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.
You can find me in the MSU Sociolinguistics Lab, which is a community of amazing students. You can read an MSU profile about how I try to include students in my research. I also operate the mailing list of the MSU Friends of Sociolinguistics: an informal cross-departmental group of people interested in language variation and change. In addition to my position in the MSU Linguistics program, I’m a Core Faculty member at the Center for Gender in Global Context and I’m an Affiliate Faculty member in the Second Language Studies program. I am also the current Director of Graduate Studies for the Linguistics program.