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Outstanding Faculty Awards

Bridget Anderson

Assistant Professor of English and Applied Linguistics
Old Dominion University
Rising Star Recipient

Dr. Bridget Anderson has served as an Assistant Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at Old Dominion University since 2005. She is a sociolinguist specializing in acoustic phonetics and language variation. Her theoretical work demonstrates the interaction of phonetic principles with social and ideological factors in structuring sound systems of American English, with a focus on “everyday” types of speech found in oral histories and personal narratives. Dr. Anderson believes that any academic achievement is a result of cooperation and combined energy. She particularly wants to acknowledge her professors at Western Carolina University and the world-class training she received from her academic mentors, including Walt Wolfram, Lesley Milroy, Pam Beddor, Erik Thomas, Jose Benki, and Judith Irvine, as well as her deep appreciation of her colleagues and students at Old Dominion University.

Dr. Anderson’s first book, Migration, Accommodation, and Language Change: Language at the Intersection of Regional and Ethnic Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) examines the linguistic consequences of the “Great Southern Migration,” the largest internal migration in US history. The methodological combination of ethnographic fieldwork and laboratory-standard acoustic analytic procedures yields an analysis which demonstrates the interaction of linguistic processes with social and ideological factors in the speech sounds of African American and Appalachian White Southern migrants and their descendants in the Detroit metro area.

Her second book, Smoky Mountain English: Appalachian English in the Great Smoky Mountains of the American South, (Edinburgh University Press, anticipated release date in 2009) is based on data she collected during ethnographic fieldwork conducted from 1995-2000 in the rural Smoky Mountains of far western North Carolina. The book describes grammatical, phonological (sound system), and lexical features of Smoky Mountain English, Dr. Anderson’s native dialect.

At Old Dominion University, Dr. Anderson incorporates research and service learning into her pedagogical practices and treasures every moment she spends in the classroom. She directs Tidewater Voices, a community language and oral history project, which allows the people of the Tidewater region to tell their own stories, in their own words and language. Students are trained to create archival-quality recordings, to conduct linguistic analyses, and to write descriptions of Tidewater dialects. Dr. Anderson’s students also complete service learning projects in which they use the tools of linguistics to address social problems involving language and to provide specific social benefits. Dr. Anderson holds a MA in English with a concentration in Linguistics from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan.

View Nomination Packet

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