James N. Stanford

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Linguistics

  • Chair of Linguistics

Jim Stanford is a sociolinguist who focuses on dialects and quantitative analyses of language variation and change, including collaborative research with underrepresented Indigenous language communities, such as Sui, Hmong, Na, and other languages of China and southeast Asia. He also conducts fieldwork on English dialects of New England and other topics in North American English. These various research projects involve acoustic sociophonetics, sociotonetics, tone languages, urban dialectology, rural dialectology, child dialect acquisition, dialect geography, endangered languages, dialect contact, gender, exogamy, kinship, social identity, and computational sociolinguistics. He is co-editor of the journal Language Variation and Change (Cambridge University Press), associate editor of the journal Asia-Pacific Language Variation (Benjamins), and he serves on the international steering committee of the NWAV-Asia/Pacific conference series. He co-edited the collected volume Variation in Indigenous Minority Languages (2009, Benjamins) and Language Regard: Methods, Variation and Change (2018, Cambridge University Press), and he authored the book New England English: Large-Scale Acoustic Sociophonetics and Dialectology (2019, Oxford University Press). With Sravana Reddy, he is co-founder of the DARLA system for online vowel data analysis (Dartmouth Linguistic Automation).


Anonymous, Room 218
HB 6220




  • B.Sc. Physics - Calvin College
  • Ph.D. Linguistics - Michigan State University

Selected Publications

  • "Variationist quantitative methods in Indigenous language communities: Invited commentary on 'The Dynamics of Bilingualism in Language Shift Ecologies' by Lenore Grenoble and Boris Osipov" (2023), Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

  • "Generational sound change in the low tones of Black Lahu," with Cathryn Yang, Naluo Zhang, Chunxia Luo (2022), Linguistics Vanguard 8(s5):759-770. Special issue on sound change in endangered or small speech communities, Eds. Zellou, DiCanio, Pycha, and Yu. link

  • "Structure, chronology, and local social meaning of a supra-local vowel shift: Emergence of the Low-Back-Merger Shift (LBMS) in New England," with Monica Nesbitt (2021), Language Variation and Change 33(3):269-95. link

  • "Advances in completelautomated vowel analysis for sociophonetics: Using end-to-end speech recognition systems with DARLA," with Rolando Coto-Solano and Sravana Reddy (2021), Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence: Computational Sociolinguistics Vol. 4Article 662097. link

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Works In Progress

Ongoing research:

Variation in Indigenous Minority Languages, Sociophonetics, Tone, Dialectology, Minority Languages of China, New England English dialects, Computational Sociolinguistics