Dr. Catherine Fountain

Language(s)/Subject(s) taught

Spanish, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics/TESL


Linguistic historiography, historical linguistics, language variation and change, indigenous languages of the Americas, language policy in the Spanish-speaking world, phonetics & phonology


PhD, Hispanic Languages and Literatures (2006), University of California-Los Angeles
MA, Spanish (2000), University of California-Los Angeles
BA, Linguistics and Spanish (1997), Cornell University

Academic achievement

Current research projects include a study of early descriptions of Spanish in the US, documentation of early Spanish-language descriptions of indigenous languages in California, and continuing study of the description of Nahuatl during the colonial period in Mexico.

In addition to teaching courses in both Spanish and TESL/Applied Linguistics, I help to coordinate the World Language Education program at Appalachian.

I am proud to have been awarded a UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015 and to have been nominated for the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Advisor Award six times, in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Selected Publications

Missionary linguistics in Mesoamerica. in Languages and Linguistics of Middle and Central America: A Comprehensive Guide, ed Søren Wichmann (forthcoming)

From Receiving Mathematics to Negotiating Meaning: Development of Students’ Understanding of Geometric Concepts. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning (2021). Co-authored.   https://www.cimt.org.uk/ijmtl/index.php/IJMTL/article/view/328

El destino de las obras de lingüística misionera de Alta California en el siglo XIX. Revista Argentina de Historiografía Lingüística 12 (2020). http://www.rahl.ar/index.php/rahl/article/view/179

Investigating the Lexicon of Early California Spanish: Mexicanismos in the Work of a Peninsular Missionary. Revista Iberoamericana de Lingüística 13 (2018)

Acquiring Math: Connecting Math Learning and Second Language Acquisition. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning 19 (2018). Co-authored.

Naming languages and naming people: Glottonyms and ethnonyms in linguistic descriptions from New Spain. in Textos, imágenes y símbolos: Lengua y cultura en la América virreinal (2017)

Challenging the Monolingual Status Quo: Heritage Speakers and the Future of Spanish in the U.S. Hispania 100:4 (2017)

Transculturation, Assimilation, and Appropriation in the Missionary Representation of Nahuatl. in Colonialism and Missionary Linguistics, eds. Klaus Zimmermann and Birte Kellermeier-Rehbein. Berlin: De Gruyter (2015)

Father Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta’s Work on California’s Native Languages. Historiographia Linguistica 40:1/2 (2013)

Los traductores automáticos en el aula: problemática y soluciones. in Unplugged : la palabra como nueva tecnología, ed. by Margarita García Casado et al. Madrid: Akal. (2013)

Pitch Perception, Working Memory, and Second-Language Phonological Production. Psychology of Music 39:4. (2011) Co-authored.

Adaptación socioléxica en la Historia de las Indias: la semántica cultural de la pesca y el pescado. in Visiones del encuentro de dos mundos en América: lengua, cultura, traducción y transculturación, ed. by Karen Dakin, Mercedes Montes de Oca and Claudia Parodi. Mexico City: UNAM (2009)

Worthy the Name of a Grammar: Verb Morphology and Conjugation in Carochi’s Arte de la Lengua Mexicana (1645) and Eliot’s The Indian Grammar Begun (1666). Historiographia Linguistica 34:2/3 (2009)

Maya and Nahuatl in the Teaching of Spanish: Expanding the Professional Perspective. in From Practice to Profession: Dimension 2007. (2007) Co-authored.

Title: Professor, Spanish and TESL/Applied Linguistics, Assistant Department Chair
Department: Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-2308

Office address
LS Dougherty 103 D