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William Kretzschmar

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

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). 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 coeditor 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; another is forthcoming, The Emergence and Development of American 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 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 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. 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.


2016-2018.  NSF BCS- 1625680, “Automated Large-Scale Phonetic Analysis: DASS Pilot,” $377,295. [with Margaret Renwick]

2016-   UGA Faculty Research Cluster, "Complex Systems and the Humanities," $12,500/year

2014    ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship, $85,000.

2013-15.  UGA Faculty Research Cluster, "Digital Humanities Laboratory," $30,000/year

2012-   American Dialect Society, $20,000 per year.

2008-2011 NEH PW-50007, “Digitization of Atlas Audio Recordings,” $349,600.

2006-2011.  American Dialect Society, $15,000 per year.

2006-07.  Roswell Community Language project, $6,500, Roswell Convention and Visitors         Bureau

2006.  CHA State of the Art Conference Grant, $7000, "Linguistics in the 21st Century:   Perspectives and Challenges."

2005.  Roswell Community Language project, $6,500, Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau

2005-06. NSF SBR-0446888, "Doctoral Dissertation Research:  Investigating the Local    Construction of Identity:  Sociophonetic Variation in Smoky Mountain African American Women's Speech," $9768. [with Becky Childs]

2003-05.  Roswell Community Language project, $10,000, Roswell Convention and Visitors       Bureau [with Sonja Lanehart and Bridget Anderson]

2002-04. NSF SBR-0233448, "SGER: Atlanta Speech Sample," $54,834, Undergraduate Research Supplement, $5000. [with Sonja Lanehart]

2001-06. Co- Investigator, National Cancer Institute, "Linguistic Analysis of Tobacco Industry    Documents," Donald Rubin (PI). [I was the lead computer expert, responsible for corpus construction, corpus analysis, and computer presentation of results] 

2001-2003. NSF-SBR-0115654, "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Colorado Field Research for    Linguistic Atlas," $9210. [for Lamont Antieau]

1997-2005.  American Dialect Society, $12,000 per year.

1999-2002. NSF SBR-9975657, "Collaborative Research on the Geography of English Dialect     Features by Self-Organizing Maps," $36,095.  Undergraduate Research Supplement,    $5,000.

1998-2001. NSF SBR-9729149, "Historical Databases of African American English and Gullah," $47,189.  Undergraduate Research Supplement, $5,000.

1986-92, 1994-97.  American Dialect Society, $8,000 per year.

1994.  UGA Instructional Technology Grant, "Corpus Linguistics and Atlas Databases,"   $16,000.

1993-94.  NSF DBS 9222279 "Charting Linguistic Features by Density Estimation," $19,935.

1990-94.  NEH RT 21147, "Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States  (LAMSAS): Database and Publication," $155,000.

1989-90.  NSF BNS 8819749 "Computer Tools for Phonetic Analysis: LAMSAS," $37,583.

1984-86.  NEH RT 20382-83 "Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States," $15,000.

1984-86.  NEH RT 20475-84, "A Word Index for the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South    Atlantic States," $75,000.

Of note:

Fellow, American Dialect Society, 2020-.

Fulbright Distinguished Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, 2019-2020.

Friend of Oxford Award, Office of International Education, University of Georgia, 2014.

ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship, 2014.

Honorary Doctorate, University of Oulu, Finland, 2013.

Albert Christ-Janer Creative Research Award, University of Georgia, 2012.

Faculty Fellow, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, University of Georgia, 2011-.

Membership of Roswell Voices project in European Union Living Laboratories network, 2010-. [first and so far only North American member]

President, American Dialect Society, 2007-2008 (President-Elect, 2005-2006, Treasurer, 2019-).

American Dialect Society Professor, LSA Linguistic Institute, MIT, 2005

Faculty member in Residence, UGA @ Oxford Program (2004, 2013, 2018)

Harry and Jane Willson Professorship in Humanities, 2004-.

President’s Award, Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2004. [for Roswell Voices project]

TEI Consortium, Board of Directors (2002-2004), Nominating Committee (2002-2004)

Pedro Zamora Horizon Award (2002; UGA, commitment to diversity).

South Atlantic Regional Humanities Center, founding board member (2001-2009).

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section Z (Linguistics) Nominating Committee (2000-2003).

Association for Computers and the Humanities, Executive Committee (1998-2003), Publications Committee (2000-2002).

Current listing in several Who's Who volumes, including Who's Who in the World (1992-), Who's Who in America (1994-).

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