Naomi Shin
Associate Professor

Personal Website

Associate Professor (also Department of Spanish & Portuguese)

My research focuses on child language, bilingualism, and language contact. I am interested in how input and functionality influence the trajectory of language change and development. I explore these issues primarily by looking at how people of different ages speak Spanish and whether Spanish changes in the US as a result of contact with English. 

Educational History:

  • 2006, PhD in Linguistics, City University of New York Graduate Center Dissertation: “The Development of Null vs. Overt Subject Pronoun Expression in Monolingual Spanish-Speaking Children: The Influence of Continuity of Reference” Director: Helen Cairns
  • 1994, BA in English, Oberlin College

Selected Publications


Potowski, K. & Naomi Shin. Gramática española: Variación Social. Routledge. Expected November 2018. For more information, see:

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

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

Selected peer-reviewed articles:

  • Shin, Naomi L., Barbara Rodríguez, Aja Armijo, & Molly Perara-Lunde. Child heritage speakers’ production and comprehension of direct object clitic gender in Spanish. To appear in Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. 
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2018. Child heritage speakers’ Spanish morphosyntax: Rate of acquisition and crosslinguistic influence. In Kim Potowski (ed.), Handbook of Spanish as a heritage language. 235-253. Routledge.
  • Shin, Naomi L., Pablo Requena & Anita Kemp. Bilingual and monolingual children’s patterns of syntactic variation: Variable clitic placement in Spanish. To appear in Alejandra Auza and Richard Schwartz (Eds.), From typical language development to language disorders in Spanish-speaking children: Language processing and cognitive functions. 
  • Shin, Naomi L. & Mary Hudgens Henderson. A sociolinguistic approach to teaching Spanish grammatical structures. 2017. 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. & Cecilia Montes-Alcalá. El uso contextual del pronombre sujeto como factor predictivo de la influencia del inglés en el español en Nueva York. Sociolinguistic Studies 8(1). 85-110. 
  • 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. 
  • Shin, Naomi L. & Helen Smith Cairns. 2012. The development of NP selection in school-age children: Reference and Spanish subject pronouns.  Language Acquisition 19(1), 3-38. 
  • Montes-Alcalá, Cecilia & Naomi L. Shin. 2011. Las keys vs. el key: Feminine gender assignment in mixed-language texts. Spanish in Context 8(1), 119-143. 
  • Shin, Naomi L. 2010.  Efficiency in lexical borrowing in New York Spanish. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 2010(203), 45-60. 
  • Lapidus Naomi & Ricardo Otheguy. 2005. Overt nonspecific ellos in Spanish in New York. Spanish in Context 2:2, 157-174. 
  • Otheguy, Ricardo & Naomi Lapidus. 2003.  An adaptive approach to noun gender in New York contact Spanish. In Richard Cameron, Luis López & Rafael Núñez- Cedeño (Eds.) A Romance Perspective on Language Knowledge and Use, 209-232. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Selected Awards and Grants:

  • Minority language development: How do children acquire grammar when exposure to language is limited? Naomi L. Shin, Barbara Shaffer, Jill Morford. Funding organization: University of New Mexico: University of New Mexico Women in STEM Faculty Development Fund. June 1, 2017 – June 1, 2018. 
  • Hablamos así: Differentiating language impairment from language loss among bilingual childre. Naomi Shin & Barbara Rodríguez. Funding organization: Sociological Initiatives Foundation. February 2015 - May 2017.
  •  ¿Qué saben los niños? A study of young children's Spanish grammar. Naomi Shin & Barbara Rodríguez. Funding organization: UNM Research Allocations Committee (RAC). July 1, 2015 – January, 2018.
  • Outstanding New Teacher of the Year Award, UNM. 2015.

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