My primary research interests focus on social and cognitive aspects of language variation and change. Much of my work is firmly sociolinguistic, in that it is interested in understanding language and linguistic patterns in their social context - often following in the quantitative traditions of sociolinguistic research spearheaded by scholars like William Labov and Walt Wolfram - although I also pursue research questions via approaches from computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, lab phonetics, and psycholinguistics.
I have conducted research on a number of dialects of American English and to a lesser extent Spanish, working in communities ranging from small towns in Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, and Newfoundland to communities of speakers in New York City. I also collaborate with scholars on variation and change in the United Kingdon (esp. with Dominic Watt and Carmen Llamas, at the University of York) and with scholars in Denmark (esp. Anne Fabricius and Nicolai Pharao and his colleagues at the LANCHART Centre).
Recently, I have been engaged in two large-scale projects - one, a collaboration with Valerie Fridland at the University of Nevada, Reno, seeks to understand the relationship between vowel production and vowel perception in U.S. regional vowel shifts (see the Vowels in America website, or our publications for more); the other seeks to understand the social and cognitive parameters behind variability in speech timing in U.S. English (e.g., why do some talkers talk faster or slower than others? what influences a talker's speech rate and pause durations? how do aspects of speech timing relate to other variable processes of language production? See my 2013 book for more).
Another line of my work has focused on data management practices within empirical branches of linguistics. I have published several articles about topics in linguistic data management and have developed two web-based language archives, the Sociolinguistic Archive and Analysis Project (SLAAP) and the Online Speech/Corpora Archive and Analysis Resource (OSCAAR). I am the PI on an NSF-funded project housed at the UO's LVC Lab to develop tools and data for enhancing research and education on African American English. I have also developed other linguistic software, such as the NORM suite for vowel plotting and normalization and, vowels.R, its related open-source package for the R statistical programming environment.
I am also interested in multilingualism (in the U.S., but also elsewhere, such as in Iceland), legal and forensic problems in linguistics, digital humanities, and public outreach and education about language diversity.
Last updated: March 2016, Tyler Kendall