Who We Are

Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina Image
Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo by Bz3rk, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license via Wikimedia Commons.

Valerie Fridland Image
Valerie Fridland, Ph.D.

Valerie Fridland

Valerie Fridland is a professor of linguistics in the English department at University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). She received her Ph.D. in linguistics, with a specialization in sociolinguistics, from Michigan State University in 1998. After a visiting professorship at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, she began teaching at UNR in 1999. Her teaching areas include general linguistics, sociolinguistics, syntax, and language and gender. She also has a video lecture series entitled “Language and Society” released by The Great Courses.

As a sociolinguist, her main focus is on varieties of American English. Most of her research investigates variation in vowel production and vowel perception across the Northern, Southern and Western regions of the U.S. The majority of her research has been funded through grants from the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) division of the National Science Foundation. Her research explores links between social factors and speech processing, as speech science literature does not typically consider social influences on how we understand speech. In addition to this main focus, she examines how gender and ethnicity are enmeshed with linguistic variation.


Tyler Kendall
Tyler Kendall, Ph.D.

Tyler Kendall

Tyler Kendall is an associate professor in the Linguistics department at the University of Oregon (UO). He received his Ph.D. in English Linguistics from Duke University in 2009 and spent a year as a post-doctoral researcher at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois before moving to Oregon as a faculty member. Tyler’s research and teaching focus on social and cognitive aspects of language variation and change, sociolinguistics, sociophonetics, and corpus and computational approaches to linguistic analysis.

In addition to his work on the Vowels in America project, Tyler is the Principal Investigator on a current project developing public research and educational materials on African American English varieties (funded by the National Science Foundation). He is the architect and project manager for several linguistic software projects, including the NORM website and the Sociolinguistic Archive and Analysis Project (SLAAP). He is the author of the recent book Speech Rate, Pause, and Sociolinguistic Variation: Studied in Corpus Sociophonetics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).


We also are fortunate to have a number of gifted graduate and undergraduate student researchers who have devoted their time to this project:
Charlie Farrington
Craig Fickle
Kaylynn Gunter
Sohei Okamoto