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Kirk Hazen

Kirk Hazen Web Photo

Professor of Linguistics
Director, WV Dialect Project
Benedum Distinguished Scholar

Ph.D., Linguistics

Office: G20A Colson Hall
Tel: 304-293-9721
Fax: 304-293-5380
Curriculum Vitae

Language Variation and Change

Professor Kirk Hazen is the linguist in the Department and directs the West Virginia Dialect Project. He has investigated bidialectalism (funded through NSF grant BCS-9982647), A Sociolinguistic Baseline for English in Appalachia (funded through NSF grant BCS-0743489), Phonetic Variation of English in Appalachia (funded through NSF grant BCS-1120156) language variation in the family, and English in North Carolina (Outer Banks and Warren County). The WVDP is also involved in public education about dialect variation and language change.

West Virginia Dialect Project

Selected Publications


An Introduction to Language. 2015. Wiley-Blackwell.

Research Methods in Sociolinguistics: A Practical Guide. 2014. Janet Holmes and Kirk Hazen, editors. Wiley-Blackwell.

Identity and ethnicity in the rural south: A sociolinguistic view through past and present be.
2000. Publications of the American Dialect Society No. 83. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Dialect change and maintenance on the Outer Banks. With Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes. 1999. Publications of the American Dialect Society No. 81. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.

Recent Articles and Chapters:

A new role for an ancient variable in Appalachia: Paradigm leveling and standardization in West Virginia. 2014. Language Variation and Change 26.1:77-102. doi:10.1017/S0954394513000215.

Methodological choices in language variation analysis. 2014. A chapter for Variability in Current World Englishes. Eugene Green and Chuck Meyer (eds.). New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

A historical assessment of research questions in sociolinguistic. 2014. A chapter for Research Methods in Sociolinguistics: A Practical Guide. Janet Holmes and Kirk Hazen, eds. Wiley-Blackwell. 7-22.

Dialectology. 2014. An online chapter for Oxford Bibliographies: Linguistics. Mark Aronoff (ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Strengthening Student Understanding of Mathematical Language Through Verbal and Written Representations of the Intermediate Value Theorem. 2014. Vicki Sealey, Jessica M. Deshler, and Kirk Hazen. PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies. 24.2: 175-190. DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2013.858282.

The Appalachian range: The limits of language variation in West Virginia. 2013. Coauthored with Jaime Flesher and Erin Simmons. A chapter for Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community. Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward (eds.). University of Kentucky Press. 54-69.

Variable Words from Variable Lives: Teaching about language variation from the pages of the Dictionary of American Regional English. Summer 2012. An invited essay for the teaching section of American Speech in honor of the publication of volume V of DARE. 214-223.

Flying high above the social radar: Coronal stop deletion in modern Appalachia. 2011. Language Variation and Change 23(1): 105-137.

The Fall of Demonstrative Them: Evidence from Appalachia. 2011. Coauthored with Sarah Hamilton and Sarah Vacovsky. English World-Wide 32:1.74-103. DOI 10.1075/eww.32.1.04haz.

Labov: Language variation and change. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Ruth Wodak, Barbara Johnstone, and Paul E. Kerswill, eds. Sage, New York. 24-39.

Select Grants

Phonetic Variation in Appalachia (BCS-1120156). A grant proposal funded by the National Science Foundation. September 2011 – August 2015 ($239,724).

A Sociolinguistic Baseline for English in Appalachia (BCS 0743489). A grant proposal funded by the National Science Foundation. January 2008 – February 2012 ($252,243).

A Sociolinguistic Study of Bidialectalism (BCS-9982647). A grant proposal funded by the National Science Foundation. July 2000—June 2002 ($56,300).

Talks Offered

Kirk Hazen currently offers the following talk as part of the English Department Speakers program:

“Talkin’ the Talk: Language in the Schools”

Parents and teachers have been concerned about teaching English for years, and as the recent Ebonics debate showed, it is a hot topic. But if no one argues about teaching physics, why would they argue about teaching English? This lecture explores that question and reveals the basic facts about language in a tour of English dialects in the South, including the Appalachian mountains and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

“Dialect Awareness Program”

Dialects are one of the most misunderstood human features in our modern times. This talk leads students and teachers through the systematic patterning of dialects and their variation in both time and space.

“What Teachers Need to Know About Language”

Designed for an audience of K-12 teachers, this interactive lesson provides context for discussing what language is and what teaching English should be.

The English Department Speakers program (EDS) provides talks for a variety of audiences-high schools, civic groups, community organizations, etc.-free of charge. To obtain more information about the EDS program or to schedule a speaker, call Professor Lisa Weihman at (304) 293-9735 or e-mail her at

Composition & Rhetoric
Creative Writing
Literary and Cultural Studies
Professional Writing and Editing
the WVU Writing Center

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View More Events

December 6: English 418 Capstone Reading, 5:30 p.m.,130 Colson Hall

March 20: Mary Moore Reading, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room WVU Downtown Library

April 10: Clare Beams Reading, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room WVU Downtown Library

April 20: Calliope Reading, 7:30 p.m., 130 Colson Hall

April 27: MFA Reading, 7:30 p.m., Gold Ballroom, WVU Mountainlair