Thomas C. Purnell

Position title: Professor


6109 Helen C. White Hall

Phonetics, Phonology, Sociolinguistics, Dialectology
Thomas C. Purnell

Degrees and Institutions

  • PhD Linguistics, University of Delaware, 1998
  • MA English (Linguistics), George Mason University, 1992
  • BA English, California State University, Los Angeles, 1986

Edited Volumes

  • Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State. (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013). (editor, with Eric Raimy & Joseph Salmons)
  • “Accommodative tendencies in multidialect communication” Journal of English Linguistics 38/3 (2010). (guest editor with Malcah Yaeger-Dror,)
  • “Accommodation to the locally dominant norm: Variationist analyses” American Speech 85/3 (2010). (guest editor with Malcah Yaeger-Dror, )

Selected Publications

  • “Distinctive features, levels of representation and historical phonology.” In The Handbook of Historical Phonology , P. Honeybone & J. Salmons (eds.). (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2014). (with Eric Raimy)
  • “Hearing the American language change: The state of DARE recordings.” American Speech (forthcoming, 2013).
  • “Making linguistics matter: Building on the public’s interest in language. ” Linguistic Compass 7/7 (2013): 398-407. (with Eric Raimy & Joseph Salmons)
  • “Dialect recordings from the Hanley Collection, 1931-1937.” American Speech 87/4 (2012): 511-513 (audio article).
  • “Teaching, researching and doing outreach on Wisconsin Englishes. ” American Speech 87/3 (2012): 369-370 (audio article). (with Eric Raimy & Joseph Salmons)
  • “Phonetic detail in the perception of ethnic varieties of US English.” In A Reader in Sociophonetics (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2010): 289-326.
  • “Contact and the development of American English.” In Handbook of Language Contact (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010): 454-477 (with Joseph Salmons).
  • “The vowel phonology of urban Southeastern Wisconsin.” In AAE speakers and their participation in local sound changes: A comparative study. (Publication of the American Dialect Society volume #94, Durham: Duke University Press, 2010): 191-217.
  • “Convergence and contact in Milwaukee: Evidence from select African American and white vowel space features.” Journal of Language and Social Psychology 28/4 (2009): 408-427.
  • “Phonetic influence on phonological operations.” Contemporary Views on Architecture and Representations in Phonological Theory (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009): 337-354. .
  • “Defining dialect, perceiving dialect and new dialect formation: Sarah Palin’s speech.” Journal of English Linguistics 37/4 (2009): 331-355. (with Eric Raimy & Joseph Salmons)
  • “Pre-velar raising and phonetic conditioning: Role of labial and anterior tongue gestures.” American Speech 83/4 (2008): 373-402.
  • “Structured heterogeneity and change in laryngeal phonetics: Upper Midwestern final obstruents.” Journal of English Linguistics 33/4 (2005): 307-338.
  • “German substrate effects in Wisconsin English: Evidence for final fortition.” American Speech 80/2 (2005): 135-164.
  • “Perceptual and phonetic experiments on American English dialect identification.” Journal of Language and Social Psychology 18/1 (1999): 10-30.

Current Projects

I am currently working on a book with Eric Raimy (English) and Joseph Salmons (German, CSUMC) Modularity in phonology to appear in the Cambridge University Press Key Topics in Phonology Series. We also continue our work on Wisconsin Speech Chain On-Line (WiSCO), a tool for teaching the speech chain, in conjunction with staff at DoIT. Also, Nora Cate Schaeffer with others in Sociology and I are analyzing “hello” as spoken by respondents to the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey. Bill Idsardi (U Maryland) and I are working on an NSF grant examining neuromagnetic correlates of dialect.

Recent Books