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

  • 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

  • "Bring on the crowd! Using online audio crowdsourcing for large-scale New England dialectology and acoustic sociophonetics," with Chaeyoon Kim, Sravana ReddyEzra Wyschogrod & Jack Grieve (2019), American Speech 94(2):151-94. link

  • "Variation and change in the tonal space of Yangliu Lalo, an endangered language of Yunnan, China," with Cathryn Yang, Yang Liu, Jingjin Jiang & Luifang Tang (2019), Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 42(1):2-37. link

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Works In Progress

Book in preparation: 

Understanding Sociolinguistics: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Routledge Press (Understanding Language series, edited by Bernard Comrie and Greville Cobert).

Ongoing research:

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