HDLS 16 Keynote Presentations


Dr. Esther Brown (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Esther L. Brown earned her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of New Mexico in 2004. She is an Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Colorado Boulder and Chair of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Her research explores language use and usage patterns to test theories of lexical representation and language variation and change.



Dr. Alicia Beckford Wassink (The University of Washington)

Alicia Beckford Wassink is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Washington. She is the Byron and Alice Lockwood Endowed professor of the Humanities, and director of the Sociolinguistics Laboratory.  She is an Affiliate Professor in the Center for Mind, Brain and Learning, University of Washington (now iLabs), and an external examiner in Phonetics for the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica.  She has served as principal investigator of the English in the Pacific Northwest study since 2006.  She most recently served on both the executive committee of Linguistic Society of America and the executive council of the American Dialect Society.  Wassink's research interests lie in production and perception of the time-varying features of vowel systems, racial bias in automatic speech recognition, social network modeling, dialect contact, language ideology, development of sociolinguistic competence in children, and creole linguistics.   Her work has appeared in books on Language and Identity (Edinburgh University Press), African-American Women’s Language (Oxford),Best Practices in Sociophonetics (Routledge), and Language in the Schools (Elsevier) Primary reports of her research have appeared in the Publications of the American Dialect Society, Speech Communication, American Speech, Journal of The Acoustical Society of America, Journal of Phonetics, Language in Society, Language Variation and Change, Journal of English Linguistics, and the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.



Dr. Erin Wilkinson (University of New Mexico)

My study of signed language linguistics spans the last 20 years. My broad research interests include: bilingualism, language documentation and description, language change and variation, signed language typology, and language planning and policy in highly diverse signing communities. My current studies involve collaboration with other researchers to examine cognitive and linguistic processing in signing bilingual populations. I also explore how linguistic structures are re-structured over time in signed languages and what factors contribute to language variation and change in signed languages through the lens of usage-based theory. Also, my research elucidates ethical issues that have been overlooked, and probes the perspectives of deaf individuals regarding these ethical issues, mostly in the context of language policy in Canada.