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

  • With Naomi Nagy and Holman Tse. "Have Cantonese tones merged in spontaneous speech?" Chapter in Rajiv Rao (ed) Studies on the Phonetics and Phonology of Heritage Languages. Cambridge University Press. (2024) 320-20.

  • "Let's make some noise! Using large-scale data sources for North American dialect research," with Jack Grieve. Invited chapter in Benson & Bayley (eds), Needed Research in North American Dialects. Publications of the American Dialect Society (PADS Number 108). (2023) 147-170.

  • "Sociophonetics and tone: The world of sociotonetics," with Cathryn Yang. Invited chapter for Routledge Handbook of Sociophonetics, Christopher Strelluf (ed). Routledge Press (2023) 76-92.

  • "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.

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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