About me

I am from Hungary where I grew up in the outskirts of Budapest in a bilingual, Hungarian-German-speaking village. I learned Russian in school and studied abroad in Russia. I also worked in Austria and Germany during the summers to learn literary German. In the fall of 1989, I saw the Berlin Wall come down as a Fellow of the European Union Center of the University of Nancy II in Nancy, France, and decided to stay in France for doctoral studies.

My PhD is from the University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle. I trained under the joint supervision of two advisors and worked in two outstanding research groups: one at ILPGA at Paris III (with Jacqueline Vaissière and Mary-Annick Morel) and one at the Research Institute in Linguistics in Budapest (with Ilona Kassai and Miklós Kontra). After my PhD defense, I spent two years at Drexel University in Philadelphia where I taught French and the University of Pennsylvania where I worked in Bill Labov’s sociolinguistics lab. I have been living in Illinois with my trilingual French-Hungarian-American family since 1999.

I am Associate Professor of French Linguistics at the U of I in Urbana-Champaign and currently also the Head of the Department of French and Italian. This is our main page (FRIT in Illinois), but we are also on Facebook and Twitter. Check us out!

My research focuses on the sounds of French, especially as spoken in multiethnic urban settings. I have also conducted research in laboratory settings and directed corpus-based studies. My main areas of research are language variation and change, phonetics and phonology, and language policy and planning.

I teach classes on the many different topics, including varieties of French around the world and in the United States, I have recently developed a General Education course, titled ‘French in US Minority Cultures’.

Jósvafő (2021, Hungary)
French Festival (2018, UIUC)