Eastern Michigan University
direct edit

Eric Acton

Assistant Professor

612S Pray-Harrold

(734) 487-7952



PhD, Stanford University

Interests and Expertise

Social, expressive, and connotative meaning; semantics; pragmatics; sociolinguistic variation; corpus and conversational linguistics; language and politics; language and ethnicity 


African-American English
Language and Gender
Discourse Analysis

Recent Publications and Presentations

Acton, Eric K. 2016. Beyond Grice: A socio-pragmatic framework for non-entailed meaning. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., 9 January. 

Acton, Eric K. 2015. Non-entailed content: A socio-pragmatic framework. Redrawing Pragmasemantic Borders, Groningen, The Netherlands, 20 March.

Melnick, Robin, and Eric K. Acton.  2015. Function words, power and opposition: A socio-pragmatic "deep" corpus study. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Portland, 10 January.

Acton, Eric K. 2014. Pragmatics and the social meaning of determiners (Doctoral dissertation).  Stanford University, Stanford, CA. 

Acton, Eric K. 2014. Standard change and the Finnish partitive-accusative object distinction. Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 10. 

Acton, Eric K. and Christopher Potts. 2014.  That straight talk: Sarah Palin and the sociolinguistics of demonstratives. Journal of Sociolinguistics 18.1: 3-31. 

Acton, Eric K. 2013. Gender differences in the duration of filled pauses in North American English. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Boston, 4 January.

Acton, Eric K., Daria Popova, and Shane Steiner-Threlkeld. 2013. Quantifier scope and tensed clauses.  The 6th California Universities Semantics and Pragmatics Conference 6, University of California, Berkeley, 11 October.

Acton, Eric K. 2013. Standard change and the Finnish partitive-accusative object distinction. Colloque de Syntaxe et Sémantique à Paris (CSSP) 2013, Université Paris-Diderot, Paris, 26 September.

Podesva, Robert J., Annette D’Onofrio, Eric K. Acton, Sam Bowman, Jeremy Calder, Hsin-Chang Chen, and Janneke van Hofwegen. 2012. Linguistic and social effects on the perception of voice onset time in Korean stops. Acoustical Society of America (ASA) 164, Kansas City, 23 October. 

Acton, Eric K. and Christopher Potts. 2012. The latent affective meaning of demonstratives. Guest lecture in the course Meaning as Use: Indexicality, Expressives, and Self-reference taught by Stephen Wechsler and Eric McCready at the North American Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information (NASSLLI) 2012, University of Texas at Austin, 22 June.

Acton, Eric K. 2011. On gender differences in the distribution of um and uh. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics: Selected Papers from NWAV 39 17.2: 1-9. 


Dominique Canning
Erica Meszaros
Bernadette Reamer

Collaborative Research Projects
Jewish Life and Language in Southeast Michigan