Naomi Shin

Personal Website

Professor (also Department of Spanish & Portuguese)

My research interests include child language acquisition, bilingualism, and sociolinguistics. Her theoretical research examines how patterns of morphosyntactic variation are acquired during childhood and how they change in situations of language contact. Her applied work has focused on developing a sociolinguistic approach to teaching Spanish grammar. She co-directs the Lobo Language Acquisition Lab.

Educational History

PhD in Linguistics, 2006, City University of New York Graduate Center

Selected Publications


Potowski, K. & Naomi Shin. 2019. Gramática española: Variación Social. Routledge. For more information, see:

Shin, Naomi & Daniel Erker (Eds.) 2018. Questioning Theoretical Primitives in Linguistic Inquiry: Papers in honor of Ricardo Otheguy. John Benjamins, see:

Ana M. Carvalho, Rafael Orozco & Naomi L. Shin (Eds.). 2015. Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish: A Cross-dialectal perspective. Georgetown University Press.

Selected peer-reviewed articles:

  • Shin, Naomi & Rosa Vallejos. Demostrativos y posesivos. 2023. In Guillermo Rojo, Victoria Vázquez Rozas, & Rena Torres-Cacoullos (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Sintaxis del español Sintaxis del español / The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Syntas
  • Shin, Naomi, Alejandro Cuza, & Liliana Sánchez. Structured variation, language experience, and crosslinguistic influence shape child heritage speakers’ Spanish direct objects. To appear in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.
  •  Lease, Sarah, Naomi Shin, & Emily Bird. Community norms and lexical frequency shape U.S. bilingual children’s subject pronoun expression. To appear in Heritage Language Journal.
  • Shin, Naomi. 2022. Está abriendo, la abrió: Lexical knowledge, verb type and grammatical aspect shape child heritage speakers’ direct object omission in Spanish. International Journal of Bilingualism. Download here.
  • Brown, Esther & Naomi Shin. 2022. Acquisition of cumulative conditioning effects on words: Spanish-speaking children’s [subject pronoun + verb] constructions. First Language 42(3), 361-382.
  • Shin, Naomi & Karen Miller. 2022. Children’s acquisition of morphosyntactic variation. Language Learning and Development 18(2), 125-150. Download here.
  • Shin, Naomi, Mariana Marchesi & Jill P. Morford. 2021. Pathways of development in child heritage speakers’ use of Spanish demonstratives. Spanish as a Heritage Language 1(2), 222-246.
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2021. Acquiring constraints on variable morphosyntax: Subject-verb ~ verb-subject word order in child Spanish. In M. Díaz-Campos (Ed.). The Routledge handbook of Variationist Approaches to Spanish, 425-436. Routledge.
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2021. Testing Interface and Frequency Hypotheses: Bilingual Children’s Acquisition of Spanish Subject Pronoun Expression. In A. Ghimenton, A. Nardy, & J.-P. Chevrot (eds.), Sociolinguistic variation and language acquisition across the lifespan, 82-101. John Benjamins.
  • Shin, Naomi L. & Jill Morford. 2021. Demonstratives in Spanish: Children’s developing conceptualization of interactive space. In J.J. Colomina-Almiñana & S. Sessarego (eds). Language patterns in Spanish and Beyond: Structure, Context and Development, 285-301. Routledge.
  • Goebel-Mahrle, Tom & Naomi Shin. 2020. A corpus study of child heritage speakers’ Spanish gender agreement. International Journal of Bilingualism 24(5-6), 1088-1104.
  • Shin, Naomi, Luis Hinojosa-Cantú, Barbara Shaffer & Jill Morford. 2020. Demonstratives as indicators of interactional focus: Spatial and social dimensions of Spanish este/esta and ese/esa. Cognitive Linguistics 31(3): 485-514.
  • Shin, Naomi L., Barbara Rodríguez, Aja Armijo, & Molly Perara-Lunde. 2019. Child heritage speakers’ production and comprehension of direct object clitic gender in Spanish. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 9(4/5), 659-686.
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2018. Child heritage speakers’ Spanish morphosyntax: Rate of acquisition and crosslinguistic influence. In K. Potowski (ed.), Handbook of Spanish as a heritage language. 235-253. Routledge.
  • Shin, Naomi L., Pablo Requena & Anita Kemp. 2017. Bilingual and monolingual children’s patterns of syntactic variation: Variable clitic placement in Spanish. In A. Auza and R. Schwartz (Eds.), Language development and disorders in Spanish-speaking children (pp. 63-88). Springer.
  • Shin, Naomi L. & Mary Hudgens Henderson. 2017. A sociolinguistic approach to teaching Spanish grammatical structures. Foreign Language Annals 50(1), 195-213.
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2016. Acquiring constraints on morphosyntactic variation: Children’s Spanish subject pronoun expression. Journal of Child Language 43(4), 914-947.
  • Shin, Naomi L. & Jackelyn Van Buren. 2016. Maintenance of Spanish subject pronoun expression patterns among bilingual children of farmworkers in Washington/Montana. Spanish in Context 13(2), 173-194.
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2014. Grammatical complexification in Spanish in New York: 3sg pronoun expression and verbal ambiguity. Language Variation and Change 26(3):303-330.
  • Shin, Naomi L. & Ricardo Otheguy. 2013. Social class and gender impacting change in bilingual settings: Spanish subject pronoun use in New York. Language in Society 42, 429-452.

Awards and Grants

  1. Title: Bridging research and praxis to promote multilingualism and multiculturalism in New Mexico. Co-PIs Jill Morford and Melvatha Chee. Dates: Dec. 1, 2022 – May 31, 2024. Amount: $100,000
  2. Title: Equitable assessment of early childhood language in multilingual-multicultural early education classrooms. Co-PIs: Melvatha Chee, Jill MorfordFunding organization: McCune Foundation. Dates: Feb. 28, 2022 – Feb. 28, 2023. Amount: $15,000
  3. Title: Lobo Language Acquisition Lab. Co-PIs: Melvatha Chee, Jill Morford. Funding organization: W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Dates: Sept. 1, 2021 – Feb. 28, 2023. Amount: $304,975

Research Interests

Hispanic Linguistics, child language development, bilingualism, language contact, sociolinguistics


Teaching Interests:

Childhood bilingualism, Spanish-English bilingualism, Spanish in the US, Sociolinguistics, Spanish Sociolinguistics, Language Change