Daniel Erker

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics
Director of Graduate Admissions (for Spring 2019)
Daniel Erker
Email: danerker@bu.edu
Web: http://blogs.bu.edu/danerker/
Web: http://ling.bu.edu/people/erker
Office phone: 617-353-6211
Office number: LNG 501A
Office address: Romance Studies, 718 Commonwealth Ave.,
Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Fall 2019: T 2-3; R 11-12; F 12-1; or by appointment.

BA, Spanish and English Literatures, Marquette University
MA, Linguistics, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
PhD, Linguistics, New York University

Professor Erker teaches courses in general linguistics and Spanish linguistics. His research interests include language variation, contact, and change, acoustic and articulatory phonetics, Spanish in the United States, the languages of Latin America, and the evolution of human language.

Professor Erker is the director of The Spanish in Boston Project. This project (funded by the National Science Foundation (BCS-1423840) aims to describe and understand how Spanish is used in the Greater Boston Area. Here are some links to local press regarding the project: An interview on WGBH’sUnder The Radar. A written piece in WBGH’s local news section. An article about the project in BU’s online daily newspaper BU Today.

To learn more about Professor Erker's research and publications, please visit his website: http://blogs.bu.edu/danerker/.


Fall 2019

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 120

Language and Music

web A1 Erker TR 12:30-1:45 STH B19
Is the co-occurrence of music and language in human societies coincidental or inevitable? This course examines this question by defining what language and music are, exploring their structural similarities and differences, and surveying global diversity in musical and linguistic expression. [Prereq: none]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Research and Information Literacy

CAS LX 383

The Sounds of Spanish

web A1 Erker TR 9:30-10:45 CAS B06A
(Conducted in Spanish) The goal of this course is to introduce students to the linguistic analysis of speech, with a focus on the Spanish language. We examine the vowels and consonants of Spanish from the perspective of articulatory and acoustic phonetics. In addition, the course introduces core concepts in phonological analysis, surveying the phonemic inventory and phonological organization of Spanish. We also investigate a range of regional variation demonstrated by so-called ‘dialects’ of Spanish, with an emphasis on the historical and social significance of such variation in Spain, Latin America, and the United States. In summary, this course aims to examine the sounds of Spanish as physical, mental, and social phenomena. [Prereq: One 300-level Spanish course and CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor]
[Meets with GRS LX 683; Also offered as CAS LS 507; Previously offered as CAS LX 507 "The Sounds of Spanish"]
  • If you are trying to register for this course as CAS LS 507 and it appears full, you can just as well register for the LX number. These courses are identical, meet together, and satisfy all of the same requirements :-) .
  • This course can satisfy requirements for both the Spanish and the Spanish & Linguistics majors; it can also satisfy the Linguistics major requirement for a course in the linguistic analysis of a specific language, as well as counting toward both the Spanish and Linguistics minors.

Spring 2020 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

Quantitative Methods in Linguistics

A1 Erker MWF 10:10-11 CAS 427
Introduces students to quantitative approaches to linguistic data, including visualization, hypothesis testing, and data modeling. Students will gain proficiency in R, an open-source statistical environment, and learn the logic behind statistical techniques, as well as practical skills for using them. [Prereq: Graduate standing in the Linguistics program, or consent of instructor]
[Meets with GRS LX 795]

CAS LX 346

Language Variation and Change

A1 Erker MWF 12:20-1:10 CAS B20
Why do languages change over time? Who leads and who follows in situations of language change? The course answers these questions by examining the link between language change and linguistic variation, focusing on how synchronic variation leads to diachronic change. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Language or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 646]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration I