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Bill Kretzschmar

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities, Department of English

Professor Kretzschmar (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1980) began his career as a medievalist (dissertation on Middle Scots poetry, medieval literary theory), and has over time become more associated with English Language Studies. In addition to his full-time appointment at UGA, he has an academic appointment at the University of Oulu (Finland) and Uppsala University (Sweden). He is Editor Emeritus of the Linguistic Atlas Project, a national center for survey research on American English. He also has a long-term sociolinguistic field site in Roswell, GA, called Roswell Voices; that project was the first American member of the European Union's Living Laboratories network, which promotes public/private partnerships involving technology and innovation. He was President of the American Dialect Society from 2007-2009 and is a Fellow of the ADS. He edited the Journal of English Linguistics for fifteen years and now serves on a number of editorial boards. He was co-editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (2001), and has provided American pronunciations for the online Oxford English Dictionary and for various dictionaries in the Oxford US Dictionaries program; his new pronunciation dictionary, again with Clive Upton, is the Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (2017). He has published over one hundred articles on medieval literature, American English, language variation, and digital humanities. His Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1993, and his Introduction to Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Survey Data by Sage in 1996. A collection of essays from his UGA seminar on literary stylistics was published as a special issue of Language and Literature (2001). His The Linguistics of Speech, which demonstrates the relationship between language behavior and complexity science, was published by Cambridge University Press (2009), and a second book on the subject, Language and Complex Systems, was published by Cambridge in 2015. Two textbooks appeared in 2018 from Cambridge: Exploring Linguistic Science and The Emergence and Development of English. He held an ACLS Digital Innovation fellowship in 2014, with which he developed a computer simulation to model language change. In Fall 2019 he was a Fulbright Distinguished Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland. He has been Faculty in Residence for the UGA at Oxford Program three times. He pursues research and teaching on American English, language variation, and computer methods for the description, analysis, and presentation of language data from literary and non-literary sources. He is a fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Program and directs the Complex Systems in the Humanities site at the UGA digital humanities laboratory, DigiLab. His teaching includes English Language Studies (ENGL/LING 4005/6005 History of the English Language, ENGL/LING 4010 American English), complex systems (ENGL/LING 4080/6080 Language Variation and the Linguistics of Speech), and digital humanities (ENGL 4826/6826 Style: Language, Genre, Cognition, ENGL/LING 4885/6885 Introduction to Humanities Computing).


Ph.D. in English, University of Chicago, 1980.

            Dissertation:  The Literary-Historical Context of Henryson's Fabillis

M.A. in Medieval Studies, Yale University, 1976.

A.B. in Medieval Studies with High Honors, University of Michigan, 1975.

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