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Ryan M. Bessett

Associate Teaching Professor

Ph.D. (University of Arizona)

Associate Teaching Professor of Spanish

Office Hours

Ryan Bessett received a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Arizona. His research interests center around language variation and change, Spanish in contact, bilingualism, Spanish as a heritage language, language acquisition, and Spanish phonology. He is especially interested in the Spanish spoken around the US-Mexican border and through variationist methodology differentiating contact-induced change from language-internal variation by comparing the Spanish of monolingual speakers in Sonora, Mexico to the Southern Arizona bilingual Spanish of speakers who come from families from Sonora. 

Book Chapters:

Bessett, Ryan M. and Ana M. Carvalho. 2021. “The structure of US Spanish.” In Sergio Loza and Sara Beaudrie (Eds.), Heritage language teaching: Critical language awareness for research and pedagogy, 44-62. New York: Routledge.

Bessett, Ryan M. 2018. “Testing English influence on first person singular ‘yo’ subject pronoun expression in Sonoran Spanish.” Issues in Contemporary Trends in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, edited by Jonathan E. MacDonald, 355-372. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Carvalho, Ana M. and Ryan M. Bessett. 2015. “Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish in Contact with Portuguese.” In Ana M. Carvalho, Rafael Orozco, and Naomi Lapidus Shin (Eds.), Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish: A Cross-dialectal perspective, 143-165. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press., edited by Ana M. Carvalho, Rafael Orozco, and Naomi Lapidus Shin. Washington, 143-165. D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Journal Articles:

Bessett, Ryan M. 2022. “A comparative analysis of first-person singular subject pronoun expression in Facebook and sociolinguistic interviews: Studying variation via social media.” Semas: Revista de Lingüística Teórica y Aplicada, 3(6), 57-74.

Bessett, Ryan M. 2017. “Exploring the phonological integration of lone other-language nouns in the Spanish of Southern Arizona.” U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, 23(2).

Bessett, Ryan M., Joseph V. Casillas, and Marta Ramírez Martínez. 2017. “Language Choice and Accommodation: Casual Encounters in San Ysidro and Nogales.” Spanish in Context 14(1), 78-98.

Bessett, Ryan M. and Sonia Colina. 2017. “Depalatalization in the synchronic and diachronic phonology of Spanish”. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics (6)1, 223-241.

Bessett, Ryan M. 2015. “The extension of estar across the Mexico-US border: Evidence against contact induced acceleration.”Sociolinguistic Studies 9(4), 421-443.

Book Reviews:

Bessett, Ryan M. 2019. “Sandro Sessarego and Fernando Tejedo-Herrero (Eds). Spanish Language and Sociolinguistic Analysis. (2016). John Benjamins Publishing Company: Amsterdam/Philadelphia.” Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 491-496.

Other Publications:

Casillas, Joseph V. & Bessett, Ryan M. 2013. Cuadro de los rasgos distintivos y los alófonos del español [Table]. In Fonología generativa contemporánea de la lengua Española, edited by Rafael A. Núñez Cedeño, , Sonia Colina., and Travis G. Bradley. Fonología generativa contemporánea de la lengua española. Georgetown University Press. Retrieved from

Corpus building Projects:

Christoffersen, Katherine and Ryan M. Bessett. 2019-2022. Corpus Bilingüe del Valle (CoBiVa)

Assistant Investigator for the Corpus del español en el sur de arizona (CESA)

Digital Humanities Projects:

Bessett, Ryan M. and Marta Ramírez Martínez. 2014. “Arizona/Sonora border: An insight into the crossing reality.” An ethnographic film and can be seen at:

Coming soon...