About me

I’m a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Georgia, doing a lot of sociolinguistics and phonetics while finding new statistical and computational methods to help me in my research.

My primary area of research is on English in the western United States, and my dissertation focuses on mergers in that region. Because I mostly focus on vowels, I’ve had to learn the skills required to analyze them: Praat scripting, forced alignment, and cutting-edge statistical methods. I also lean towards the variationist sociolinguistic perspective in data collection and analysis.

I’m actively involved with Bill Kretzschmar and Peggy Renwick and the other student workers at the Linguistic Atlas Project where my job is to act as the middleman between transcriptions and formant measurements. I write and maintain the Praat, R, and Perl scripts we use in the lab, and manage the various forced aligners and automatic formant extractors we work with. I also manage the project’s website, the Gazetteer of Southern Vowels.

I also am a research assistant in the DigiLab in UGA’s main library where I give workshops and seminars on how to use computers in humanities research. I have recently talked about Excel and about how grad students can get themselves more googleable.

In the past I have done research on language change in real time, Quechua and Guarani morphology, forms of address among Mormons, language documentation, and agent-based simulations of language change. If I have a spare minute, I peruse the library’s typology section and read up on morphosyntax in the world’s languages. Before switching to linguistics, I was a music performance major (on trombone believe it or not!) and you might still catch me playing some Shostakovich or Rachmaninoff on piano.

I publish under the more grown-up-sounding version of my name, Joseph A. Stanley, but anyone who has ever met me knows I go by Joey.