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Robin Dodsworth


Department of English

Tompkins Hall 209

View CV 


My main ongoing project is a study of vowel change in Raleigh, NC. I’m using a corpus of conversational data from over 300 native residents of Raleigh that I’ve been collecting since 2008. The Southern Vowel Shift is in decline in Raleigh as the result of large-scale migration from outside the South. One of the project’s main goals is to use contemporary social network methods to look at the social distribution of the linguistic variables.

Office Hours

  • Tue: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Thu: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Research Publications


2020. Dodsworth, Robin and Richard Benton. Language variation and change in social networks: A bipartite approach. Routledge.

2011. Michnowicz, Jim and Robin Dodsworth (eds.). Selected Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.


2021. Dodsworth, Robin and Mary Kohn. Supraregional changes are uncorrelated: A community comparison. American Speech 106: 125-146.

2021. Forrest, Jon, Steve McDonald, and Robin Dodsworth. Linguistic employment niches: Southern dialect across industries. Socius.

2020. Dodsworth, Robin, Jon Forrest and Mary Kohn. Network characteristics of American Raising. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics.

2020. Sharma, Devyani and Robin Dodsworth. Language variation and social networks. Annual Review of Linguistics.

2019. Dodsworth, Robin. Bipartite network structures and individual differences in sound change. Glossa 4(1).

2018. Dodsworth, Robin. Community detection and the reversal of the Southern Vowel Shift in Raleigh. Language Variety in the New South (Reaser, Wilbanks, Wojcik & Wolfram, eds). UNC Press.

2017. Dodsworth, Robin and Richard Benton. Social network cohesion and the retreat from Southern vowels in Raleigh. Language in Society 46: 371-405.

2017. Owens, Jonathan and Robin Dodsworth. Semantic mapping: What happens to idioms in discourse. Linguistics 55: 641-682.

2017. Dinkin, Aaron and Robin Dodsworth. Gradience, allophony, and chain shifts. Language Variation and Change 29: 101-127.

2017. Dodsworth, Robin. Migration and dialect contact. Annual Review of Linguistics 3: 331-346.

2016. Carignan, Christopher, Jeff Mielke, and Robin Dodsworth. Tongue trajectories in North American English short-a tensing. In Marie-Hélène Coté, Remco Knooihuizen, and John Nerbonne, editors, The Future of Dialects, pages 313–319, Language Science Press, Berlin.

2016. Forrest, Jon and Robin Dodsworth. Towards a sociologically grounded view of occupation in sociolinguistics. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 22.2: Selected Papers from NWAV 44.

2014. Dodsworth, Robin. Community network structure and the reversal of Southern vowels in Raleigh, NC. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 20.2: Selected Papers from NWAV 42.

2013.  Dodsworth, Robin. Speech communities, social networks, and communities of practice. In Janet Holmes and Kirk Hazen (eds.), Research Methods in Sociolinguistics. Wiley-Blackwell. 262-275.

2013. Owens, Jonathan, Robin Dodsworth, and Mary Kohn. Subject expression and discourse embeddedness in Emirati Arabic. Language Variation and Change 25.

2013. Dodsworth, Robin. Retreat from the Southern Vowel Shift in Raleigh, NC: Social factors. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Selected Papers from NWAV 41, 19.2.

2013. Dodsworth, Robin and Mary Kohn. Dialect reallocation in Southern U.S. English. M. Putz, Monika Reif, and J. Robinson (eds.) Variation in Language and Language Use: Linguistic, Socio-Cultural, and Cognitive Perspectives. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 16-35.

2012.  Dodsworth, Robin and Mary Kohn. Urban rejection of the vernacular: The SVS undone. Language Variation and Change, 24: 221-245.

2010.  Dodsworth, Robin. Social class. In P. Kerswill, B. Johnstone, and R. Wodak (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Sociolinguistics.

2010. Durian, David, Robin Dodsworth, and Jennifer Schumacher. Convergence in blue-collar Columbus, Ohio, African American and White vowel systems? American Speech, 84, supplement 94: 161-190.

2009. Dodsworth, Robin. Modeling socioeconomic class in variationist sociolinguistics. Language and Linguistics Compass, 3, 5: 1314-1327.

2009. Owens, Jonathan and Robin Dodsworth. Stability in subject-verb word order: From contemporary Arabian Peninsular Arabic to Biblical Aramaic. Anthropological Linguistics 51, 2: 151-175.

2009. Mallinson, Christine and Robin Dodsworth. Revisiting the need for new approaches to social class in variationist sociolinguistics. Special issue of Sociolinguistic Studies, ‘Analysing language to understand social phenomena’.

2009. Owens, Jonathan, Bill Young, Trent Rockwood, David Mehall, Robin Dodsworth. Explaining null and overt subjects in spoken Arabic. In Information Structure in Spoken Arabic. Owens, Jonathan and Alaa Elgibali (eds). Routledge.

2009. Owens, Jonathan, Robin Dodsworth, and Trent Rockwood. Subject-verb order in spoken Arabic: Morpholexical and event-based factors. Language Variation and Change 21/1.

2008.  Dodsworth, Robin. Sociological consciousness as a component of linguistic variation. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12: 34-57.

2005.  Dodsworth, Robin. Attribute networking: A technique for modeling social perceptions.  Journal of Sociolinguistics, 9: 225-253.

2004. Dodsworth, Robin. Attribute networking: A sociolinguistic technique for modeling subjective social space.  Berkeley Linguistics Society: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, 30: 69-80.

Funded Research

2017-2020. NSF SMA-1730479 (Digging into Data/Trans-Atlantic Platform), “Speech Across Dialects of English (SPADE).” With co-PIs Jeff Mielke, Paul Fyfe, Erik Thomas, and Tyler Kendall. $199,791.

2013-2017. National Science Foundation grant 1323153. “Class, Network, and Dialect Contact in Raleigh, NC”. $250,003.

2011. NC State Extension grant, $1300.

2009-2010. NC State FRDP Multidisciplinary grant, “On place: A framework for multidisciplinary exploration of place-based narratives”. $20,000.

2008-2009. NC State FRDP Individual Program grant, “An exploratory study of sociolinguistic variation in Raleigh, NC”. $5,600.


Ph.D. Linguistics The Ohio State University 2005

Area(s) of Expertise

Language variation and change, Acoustic phonetics, Social networks