John M. Lipski is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Linguistics (Emeritus), and director of Penn State’s Program in Linguistics. An apostate electrical engineering student, he received his B. A. (in mathematics) from Rice University, and his M. A. and Ph. D. (in Romance linguistics) from the University of Alberta. He has previously taught at Newark State College/Kean College of New Jersey, Michigan State University, The University of Houston, The University of Florida, and The University of New Mexico. He has given lectures and workshops at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in numerous other countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Over the years he has taught Spanish, Romance, and general linguistics, translation, and a variety of language courses.
His research interests include Spanish phonology, Spanish and Portuguese dialectology and language variation, the linguistic aspects of bilingualism, and the contribution of the African diaspora to the diversification of Spanish and Portuguese. He has done fieldwork just about everywhere Spanish is spoken: in Spain (including the Canary Islands), Gibraltar, Africa, the Caribbean (including Trinidad), all of Central and South America, the Philippines, Guam, and many Spanish-speaking communities within the United States.
His work has been partially supported by the National Science Foundation, two Fulbright research fellowships, an NEH summer fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, a fellowship from Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and grants from Penn State’s Africana Research Center. In addition to more than 250 articles in general and Hispanic linguistics he has published the following books: Linguistic aspects of Spanish-English language switching; The Spanish of Equatorial Guinea; Fonética y fonología del español de Honduras; El español de Malabo; Latin American Spanish [also translated into Japanese]; The language of the Isleños of Louisiana; The speech of the Negros Congos of Panama; El español de América; El español en síntesis [with the late Eduardo Neale-Silva]; A history of Afro-Hispanic language contact; Afro-Bolivian Spanish; Varieties of Spanish in the United States; El habla de los Congos de Panamá en el contexto de la lingüística afrohispánica.
He has served as editor of the journal Hispanic Linguistics and as associate editor of Hispania for Theoretical Linguistics, and is currently acquisitions editor for the Spanish linguistics monograph series at Georgetown University Press.