I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Virginia Tech, where I teach sociolinguistics courses. I maintain a courtesy affiliation with the Department of Linguistics at the University of Oregon, where I received my PhD in June 2019. My research focuses on sociolinguistic variation and change on varieties of American English. In addition to my primary sociolinguistic work, I am interested in the preservation and access of audio recordings that can benefit future linguistic work.
My dissertation, “Language Variation and the Great Migration: Regionality and African American Language”, is a sociophonetic study of word final /d/ in AAL, focusing both on regional variation of the variable as well as change over time in urban AAL.
Over the past several years, I have been developing the Corpus of Regional African American Language with Tyler Kendall. CORAAL is the first public corpus of AAL, and is comprised of several components from different regional locales, including Washington, D.C., Princeville, NC, Rochester, NY, Atlanta, GA, Valdosta, GA, and the Lower East Side in New York City. Using CORAAL, Shelby Arnson, Tyler Kendall and I are looking at vocalic change in Washington, D.C. over the twentieth century. More information about CORAAL, as well as more general information about the study of African American Language, can be found at the Online Resources for African American Language.
In 2021, Cambridge published African American Language Language development from Infancy to Adulthood, a book I coauthored with Mary Kohn, Walt Wolfram, Jennifer Renn, and Janneke Van Hofwegen about the landmark Frank Porter Graham Longitudinal Study of African American Language. We were awarded the LSA’s Leonard Bloomfield Book of the Year Award in January 2022.
To see what I am currently working, please visit my Research page!