About Language and Social Context

Research and teaching on language in social context at Berkeley embraces sociolinguistic, anthropological, and humanistic approaches to understanding the complex relationships among language structure, language use, and the social world. Active areas of research include sociophonetics; language vitality and revitalization; verbal art and literary language; ethnographically-informed work on language variation and change; and grammar and interaction. Our department also maintains active ties with variationist sociolinguists in other Berkeley departments (especially Spanish & Portuguese), and at Stanford, where students can cross-register for sociolinguistics classes.

Alice Shen at LSA 2016Alice Shen with her poster presentation on lexical access in code switching, at the 2016 LSA Annual Meeting

Christine Beier and Nanti people
Christine Beier participating in and recording communicative interactions during a Nanti manioc beer feast, c. 2005
Erik H. MaierKaruk language activists Tamara Alexander and Crystal Richardson with Andrew Garrett and Erik H. Maier at the 2016 Breath of Life Language Restoration Workshop (supporting indigenous California language revival) 

"Voices of Berkeley" image
"Voices of Berkeley", a resource and tool for sociophonetic research (2011)