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Jennifer Cramer

Research Interests:
Language in Kentucky
Appalachian Englishes

Office Hours (Fall 2023): TR 9-10am or by appointment


B.A., Linguistics - University of Kentucky, 2004
B.A., French - University of Kentucky, 2004
M.A., Linguistics - Purdue University, 2006
Ph.D., Linguistics - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010


Dr. Cramer's research interests are in the field of sociolinguistics. She focuses on language variation in the Southern United States and in the Appalachian Mountain region. Her dissertation dealt with the linguistic production and perception of regional identity in Louisville. She is interested in perceptual dialectology, discourse analysis, and language and identity. She has presented her work at many national and international conferences, such as the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), the American Dialect Society (ADS), the International Association for World Englishes (IAWE), the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV), and the Sociolinguistics Symposium.

She has published research papers in American Speech, Discourse & Society, English World-WideSouthern Journal of Linguistics, Journal of Appalachian Studies, and Studies in the Linguistic Sciences. She also has several book chapters, including a co-authored piece on hip hop in Marina Terkourafi's (ed.) The Languages of Global Hip Hop and another on language regard in Betsy E. Evans, Erica J. Benson, and James N. Stanford's (eds.) Language Regard: Methods, Variation, and Change.

Most recently, she worked alongside Rusty Barrett and Kevin McGowan to revise the beloved textbook English with an Accent. Her other book projects include a co-authored monograph (with Paulina Bounds, Tennessee Tech; Susan Tamasi, Emory) on dialect perceptions in the American South titled Linguistic Planets of Belief (Routledge, 2020), a co-edited volume (with Chris Montgomery, University of Sheffield) on dialect perceptions in the city called Cityscapes and Perceptual Dialectology (Mouton de Gruyter, 2016), and a monograph on the linguistic perception and production of regional identities in and of Louisville for the Publication of the American Dialect Society called Contested Southernness: The linguistic production and perception of identities in the borderlands (Duke University Press, 2016). Currently, she is working on a co-authored book project for Routledge called The Social Life of Appalachian Englishes with Allison Burkette, a project for which she received a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Selected Publications:


Barrett, Rusty, Jennifer Cramer, and Kevin B. McGowan. 2023. English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States, 3rd edition. London and New York: Routledge.

Bounds, Paulina, Jennifer Cramer, and Susan Tamasi. 2020. Linguistic Planets of Belief: Mapping Language Attitudes in the American South. London and New York: Routledge.

Cramer, Jennifer. 2016. Contested Southernness: The linguistic production and perception of identities in the borderlands. Publication of the American Dialect Society 100. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Cramer, Jennifer and Chris Montgomery (eds.). 2016. Cityscapes and Perceptual Dialectology: Global perspectives on non-linguists’ knowledge of the dialect landscape. Language and Social Life 5. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Cramer, Jennifer and Allison Burkette. (Manuscript submitted). The Social Life of Appalachian Englishes. London and New York: Routledge.


Cramer, Jennifer. 2022. A Linguist’s Perspective on the American Board of Family Medicine’s Differential Item Functioning Panel. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 35 (2): 387–389. DOI:

Cramer, Jennifer. 2021. Mental Maps and Perceptual Dialectology. Language and Linguistics Compass 15 (2): 1-15 (e12405).

Dragojevic, Marko, Fabio Fasoli, Jennifer Cramer, and Tamara Rakić. 2021. Toward a Century of Language Attitudes Research: Looking Back and Moving Forward. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 40 (1): 60–79.

Staton, Michele, Jennifer Cramer, Robert Walker, Claire Snell-Rood, and Athena Kheibari. 2019. The importance of shared language in rural behavioral health interventions: An exploratory linguistic analysis. Journal of Rural Mental Health 43 (4): 138–149.
Cramer, Jennifer and Dennis R. Preston. 2018. Introduction: Changing perceptions of Southernness. American Speech 93 (3-4): 337–343.
Cramer, Jennifer, Susan Tamasi, and Paulina Bounds. 2018. Southernness and our Linguistic Planets of Belief. American Speech 93 (3-4): 445–470.
Cramer, Jennifer. 2018. Perceptions of Appalachian English in Kentucky. Journal of Appalachian Studies 24 (1): 45–71.
Cramer, Jennifer. 2015. An Optimality-Theoretic Approach to Dialect Code-switching. English World-Wide 36 (2): 170-197.
Anderson, Bridget L., Jennifer Cramer, Bethany K. Dumas, Beverly Olson Flanigan, and Michael Montgomery. 2014. Needed Research on the Englishes of Appalachia. Southern Journal of Linguistics 38 (1): 1-30.
Cramer, Jennifer. 2014. Is Shakespeare Still in the Holler? The Death of a Language Myth. Southern Journal of Linguistics 38 (1): 195-207.
Cramer, Jennifer. 2013. Styles, Stereotypes, and the South: Constructing Identities at the Linguistic Border. American Speech 88 (2): 144–167.
Cramer, Jennifer. 2010. “Do we really want to be like them?”: Indexing Europeanness through pronominal use. Discourse & Society 21 (6): 619–637.
Lichtman, Karen, Shawn Chang, Jennifer Cramer, Claudia Crespo del Rio, Amanda Huensch, Alexandra Morales, and Jill Hallett. 2010. IPA Illustration of Q’anjob’al. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences. <>.
Book Chapters:

Cramer, Jennifer. 2022. Folk Linguistics and the Nostalgia of the Past City. In B. Busse and I.H. Warnke (eds.), Handbuch Sprachwissen, vol. 20: Handbuch Sprache im urbanen Raum [Handbook of Language in Urban Spaces]. Berlin: De Gruyter. 273–291.

Cramer, Jennifer. 2020. Identity and Representation in Appalachia: Perceptions in and of Appalachia, its people, and its languages. In K. Hazen (ed.), Appalachian Englishes in the Twenty-First Century. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press. 69–83.

Cramer, Jennifer. 2018. Dialect variation in Kentucky: Eastern Kentuckian perceptions. In S.D. Brunn and R. Kehrein (eds.), Changing World Language Map. Dordrecht: Springer, Cham. DOI:

Cramer, Jennifer. 2018. The Emic and the Etic in Perceptual Dialectology. In B.E. Evans, E. Benson, and J. Stanford (eds.), Language Regard: Methods, Variation, and Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 62–79.

Cramer, Jennifer. 2016. Perceptual Dialectology. Oxford Handbooks Online. Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935345.013.60.

Cramer, Jennifer. 2016. Rural vs. Urban: Perception and Production of Identity in a Border City. In J. Cramer and C. Montgomery (eds.), Cityscapes and Perceptual Dialectology: Global perspectives on non-linguists’ knowledge of the dialect landscape. Language and Social Life 5. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 27–54.

Montgomery, Chris and Jennifer Cramer. 2016. Developing methods in Perceptual Dialectology. In J. Cramer and C. Montgomery (eds.), Cityscapes and Perceptual Dialectology: Global perspectives on non-linguists’ knowledge of the dialect landscape. Language and Social Life 5. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 9–24.

Cramer, Jennifer and Jill Hallett. 2010. From Chi-Town to the Dirty Dirty: Regional identity markers in U.S. Hip Hop. In M. Terkourafi (ed.), The Languages of Global Hip Hop. London and New York: Continuum. 256–276.