Charles Chang

Assistant Professor of Linguistics (starting in July 2015)

Charles Chang
Office address: 621 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

BA, Harvard University
MPhil (distinction), University of Cambridge (UK)
MA and PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Prof. Chang has held appointments at the University of Maryland and Rice University. He is spending AY 2014-15 at SOAS, University of London. He has taught courses in general linguistics and worked on a series of independent and collaborative research projects on cross-linguistic speech perception, language identification, language documentation, language learning aptitude, and instructed foreign language learning.

Prof. Chang's research interests are in phonetics, phonology, language acquisition, and language attrition. Specific areas of focus include the early stages of second language phonological acquisition; interactions between the native and target languages in the bilingual mind; bases of cross-linguistic phonological similarity; language transfer; heritage language phonology; and contact-induced sound change. His work has appeared in journals such as Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and Journal of Phonetics. Links to publications can be found on his website at

At BU, Prof. Chang will teach courses related to language acquisition and linguistic theory, beginning in September of 2015.

For now, he sends his greetings from across the pond...


Fall 2015

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 541

Phonological Development

web A1 Chang MWF 12-1 TBA
The goal of this course is to examine the resources, mechanisms, and limitations underlying children's acquisition of phonology during the first years of life. Specific topics include the biological foundations of phonological acquisition; the developmental arcs of both speech perception and production; the relationship between phonological development and word learning; phonological universals as they apply to acquisition; and implicit and explicit learning mechanisms. The course considers different theoretical models of phonological development, as well as the range of variation observed among typically developing children. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 542

Second Language Acquisition

web A1 Chang MWF 3-4 TBA
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of findings from the interdisciplinary field of second language acquisition (SLA), especially as they relate to differences between adult and child learners and individual variation among adult learners. The course examines data from many different language pairs, diverse theoretical perspectives on second-language attainment, and a wide range of factors influencing acquisition: language-universal, demographic, experiential, cognitive, social/affective, and environmental. The course also considers the case of third language acquisition as well as pedagogical implications. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

Spring 2016

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 510


A1 Chang MWF 2-3 TBA
Introduction to phonetic and phonological theory at an elementary level. Transcription and production of sounds, International Phonetic Alphabet, the anatomy and physiology of speech, speech acoustics, phonological rules, analysis of data from a variety of languages. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 545


A1 Chang MWF 11-12 TBA
The psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics of life with two languages. Topics include bilingual language use, processing, acquisition, organization; effects of bilingualism on cognition and development; the bilingual brain; the bilingual speech community; bilingual education; bilingualism in the media and public eye. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]