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Title: Hiring Practices in Variationist Sociolinguistics
Submitter: Richard Cameron
Description: This academic year has been, I believe, a good year for academic hiring in
linguistics in the United States. As a consequence, I have paid attention
to job announcements in my principal area of expertise, Variationist
Sociolinguistics. I have a few questions, then, for the Variationist
community in the U.S. about a pattern of hiring practice that I have
observed. I will begin with two observations.

Initial Observation:
In those U.S. Departments of Linguistics, which
(A) offer a PhD, and which
(B) employ Variationists with their primary appointment in those
departments, these Variationists work primarily or exclusively on
English or English-lexified Creoles.

Second Observation
In those Linguistics Departments, which offer a Ph.D., and which arecurrently hiring Variationists, the short-listed candidates work primarilyor exclusively on English or English-lexified Creoles.

Is this, in general, an accurate description? I know of two exceptions. No more. If this is accurate, why is this the practice when the annual NWAV conference has presenters on many other languages besides English?
Do similar English-only hiring practices occur for other branches of linguistics in the US? If so, which branches? Why?
Is this a good thing for the future of Variationist Sociolinguistics? If yes, why? If no, why not?

If I receive any responses, I will post the responses.
Thank you - Richard Cameron
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2006
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 17.645
Posted: 01-Mar-2006

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