Indiana University Bloomington
Department of French and Italian

Albert Valdman

Albert Valdman

Rudy Professor Emeritus of French Linguistics
Director, Creole Institute

Research Areas

French linguistics, pidgin and creole studies (especially Haitian Creole), second language acquisition, foreign language teaching, and French in the United States


  • PhD, French Linguistics, Cornell University, 1960
  • MA, French Linguistics, Cornell University, 1955
  • AB, Romance Languages,University of Pennsylvania,1953


My research interests include French linguistics, viewed broadly to include sociolinguistics, lexicography, and the spread of French in the Americas, creole studies (especially Haitian Creole and Louisiana Creole), second language acquisition, and teaching methodology. I have a strong commitment to foreign language pedagogy and have authored several college-level and high-school French textbooks. I served eight years as secretary-treasurer of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, one term as secretary general and two terms as president of the International Association of Applied Linguistics, and as vice-president and president of the American Association of Teachers of French (1991-98). I am also a member of two major francophone committees in the area of the language sciences: since 1975, on the Comité International des Etudes Créoles and since 1991, on the scientific network "Etude du français en francophonie" of the Agence universitaire de la francophonie (formerly AUPELF-UREF).

I am the founder and continuing editor of the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition published by Cambridge University Press. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of guiding graduate students through their own first research efforts, having served as PhD dissertation director for 45 students. I am currently working on a research project funded by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation entitled "Sociolinguistic Research on Haitian Creole" and another for the preparation of a differential dictionary of Louisiana French funded by a Mellon Emeritus Fellowship.

Publication Highlights


Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary. With various collaborators. Bloomington:, IN Indiana University Creole Institute, 2007.

études sur les variétés du français. Brooklyn, NY: LEGAS, 2003.

Dictionary of Louisiana Creole. With T. Klingler, M. Marshall, & K. Rottet. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

Bien entendu! Introduction à la prononciation française. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993.

Le créole: structure, statut et origine. Paris: Klincksieck.1978

Introduction to French phonology and morphology. Rowley, MA: Newbury House, 1976

Articles and Book Chapters

Normes et déminorisation du français de Louisiane. In C. Bavoux (Ed.), Normes endogènes et plurilinguisme. Lyon: ENS Editions, 2008. PP. 22-29.

Haitian Creole at the dawn of independence. In D. Jenson (Ed.), The Haitian Issue: 1804 and Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Yale French Studies, 197, 2006, PP. 146-151.

Le français vernaculaire des isolats américains. In A. Valdman, J. Auger, & D. Piston-Hatlen (Eds.), Le Français en Amérique du Nord: Etat présent (pp. 207-227). Québec: Les Presses de l'Université Laval. 2005. PP. 207-227.

Vers la standardisation du créole haïtien. Revue française de linguistique appliquée X (1), 2005. PP. 39-52

Honors, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Médaille d'Or du Mérite Francophone, 2012
  • Ordre des Francophones d'Amériques (Québec), 2008
  • Mellon Emeritus Fellowship, 2007
  • Honorary Member of AATF (American Association of Teachers of French), 1999
  • Ordre des PalmesAcadémiques(France), Chevalier 1986; Officier 1993; Commandeur 1998
  • Florence Steiner Prize, awarded by ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) for distinguished service for foreign language education (post-secondary), 1998
  • John Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies, Indiana University, 1998
  • Honorary Member ofAILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics), 1995
  • Indiana Associationof Teachers of French - Teacher of the Year, 1995
  • Doctorate honoris causa, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1991
  • Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, 1985
  • NATO-NSF Summer Fellowship, 1974
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1968

The Albert Valdman Fund

In August 2008 the Department announced the creation of the AlbertValdman Graduate Student Research and Travel Fund in honor ofRudy Professor Emeritus Albert Valdman, to foster graduate studentdevelopment as Professor Valdman has throughout his career.

Read more about the fund or make a contribution to it.