Joseph Davis

Professor, Bilingual Education & TESOL

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Linguistics


North Academic Center



Joseph Davis


Please email for an advising appointment.


Joseph Davis has taught linguistics in the programs in Bilingual Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in the School of Education since 1998. He is a consortial member of the doctoral faculty in the Program in Linguistics at the Graduate Center.


Ph.D. with distinction, M.Phil., M.A. in linguistics, Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
M.S.P.H. in biostatistics, University of North Carolina.
B.S. in mathematic-biology, Wake Forest University.

Courses Taught

(All with prefix EDCE)

35600 Language, Mind, and Society
2600C Linguistics for Teachers
5400C Methods of Teaching Second Language
5600C Psycholinguistic and Sociolinguistic Aspects of Bilingual Education
5800C Theories of Second Language Acquisition
6601C Practicum in Teaching a Second Language
6700C Contrastive Phonology of English and Other Languages for Teachers
6800C Grammar and its Pedagogy:  English and Other Languages

Research Interests

Linguistic theory and methodology, particularly Columbia School linguistics
The grammar and phonology of Italian and of English
Pedagogical implications of linguistics
An expansion of a presentation given in June 2018 at The University of Padua.
The Role of Language in Diverian Linguistics



Davis, J. (2017) The substance and value of Italian si. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Huffman, A., & Davis, J. (2012). Language: Communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver. Leiden/Boston: Brill

Davis, J., Gorup, R., & Stern, N. (Eds.).(2006).Advances in functional linguistics: Columbia School beyond its origins.Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins.


Davis, J.  (2020).  Lexical items as facets of identity in discourse.  Philological Studies, 33, 89-108.

Hesseltine, K., and J. Davis.  (2020). The communicative function of adjective-noun order in English.  WORD, 66:3, 166-193
Davis, J.  (2019).  Lui and egli in Il Gattopardo.  L’analisi linguistica e letteraria, XXVII, 81-92.

Davis, J. (2018).  “Spooky Grammatical Effects.”  In N. Shin & D. Erker (Eds.), Questioning theoretical primitives in linguistic inquiry (Papers in honor of Ricardo Otheguy).  Amsterdam / Philadelphia:  John Benjamins (pp. 133-156).

Davis, J.  (2017)  "The Semantic Difference Between Italian vi and ci.  Lingua​ 200: 107-121.
Davis, J.  (2016)  "Latin Nominatives With and Without Verbs."  WORD 62(2): 91-108.
Davis, J. (2016) "Substance and Structure in Columbia School Linguistics." Acta Linguistica Hafniensia​: 1-11.
Davis, J. (2015). Rule, pattern, and meaning in the second-language teaching of grammar. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, 47:1, 53-75.
Diver, W., & Davis, J.(2012).Latin voice and case.In A. Huffman & J. Davis (Eds.).
Diver, W., & Davis, J.(2012).Phonology of the extremes.In A. Huffman & J. Davis (Eds.).
Diver, W., & Davis, J.(2012).Traditional grammar and its legacy in twentieth-century linguistics.In A. Huffman & J. Davis (Eds.).
Davis, J.(2009).Rule and meaning in the teaching of grammar.Language and linguistics compass, vol. 1, issue 3, 199-221.
Davis, J.(2006).Introduction:Consistency and change in Columbia School linguistics.In J. Davis, R. Gorup, & N. Stern (Eds.).
Davis, J.(2006).Phonology without the phoneme.In J. Davis, R. Gorup, & N. Stern (Eds.).
Davis, J.(2004).The linguistics of William Diver and the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure.In G. Hassler & G. Volkmann (Eds.), History of linguistics in texts and concepts, vol. 1 (pp. 307-326).Münster:Nodus.
Davis, J.(2004).Revisiting the gap between meaning and message.In R. Kirsner, E. Contini-Morava, & B. Rodriguez-Bachiller (Eds.), Cognitive and communicative approaches to linguistic analysis. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins.
Davis, J.(2002).Rethinking the place of statistics in Columbia School analysis.In W. Reid, R. Otheguy, & Stern, N. (Eds.), Signal, meaning, and message:Perspectives on sign-based linguistics (pp. 65-90).Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins.
Davis, J.(2002).A surpassingly simple analysis.In W. Reid, R. Otheguy, & N. Stern (Eds.), Signal, meaning, and message:Perspectives on sign-based linguistics (pp. 113-136).Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins.
Davis, J.(1995).The linguistic sign as unifying principle behind syntactic peculiari­ties:The Italian clitic ne.CLS 31: Papers from the 31st Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Vol. 2: The Parasession on Clitics (pp. 79-90).
Davis, J.(1995).Italian pronouns and the virtue of relative meaninglessness.In E. Contini-Morava & B. S. Goldberg (Eds), Meaning as explanation:Advances in linguistic sign theory (pp. 423-440).  Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Davis, J.(1987).A combinatory phonology of Italian.Columbia University Working Papers in Linguistics.No. 8 (pp. 1-98, plus unnumbered corpus).

Additional Information

Professional service (current)

Columbia University Seminar on Columbia School Linguistics, Associate Member, 2011-present.

Other memberships (current)

Linguistic Society of America

National Association of Bilingual Education

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

American Association for Italian Studies

Service to the Institution (sample)

Physical Plant Committee of the Faculty Senate.  2017-present.

Senate Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.  2019-present.

Member, Faculty Senate.  2012-present.

Faculty Consultant, College-wide Risk Assessment Committee, 2015-2018.

Curriculum Committee, School of Education.  2016-2018.

Faculty Council of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 2015-2016.

Curriculum Committee, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture. 2015-2016.

Search Committee for Certification Officer, School of Education. 2015-2016.

Program Director for Bilingual Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2014-2015.

Chair, Executive Committee, School of Education. 2007, 2009-2012, 2012-2015, member 2006-2015, member 2006-2015, 2018-present.

Panel member, PSC-CUNY Research Awards, linguistics panel. 2008-2010.

Executive Committee, Department of Childhood Education. 2004-2008.

Faculty search committees in Bilingual Education & TESOL and in Secondary Spanish Education.

Departmental tenure and promotion advisory panels (two departments).

Director of Programs in Bilingual Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.  2003-2004, 2014-2015.

Administrator of all proposals in Education for the CUNY Collaborative Incentive Research Grant. 2013.