Tyler Kendall, Associate Professor of Linguistics at the UO, is the director of the Language Variation and Computation Lab. As of August 2019, Tyler is on leave from the University of Oregon and on assignment at the National Science Foundation.
Tyler’s primary research interests focus on social and cognitive aspects of language variation and change. Much of his work is firmly sociolinguistic, in that it is interested in understanding language and linguistic patterns in their social context – often following in the quantitative traditions of sociolinguistic research spearheaded by William Labov and Walt Wolfram – although he also pursues research questions via approaches from computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, lab phonetics, and psycholinguistics.
Tyler has conducted research on a number of dialects of American English and to a lesser extent Spanish, working in communities ranging from small towns in Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, and Newfoundland to communities of speakers in New York City. He also collaborates with scholars on variation and change in the United Kingdon (esp. with Dominic Watt and Carmen Llamas, at the University of York) and with scholars in Denmark (esp. Anne Fabricius and Nicolai Pharao and colleagues at the LANCHART Centre).
Recently, Tyler has been engaged in two large-scale projects – one, a collaboration with Valerie Fridland at the University of Nevada, Reno, seeks to understand the relationship between vowel production and vowel perception in U.S. regional vowel shifts; the other seeks to understand the social and cognitive parameters behind variability in speech timing in U.S. English (e.g., why do some talkers talk faster or slower than others? what influences a talker’s speech rate and pause durations? how do aspects of speech timing relate to other variable processes of language production?). This later topic is the focus of a (2013) book, Speech rate, pause and sociolinguistic variation: Studies in corpus sociophonetics.
Another line of Tyler’s work has focused on data management practices within empirical branches of linguistics. Tyler has published numerous articles about topics in linguistic data management – including a chapter in the new edition of the Handbook of Language Variation and Change – and has developed two web-based language archives, the Sociolinguistic Archive and Analysis Project (SLAAP) and the Online Speech/Corpora Archive and Analysis Resource (OSCAAR). Tyler is the PI on an NSF-funded project housed at the LVC Lab to develop tools and data for enhancing research and education on African American English. He has also developed other linguistic software, such as the NORM suite for vowel plotting and normalization and, vowels.R, its related open-source package for the R statistical programming environment.
Tyler is also interested in multilingualism (in the U.S., but also elsewhere, such as in Iceland), legal and forensic problems in linguistics, digital humanities, and public outreach and education about language diversity.