Romance Languages and Literatures

Nadine O'Connor Di Vito

Senior Lecturer in French


Gates-Blake 208

Office Hours: 

MWF 10:30-11:30 & by appt.

Phone Number: 




PhD in Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 1987

Maîtrise & DEA, Sciences de l'Education, Université de Bordeaux II, 1984 & 1985

Program(s): French and Francophone Studies

Nadine Di Vito specializes in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis, especially as they relate to second language acquisition and teaching. Her book, Patterns Across Spoken and Written French: Empirical Research on the Interaction Among Forms, Functions, and Genres (1997), focuses on the frequency and contextual use of particular grammatical structures (the subjunctive, relative clauses, the passé composé, passé simple, and imparfait, etc.) in over 53,000 clauses of a variety of genres of contemporary spoken and written French discourse from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. This work challenges many prevalent notions regarding the relationship between spoken and written French and the grammatical distinctions between literary and non-literary French genres, as well as offers new insights in the ways in which the French language has evolved and is continuing to evolve.

In addition to published writings, Nadine has developed and analyzed several corpora of authentic French spoken discourse and has created Web-based audio exercises on these recordings for all French language levels. The discourse in these corpora are representative of diverse types of educated native speech, including one-on-one interviews, formal academic speeches, and everyday telephone conversations.

Nadine has also published research and developed pedagogical materials in the domain of foreign culture acquisition. These studies involve a cross-cultural examination of various speech acts (e.g., invitations, compliments, excuses) and culture-bound values (e.g., being creative and original, being articulate).

Awards, Honors, and Professional Experience

  • Director of Romance Language Programs, University of Chicago, 1992-2018
  • Excellence in Teaching, University of Pennsylvania
  • Recipient of numerous grants involving research in second language acquisition and pedagogical materials development

Selected Courses Taught

  • Methods and theory course on foreign language acquisition and teaching
  • All levels of French language
  • Advanced French phonetics and phonology
  • French sociolinguistics