilian, during which many of the key features of the modern language developed. Dr. Tuten continues to study dialect contact and mixing but has become increasingly interested in how cultural factors influence the outcomes of dialect/language contact and mixing. For instance, he is researching standardization in the medieval and early modern history of Spanish, with attention to the contrasts and interactions between koineization (as a "quasi-automatic" process) and standardization (as a conscious and political shaping of the language). He is also interested in how changes in demographic and social mobility in the early modern period combined with changes in social and political ideology to shape change in language usage, particularly the use and grammar of address forms.  

Currently, Dr. Tuten is at work on two co-authored book projects for Routledge. The first (with Fernando Tejedo-Herrero, Rajiv Rao and Robyn Clarke) is a textbook of Spanish phonetics and social variation.  The second (with Fernando Tejedo-Herrero and Enrique Pato) is a history of the Spanish language which examines change in forms, use and status of Spanish from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

Fuentes: Lectura y redaccin

Dr. Tuten has a strong interest in the areas of applied linguistics and the pedagogy of language and culture. He is principal author of five editions of the intermediate Spanish language and Hispanic culture textbook Fuentes: Lectura y redacción (first three editions published by Houghton Mifflin, now published by Cengage/Heinle; co-authored with Lucía Caycedo Garner and Carmelo Esterrich) and is a collaborating author of the companion volume Fuentes: Gramática y conversación.

 Dr. Tuten teaches undergraduate courses in linguistics in both the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Program in Linguistics. His undergraduate Spanish courses include Phonetics: The Sounds of Spanish (Span/Ling 303) as well as seminars on Hispanic Sociolinguistics, History of the Spanish Language, and Espanglish: Latina/o Bilingualisms and Cultural Production. For the Summer Iberian Studies Study Abroad Program (in Seville and Salamanca), he regularly teaches the seminar Dueling Tongues: Language, Identity & Politics in Spain. Linguistics courses include Foundations of Linguistics (Ling 201), Historical Linguistics & Language Change; Bilingualism and Multilingualism; Language, Gender & Sexuality.

 As an active member of the faculty of Emory’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Hispanic Studies (which he helped design between 2014 and 2017), Dr. Tuten has taught or co-taught graduate seminars on a range of topics: Understanding Hispanic Studies: Theories and Methods (HISP 510); Pedagogy of Language and Culture (HISP 610); History and Historiography of Spanish; Ideology and Normativity in Spanish; Bilingualism in the Hispanic World.

Previously, Dr. Tuten has served in a number of administrative roles at Emory: Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese (2015-2018), Director of the Program in Linguistics (2005-2011), and Director of the Spanish Language Program (1996-2009). Beyond Emory, he has participated actively in the founding and organization of NARNiHS, the North American Research Network in Historical Sociolinguistics, which is now a sister society of the Linguistic Society of America.