School of Humanities and Sciences
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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.
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.
Associate Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of Linguistics, of Anthropology and of Comparative Literature
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Rosa’s book, Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race: Raciolingusitic Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad (2019, Oxford University Press), presents an ethnographic analysis of how administrators in a Chicago public high school whose student body is more than 90% Mexican and Puerto Rican seek to transform “at risk” Latinx youth into “young Latino professionals.” This intersectional mobility project paradoxically positions Latinx identity as the cause of and solution to educational underachievement. As a result, students must learn to be – and sound – “Latino” in highly studied ways. Students respond to anxieties surrounding their ascribed identities by symbolically remapping borders between nations, languages, ethnoracial categories, and institutional contexts. This reimagining of political, linguistic, cultural, and educational borders reflects the complex interplay between racialization and socialization for Latinx youth. The manuscript argues that this local scene is a key site in which to track broader structures of educational inequity by denaturalizing categories, differences, and modes of recognition through which raciolinguistic exclusion is systematically reproduced across contexts.
Associate Professor of Linguistics
BioI am an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. I conduct research examining the representations and mechanisms listeners use to understand spoken language, and how linguistic and social factors affect speech perception and word recognition. My current research centers around two main themes: (1) Investigating the effects social information cued by different voices have on memory, and the way social biases result in misremembering, and (2) Using foundational psycholinguistic methodologies to understand how speakers and speaker groups who are new to a community (e.g., the case of Syrian refugees in Germany) accommodate to cultural norms within their native languages.
Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and, by courtesy, of Linguistics
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.