Dr. Malcom Finney

Dr. Malcolm Awadajin Finney

Dr. Finney is currently Interim Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs

Malcolm Awadajin Finney

Title: Professor 

E-mail Address: Malcolm.Finney@csulb.edu

Academic Web Site: www.csulb.edu/~mfinney

Faculty Affairs website


BA (Honors) in English, University of Sierra Leone, 1984
MA in Linguistics, University of Ottawa, Canada, 1988
PhD in Linguistics, University of Ottawa, Canada, 1994

Teaching/Research Interests:

My primary teaching and research interests are in first and second language acquisition, and bilingualism, and implications for second language instruction and bilingual education. I offer graduate seminars on Language Acquisition and Bilingualism in the Linguistics Department and in the Dual Language Development Program, College of Education. My primary research investigates current theories of first and second language acquisition and bilingualism, and how they account for the speed and efficiency in second language and bilingual development. Previous and current research has focused acquisition of L2 phonology, lexicon, grammar, discourse, and pragmatics. I also conduct research on Creole languages, with particular interest in the influence of both universal factors and West African languages in shaping the grammars of Creole languages and, by extension, African American English.

Courses Taught:

LING 100: The Nature of Language  
LING 329: 
Introduction to Language Acquisition
LING 428: Applied Linguistics
LING 429: Language, Learning, and the Developing Child: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
LING 539: Language Acquisition
LING 575: Literacy and Linguistics
LING 650: Seminar on Bilingualism

Representative Publications and Professional Presentations:

2002. Effects of Spanish Pragmatic and Lexical Constraints in the Interpretation of L2 English Anaphora. Pragmatics, 12 (3), 297-328.

April/May 2003. Perception of Errors in Second Language Syntax: Acquisition or Processing Difficulties? In Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, Arizona State University, Tempe.

2003. Substratal Influence on the Morphosyntactic Properties of Krio. Linguistic Review, 2 (3), 58-83.

2004. Tone assignment on Lexical Items of English and African Origin in Krio. In Genevieve Escure & Armin Schwegler (Eds.), Creoles, Contact and Language Change: Linguistics and Social Implications (pp. 221-236). John Benjamins.

2007. Universal and Substrate Influence on the Phonotactics and Syllable Structure of Krio. In Magnus Huber & Viveka Velupillai (eds) Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives on Contact Languages (Creole Languages Library Series 32), John Benjamins Publishing Company, 23-42.

2007. (Collaboration with James Till & Naoko Tamura) Effects of Competence, Exposure, and Linguistic Backgrounds on Accurate Production of English Pure Vowels by Native Japanese and Mandarin Speakers. American Association of Applied Linguists (AAAL) Annual Conference, Costa Mesa, California, 2007.

2008. Intercultural Miscommunication: Effects of Cultural Backgrounds on the Employment of Effective Communication Skills in English as a Second Language. California Federation of Interpreters Conference, Anaheim, California, Sunday, October 12, 2008

2012. The Interaction of Declarative and Procedural Memory in the Process of Creolization: The Case of the Sierra Leone Krio. In Legon Journal of the Humanities, edited by Helen Yitah, Faculty of Arts, University of Ghana.

2012. (In collaboration with Mitra Baghdadi). Effects of Linguistic and Cultural Backgrounds on L2 English Discourse. Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States Conference, Toronto, August 2012

2013. The Sierra Leone Krio. In The Survey of Pidgin and Creole Languages, edited by Susanne Maria Michaelis, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath, and Magnus Huber. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Representative Professional Activities, Recognitions, Awards, & Affiliations:

  • 2002. Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Member, Community Service Learning Center, CSULB.
  • 2005.Spirit of Service Award (in recognition of valuable contributions to the Long Beach Community through commitment to community life and generosity of spirit), Center for Community Engagement, CSULB.
  • 2006. University Faculty Community Service Award. 
  • Memberships in Professional Organizations: Linguistic Society of America; Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics; International Linguistic Association; Linguistic Association of Canada & the US; Linguistic List (Internet); Bilingual List (Internet); Creole List (Internet). Alpha Chapter, Phi Beta Delta. 
  • External Examiner Ph.D., MPHIL & MA Dissertations (Departement of Linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana).