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Laura Demsey

Laura Demsey

Teaching Associate Professor
Dey Hall 225

Students Advised
Erin Humphreys


Ph.D., French Linguistics, Indiana University, 2022

M.A., French Linguistics, Indiana University, 2015

B.A., French and Linguistics, Binghamton University – State University of New York, 2010

About Professor Demsey

Laura Demsey's research resides in the fields of language contact and first and second language acquisition.  She studies varieties of French in contact with English, particularly in the New England region of the United States and other areas of North America.  In addition, she is interested in the production of second-language learners of French and their similarity to that of heritage speakers of French.

She is the current course coordinator of FREN 101 and 102, the first two semesters of the French language sequence at UNC-Chapel Hill.  She places a high value on introductory-level courses, since they are the foundation of all language learners' development.  She is committed to giving all students a rich learning experience, which keeps affective filters low, and which builds all five skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural competence in global Francophone cultures.

Publications, Articles, & Presentations

Phrases Complètes, s’il vous plaît ! FREN 102 Course Pack, 2022 edition.Department of Romance Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (contributing author)
Contact, Shift, and Structural Change in Franco-American New England(Publication No. 29327585). Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University Bloomington. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
Qui perd sa langue perd sa foi: English Influence in the Functional Categories of New England French.” 2019. In Chernouski, Libby and David O’Neil (eds.), Proceedings of the Third Purdue Linguistics, Literature, & Second Language Studies Conference. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 138–167.

Vive la langue française: Making French Connections in New England.” 2019. Le FORUM Journal 40, no. 4: 24–26.
“Breaking Down Prescriptivism Through Early Introduction to Linguistic Variation.” Petit Cahill, Kevin and Adam Wilson (eds.), Sociolinguistics in the university language classroom. Multilingual Matters. (forthcoming)

Awards & Honors

Faculty Mentoring Award, Department of Romance Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2022

President’s Prize, 47th Conference of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States (for best presentation), 2021

University Graduate School Grant-in-Aid of Doctoral Research, Indiana University, 2018 & 2019

Albert Valdman Research and Travel Award, Indiana University, 2017 & 2018

Inaugural Prix France Martineau, Les français d’ici Conference, Montreal, QC (for best student presentation), 2018

Grace P. Young Graduate Award, Indiana University, 2018

French Associate Instructor Teaching Award, Indiana University, 2018

Inaugural Pi Delta Phi President’s Scholarship for Graduate Students, 2018

Graduate and Professional Student Government Travel Award, Indiana University, 2016

Typical Courses

FREN 101: Elementary French I
FREN 102: Elementary French II
FREN 601: French for Reading Knowledge