William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University
Walt Wolfram is William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University, where he also directs the North Carolina Language and Life Project. He has pioneered research on social and ethnic dialects since the 1960s and published more than 20 books and over 300 articles on socioethnic and regional varieties that include African American English, American Indian English, Hispanicized English, Vietnamese English, Lebanese English, Appalachian English, Ozark English, and Outer Banks English. His most recent books are Talkin’ Tar Heel: How our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina (with Jeff Reaser, 2014) and the third edition of American English: Dialects and Variation (with Natalie Schilling, 2015). Professor Wolfram is particularly interested in the application of sociolinguistic information for public audiences, including the production of a number of television documentaries, the construction of museum exhibits, and the development of an innovative social studies dialect awareness curricula endorsed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. He has received numerous awards, including the North Carolina Award (highest award given to a citizen of NC), Caldwell Humanities Laureate from the NC Humanities Council, the Holladay Medal at NC State, and the Linguistics, Language and the Public Award from the Linguistic Society of America, as well as the NC State Alumni Association Research Award, the Graduate Professor Award, and the Extension and Engagement Award. He has also served as President of the Linguistic Society of America, the American Dialect Society, and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics.