Donald Tuten

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Office: 515S 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 (2003, 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. He is now at work on a new book project tentatively titled Pronoun Anxiety: Changing Patterns of Address in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish, in which he is exploring how changes in demographic and social mobility in the early modern period interacted with changes in social and political ideology to influence change in the use and development of Spanish address forms. Dr. Tuten is also exploring other aspects of the medieval development of Spanish, including the scribal practices which shaped and were shaped by the growing conceptual distinction between Latin and (Castilian) Romance, as well as the nature and limits of standardization of the medieval language.

Dr. Tuten has a long-standing interest in applied linguistics, particularly the teaching of Spanish language and Hispanic cultures, as well as teaching of Hispanic linguistics. He was principal author of five editions of the intermediate Spanish language and Hispanic culture textbook Fuentes: Lectura y redacción (1996-2015, first published by Houghton Mifflin and later by Cengage/Heinle; co-authored with Lucía Caycedo Garner and Carmelo Esterrich). With co-authors Fernando Tejedo-Herrero, Rajiv Rao and Robyn Clarke, Dr. Tuten is presently completing work on a manual of Spanish phonetics that foregrounds pragmatic, stylistic and social variation in the pronunciation of Spanish. This book, titled Pronunciaciones del español/Pronunciations of Spanish, will be published by Routledge in late 2020 or early 2021.

Fuentes: Lectura y redaccin

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 advanced seminars: Hispanic Sociolinguistics, History of Spanish, and Dueling Tongues: Language, Identity & Politics in Spain (taught during the Summer Iberian Studies Study Abroad Program, in Seville and Salamanca). In the Program in Linguistics, he regularly teaches a course on Historical Linguistics & Language Change, and is planning a seminar on Politeness in Language.


As an active member of the faculty of Emory’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Hispanic Studies, Dr. Tuten has taught or co-taught graduate seminars on a range of topics: Political History of Spanish, Ideology and Normativity in Spanish, Understanding Hispanic Studies, and Pedagogy of Language and Culture.

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.


Scholarly Interests:

Historical sociolinguistics:
language change, dialect/language contact, standardization, language ideologies and politics
Sociocultural and political history of Spanish
Spanish and Romance linguistics