Jim Law

French & Italian

Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

My teaching centers on French language and linguistics. Students in my courses get practical experience doing the kind of work involved in language research – things like translating medieval manuscripts, analyzing language data with code and statistics, and synthesizing information about meaning and usage from dictionaries and corpora.


The links between language forms and the meanings they express change over time in often subtle but sometimes surprising ways. My research centers on semantic and pragmatic change in the Romance languages. I work within the cognitive linguistic tradition, notably Construction Grammar and Frame Semantics, and use quantitative corpus methods.

Selected Publications

Law, J., D. Barny & R. Poulin (2020). Patterns of peer interaction in multimodal L2 digital social reading. Language
Learning and Technology 24(2)

Law, J. (2019). Diachronic frame analysis: The Purpose frame in French. Constructions and Frames 11(1), 42-77

Law, J. (2018). Conceptualizations of time in French depuis ‘since, for’ constructions. Cognitive Linguistics 29(2), 163-


A focus of my citizenship is fostering greater cooperation among faculty and students of the Linguistics and language departments throughout the college. While my home is the French and Italian department, I also teach Linguistics MA students and share research with linguists across departments.
As advisor to the French and Italian clubs, I’ve enjoyed seeing the clubs thrive with virtual activities despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to our great student club leaders.

Citizenship assignments

French Association advisor
Italian Association advisor
Center for Language Studies MAPL liaison
SI committee member