Robert Vann

Photo of Robert Vann
Robert E. Vann (Rob)
Professor of Spanish
(269) 387-3042
(269) 387-3103
515-B Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5338
Mailing address: 
Department of Spanish
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5338 USA
Office hours: 

Monday 2 to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
via Zoom and in person
Password: 7ThUfv

  • Ph.D., Iberoromance Linguistics and Philology, The University of Texas-Austin, 1996
  • M.A., Spanish Linguistics, The University of Illinois-Urbana, 1992
Teaching interests: 
  • Spanish linguistics
  • Sociology/Linguistic anthropology of the Spanish languange
  • Spanish pragmatics
  • Spanish in contact
Research interests: 
  • Documentation and digital preservation of the Spanish spoken in Catalonia
  • Social, cultural, and linguistic effects of language contact and bilingualism in Catalonia
  • Ways of constructing linguistic identities and ideologies in Catalonia

Dr. Robert E. Vann is a professor in the Department of Spanish at Western Michigan University.

He is a specialist in Spanish language, culture, and society in Catalonia. His main areas of research have investigated ways of speaking, linguistic identities, and linguistic ideologies in Barcelona, the sociocultural and linguistic effects of language contact and bilingualism in Catalonia, and, most recently, the documentation and digital preservation of spoken language data in Catalan Spanish. Dr. Vann's first book on this subject, Materials for the sociolinguistic description and corpus-based study of Spanish in Barcelona: Toward a documentation of colloquial Spanish in naturally occurring groups (2009), includes a critical introduction that recognizes the legitimacy of Spanish in Catalonia and contains the first published transcripts of a spoken language corpus of colloquial Spanish conversations held in naturally-occurring social groups in Barcelona. The monograph provides a resource for studying the unique characteristics of Catalan Spanish.

Vann has created more than 15 different Spanish linguistics courses at WMU and directed WMU's first doctoral dissertation in Spanish linguistics. From 2006 to 2010, he was founding director of a student exchange program with Universitat de Lleida, Catalonia. Vann has given plenary and keynote lectures at international conferences in Spain, England, Germany and the United States and has published more than 25 refereed articles on language contact, language ideology and language documentation. He serves the department as a Spanish undergraduate advisor.

Vann's home page