Department of Linguistics

Sean McKinnon Ph.D.

Part-Time Faculty, Spanish Linguistics

Office Location

310 A-Wing Science Building



Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, Indiana University Bloomington, 2020
  • M.A in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2013
  • B.S. in Psychology and Spanish, Ohio State University, 2012


Previous Experience: Department of Spanish at Portuguese at Indiana University Bloomington, 2014-present

Research Interests

My research focuses on language variation and change in situations of language contact throughout the Spanish-speaking world. I have conducted research on Spanish in contact with English (in the United States), Catalan (in Catalonia), and Kaqchikel Maya (Guatemala).

I am also interested in pragmatics (with a focus on (mock) impoliteness theories and practices) and Spanish heritage language pedagogy. 

Recent Publications

McKinnon, Sean. (2020). Un análisis sociofonético de la aspiración de las oclusivas sordas en el español guatemalteco monolingüe y bilingüe (español-kaqchikel). Spanish in Context, 17, 1- 29. 

McKinnon, Sean. (2018). An initial examination of imperfect subjunctive variation in Catalonian Spanish: A contact linguistics and usage-based approach. In J. E. MacDonald (Ed.), Contemporary trends in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics: Selected Papers from the Hispanic Linguistic Symposium 2015 (p. 333-353). John Benjamins: Amsterdam/Philadelphia. 

Elias, Vanessa, McKinnon, Sean, & Milla-Muñoz, Ángel. (2017). The effects of code-switching and lexical stress on Spanish heritage speaker vowel quality and duration. Languages, 2(4), 29. Available online at: 

McKinnon, Sean. (2017a). TBLT instructional effects on tonal alignment and pitch range in L2 Spanish imperatives versus declaratives. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39, 287- 317.

McKinnon, Sean. (2017b). “Building a thick skin for each other”: The use of ‘reading’ as an interactional practice of mock impoliteness in drag queen backstage talk. Journal of Language and Sexuality, 6, 90-127.