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I am a Grad Assistant for Dr. Danny Erker in the Spanish in Boston Project. My work revolves around transcribing sociolinguistics interviews and annotating, extracting, and cleaning data related to various social and linguistic phenomena.

Logo (and link) of the SULa Lab, which stands for Stuctures of Under-researched Languages Lab. The logo is the acronym SULa with green palms steming out of the U and the L

I was a Grad Assistant for Dr. Neil Myler's Mirror Principle Violations Project. My work involved surveying existing descriptive materials on a wide range of languages in order to describe the interactions between causative and applicative morphemes. 

The Role of Salience in

Linguistic Contact:

A Sociolinguistic Study of Liquid Variation in Spanish in Boston

Data collection is underway.

Preliminary results have been presented at NWAV and LSA 2024.

Title: "SPANISH VARIABLES: THE DOMINOES &… MARBLES?"  Image Description: A rectangular image featuring a blue background with white text.  Main Sections:  Right Section: Group of 5 images: Four dominoes and 1 blue marble. Each image is labeled on top with the name of a linguistic variable. The four dominoes represent low-salient variables: Filled Pauses, Subject Personal Pronouns (SPP), and SPP Placement. The blue marble signifies the highly salient linguistic variable coda /s/. All five variables are cited underneath with Erker & Vidal-Covas (forthcoming). Left Section: A red marble labeled inside with the highly salient linguistic variable liquid variation. Below the marble, there is a close-up picture featuring Lee-Ann Vidal-Covas alongside a gnome statue of Gnome Chomsky. The picture is labeled with "Lee-Ann Vidal" underneath.
Image Description: An image with a green background featuring a lightbulb in the top right corner. The image is divided into two sections, each with a headline.  This image illustrates Subject-Verb (SV) and Verb-Subject (VS) sentence orders in Spanish, providing examples and glosses for each.   Headlines:  SUBJECT-VERB: Example 1 (labeled as 1): Spanish sentence "Catalina cantó." (SV) Gloss: Catalina sing.PST.3sg. English Translation: 'Catalina sang.' VERB-SUBJECT: Example 2 (labeled as 2): Spanish sentence "Cantó Catalina." (VS) Gloss: sing.PST.3sg Catalina. English Translation: 'Catalina sang.'

Subject-Verb Order in Latin American Spanish

 This is the topic of my second Qualifying Paper @ BU. The article on this topic can be found here.

Filled Pauses as a site of dialectal and language contact among Spanish-speaking Bostonians

 This was the topic of my first Qualifying Paper @ BU, as well as a joint publication with Danny Erker.

Image Description:  In this image, there is a depiction of a school desk with two students engaged in conversation. Text bubbles surround them, each containing examples of Spanish & English Phonological Filled Pauses. The students are positioned as if in discussion, creating a dynamic scene.  Text Bubbles:  The first text bubble contains the phonological-filled pause "umm," available in English. The second text bubble contains "em," available in Spanish. The third text bubble contains "am," available in English & Spanish. The fourth text bubble contains "uh," available in English. The fifth text bubble contains "ah," available in English & Spanish. The sixth text bubble contains "eh," available in Spanish. The inclusion of these phonological-filled pauses in the image adds an educational element, illustrating the diverse forms of vocalized pauses commonly observed in Spanish and/or English. This representation aims to enhance understanding and awareness of these linguistic elements.



Working Papers

Erker, Daniel G. & Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M. Variation, Contact, and Change in Boston Spanish: How social meaning shapes stylistic practice and bilingual optimization, Submitted September 2023


ORCID iD Logo that links to Lee-Ann Vidal-Covas' ORCID iD record

2023 Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M. ¿Va primero el verbo? OR ¿El sujeto va primero?: Subject-verb order in Latin American Spanish. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, 8(1). 5542.

2022 Erker, D. & Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M. Qué decimos cuando no decimos nada: Claves del cambio lingüístico inducido por contacto en las pausas llenas del español conversacional. Estudios del Observatorio / Observatorio Studies, 80, pp. 1- 31.


2022 Erker, D. & Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M. What we say when we say nothing at all: Clues to contact-induced language change in Spanish conversational pause-fillers. Estudios del Observatorio / Observatorio Studies, 80, pp. 1- 31.

2021 Dionne, D. & Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M. (Eds). Proceedings of the 45th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

2014 Orozco, R., Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M, & Méndez Vallejo, Catalina. Los efectos condicionantes del verbo en el uso variable de los pronombres personales de sujeto. In: Actas del XVII Congreso Internacional de la Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de la América Latina, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil, July 14th-18th.

2013 Vidal-Covas, Lee-Ann M. El uso variable de los pronombres sujetos en el castellano puertorriqueño hablado en Luisiana y Puerto Rico. LSU Master's Theses. 3876.

2024 Vidal Covas, Lee-Ann M.

Riding the Waves of Salience: Exploring Spanish Liquid Variation among Boston Spanish speaker, Linguistic Society of America (LSA), NYC, NY, January 4th - 7th

2023 Vidal Covas, Lee-Ann M.

Making a Splash: The Salience of Liquid Variation among Boston Spanish speakers, New Waves of Analyzing Linguistic Variation (NWAV), NYC, NY, Oct 13th - 17th

2023 Vidal Covas, Lee-Ann M.

Making a Splash: The Salience of Liquid Variation among Boston Spanish speakers, Linguistics Program - Northeastern University, Boston, MA, March 23rd

2023 Vidal Covas, Lee-Ann M.

¿Va primero el verbo OR El sujeto va primero?: Subject-Verb order in Latin American Spanish, LSA 2023, Denver, CO, January 5th– 8th

2021 Vidal Covas, Lee-Ann M. Filled pauses as a site of language contact among Spanish-speaking Bostonians. LSA 2021, (Virtual) January 9th.

2020 Vidal Covas, Lee-Ann M. Guest Lecture: English/Spanish Contrastive Phonology & Filled Pauses. Intro to Sounds - Boston University, Boston, MA, October 15th.


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