Jeannine M. FontaineAssociate Professor


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1981

Academic Interests

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Cognition, TESOL, Language and Literature


Jeannine enjoys the challenge of making links between the allegedly abstract ideas of her field of linguistics and the real needs and interest of people who love language. She is fascinated with the way we learn and use language, and the way language and thought work together in the puzzling place we call the human mind. Her greatest teaching goal is to infect others with the same curiosity about everything from the way a specific word is used to the way neural pathways handle the complex subtleties of language.

Her research interests have ranged from theoretical and descriptive syntax to the linguistic elements underlying literary tropes. Most recently, she has worked on the linguistics of metaphor and on a series of papers looking crossculturally at linguistic expression in narrative, poetry, and humorous texts. Her publications include "Linguistics If for Kids" in Language Alive in the Classroom and "Learning and Using a Second Language" in Language: Introductory Readings.