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Penelope Eckert

Stanford University

Short Bio: 
Penelope Eckert is the Albert Ray Lang Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology at Stanford University. Her early work was on sound change and language shift in a Gascon-speaking village in the French Pyrenees. In recent decades, she has carried out ethnographic studies of the embedding of variation in social practice among American preadolescents and adolescents. Her work seeks out the relation between the indexical use of variation at the local level and the patterning of variation at the macro-sociological level. She examines the meaning of variation through its use in stylistic practice, approaching variation as a robust semiotic system that draws on a wide range of linguistic material for the non-propositional expression of social meaning. She is author of Jocks and Burnouts: Social Identity in the High School, (Teachers College Press 1989), Linguistic Variation as Social Practice  (Blackwell 2000), Language and Gender (Cambridge University Press 2003, Second Edition 2013 with Sally McConnell-Ginet) and Searching for Meaning: The Third Wave of Variation Studies (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press).