Ph.D. Student
Research Assistant


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I’m a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Georgia, doing a lot of sociolinguistics and phonetics while finding new statistical and computational methods to help me in my research.

My primary area of research is on English in the western United States. My dissertation focuses on mergers using data I've collected in Washington, Utah, and other areas of the West. Because I mostly focus on vowels, I’ve had to learn the skills required to analyze them: Praat scripting, forced alignment, and cutting-edge statistical methods. I also lean towards the variationist sociolinguistic perspective in data collection and analysis.

I’m actively involved with Drs. Kretzschmar and Renwick and the other student workers at the Linguistic Atlas Project where my job is to act as the middleman between transcriptions and formant measurements. I write and maintain the Praat, R, and Perl scripts we use in the lab, and manage the various forced aligners and automatic formant extractors we work with. I also manage the project’s website, the Gazetteer of Southern Vowels.

I also am a research assistant in the DigiLab in UGA’s main library where I give workshops and seminars on how to use computers in humanities research. I have given presentations on topics including Excel and about how grad students can get themselves more googleable.

In the past I have done research on language change in real time, Quechua and Guarani morphology, forms of address among Mormons, language documentation, and agent-based simulations of language change. If I have a spare minute, I peruse the library’s typology section and read up on morphosyntax in the world’s languages. Before switching to linguistics, I was a trombone performance major and you might still catch me playing some Shostakovich or Rachmaninoff on piano.

I publish under the more grown-up-sounding version of my name, Joseph A. Stanley, but anyone who has ever met me knows I go by Joey.


B.A. Linguistics (Minor: Linguistics Computing), Brigham Young University

Research Interests:

Variationist Sociolinguistics, Western American English, Phonetics, Phonology, Vowels, Vowel Mergers, Statistical and Computational Methods

Awards and Special Recognitions:

Graduate Research Award, awarded by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. 2017. Project Title: Intra-Family Language Variation in Utah County, Utah."

University of Georgia Graduate School Dean’s Award. 2016. Project Title: "Linguistic Identity and the Founders Effect in Longview, Washington."


Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant, awarded by the University of Georgia Graduate School. 2017. Project title: "A Survey of Western American English using Amazon Mechanical Turk."

Selected Publications:

Renwick, Margaret E. L. & Joseph A. Stanley (2017). “Static and dynamic approaches to vowel shifting in the Digital Archive of Southern Speech.” Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 30, 060003; doi:

Olsen, Rachel M., Michael L. Olsen, Joseph A. Stanley, Margaret E. L. Renwick, & William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. (2017). “Methods for transcription and forced alignment of a legacy speech corpus.” Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 30, 060001; doi:

Nuckolls, Janis, Joseph Stanley, Elizabeth Nielson, & Roseanna Hopper (2016). “The Systematic Stretching and Contracting of Ideophonic Phonology in Pastaza Quichua”. International Journal of American Linguistics, 82(1). 95–116.

Joseph Stanley (2016). “Pacific Northwest English: Historical Overview and Current Directions” UGA Working Papers in Linguistics (4).

Joseph Stanley (2016). “When do Mormons Call Each Other by First Name?” University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 22(1).

Curriculum Vitae:
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