School of Humanities and Sciences


Showing 21-30 of 30 Results

  • Robert Podesva

    Robert Podesva

    Associate Professor of Linguistics

    BioI am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. I hold degrees from Stanford University (PhD, MA) and Cornell University (BA) have been an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. My research examines the social significance of variation in the domains of segmental phonetics, prosody, and voice quality. I have a particular interest in how phonetic resources participate in the construction of identity, most notably gender, sexuality, race, and their intersections. My latest projects focus on the social meaning of non-modal voice qualities in interactional contexts and sociolinguistic variation in inland California and Washington, DC. I have co-edited Research Methods in Linguistics (with Devyani Sharma), Language and Sexuality: Contesting Meaning in Theory and Practice (with Kathryn Cambpell-Kibler, Sarah Roberts, and Andrew Wong), and a special issue of American Speech on sociophonetics and sexuality (with Penelope Eckert). I live in San Francisco.

  • John Rickford

    John Rickford

    J. E. Wallace Sterling Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am a variationist sociolinguist (someone who studies language variation, often quantitatively, in relation to society and culture). I’m interested in understanding the relations between language variation, social structure and meaning, and language change, from descriptive, theoretical and applied perspectives.

    A lot of my work has been devoted to understanding the linguistic, social and stylistic constraints on specific linguistic variables, like the variation between Guyanese pronouns am, she, and her in “e like am” (deep creole, basilect) versus “e like she” (intermediate creole, mesolect) versus “He likes her” (standard English, acrolect). Or, to take an American example, the variation between all and like as quotative introducers in “He’s all/like ‘I don’t know’.” But I’ve also been concerned with trying to figure out where such variables come from historically, and whether they represent ongoing or completed change. I’ve also used the data from specific variables to address larger methodological and theoretical concepts in sociolinguistics, like how best to conceptualize the speech community and analyze linguistic variation by social class and ethnicity, or to assess the role of addressee versus topic in style shifting or the validity of the hyothesis that linguistic and social constraints are essentially independent (in their effects, not frequencies).

    My data come primarily from English-based creoles of the Caribbean (especially my native Guyanese Creole, but also Jamaican and Barbadian) and from colloquial American English (especially African American Vernacular English, but also, recently, from computer corpora, like Google newsgroup data). I’ve also been interested, increasingly since the 1990s, in how sociolinguistic research can be applied to help us understand and overcome the challenges that vernacular and creole speakers face in schools, where standard/mainstream varieties are expected.

  • Jonathan Rosa

    Jonathan Rosa

    Associate Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of Linguistics, of Anthropology and of Comparative Literature

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am currently working on two book projects through which I am continuing to develop insights into ethnoracial, linguistic, and educational formations. The first offers frameworks for understanding ethnoracial contradictions across distinctive societal contexts by interweaving ethnographic analysis of diasporic Puerto Rican experiences and broader constructions of Latinidad that illustrate race and ethnicity as colonial and communicative predicaments. The second spotlights decolonial approaches to the creation of collective well-being through educational and societal transformations based on longstanding community collaborations in Chicago.

  • Meghan Sumner

    Meghan Sumner

    Associate Professor of Linguistics
    On Leave from 10/01/2023 To 06/30/2024

    BioI am an Associate Professor of Phonetics at Stanford. My work simplified: I take sound patterns that exist in languages and associated variation and usage patterns (who says what, how and when), and investigate the social meaning humans associate with these patterns (and how they come to make these associations). I care about how, cognitively, this social information affects attention, perception, recognition, memory, and comprehension. Then, I take all of that, and investigate the areas in which language and society interact and highlight how this advances theory, but also how stereotype and bias are reinforced through spoken language. Much of what we currently know about speech variation, language and cognition stems from experiments that probe one component of this process at time, leave out social factors and experience, use stimuli from normative white talkers, and are quite distant from the interdisciplinary and diverse research needed to advance theories and address issues relevant to society. My general focus is on understanding the mechanisms and representations that underlie spoken language understanding and how they interact across various listener and speaker populations in a social and dynamic world.

  • Chao Sun

    Chao Sun

    Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and, by courtesy, of Linguistics
    On Leave from 09/01/2023 To 08/31/2024

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy primary research interest is in Chinese linguistics studying how linguistic forms and meanings vary systematically in different socio-cultural contexts in modern Chinese languages. My other works concern with morphosyntactic changes in the history of Chinese and pedagogical grammar in teaching Chinese as Second Language.