Bridget Drinka, Ph.D.

Professor, English

Bridget Drinka


Dr. Bridget Drinka received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her M.S. from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Indo-European and historical linguistics. As a member of the UTSA faculty since 1991, her research has focused on such issues as the sociolinguistic motivations for language change, the role of contact in linguistic innovation, and the importance of geographical contiguity in the diffusion of changes across the Indo-European languages. Her 2017 book, Language Contact in Europe: The Periphrastic Perfect through History (Cambridge University Press), explores the complex development of a grammatical category as it spread across the map of Europe. The book was awarded the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award in 2019 by the Linguistic Society of America. A Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Moscow State University in 1998 and visiting professor in Germany, Italy, and Japan, she served from 2015-17 as President of the International Society for Historical Linguistics, and was responsible for organizing the Society's 2017 meeting, the International Conference on Historical Linguistics 23. She was also recipient of the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999, and the Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Spring 2016. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, on the Editorial Board of the Edinburgh Studies in Historical Linguistics Book Series, on the Editorial Advisory Board of Studi e Saggi Linguistici, and as Co-Director of the COLFA Semester in Urbino, Italy.


Recent Courses

  • History of English
  • Structure of English
  • Language and Gender Senior Seminar
  • Excavating Language (in Urbino)
  • Language and Religion (in Urbino)


  • History of English
  • Language and Literature
  • Research Methods in Historical Linguistics
  • Language and Gender

Research Interests

  • Historical linguistics
  • Socio-historical linguistics
  • Contact linguistics
  • History of English
  • Linguistic methods of analyzing literature
  • Digital humanities.

Honors and Awards


Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials