Our mission

The Sociolinguistics Lab is dedicated to:

  • advancing collaborative research in the study of language variation and language change
  • mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in best practices in research, teaching, and outreach
  • educating the public about language diversity and linguistic discrimination
  • serving as a hub for scholars and students interested in language and society across MSU and in the local area

What we do

We hold regular lab meetings in Fall and Spring semesters, in addition to activities and meetings associated with our research projects. Whenever possible, we engage with the public through outreach events such as MSU Science Festival and MSU Grandparents University. Our students and faculty are regular presenters at MSU student conferences such as GLEAMS, UURAF, and Mid-SURE, and at high profile academic conferences such as NWAV and LSA. We also host visiting students, including those supported by our National Science Foundation funds for Research Enhancement for Undergraduates (REU) experiences. Our informal and supportive lab atmosphere helps everyone to thrive and learn.

How to get involved

You can get involved even if you’ve never taken a class in (socio)linguistics! Anyone with an interest in language variation and language in society is welcome. We recommend that you start by attending our lab meetings (and if relevant, specific project meetings) to get a sense of what we do. Contact the lab directors, Dr. Betsy Sneller and Dr. Suzanne Wagner. You can also join our mailing lists so that you can stay informed about lab activities.

Additional opportunities for MSU students include Graduate Assistantships, undergraduate Professorial Assistantships, and hourly paid undergraduate positions through the College of Arts and Letters Undergraduate Research Initiative. But we are always open to volunteers looking for experience!