Stockholm university

Laura Alvarez LopezVice Dean, Professor

About me

I am a sociolinguist and have been working as a full professor of Portuguese Linguistics at Stockholm university since 2016. My primary research interests revolve around language variation and change, often in language contact settings and with a focus on the role of the interplay between linguistic and social factors in processes of language change.

I received my Ph.D. at Stockholm University in 2004 and was later employed as assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Mälardalen University, Linköping University and Dalarna University. In 2009, I got a research position at Stockholm University and was promoted to permanent associate professor of Portuguese in 2011 and full professor in 2016.

I am passionate about internationalization. My international collaborations involve research and teaching periods at various universities, including UC Berkeley (2022, US), the University of Campinas (2004-2005, 2012, 2023, Brazil) and Universidad de la República (2009, 2012, 2014, Uruguay). Moreover, I have conducted fieldwork in Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and Uruguay.

Administrative responsibilities

Vice Dean of the Faculty of Humanities (2024-2027).


I am responsible for the courses Language Contact, Multilingualism and Minorities in the Romance-Speaking World, Portuguese Sociolinguistics and Spanish Sociolinguistics within our Master Programme in Linguistics. I teach Portuguese at all levels and supervise degree projects, Master dissertations and Doctoral theses within the field of Portuguese as well as Spanish Linguistics.



My research revolves around the interplay between linguistic and cultural practices within diverse groups, especially in multilingual settings. Through examining how speakers of different languages coexist and interact, I gain insights into the diverse array of linguistic and cultural expressions and identities. An area of focus in my research has been understanding the linguistic and social factors behind language variation and change. I am also interested in how linguistic norms, ideologies and attitudes can either uphold or challenge social hierarchies. Additionally, I explore how power structures can, in turn, influence language development.

Member of ABRALIN (Brazilian Linguistics Association), ACBLPE (Association of Portuguese and Spanish-Lexified Creoles) and ABRE (Association of Brazilianists in Europe).

Research areas

Sociolinguistics, Language Contact and Change, Multilingualism, Language Teaching Research

International research groups

E-lang (University of Campinas, Brazil)

Estudos histórico-gramaticais baseados em redes de corpora digitais anotados  (University of Campinas, Brazil)

Research projects

Current projects 

(2022-2024) Language policies and linguistic landscapes in higher education. The aim of the project is to map and analyze how languages are used in public spaces on campuses and how the presence and use of different languages relates to language ideologies and policies in higher education institutions. In collaboration with Jhonni Carr (PI, University of California Berkeley). Information about treatment of personal data.

(2018-2024) Routes and Roots in the Swedish Migration to South America (1870-1914)
The overall purpose of this initiative is to study emigration from the Nordic countries to South America by adopting an interdisciplinary approach within the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. In collaboration with Professor Erik Olsson (Stockholm University) and Professor Eeva Sippola (University of Helsinki). Funding from Stockholm University (2018) and Åke Wibergs Stiftelse (2019, 2024).

(2014-2024) Cupópia: The Afro-Brazilian speech of Cafundó
The studies focus on the social history of the community of descendants of enslaved Africans in relation to their language practices. With financial support from STINT (2014) Romling at Stockholm University (2014-2017), University of Campinas (2015-2017) and Lars Hiertas Minnesfond (2014-2017). 

Past projects 

(2014-2020) Portuguese in Africa
The project dealt with language change in multilingual settings. Funding from STINT (2014), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2015), Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (initiation grant 2015), RomLing at Stockholm University (2016-2018), Wenner-gren Foundation (2018-2019), Anérstiftelsen (2018). In collaboration with Anna Jon-And (Dalarna University), Juanito Avelar (University of Campinas), Torun Reite (Stockholm University), Marie-Eve Bouchard (Stockholm University).

(2010-2014) Afro-Latin Linguistics: language contact in intercultural settings Coordinated by Laura Álvarez López with financial support from STINT (1,2 million SEK). Researchers and students at Stockholm University, Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil and Universidad de la República in Uruguay studied language contact between Portuguese or Spanish and African languages in Latin America.

(2012) AFRO-LATIN linguistic contacts: corpora development and grammatical analysis, with Juanito Avelar, financial support from FAPESP (60000 BRL).