Language Variation & Change


Language variation and change is an integrated subfield of linguistics that includes dialectology (the study of regional variation in language), historical linguistics (the study of how languages change over time) and sociolinguistics (the study of social variation in language).  This grouping reflects the view that all three phenomena are related through the central concept of variation: change occurs via regional and social variation and much variation therefore reflects on-going change.

At McGill, research and teaching on language variation and change involve strong connections with both theoretical and experimental linguistics, as well as a wide range of other allied fields, such as computer science, the humanities, psychology and social science.  A particular strength is sociophonetics, looking at inter-group and intra-group variability at the phonetic level.  Past and current research also addresses Canadian English, computational models of language change, diachronic syntax, film and television language, lexical variation, loan word nativization, and sound change.


Charles Boberg

Language Variation and Change


North American English

Meghan Clayards


Speech Perception

Morgan Sonderegger

Phonetics & Phonology

Computational Linguistics

Language Variation and Change

Quantitative Methods

Francisco Torreira

Phonetics & Phonology



Corpus Linguistics

Interactional Linguistics

Quantitative Methods

Lisa deMena Travis



Language Variation & Language Change

Austronesian (Malagasy, Tagalog)

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