About Me

My name is Chris Taylor; I'm a sociolinguist working on sociophonetic variation and the intersections of class, ethnicity, and localness. Currently, I work as a Lecturer in the Linguistics Department at Rice University.

Through my research, I examine the ways in which we, as speakers of human languages, leverage experiential knowledge of linguistic variation to negotiate how our fellow speakers and other audiences perceive us in sociocultural terms. To throw into analytic relief the strategic use of such knowledge, my work explores cases of phonological variation in genres of speech and high-performance that foreground stylistic decisions and matters of self-presentation.

My Research

I focus in much of my research on the analysis of stylistic variation in recorded hip hop performances. I focus on these performances because they are grounded in an oral tradition that commodifies the use of African-American vernacular practices. Regarding such practices, I examine how they are mobilized rhetorically through a combination of discourse analytic methods and techniques for acoustic analysis. I use these methods to study the role played by vernacular resources in constructing distinct, classed personae in public discourse. ...read more »

Recent Scholarship

I recently co-organized panels for the SLA section (Society for Linguistic Anthropology) at the 111th and 112th annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (in San Francisco and Chicago, respectively).

Additionally, in 2013, I gave presentations at UT Austin and UC Santa Barbara, which together highlighted how the realization of phonological variants in salient cultural texts shapes our ability to segment, reflect on, and valorize these phono-indexical phenomena.

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I am currently giving a course titled "Language & Society," which serves as an introduction to the study of language and society as interrelated and interdependent systems.

Curriculum Vitae

For the latest version of my CV, click here

(*Last updated on September 29th, 2014.)