Area of Expertise
Reading in print versus onscreen; mobile phones, email, instant messaging, and text messaging; social networking; relationship between spoken and written language; history of English; general linguistics; higher education
Naomi S. Baron is a professor of linguistics in the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the author of eight books, including Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World; Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World; Alphabet to Email: How Written English Evolved and Where It's Heading; Growing Up with Language: How Children Learn to Talk; and Computer Languages: A Guide for the Perplexed. Always On was winner of the 2008 English-Speaking Union's Duke of Edinburgh English Language Award Competition. The late William Safire described Always On as his choice for "most influential and seminal language book of the year.” Nicholas Carr has called Words Onscreen “essential … for educators, parents, and everyone who loves to read.” Baron’s research focuses on the effects of technology on language, social interaction, and learning. She conducted a cross-national study of mobile phone use by university students in Sweden, the US, Italy, Japan, and Korea. Most recently, she completed a cross-national analysis of print versus digital reading practices and preferences of university students in the US, Japan, Germany, Slovakia, and India. A Guggenheim Fellow and Swedish Fulbright Fellow, she was also a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Among her media appearances, Baron has been on ABC's Good Morning America and 20/20, CNN, PBS's News Hour, National Public Radio, BBC Radio, CBC Radio, and Voice of America. She has also been interviewed by such newspapers as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe.