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 in underrepresented Indigenous minority languages, including Sui, Hmong, Na, and other languages of China and southeast Asia. He also conducts fieldwork on English dialects of New England. His research includes acoustic sociophonetics, sociotonetics, tone languages, endangered languages, dialect contact, gender, exogamy, kinship and social identity, child dialect acquisition, dialect geography, urban dialectology, rural dialectology, and computational methods for linguistic research.


218 Anonymous Hall
HB 6220


  • B.Sc. Calvin College
  • Ph.D. Michigan State University

Selected Publications

  • "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. link

  • "A modern update on New England dialectology: Introducing the Dartmouth New England English Database" (DNEED). 2020. American Speech. Advance Publication: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-8662137

  • New England English: Large-Scale Acoustic Sociophonetics and Dialectology. 2019. Oxford University Press. link

  • "Environmental change and sustainability of indigenous languages of northern Alaska," with Nicholas Reo, Sigvanna Meghan Topkok, Nicole Kanayurak, David Peterson, Lindsay Whaley (2019), Arctic 73(2):216-28. 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