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Penelope Eckert
108 Margaret Jacks Hall
Stanford University
Stanford CA 94305-2150
Phone: (650) 725-1564
Fax: (650)723-5666
Email: eckert@stanford.edu

Office Hours by appointment

Department of Linguistics

Professor by Courtesy
Department of Anthropology

Albert Ray Lang Professor of Humanities and Sciences

Visit the Ivanfest
Sociolinguistics at Stanford
Voices of California

my bionic back

The goal of my research is to understand the social meaning of linguistic variation. In order to do this, I pursue my sociolinguistic work in the context of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, focusing on the relation between variation, linguistic style, social identity and social practice.

Gender has been the big misunderstood in studies of sociolinguistic variation - in spite of the fact that some of the most exciting intellectual developments over the past decades have been in theories of gender and sexuality ... so I have been spending a good deal of time working on language and gender as well.

Since adolescents and preadolescents are the movers and shakers in linguistic change, I concentrate on this age group, and much of my research takes place in schools. The institutional research site has made me think a good deal about learning and education, but particularly about the construction of adolescence in American society.
What is Third Wave Variation Theory?

My Take on the Future of Variation Research
from NWAV40

"...the intellectual...we may define as an expert whose expertise is not wanted by the society at large." Berger and Luckman, The Social Construction of Reality

Curriculum Vitae

Current Courses


Dead Tongues

I remember Dr. Eckert did say to me, "One day, everybody is going to have a computer right on their desk." My eyes popped open. That must have been in the early 50s. He foresaw it. Eleanor Kolchin, Huffington Post interview, February 2013. (My father, not me. I was busy with other things in the 50s.)