Check out the lab‘s new project, MI COVID Diaries! We’re collecting periodic audio diaries from Michigan State residents about their experiences since March 2020. We’re still recruiting diarists, so click to find out more!


I’m a sociolinguist. I study the social meaning attached to linguistic variation, with the goal of understanding what motivates language change. I’m especially interested in the extent to which individuals do or do not participate in ongoing community linguistic change across the lifespan, and how we can differentiate this from age grading. I look in particular at the period between late adolescence and early adulthood, and the ways in which an individual’s life trajectory, gender, social class and ethnicity influence participation in change. More recently, I have also been investigating generational sound change here in Michigan.

I’m a co-editor of the Routledge series Studies in Language Change with Isabelle Buchstaller. Contact me if you have a book project idea.

With Betsy Sneller, I’m the co-director of the MSU Sociolinguistics Lab, which is a community of amazing students. I operate the mailing list of the MSU Friends of Sociolinguistics: an informal cross-departmental group of people interested in language variation and change. I am also the current Director of Graduate Studies for the Linguistics program and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and Research of the Department of Linguistics and Languages.