Dennis R. Preston

American Dialect Society Professor

LSA 316: Sociolinguistics of variation

Dennis R. Preston (Professor of English, Oklahoma State University and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) has been visiting professor at the Universities of Indiana Southeast, Hawaii, Arizona, Michigan, Copenhagen and Fulbright Senior Researcher in Poland and Brazil. He was Co-Director of the 1990 TESOL Institute and Director of the 2003 Linguistic Institute, both at Michigan State. He was President of the American Dialect Society (2001-2) and served on the Executive Boards of that society, the International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, New Ways of Analyzing Variation, and the Linguistic Society of America, as well as the editorial boards of Language, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Kwartalkik Filologiczny, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Compass, and as a reader for numerous other journals, publishers, and granting agencies. His work focuses on sociolinguistics, dialectology, ethnography, and minority language and variety education. He is perhaps best known for the revitalization of folk linguistics, particularly perceptual dialectology, and attempts to provide variationist accounts of second language acquisition. He has directed four recent NSF grants, two in folk linguistics and two in language variation and change. He is invited frequently for presentations in both academic and popular venues. His most recent book-length publications are, with Nancy Niedzielski, Folk Linguistics (2000), with Daniel Long, A Handbook of Perceptual Dialectology, Volume II (2002), Needed Research in American Dialects (2003), and, with Brian Joseph and Carol G. Preston, Linguistic diversity in Michigan and Ohio (2005). He is a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic in 2004. He is a recipient of the Michigan State Distinguished Faculty Award and the Paul Varg Alumni Award of the College of Arts and Letters also at Michigan State.

External website:

Banner design by Laurie Caird