Sociolinguistics at Stanford combines an emphasis on social and stylistic aspects of variation with a department-wide interest in the linguistic constraints on variation.
Current research by sociolinguists in our department explores the social meaning and linguistic structure of variation. This includes production and perception of phonetic, semantic, and syntactic components of language. Recent graduate seminars have focused on topics such as sociolinguistic perception, sociogrammar, and interactional sociolinguistics.
Fieldwork is critical to much of our research; we regularly offer a hands-on Sociolinguistic Field Methods course and we collect data through department-wide projects like Voices of California as well as individual projects conducted locally and across the world. Recent fieldwork has found us in rural counties of Northern California, exploring ethnic variation in Tel Aviv, on the political trail in Austin, Texas, and among drag queens in San Francisco.
Many of us use experimental methods to explore sociolinguistic production and perception. Members of the Interactional Sociophonetics Lab collect high-quality audio and visual data of social interactions as well as articulatory phonetic data. Others have used eye-tracking software to explore sociolinguistic perception, and still others have captured language attitudes via matched guise studies.