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Media Queries

This list of linguistics and language experts is intended for media or professional contacts only. It is not a source of first resort for everyday language questions, such as those which are easily answered by a good dictionary, a trip to the library, or a Google search.

Language and Linguistics Experts Contact List

The people listed below are happy to help journalists find or verify necessary facts, but please do NOT contact every person on this list with the same questions. Choose one or two who have the appropriate expertise and ALWAYS tell them whom else you are contacting, either from this list or from elsewhere. This will save much duplicate effort and allow your contacts to defer to someone with more expertise.

If you do not see an expert appropriate to your topic, please email the web site administrator, who can often recommend the best person to talk to from this list or elsewhere, at

While this is not a speaker’s bureau, many of the people listed below are also available for public speaking engagements and would be happy to discuss giving a presentation or leading a session at your upcoming conference or event.

Name IndexDavid K. Barnhart, Dennis Baron, Grant Barrett, Charles Boberg, Ronald R. Butters, Gerald Cohen, Jennifer Cramer, Anne Curzan, Bethany Dumas, Connie Eble, Wayne Glowka, Jill Hallett, Kirk Hazen, William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., Lynne Murphy, James A. Landau, Allan Metcalf, Salikoko S. Mufwene, Frank Nuessel, Barry Popik, Dennis Preston, Luanne von Schneidemesser, Fred Shapiro, Jesse Sheidlower, Arthur K. Spears, Robert Wachal, Dave Wilton, Ben Zimmer, Arnold Zwicky.

David K. Barnhart
Lexik House Publishers

Areas of Expertise:
New words (neologisms), trademarks, dictionaries, lexicography.

David has been tracking new words in American English for decades, and appears regularly in the media to speak on the subjects of words, language, and dictionaries.


  • The Barnhart Dictionary Companion [quarterly]
  • The Barnhart New-Words Concordance
  • “Prizes and Pitfalls of Computerized Searching For New Words For Dictionaries,” in Dictionaries [publication of the Dictionary Society of North America], No. 7, 1985
  • “Reflections In Lexicography” in American Speech, Vol. 75.4, Winter 2000
  • “Words of the Century” in the Poughkeepsie Journal, May 9, 1999

    Contact David K. Barnhart:
    P.O. Box 2018
    Hyde Park, N.Y. 12538
    (845) 489-0333

    Dennis Baron
    Professor of English and Linguistics, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Areas of expertise: Literacy, writing, bilingualism, the state of the English language, language reform, language and the law, technology and communication.

    Dennis has made frequent radio appearances to discuss language issues, and has written op-ed essays on language and literacy issues in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He received a doctorate in English from the University of Michigan in 1971, a Masters from Columbia University in 1969 and a BA from Brandeis University in 1965.


  • The English-Only Question: An Official Language for Americans? (Yale Univ. Press, 1990)
  • Guide to Home Language Repair (NCTE, 1994)
  • Declining Grammar (NCTE 1989)
  • Grammar and Gender (Yale Univ Press, 1986)
  • Grammar and Good Taste: Reforming the American Language (Yale Univ. Press, 1982)
  • “Don’t make English Official; Ban It Instead”
  • “Ebonics and the Politics of Language”

    Contact Dennis Baron:
    Mobile telephone: (217) 840-0776

    Grant Barrett
    Areas of Expertise:
    Slang, jargon, new words (neologisms), language change, words of the year, teaching language, new language, language change, copyediting, buzzwords, lexicography, dictionaries, thesauruses, word histories, American slang, political slang, online slang, teen slang, youth language.

    Vice President of Communications and Technology of the American Dialect Society; co-host and co-producer of the nationwide public radio show about language, A Way With Words; founder and former editorial director of Wordnik; editor emeritus of the “Among the New Words” column of the journal American Speech; chair emeritus of the “New Words Committee” of the American Dialect Society; editor of The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English (McGraw-Hill, May 2006) and The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang (July 2004). His full bio and credentials are here.

    Grant received a BA in French from Columbia University and has a professional background in broadcast and print journalism.

    Contact Grant Barrett:
    Main phone (646) 286-2260 (mobile/home/office);
    San Diego, California (619) 800-3348 (forwards to main phone);
    U.K. 020 8133 1997 (forwards to main phone)
    Web sites: Grant Barrett’s blog and radio show, A Way with Words

    Charles Boberg
    Associate Professor of Linguistics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

    Areas of Expertise:
    He specializes in variation and change in North American English, with a particular focus on Canadian English and on both pronunciation (phonetics and phonology) and vocabulary. He has addressed such topics as regional variation in the pronunciation of vowel sounds and in everyday vocabulary; the special character of Quebec English; and ethnic variation in the pronunciation of Montreal English.

    He received a B.A. in Political Science and German from the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), where he studied under William Labov, in 1997.

    Prof. Boberg has extensive media experience. His research was featured in an essay by John Allemang on the front page of Canada’s national Globe & Mail newspaper in 2012; in a five-part series written by Marian Scott for the Montreal Gazette newspaper in 2010; in the ‘Talking Canadian’ segment of a television documentary series called The Canadian Experience, produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2005; and in a syndicated radio interview with 13 local CBC stations across the country in 2003.


  • The English Language in Canada: Status, History and Comparative Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Atlas of North American English: Phonetics, Phonology and Sound Change, with William Labov and Sharon Ash (Mouton De Gruyter, 2006)
  • Contact Charles Boberg:
    (514) 398-4869

    Ronald R. Butters
    Professor of English and Cultural Anthropology, Duke University.

    Areas of Expertise:
    Language and law; meaning and change of meaning in American English words, particularly terms of abuse and taboo words; American social and regional dialects; American English in general.

    Ron received a BA and PhD from the University of Iowa in English, the PhD with a concentration in linguistics. He has taught at Duke University in North Carolina since 1967.


  • The Death of Black English: Divergence and Convergence in White and Black Vernaculars. Bamberger Beiträge zur Englischen Sprachwissenschaft, 25. Frankfurt am Main / Bern / New York: Peter Lang, 1989.
  • “Linguistic Change in Words One Owns: How Trademarks Become ‘Generic’,” Studies in the History of the English Language II. Ed. By Anne Curzan and Kim Emmons. Topics in English Linguistics. (Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, forthcoming in 2004) [Jennifer Westerhaus, second author] [Revision of a paper read at the Second Conference on the History of the English Language, University of Washington, Seattle, 23 March 2002.]
  • “Literary Qualities in Sociolinguistic Narratives of Personal Experience,” American Speech 76 (Fall 2001), 227–35. [American Dialect Society Presidential Address, January 2001.
  • “‘We didn’t realize that lite beer was supposed to suck!’:The Putative Vulgarity of X sucks in American English,” Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 22 (2001). [Revision of a paper read at the meeting of the American Dialect Society, January 6, 2000.]

    Contact Ron Butters:
    Web site: Trademark Linguistics

    Gerald Cohen
    Professor of German and Russian, University of Missouri-Rolla.

    Areas of Expertise:
    Etymology, especially of British and American slang, and the origin of terms such as “hot dog,” “shyster,” “eureka,” and “The Big Apple,” “gung ho,” “shyster,” “jazz,” “namby pamby.”

    Gerald is the editor of Comments on Etymology, a series of working papers which began in 1971. He has a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics from Columbia University, and primarily researches etymologies.


  • Studies in Slang (7 volumes; last one co-authored)
  • Origin of New York City’s Nickname “The Big Apple”
  • Dictionary of 1913 Baseball and Other Slang (3 vols.)

    Contact Gerald Cohen:
    Office: (573) 341-4869

    Jennifer Cramer
    University of Kentucky, Department of English, Linguistics Program.
    Ph.D., University of Illinois, 2010

    Areas of Expertise:
    Sociolinguistics, American dialects, Southern English, Appalachian English, perceptual dialectology, language attitudes, language and identity, language at the border, language in Kentucky, linguistic anthropology.


    • Cityscapes and Perceptual Dialectology: Global perspectives on non-linguists’ knowledge of the dialect landscape (Under contract, Language and Social Processes Series). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (with Chris Montgomery)
    • 2013 – Styles, Stereotypes, and the South: Constructing Identities at the Linguistic Border. American Speech 88 (2): 144-167.
    • 2010 – “Do we really want to be like them?”: Indexing Europeanness through pronominal use. Discourse & Society 21 (6): 619-637.
    • 2010 – From Chi-Town to the Dirty Dirty: Regional identity markers in U.S. Hip Hop. In M. Terkourafi (Ed.), The Languages of Global Hip Hop. London and New York: Continuum. 256-276. (with Jill Hallett)

    Contact Jennifer Cramer
    (859) 257-6983

    Anne Curzan
    Professor of English, Linguistics, and Education, University of Michigan.

    Areas of Expertise:
    Usage issues, history of the English language (including the effects of the Internet in current English), language and gender, slang, conversational dynamics, lexicography, the teaching of writing and grammar.

    Anne Curzan appears every Sunday morning on Michigan Radio (the local NPR news station) for the segment “That’s What They Say” and is a contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education blog Lingua Franca. Anne received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan and taught at the University of Washington before returning to the University of Michigan to join the faculty.


    • Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language Change (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
    • The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins (The Teaching Company, 2012)
    • How Conversation Works (The Teaching Company, 2012)
    • How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction, with Michael Adams (Pearson Longman, 3rd edition, 2012)
    • “Says Who? Teaching and Questioning the Rules of Grammar” (PMLA, 2009)
    • Gender Shifts in the History of English (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

    Contact Anne Curzan
    Office phone: (734) 936-2881

    Bethany K. Dumas
    Professor of English and Chair, IDP Linguistics Program, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Areas of Expertise:: Language and law (jury instructions, adequacy of warnings, ambiguity in legal documents, authorship attribution, etc.), American slang, language and social media, American dialects (Southern, Southern Mountain — Ozark and Appalachian).

    Bethany began her linguistic studies at The University of Arkansas and completed a dissertation based on interviews with natives in the heart of the Arkansas Ozarks. She continued her study of Southern Mountain English in Southern Appalachia after she began teaching in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she has taught since 1974. In the late 1970s she became interested in helping to improve the comprehensibility of jury instructions and began study at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she earned her J.D. degree in 1985. She has testified in many court cases and currently serves on the Tennessee Bar Association Tennessee Pattern Instructions — Civil — Committee.


  • 2010 Consumer Product Warnings: Composition, Identification, and Assessment of Adequacy. Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics, ed. Malcolm Coulthard and Alison Johnson. Oxford and New York: Routledge, 365-377.
  • 2009 Reverse Engineering of Jury Instructions. Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy 5.2:185-197.
  • 2002 Reasonable Doubt about Reasonable Doubt: Assessing Jury Instruction Adequacy in a Capital Case. Chapter 15 of Language in The Legal Process, ed. J. Cotterill. Basingstoke and NY: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 246-259.
  • 2000 Warning Labels and Industry Safety Information Standards: The Case of Loctite RC/609. Chapter 17 of Language in Action: New Studies of Language in Society, ed. J. Peyton and P. Griffin. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 302-317.
  • 2000 US Pattern Jury Instructions: Problems and Proposals. Forensic Linguistics: The International Journal of Language and the Law 7.1, 76-98.
  • 2000 Jury Trials: Lay Jurors, Pattern Jury Instructions, and Comprehension Issues. Tennessee Law Review 67.3 (Spring), 701-742. [Special Symposium Issue: “Communicating with Juries.”]
  • 2000 Dialect Variation and Legal Process. American Speech 75.3 (Fall), 267-270.
  • 1999 Report of the Tennessee Bar Association Commission on Jury Reform (with other members of the Tennessee Bar Association Jury Reform Commission). Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee Bar Association [].
  • 1999 Southern Mountain English. Chapter 5 of The Workings of Language, ed. R. S. Wheeler. Westport, CT, and London: Praeger, 67-79.

    Contact Bethany K. Dumas:
    office 865.974.6965

    Connie Eble
    Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Editor of the journal American Speech

    Areas of Expertise:
    American college slang; language in Louisiana.

    Connie is an expert in university and college slang. She received her doctorate in linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has been a faculty member in the Department of English since 1971.


  • Slang and Sociability, 1996, UNC Press
  • “The Englishes of Southern Louisiana” In Stephen J. Nagle and Sara L. Sanders, Englishes in the Southern United States, 2003, Cambridge U Press.

    Contact Connie Eble:
    Office: (919) 962-0469, Mon., Wed., Fri., 11 a.m.-noon EST

    Wayne Glowka
    Dean of Arts and Humanities, Reinhardt College, Waleska, Georgia; former editor of “Among the New Words” for the journal American Speech, former chair of the American Dialect Society Committee on New Words

    B. A. in English, May 1973, University of Texas at Austin
    M. A. in English, May 1975, University of Texas at Austin
    Ph. D. in English, May 1980, University of Delaware

    Areas of Expertise:
    New words (neologisms), history of the English language


  • A Guide to Chaucer’s Meter. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991.
  • Language Variation in North American English: Research and Teaching. Ed. with Donald M. Lance. New York: MLA, 1993.
  • Wace Le Roman de Brut: The French Book of Brutus. Translator. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005.

    Articles in Teaching Writing, Gypsy Scholar, Explicator, Victorian Poetry, Allegorica, USF Language Quarterly, Interpretations: A Journal of Idea, Analysis, and Criticism, Poetica: An International Journal of Linguistic-Literary Studies, American Speech, Arthurian Interpretations, Studies in American Humor, Text and Tradition in Layamon’s Brut, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, Literacy and Orality in Early Middle English Literature, Dictionaries, La3amon: Contexts, Language, and Interpretation.

    Contact Wayne Glowka:
    Office (770) 720-5628

    Jill Hallett
    Areas of Expertise:
    African-American English, Indian English, classroom-based discourse, American/ world Englishes, linguistics and literature, secondary education.

    PhD Candidate, Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Assistant Editor of World Englishes

    Major Publications:

  • 2009. Packaging social worlds: Micro- and macro-social replication in mass-mediated discourse. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 2009: 58-80. Available online at
  • 2009. New voices in the canon: The case for including world Englishes in literature. In Lucia Siebers & Thomas Hoffman (eds.) World Englishes: Problems, properties, prospects. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • (forthcoming) Codeswitching in Diasporic Indian and Jewish English-Language Media. In Facchinetti, Roberta, David Crystal and Barbara Seidlhofer (eds.), Global English. Theoretical Aspects and Cross-Linguistic/Cultural Case Studies. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
  • Also, several book reviews and notices in eLanguage, Linguist List, and Journal of PragmaticsJournal of Pragmatics

    Contact Jill Hallett:
    phone: (until June 2010): +91-96-5427-5127

    Kirk Hazen
    Areas of Expertise:
    Language and society; ethnic dialects; Appalachian English; Southern English; language and education; language change,

    West Virginia Dialect Project, Department of English, West Virginia University

    Major Publications:

  • Identity and ethnicity in the rural south: A sociolinguistic view through past and present be. 2000. Publications of the American Dialect Society No. 83. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • A dialect turned inside out: Migration and the Appalachian Diaspora. 2008. Coauthored with Sarah Hamilton. Journal of English Linguistics 36.2:105-128.
  • The study of variation in historical perspective. 2007. Sociolinguistic variation: Theory, methods, and applications. Robert Bayley and Ceil Lucas, eds. Cambridge University Press. 70-89.
  • Variationist approaches to language & education. 2007. An entry for The Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Ed. Volume 10: Research Methods in Language and Education. Nancy Hornberger and Kendall King (eds.). Springer. 85-98.
  • Language knowledge for the medical community. 2006. A chapter for Ham, R., Gainor, S.J., Jones, R., Durbin, M., Lambert, J., (Eds.), Rural Culture: West Virginia’s Legacy, Morgantown, WV, Mountain State Geriatric Education Center. 49-57.

    Contact Kirk Hazen:
    phone: (304) 293-9721

    William A. Kretzschmar, Jr.
    Areas of Expertise:
    English language studies, especially survey research on language variation and corpus linguistics. American English and dialects. Sociolinguistics. Humanities computing. English lexicography. Complexity science.

    William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., is Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities at the University of Georgia, where he teaches English and linguistics. He serves as board member for various professional journals, atlases, and dictionaries, including preparation of American pronunciations for the new online Oxford English Dictionary. He is the Editor of the American Linguistic Atlas Project, the oldest and largest national research project to study how people speak differently in different parts of the country, and maintains an active community-language field site in Roswell, Georgia. He has performed consulting work over the years for forensic, industrial, and academic clients (see, with a particular specialty in large-scale automated document evaluation. His Linguistics of Speech demonstrates that language in use, speech, is a complex system as described for the physical and natural sciences, and thus suggests how complexity science can help to solve practical and commercial language problems.

    Major Publications:

  • The Linguistics of Speech (Cambridge U Press, 2009)
  • Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (with Clive Upton and Rafal Konopka; Oxford U Press, 2001)
  • Introduction to Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Survey Data (with Edgar Schneider, Sage Publications, 1996)
  • Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (with Virginia McDavid, Theodore Lerud, and Ellen Johnson; U Chicago Press, 1994).

    Contact Bill Kretzschmar:
    American Linguistic Atlas Project
    Text Tech
    phone: 706-542-2246

    James A. Landau
    Areas of Expertise:
    Mainly mathematical terms, but also physical science, including physics, chemistry, and astronomy.

    James has a BS in mathematics, an MS in computer engineering, and 35 years’ experience in the computer field. He is a contributor of mathematical antedatings to the web site Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics.

    Contact James A. Landau:
    (609) 927-7769

    Lynne Murphy
    Areas of Expertise:
    Word meaning; American versus British English; socionyms — that is, names for categories of people (race, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.); relations among words, especially oppositeness (antonyms); Scrabble crossword game.

    Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Sussex, Brighton UK

    Some Publications:

  • 2010. Lexical meaning. Cambridge University Press.
  • 2010. (with Anu Koskela) Key terms in semantics. Continuum Publishing.
  • 2003. Semantic relations and the lexicon: antonyms, synonyms and other semantic paradigms. Cambridge University Press.
  • 1998. Defining people: race and ethnicity in South African English dictionaries. International Journal of Lexicography 11:1.1-33.
  • 1997. The elusive bisexual: social categorization and lexico-semantic change. In Kira Hall and Anna Livia (eds.), Queerly phrased: language, gender, and sexuality. New York: Oxford UP, 35-57.

    Contact Lynne Murphy:
    phone (UK): +44-1273-678844

    Allan Metcalf
    Professor of English, MacMurray College
    Executive Secretary, American Dialect Society

    Areas of Expertise:
    Word meanings and histories, new words, words of the year, American dialects, California dialects, journalism, language and law (copyright, author identification, document interpretation, etc.).

    Allan is the author of half a dozen books on American English aimed at general readers. He also posts weekly on the Lingua Franca blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

    His most recent book is OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word (Oxford University Press, 2010). Revised paperback edition, 2012. “It is a sterling example of what linguistic scholarship can, and should, be for the general reader,” John Algeo wrote in Dictionaries, the journal of the Dictionary Society of North America.

    In 2011 Allan inaugurated the annual celebration of the birthday of OK on March 23 with the Facebook page OKDayMarch23.

    Previous books, all with Houghton Mifflin:

    • Presidential Voices: Speaking Styles from George Washington to George W. Bush (2004)
    • Predicting New Words: The Secrets of Their Success (2002)
    • How We Talk: American Regional English Today (2000)
    • The World in So Many Words. [The story of one word from each of the hundreds of languages that have given words to English.] (1999)
    • America in So Many Words: Words That Have Shaped America. With David K. Barnhart. [The story of a word or phrase for each year in American history.] (1997)

    Allan has a bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University, where he was editor in chief of the Cornell Daily Sun, and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

    As executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, in 1990 he initiated the society’s annual vote on Words of the Year.

    Contact Allan Metcalf::

    Salikoko S. Mufwene
    The Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College, University of Chicago

    Areas of Expertise:
    Ecology of language evolution, especially regarding language diversification, language birth, and language death.

    Sali is currenctly conducting research on colonization, globalization, and language, including (English) creoles, indigenized Englishes, and contact languages of central Africa (especially Lingala and Kikongo-Kituba), from which he extrapolates to other languages.

    He has published on Gullah (USA), African American English (a.k.a. Ebonics), indigenized Englishes, French varieties of Africa, and Jamaican Creole, among other languages.

    Contact Sali Mufwene:
    Office: (773) 702-8531
    Visit his web site

    Frank Nuessel
    Professor, University of Louisville, Kentucky.

    Areas of Expertise:
    Onomastics (names and naming), semiotics, paremiology (proverbs).

    Frank received his doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


    • Editor, Names: A Journal of Onomastics (2008-)
    • Studies in Proverbial Language. Ottawa: Legas, 2013.
    • The Study of Names: A Guide to the Principles and Topics. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.

    Contact Frank Nuessel:
    (502) 852-0503

    Barry Popik
    consultant, Oxford English Dictionary
    consulting editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink (2004)
    contributor, Historical Dictionary of American Slang; Dictionary of American Regional English; Paul Dickson’s New Baseball Dictionary

    Areas of Expertise:
    Americanisms, slang, new words, phrases, food terms, sports terms, political terms, specifically the true histories and origins of “Big Apple,” “Windy City,” “hot dog,” “I’m from Missouri” and other terms.

    Barry was formerly an administrative law judge in the New York City bureau of parking violations. He now lives in Texas. His website,, includes much of his research and many of his discoveries.


  • Contributor, Comments on Etymology (Gerald Cohen, editor)
  • Co-author with Gerald Cohen of Studies in Slang, part VI

    Contact Barry Popik:

    Dennis R. Preston
    Oklahoma State University, Regents Professor
    Michigan State Univerity, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus

    Areas of Expertise:
    American dialects, language variation and change, language attitudes, folk linguistics.

    Dennis received a BA in Humanities from the University of Louisville in 1961, and his PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin in 1969.


  • With Nancy Niedzielski (eds), 2010, A Reader in Sociophonetics, de Gruyter Mouton.
  • With James Stanford (eds), 2009, Variation in Indigenous Minority Languages, John Benjamins.
  • With Brian Joseph & Carol Preston (eds), 2005, Linguistic Diversity in Michigan and Ohio, Caravan Books.
  • With Nancy Niedzielski, 2003, rev. pb. ed, Folk Linguistics, Mouton de Gruyter.
  • With Daniel Long (eds), 2000, Handbook of Perceptual Dialectology II,
  • Ed. 2003, Needed Research in American Dialects, 2003 (PADS 88).

    Contact Dennis Preston: or

    Luanne von Schneidemesser
    Senior Editor, Dictionary of American Regional English

    Areas of Expertise:
    Dictionary of American Regional English, dictionaries, German influence on America English

    Luanne has been with DARE since 1978. She received her PhD in German linguistics/philology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


  • An Index by Region, Usage, and Etymology to the Dictionary of American Regional English, Volume III. Publication of the American Dialect Society 82 (1999). Durham NC: Duke University Press.
  • “Settlement History in the United States as Reflected in DARE: the Example of German.” American Speech 77 (2002): 398-418.
  • “Soda or Pop?” Journal of English Linguistics 24 (1996): 270-87.
  • “Terms Used for Children’s Games: Comparing DARE’s Findings with Usage of Today’s Youth.” Varieties of English Around the World: Focus on the USA. Edgar W. Schneider, ed. Vol. 16 (1996): 63-80.

    Contact Luanne von Schneidemesser:
    Office: (608) 265-0532

    Fred R. Shapiro
    Associate Librarian for Collections and Access and Lecturer in Legal Research, Yale Law School; Editor, Yale Book of Quotations

    Areas of Expertise:
    Origins of quotations, origins of words, trademarks.


  • Yale Book of Quotations (Yale University Press, 2006, intended to be the most authoritative quotation book)
  • Stumpers!: Answers to Hundreds of Questions That Stumped the Experts (Random House, 1998)
  • Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations (Oxford University Press,

    Contact Fred Shapiro:
    Office: (203) 432-4840

    Jesse Sheidlower
    Editor At Large, Oxford English Dictionary

    Areas of Expertise: Dictionaries, Americanisms, slang, word origins.

    Contact Jesse Sheidlower:
    Office: (212) 726-6215

    Arthur K. Spears
    Areas of Expertise:
    African-American English, controversial expressions
    (obscenity), Haitian French Creole, pidgin and creole languages.

    City University of New York

    Major Publications:

  • Makoni, Sinfree, Geneva Smitherman, Arnetha F. Ball, and Arthur K. Spears, eds. 2003. Black Linguistics: Language, Society and Politics in Africa and the Americas. New York: Routledge.
  • Spears, Arthur K., ed. 1999. Race and Ideology: Language, Symbolism, and Popular Culture. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
  • “African American Communicative Practices: Performativity, Semantic License and Augmentation.” In Talkin Black Talk, ed. by H. Samy Alim and John Baugh, 100-111. New York: Teachers College Press. 2007
  • Perspectives: A View of the “N-Word” from Sociolinguistics. Diverse Issues in Higher Education – Online. July 13, 2006.
  • “Directness in the Use of African-American English.” Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African-American English, ed. by Sonja L. Lanehart, 239-259. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 2001.
  • “African-American Language Use: Ideology and So-Called Obscenity.” African American English: Structure, History, and Usage, ed. by Salikoko S. Mufwene, John R. Rickford, Guy Bailey, and John Baugh, 226-250. New York: Routledge. 1998.

    Contact Arthur Spears:
    phone: (212) 650-7350

    Robert Wachal
    Professor Emeritus, Linguistics Department, University of Iowa

    Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin), 1964, 37 years of teaching and research

    Areas of Expertise:
    ESL, English grammar, English usage, abbreviations, lexicography

    Houghton-Mifflin Abbreviations Dictionary (1st ed.)
    Articles in American Speech on grammar and usage

    Contact Robert Wachal:

    Dave Wilton

    Areas of Expertise:
    Word origins; slang; history of the English language; Old and Middle English.

    Doctoral Candidate, Department of English, University of Toronto
    M.A., Security Policy Studies, The George Washington University
    B.A., Government and Law, Lafayette College


  • Word Myths: Debunking Urban Legends About Language, Oxford Univ.
    Press, 2004

    Contact Dave Wilton:
    (416) 779-2441

    Ben Zimmer
    Chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society
    Executive Producer, the Visual Thesaurus and
    Language columnist, The Wall Street Journal
    Consultant, the Oxford English Dictionary

    Areas of Expertise:
    word origins, neologisms, American speech, dictionaries and thesauruses

    Ben Zimmer is a linguist, lexicographer, language columnist, and all-around word nut. He is the Chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, overseeing the selection of the society’s Word of the Year and the publication of the quarterly feature “Among the New Words” in the journal American Speech. He is the executive producer of Visual Thesaurus and, and is the language columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the former language columnist for The Boston Globe and The New York Times Magazine. He has worked as editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press and as a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, and he now develops the Dictionary. He writes a regular column for the Visual Thesaurus and called Word Routes. His writing about language has also appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times Sunday Review, The New York Times Book Review, Forbes, and Slate.

    Ben studied linguistics as an undergraduate at Yale University and linguistic anthropology as a Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago. He has also been a research associate at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Contact Ben Zimmer:
    Office: (212) 381-0550

    Arnold M. Zwicky
    Visiting Professor of Linguistics, Stanford University

    Areas of Expertise:
    Syntactic variation, speech errors, gay language, style and stylistics, formulaic language, literature giving advice on grammar, style, and usage.


  • Numerous posts to Language Log since 2003
  • 1995. Exceptional degree markers: A puzzle in external and internal syntax. OSU WPL 47.111-23.
  • 1997. Two lavender issues for linguists. Kira Hall & Anna Livia (eds.), Queerly phrased. Oxford Univ. Press (1997) 21-34.
  • 2002. I wonder what kind of construction that this example illustrates. David Beaver et al. (eds.), The construction of meaning. Stanford CA: CSLI (2002) 219-48.
  • 2002. Seeds of variation and change. Handout for NWAV.

    Contact Arnold Zwicky:
    Stanford office: (650) 725-0023
    Home: (650) 323-0753
    Private office: (650) 843-0550

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